Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 73901 times)

Offline JamesH65

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #160 on: 06/23/2017 01:20 PM »
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)

Not only that, but those who shot down talk of market elasticity, i.e disagreeing with statement, "if its cheap enough, more people will use it". This Bulgariasat release seems to fall exactly in the middle of that statement!

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #161 on: 06/23/2017 01:24 PM »
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)
The maths on his spreadsheet are still valid, especially if pricing at $/kg to orbit not $ per launch. Elon said few $100M in R&D on RLV, some of which they would like to recover, hence slight not large discount on used boosters. While maths still apply to Blue, they can afford to forgo cost of R&D recovery, in doing so shave $10Ms off each launch. A publicly listed company wouldn't be able to justify this with their shareholders. In SpaceX case shareholding is private with investors willing to play long game.
« Last Edit: 06/23/2017 01:30 PM by TrevorMonty »

Offline gospacex

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #162 on: 06/23/2017 10:49 PM »
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)

You can ask at georgesowers.blogspot.com ;)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #163 on: 06/24/2017 01:30 AM »
There were a bunch of questionable assumptions that went into the spreadsheet.

And I challenge those who say only a private company could've done this. No, that's a terrible excuse. SpaceX will make a big profit on this investment.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #164 on: 06/24/2017 02:48 AM »
There were a bunch of questionable assumptions that went into the spreadsheet.

Questionable is putting it charitably.  IIRC, the spreadsheet assumed the revenue was proportional to the max kg capable of being sent to orbit on a particular launcher but also assumed that the number of launches was fixed.  That's just bonkers.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #165 on: 06/24/2017 08:51 AM »
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #166 on: 06/24/2017 10:02 AM »
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...
« Last Edit: 06/24/2017 10:11 AM by AncientU »
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Offline Confusador

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #167 on: 06/24/2017 10:25 AM »
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...

I think 2018 is going to *have* to be at least 30% reused.  We know they're only producing 20 rockets/year right now, and LC 40 alone will be able to use them all.  I doubt that they're going to increase that rate, so even if there are only half a dozen launches each at 39A and 4E the launch rate is going to require a pretty high reuse rate.  Even more so in 2019 with Boca Chica online, and I suspect at that point they're going to want to shift some of the Merlin production line to Raptor.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #168 on: 06/24/2017 10:36 AM »
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...

I think 2018 is going to *have* to be at least 30% reused.  We know they're only producing 20 rockets/year right now, and LC 40 alone will be able to use them all.  I doubt that they're going to increase that rate, so even if there are only half a dozen launches each at 39A and 4E the launch rate is going to require a pretty high reuse rate.  Even more so in 2019 with Boca Chica online, and I suspect at that point they're going to want to shift some of the Merlin production line to Raptor.

Once Block 5 starts to fly (and performs up to design), there will no longer be demand or need for 20 new cores per year.  They may have hit peak production of Falcon in 2017.
« Last Edit: 06/24/2017 10:45 AM by AncientU »
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Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #169 on: 06/24/2017 12:31 PM »
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)
That spreadsheet was discussed ad nauseum in some other thread. The discussion ended back then with the general conclusion that the spreadsheet in question was:
Quote from: Starbuck
...a piece of felgercarb.

If people wish to re-hash all the shortcomings of said spreadsheet than I suggest they do so in the approriate thread.
« Last Edit: 06/24/2017 12:33 PM by woods170 »

Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #170 on: 06/24/2017 12:52 PM »
Lord no! Not wishing to rehash that thing. Was more meant to see if the staunch detractors for reuse have softened their tone - or even have reversed their way of thinking - or do they stand by their convictions.
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Offline Oli

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #171 on: 06/24/2017 12:57 PM »
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)
That spreadsheet was discussed ad nauseum in some other thread. The discussion ended back then with the general conclusion that the spreadsheet in question was:
Quote from: Starbuck
...a piece of felgercarb.

If people wish to re-hash all the shortcomings of said spreadsheet than I suggest they do so in the approriate thread.

The spreadsheet had its limitations, but people saying it was "a piece of felgercarb" just don't understand it.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #172 on: 06/24/2017 01:04 PM »
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...

I think 2018 is going to *have* to be at least 30% reused.  We know they're only producing 20 rockets/year right now, and LC 40 alone will be able to use them all.  I doubt that they're going to increase that rate, so even if there are only half a dozen launches each at 39A and 4E the launch rate is going to require a pretty high reuse rate.  Even more so in 2019 with Boca Chica online, and I suspect at that point they're going to want to shift some of the Merlin production line to Raptor.

Once Block 5 starts to fly (and performs up to design), there will no longer be demand or need for 20 new cores per year.  They may have hit peak production of Falcon in 2017.

This brings me back to the question of how they are going to manage the transition to Block 5. Because by the end of this year they are likely going to sit with upwards of a dozen used and safely landed Block 3 and 4 cores in storage. Those can all be refurbished for reuse, so they represent an asset that is sitting in some storage hangar. However, the dilemma is that Block 5 will then be in operation, and Block 5 can be refurbished much more cheaply than Blocks 3 and 4.

So. Do you just throw away the landed Block 3 and 4 cores - who can each be reflown 2 or 3 times with refurbishment? Or do you use them until they have expended their economic use - despite having Block 5's available that can fly 10 times, with minimal refurbishment.

I guess if the flight rate exceeds the pace at which Block 5's can come online and be refurbished, they might delve into some returned Block 3 and 4 boosters. Else what's the point of going to the expense of landing and recovering them at the moment?
« Last Edit: 06/24/2017 01:05 PM by M.E.T. »

Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #173 on: 06/24/2017 01:31 PM »
Else what's the point of going to the expense of landing and recovering them at the moment?

They are still optimizing landing so worth it. They may continue to try the extreme limit landings. Also new trajectories using the new grid fins. Good they start using them now, not only with block 5 so they don't need to do experimenting with block 5 cores so much.

Upgrade the LZ-1 pads with steel plating? I don't think radar reflective painting is the long term solution. That red cloud may look nice but what is in there?

Online cppetrie

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #174 on: 06/24/2017 01:37 PM »
That red cloud may look nice but what is in there?
The radar reflective paint may just have a bunch of iron powder in it. Might explain the reddish coloration to the cloud.

edit/gongora: fixed quotes
« Last Edit: 06/25/2017 12:10 AM by gongora »

Offline JazzFan

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #175 on: 06/24/2017 01:42 PM »
So. Do you just throw away the landed Block 3 and 4 cores - who can each be reflown 2 or 3 times with refurbishment? Or do you use them until they have expended their economic use - despite having Block 5's available that can fly 10 times, with minimal refurbishment.

Just use the Block 3 and 4s for expended mode launches until the lot is run out.

Online Prettz

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #176 on: 06/24/2017 02:32 PM »
So. Do you just throw away the landed Block 3 and 4 cores - who can each be reflown 2 or 3 times with refurbishment? Or do you use them until they have expended their economic use - despite having Block 5's available that can fly 10 times, with minimal refurbishment.

Just use the Block 3 and 4s for expended mode launches until the lot is run out.
Doesn't that undercut Falcon Heavy, though? I presume they don't want to undercut FH once it's flying.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #177 on: 06/24/2017 04:33 PM »
Else what's the point of going to the expense of landing and recovering them at the moment?

They are still optimizing landing so worth it. They may continue to try the extreme limit landings. Also new trajectories using the new grid fins. Good they start using them now, not only with block 5 so they don't need to do experimenting with block 5 cores so much.

Upgrade the LZ-1 pads with steel plating? I don't think radar reflective painting is the long term solution. That red cloud may look nice but what is in there?

Those are all good reasons to keep landing block 3-4 cores.  Another is to continue getting everyone used to the idea that cores can land and be reused, so that when block 5 becomes available, fewer of them will have to be expended because customers aren't yet ready to trust reused cores.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #178 on: 06/24/2017 04:35 PM »
Else what's the point of going to the expense of landing and recovering them at the moment?

They are still optimizing landing so worth it. They may continue to try the extreme limit landings. Also new trajectories using the new grid fins. Good they start using them now, not only with block 5 so they don't need to do experimenting with block 5 cores so much.

Upgrade the LZ-1 pads with steel plating? I don't think radar reflective painting is the long term solution. That red cloud may look nice but what is in there?

Those are all good reasons to keep landing block 3-4 cores.  Another is to continue getting everyone used to the idea that cores can land and be reused, so that when block 5 becomes available, fewer of them will have to be expended because customers aren't yet ready to trust reused cores.

Aso: museums.  If they end up with some extra block 3-4 cores that have flown, they'll be great exhibits for museums, and that's good advertising for SpaceX.  A rocket that has actually flown to space and come back is a pretty rare thing for a museum.


Offline JazzFan

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #179 on: 06/24/2017 06:10 PM »
So. Do you just throw away the landed Block 3 and 4 cores - who can each be reflown 2 or 3 times with refurbishment? Or do you use them until they have expended their economic use - despite having Block 5's available that can fly 10 times, with minimal refurbishment.

Just use the Block 3 and 4s for expended mode launches until the lot is run out.
Doesn't that undercut Falcon Heavy, though? I presume they don't want to undercut FH once it's flying.

That is not my point.  My point is to use look at the cores as assets on a ledger.  It would be better to allocate block 3 or 4s as consumables (expended mode) due to higher costs, as long as they meet performance requirements of the launch.  This is also a reason to use flight proven cores for FH, the cheapest approach that meets the solution generates the most revenue.
« Last Edit: 06/25/2017 04:01 AM by JazzFan »

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