Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 74607 times)

Offline SweetWater

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #240 on: 11/12/2017 10:08 PM »
I stand by my previous post. One, regardless of SpaceX's commercial market share, most rockets - note that I did NOT say most launches - will be expendable well into the 2020s.

So you argue, that because SpaceX reuses their first stages, they fly less rockets than others? They have more launches, but because of reuse, less rockets.

Correct, but what is the point you are trying to make?

My point is that until the early 2020s, the only rocket being reused will be the Falcon 9. I'm not arguing the number of launches performed or cores produced or the number of launches of re-used cores. I'm just stating that of all the different types of rockets available for launch now and for the next 4-5 years (Atlas V, Delta IV, Vulcan, New Sheppard, Ariane 5 and 6, etc.), the only one being re-used is the Falcon 9. That was what I meant when I said "most" rockets are currently expendable and will be fore the foreseeable future.

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #241 on: 11/13/2017 12:18 AM »
Yes. Most types of rockets are not reusable. But that's just because everyone else is slow. Tonnage lifted, or missions flown, are more important metrics.

I am ecstatic that we are finally seeing the dawn of the real reuse age. But part of me is just back there ...saying "what took so long"??
"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 Norm38

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #242 on: 11/13/2017 06:06 AM »

At their flight rate and year-on-year acceleration, SpaceX demand and backlog are swapping positions.   They will soon be able to launch all the payloads created world-wide -- backlog will be a satellite vendor issue, not a launch issue.  2018 is cross-over year (baring mishaps).

So, enough of this 'backlog' shade...

Note: NASA and Iridium had protected or high queue positions.  Neither had to change 'to get their payloads launched in 2018'

Wasn't throwing shade, could have said manifest instead of backlog. They do have 30 missions booked for next year, and their factory can't build 30 cores per year. Without reuse, they can't launch their manifest and someone would lose out. Now maybe as you say that wouldn't be NASA and Iridium. But they DID just accept reused boosters, and sooner than expected for NASA. Which does benefit all the other companies trying to book a ride. More importantly from a government point of view, NASA accepting reuse makes it that much easier to get NROL / X-37 / ZUMA payloads flown at short notice. Without forcing SpaceX to bump existing paying customers. Think that may have played a role in the NASA decision?  I do.

Offline Norm38

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #243 on: 11/13/2017 06:25 AM »
I am ecstatic that we are finally seeing the dawn of the real reuse age. But part of me is just back there ...saying "what took so long"??

It's a true paradigm shift. Recall old comments about how F9 is overdesigned, that it's 30% larger than it needs to be to get the job done. That it's a cost burden. The built in assumption there that reuse would never work.

Then, even when reuse was contemplated, vertical landing wasn't. Just look at these plans for a Shuttle flyback booster.  https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19980237254.pdf
Wings, jet engines, horizontal landings. It looks ridiculous now. Can you imagine a FH launch using those? To say nothing about the center core or F9 missions. Yet until a few short years ago, that was state of the art for booster reuse. Why was vertical landing ignored for so long?

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #244 on: 11/13/2017 07:25 AM »
I am ecstatic that we are finally seeing the dawn of the real reuse age. But part of me is just back there ...saying "what took so long"??

It's a true paradigm shift. Recall old comments about how F9 is overdesigned, that it's 30% larger than it needs to be to get the job done. That it's a cost burden. The built in assumption there that reuse would never work.

Then, even when reuse was contemplated, vertical landing wasn't. Just look at these plans for a Shuttle flyback booster.  https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19980237254.pdf
Wings, jet engines, horizontal landings. It looks ridiculous now. Can you imagine a FH launch using those? To say nothing about the center core or F9 missions. Yet until a few short years ago, that was state of the art for booster reuse. Why was vertical landing ignored for so long?
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

Offline JamesH65

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #245 on: 11/13/2017 10:15 AM »
I am ecstatic that we are finally seeing the dawn of the real reuse age. But part of me is just back there ...saying "what took so long"??

It's a true paradigm shift. Recall old comments about how F9 is overdesigned, that it's 30% larger than it needs to be to get the job done. That it's a cost burden. The built in assumption there that reuse would never work.

Then, even when reuse was contemplated, vertical landing wasn't. Just look at these plans for a Shuttle flyback booster.  https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19980237254.pdf
Wings, jet engines, horizontal landings. It looks ridiculous now. Can you imagine a FH launch using those? To say nothing about the center core or F9 missions. Yet until a few short years ago, that was state of the art for booster reuse. Why was vertical landing ignored for so long?
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.




Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #246 on: 11/13/2017 11:41 AM »
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Offline ZachF

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #247 on: 11/13/2017 03:04 PM »
Nearly everybody in the press is mixing up their terms (no surprise).  All Falcons are potentially reusable.  Not all of them are used that way.  For WIRED to say that NASA is going to use "reusable" rockets is a bad choice of words.  They should rather say that the rockets were previously used (which sounds like we're talking about a used car), or use SpaceX's phrase "flight proven".

Reusable sounds better - like it's following its intended path.

Reused seems like a secondhand afterthought of lower quality.

How many years until this is so commonplace the adjective gets dropped all together? We don't use it for flying on airplanes.

We'll probably be living with the adjective for a good while yet. Most rockets are expendable, and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

No.

From: http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a27290/one-chart-spacex-dominate-rocket-launches/



A supermajority of marketable launches will soon be SpaceX launches, and they will be re-using their Block 5 F9s many times.  Not only are you laughably wrong, within 1 to 2 years the majority of launches where national vanity or security are not the over-riding concern will be on returned boosters.  When the BFR/BFS is in operation, almost all tons of material orbited as a percentage of tons orbited will be on systems intended from the outset for 100% re-fuel to refly systems.

I stand by my previous post. One, regardless of SpaceX's commercial market share, most rockets - note that I did NOT say most launches - will be expendable well into the 2020s. Two, the chart you referenced does not take into account government launches. Three, SpaceX may have been awarded the bulk of commercial launch contracts for next year; however, those flights haven't launched yet, and it is foolish to count chickens before they hatch.

Also, while SpaceX has had a great year in 2017 and I wish them only the best going forward, a failure or partial failure next year could easily interrupt their launch cadence for at least a couple of months. If that failure occurs on a first stage which is being re-flown, it could temper the speed with which the industry is willing to embrace reuse.

I could see a majority of all launches by as soon as 2020 being re-used, 2021 even more likely

This year SpaceX will launch ~20 rockets with perhaps 5-6 of them being being re-used out of a global total of a little over 80 launches

Next year, I could see SpaceX launching 30 of the world's 90 launches with a little over half being re-used.

2019, perhaps 45 launches (Starlink will begin launching) with about 35 re-used, of ~100 total world launches.

2020, 55 launches, 50 re-used, ~110 total.

Around 2020-21 we can add New Glenn to this total, so I think by 2021 a majority of the world's launches will be re-used, and that percentage will continue to rise.

Offline ZachF

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #248 on: 11/13/2017 03:07 PM »
I stand by my previous post. One, regardless of SpaceX's commercial market share, most rockets - note that I did NOT say most launches - will be expendable well into the 2020s.

So you argue, that because SpaceX reuses their first stages, they fly less rockets than others? They have more launches, but because of reuse, less rockets.

Correct, but what is the point you are trying to make?

My point is that until the early 2020s, the only rocket being reused will be the Falcon 9. I'm not arguing the number of launches performed or cores produced or the number of launches of re-used cores. I'm just stating that of all the different types of rockets available for launch now and for the next 4-5 years (Atlas V, Delta IV, Vulcan, New Sheppard, Ariane 5 and 6, etc.), the only one being re-used is the Falcon 9. That was what I meant when I said "most" rockets are currently expendable and will be fore the foreseeable future.

...And it's not entirely improbable that Falcon 9 could be launching more than all those other rockets put together in a not-too-distant time frame.

Offline meberbs

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #249 on: 11/13/2017 03:18 PM »
My point is that until the early 2020s, the only rocket being reused will be the Falcon 9. I'm not arguing the number of launches performed or cores produced or the number of launches of re-used cores. I'm just stating that of all the different types of rockets available for launch now and for the next 4-5 years (Atlas V, Delta IV, Vulcan, New Sheppard, Ariane 5 and 6, etc.), the only one being re-used is the Falcon 9. That was what I meant when I said "most" rockets are currently expendable and will be fore the foreseeable future.
New Shepard really doesn't belong on that list, although if you want to include it you should note that it is fully reusable. Also, New Glenn should be on that list and is equivalent in reuse to the F9.

Also worth noting Atlas V and Delta IV will be near retirement by then.

Counting by number of rocket types is kind of pointless though, number of launches is what matters.

Online Lar

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #250 on: 11/13/2017 04:58 PM »
Counting by number of rocket types is kind of pointless though, number of launches is what matters.

Yes, as I said above.. or tonnage lifted.
"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 laszlo

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #251 on: 11/13/2017 05:45 PM »
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it. Wings were used to return to the launch site not because of a lack of testicles, but because that was the state of the art back then. In fact, wings were a big improvement over a parachute plopping a can of astronauts into the water. You might even say that wings were leading edge technology ;)

Finally, there are hordes of excellent female engineers who manage to get all sorts of innovative stuff done without needing the male organs. The organ they use is their brains. Your misplaced fixation on a particular bit of biology ignores a lot of facts.



Offline rakaydos

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #252 on: 11/13/2017 10:09 PM »
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it. Wings were used to return to the launch site not because of a lack of testicles, but because that was the state of the art back then. In fact, wings were a big improvement over a parachute plopping a can of astronauts into the water. You might even say that wings were leading edge technology ;)

Finally, there are hordes of excellent female engineers who manage to get all sorts of innovative stuff done without needing the male organs. The organ they use is their brains. Your misplaced fixation on a particular bit of biology ignores a lot of facts.
Dont take sexisim where none is intended. I know enough military females who may not have "a particular bit of bioligy", but certifiably have big brass ones where it counts.

Offline meekGee

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #253 on: 11/13/2017 11:36 PM »
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it. Wings were used to return to the launch site not because of a lack of testicles, but because that was the state of the art back then. In fact, wings were a big improvement over a parachute plopping a can of astronauts into the water. You might even say that wings were leading edge technology ;)

Finally, there are hordes of excellent female engineers who manage to get all sorts of innovative stuff done without needing the male organs. The organ they use is their brains. Your misplaced fixation on a particular bit of biology ignores a lot of facts.
Wings were not "state of the art". Propulsive landings were feasible back then too.

SpaceX's Musk's courage to challenge so many entrenched paradigms, from a technical, business, and risk perspective, is what got them here.

That, and kick ass engineering.

Which is what the OP was conveying.

ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #254 on: 11/14/2017 09:45 AM »

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it.


DC-XA didn't have a customer to begin with. NASA took over the program from SDIO after the public success of DC-X became an embarrassment to NASA. Under NASA guidance it was similar to when it was managed by SDIO: R&D program.

In case you had failed to notice: that is exactly how SpaceX started booster recovery: as a pure R&D program. SpaceX didn't have customers for booster recovery either.
But when SpaceX succeeded, multiple times, in booster recovery (both land and sea) it did not take all that much to take the next step: booster reuse of an orbital vehicle.

And that's where NASA failed: to look beyond the mere technical aspect of vertically landing a booster. NASA never bothered to make the transition from the prototype, 1/3rd scale DC-X, to a full-size orbital vehicle. They (as well as SDIO) lacked the guts (b*lls if you will) to have a vision AND carry it through all the way to reality.
It is exactly this lack of vision, this lack of guts, that (unfortunately) managed to kill propulsive landing on Crew Dragon.

The only reason why NASA is OK with SpaceX reusing Cargo Dragon and flying on reused boosters is because they have an enormous database about the reuse of orbital launch systems and orbital spacecraft (courtesy of STS).
But propulsive landing of a crewed vehicle is completely new to them and it shows: NASA chickened out.

Offline JamesH65

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #255 on: 11/14/2017 12:55 PM »

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it.


DC-XA didn't have a customer to begin with. NASA took over the program from SDIO after the public success of DC-X became an embarrassment to NASA. Under NASA guidance it was similar to when it was managed by SDIO: R&D program.

In case you had failed to notice: that is exactly how SpaceX started booster recovery: as a pure R&D program. SpaceX didn't have customers for booster recovery either.
But when SpaceX succeeded, multiple times, in booster recovery (both land and sea) it did not take all that much to take the next step: booster reuse of an orbital vehicle.

And that's where NASA failed: to look beyond the mere technical aspect of vertically landing a booster. NASA never bothered to make the transition from the prototype, 1/3rd scale DC-X, to a full-size orbital vehicle. They (as well as SDIO) lacked the guts (b*lls if you will) to have a vision AND carry it through all the way to reality.
It is exactly this lack of vision, this lack of guts, that (unfortunately) managed to kill propulsive landing on Crew Dragon.

The only reason why NASA is OK with SpaceX reusing Cargo Dragon and flying on reused boosters is because they have an enormous database about the reuse of orbital launch systems and orbital spacecraft (courtesy of STS).
But propulsive landing of a crewed vehicle is completely new to them and it shows: NASA chickened out.

There appear to be no valid similarities between information gained from STS reuse, and that required for landing a booster as SpaceX do.

Cargo dragon, more likely, it is, after all, a capsule. And NASA do have recovered capsules.

I don't see the link you are making to 'forbidding' the propulsive landing of Dragon.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #256 on: 11/14/2017 02:00 PM »
I don't see the link you are making to 'forbidding' the propulsive landing of Dragon.

I don't think we need to relitigate this.  From what I can gather, NASA wasn't willing to risk its down-cargo on Dragon 2 in order to prove out propulsive landing for crew.  This lack of guts/vision is what woods170 is criticizing.

Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #257 on: 11/15/2017 02:06 AM »
The only reason why NASA is OK with SpaceX reusing Cargo Dragon and flying on reused boosters is because they have an enormous database about the reuse of orbital launch systems and orbital spacecraft (courtesy of STS).
But propulsive landing of a crewed vehicle is completely new to them and it shows: NASA chickened out.

There appear to be no valid similarities between information gained from STS reuse, and that required for landing a booster as SpaceX do.


It wasn't the actual landing but the process of refurbishing, requalifying, and reflying used/recovered vehicles/hardware that he was talking about.  If you want to hear about this from an inside source, I recommend you listen to Kathy Leuders interview on The Space Show from September 2015: http://www.thespaceshow.com/node/2540

This issue begins being discussed starting at ~45:20
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #258 on: 11/22/2017 09:18 AM »
Comment from ESA head:

Quote
Woerner: Iím a fan of reusability, but not the way Elon Musk is doing it. Weíre looking at other ways. #Space17
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933269213703262208

Quote
Did he specify what other ways might be? The @elonmusk way seems to be working at least
https://twitter.com/planetguy_bln/status/933271153854025729

Quote
No, but there have been studies of recovering the engines or other elements of the first stage without a propulsive landing.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933271439255404544

Iím with Elon on this, in that I donít understand the issue with using fuel to land (and thus reducing payload mass). What matters is the cost to launch the payloads you want to launch, not how much you could have launched on the same rocket if expendable. (Iím assuming costs reflect reuse development costs.)

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #259 on: 11/22/2017 11:43 AM »
Comment from ESA head:

Quote
Woerner: Iím a fan of reusability, but not the way Elon Musk is doing it. Weíre looking at other ways. #Space17
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933269213703262208

Quote
Did he specify what other ways might be? The @elonmusk way seems to be working at least
https://twitter.com/planetguy_bln/status/933271153854025729

Quote
No, but there have been studies of recovering the engines or other elements of the first stage without a propulsive landing.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933271439255404544

Iím with Elon on this, in that I donít understand the issue with using fuel to land (and thus reducing payload mass). What matters is the cost to launch the payloads you want to launch, not how much you could have launched on the same rocket if expendable. (Iím assuming costs reflect reuse development costs.)

Although Jan Woerner claims to be a fan of reusability his beliefs are - unfortunately - still firmly rooted in the expendable way of thinking. For multiple decades space agencies like ESA, CNES and DLR lived-and-worked with the principle that every bit of performance of a rocket MUST be used to maximize payload capacity.
Having excess performance to - God forbid! - return the booster stage to Earth just doesn't fit their view-on-spaceflight. From contacts inside ESA and DLR it has become clear to me that both agencies have a hard time adjusting to the new reality. Both have cited STS as an example why, in their opinion, reusability might not pay-off.
Which is really silly because both agencies know d*mn well that STS cannot be compared to the current SpaceX reusability efforts.

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