Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 89574 times)

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #280 on: 11/24/2017 05:25 PM »
Many scenarios to encompass NSS need are possible. NSS need itself is changing - right now getting up rapidly a fresh set of assets. Examples might include comprehensive contracts requiring priority to having a dedicated provider running a launch service with its own set of vehicles obtained from a non-compete commercial launch provider.

As always, meet/secure a need in a way that leverages common in-use capability without compromise of missions.
The fundamental problem with National Security Space requirements is the word National

It implies a launch system under direct control of relevant country or block of countries.
Don't neglect the second word Security. Just as important.

The current administration, even more so than the former, has an interest in commercialization of "national security". This means taking it out of the direct purview of agencies and placing it, its management and oversight, in private hands, sometimes with little/no scrutiny.

Under the guise of being cheap, it also is easier to manipulate to justify your own "confirmation bias", which is exactly what is desired at the moment. Also, leakage into the commercial sector and use for political games becomes more possible, the further it is from the guise of duty to country. Which should concern all more than it appears to at the moment.

To illustrate the point in a related manner, a recent death of a soldier in Niger was directly traceable to commercial extraction with no viable backup/cover. We left a man behind to horrible end. It was the whole universe lost to that one, for all the wrong reasons.

The reasons for control, chain of custody, and chain of command come in the compromises/consequences of security.

As to "national", its more about indigenous source to not be beholden to another. As well as economic results of maintaining a key industrial capability and its share of the global economy. However, for this look to JSF "good and bad".

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Current VTO TSTO rockets are so bound up with the intimate details of their entire GSE that it's virtually impossible to deliver a complete system to another country without telling them so much about it that it would violate ITAR restrictions, not to mention their deep ICBM heritage.

Some countries barter and legislate around this. Any LV is regulated as all are munitions of a sort, just lack readiness and other qualities. Modern LV's don't have ICBM heritage.

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What I think some of SX's competitors are missing is that the baseline has fundamentally shifted. Booster stage recovery and reflight is no longer a hypothesis or a concept, it has now happened.
Yes they are in denial. Because they are dealing with larger scale problems first. Cost of maintaining industrial base/supply chain/labor costs.

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Turning the question on its head. Knowing that recovery and reuse is possible why would you not  design in R&R friendly features to your new booster design from day one? Not necessarily for immediate use but available once its flight qualified for you target market.
Because it interferes with the direct costing of your narrow mission, because you cannot "unwind" things that you need from things the way they've been done in the past.

So you separate the two in a modern context, get that to work to do your mission, then examine how to make it viable in a actual, bidded cost environment where you are competing at a like level. Which is what Vulcan and Ariane 6 are about.

Which is why you can't do "R&R friendly features in your new booster design from day one", you need to "unwind" first. Which is why we are here, no surprise.

For both Vulcan and Ariane 6, and probably Soyuz 5 and others, day one has already passed.  Not too late for a reset, IMO, but quickly becoming so.
Nah. It's mostly a mindset problem. For some, systems engineering suggests a "larger turning radius" for the LV "battleship".

Have already suggested in threads means to accomplish this quickly. For Europe its a problem with goring another ox when many have already been gored. For ULA's parents its overcoming skepticism that ULA can accomplish the "to them radical" Tory Bruno plan to survive as a launch provider - looking forward to downselect of AR1 as the next step in this drama.

Back to SX and its customers' views on reuse - the exit of "engine reuse only" schemes is being observed by them. Also, those like SES/Iridium who want a "reuse trophy" for the boardroom also is picking up. As reuse becomes commonplace for one "low cost" provider, these become the new metrics for pleasing the customer.

So think of it as a launch service offering that customers begin to desire/admire. They are after all, competitive with each other too. So this becomes part of the story. If you're a SX rival, what do you tell them when they come to ask for your bid?

Also, with SX competing with itself - what do you tell them about the "next big thing" you have in store for them? To hold the customer's fascination with the journey you're taking the entire industry on, as leader of where the future is going to, even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet (those pesky Atlas V and Ariane 5 launches).

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #281 on: 11/24/2017 07:44 PM »
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
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Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #282 on: 11/24/2017 09:16 PM »
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even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Offline speedevil

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #283 on: 11/25/2017 12:07 AM »
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.
If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

If you widen out from 2017, F9 did launch DSCOVR.
https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/natural/2017/11/20/jpg/epic_1b_20171120054200.jpg

And - well - heavy, RSN.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #284 on: 11/25/2017 01:07 AM »
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.
If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

If you widen out from 2017, F9 did launch DSCOVR.
https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/natural/2017/11/20/jpg/epic_1b_20171120054200.jpg

And - well - heavy, RSN.
So we're straining at gnats again. A 0.6 mT sat at earth's L1 point. Whee!

How soon do you think an FH is going to be lobbing deep space payloads, or a major NSS? It isn't RSN.

I'll bet you a cup of coffee that the first significant FH launch (and first significant non GTO payload) will be a Dragon capsule. And it won't be under a fairing  ::)

How many planetary missions? Zero. You do know that Centaur has a few notches worked up over quite a few decades. Flying incredible missions for longer than many here have been alive.

Things are changing. But try to keep a tiny bit of rational perspective while it does, OK?

Offline meekGee

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #285 on: 11/25/2017 02:37 AM »
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.
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Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #286 on: 11/25/2017 03:51 AM »
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

This is true for Atlas, but not so for Ariane 5, the latter mainly launches communications satellites, with a few Galileo, planetary/cislunar/large NSS is very few and far between.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #287 on: 11/25/2017 06:11 AM »
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even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.

No, you entirely miss the point. Perhaps because you need to.

A leader must address more than a subset of launch capabilities. Because you never know when that particular capability will be required. A leader cannot be just a niche provider.

And this is in part why FH and Dragon 2 are being done. To increase the spanning set of capabilities, as SX chooses to approach a leadership position. Their choice, not mine, not others.

It has taken a long time for others to establish a leadership position, as they have built and proven leadership. There list of accomplished missions, by scope and not frequency, is how others assess them.

JWST will launch on Ariane 5. It was designed with this in mind. Never will it launch on a FH. Why is that? Because of agreement to use a leadership provider who could bring off such a launch. Perhaps some day a similar mission might be able to be done on a FH, but the skills and experience and flight history isn't there, which is even more important than the vehicle capabilities to even make it possible.

And this is true of hundreds of different missions, both flown and unflown. It takes time to accumulate a leadership position, and not all are equal. Yet.

Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

This is true for Atlas, but not so for Ariane 5, the latter mainly launches communications satellites, with a few Galileo, planetary/cislunar/large NSS is very few and far between.
Didn't give a full and detailed list, nor are all of Ariane 5's capabilities for missions and the leadership position it hold well known.

They know them, and won't accept a launch that exceeds them. As any provider does. As SX does.

If you ask for a mission bid that is outside proven capability, the provider will tell you that its not currently possible. They will also tell you a eventual means by which they may work up to such a mission in the fullness of time, and likely by performing other missions to augment capabilities. We're talking years, possibly decades. They may also alter the mission in ways to have a desired outcome through proven capabilities.

To do otherwise would be foolish.

This does not diminish any provider. Just addresses that there are limits/scope present one works within.

Offline meekGee

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #288 on: 11/25/2017 06:15 AM »
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

This is true for Atlas, but not so for Ariane 5, the latter mainly launches communications satellites, with a few Galileo, planetary/cislunar/large NSS is very few and far between.
Didn't give a full and detailed list, nor are all of Ariane 5's capabilities for missions and the leadership position it hold well known.

They know them, and won't accept a launch that exceeds them. As any provider does. As SX does.

If you ask for a mission bid that is outside proven capability, the provider will tell you that its not currently possible. They will also tell you a eventual means by which they may work up to such a mission in the fullness of time, and likely by performing other missions to augment capabilities. We're talking years, possibly decades. They may also alter the mission in ways to have a desired outcome through proven capabilities.

To do otherwise would be foolish.

This does not diminish any provider. Just addresses that there are limits/scope present one works within.
You're taking a very long route to basically say the same thing...  Plus some added psychology that doesn't add any value.

SpaceX is not yet the leader just because it launched more comsats than anyone else.

SpaceX is on a trajectory to become the leader in space launch, and the fact that it launched more comsats is just an early outcome of that trajectory.
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #289 on: 11/25/2017 08:06 AM »
If you ask for a mission bid that is outside proven capability, the provider will tell you that its not currently possible. They will also tell you a eventual means by which they may work up to such a mission in the fullness of time, and likely by performing other missions to augment capabilities. We're talking years, possibly decades. They may also alter the mission in ways to have a desired outcome through proven capabilities.

To do otherwise would be foolish.

This does not diminish any provider. Just addresses that there are limits/scope present one works within.
An interesting question would be what would be the reaction at the DoD if ULA or SX said (doesn't matter why) "We're not doing this anymore. We'll launch the contracts we have with you and our other customers but we're walking away. No new business."

No I don't think that's going to happen, but the DoD reaction to it would be interesting.
My instinct is that for SX it would be a case of "Sorry to hear that, good luck with your other ventures."
My instinct for ULA would be much more worried (actually I think it would be full "headless chicken" mode).

When the DoD reaction to such an announcement from SX is the same as what it would be coming from ULA then you're looking at an equal leadership position.

WRT the thread title.

Customers are for it if it lowers costs

Customer are against it if it lowers reliability, but it depends how much by. NSS launches are notoriously sensitive about mission success, comm sat operators are sensitive, but not the zero risk level. Others will be less picky still.

If it does neither they aren't that bothered.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #290 on: 11/25/2017 12:39 PM »
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.

No, you entirely miss the point. Perhaps because you need to.

A leader must address more than a subset of launch capabilities. Because you never know when that particular capability will be required. A leader cannot be just a niche provider.

...

There is no question that Atlas V and Ariane 5 have traditionally carried the highest dollar payloads and that because of their impeccable launch records and long-established 'leadership' positions.  Similar track record would make AJR the 'industry leader' in rocket engines.  Much of this 'leadership' is based on an industry that reached stasis (stagnation to most observers) and thus is highly resistant to change (see Block Buy which placed most of this decade's NSS launches with one provider) or very long lead selection of the launch provider (see JWST).

Most definitions of leadership include the aspect of 'followership.'  In the launch industry, now that it appears to be moving again, are the followers emulating the Atlas V/Ariane 5 model?  Are new vehicles choosing AJR engines?  Which of these 'leaders' are advancing the state of the art in rocketry?  Who are their followers (not traditional customers only)?

Falcon 9 (soon FH) are gaining ascendancy and capability quite rapidly.  The most flexible/nimble customers are following their lead to lower cost and reusable rockets.  And major launch providers across the globe are following, too, but from a distance and time lag that demonstrates the inertia of the launch industry.

2019 will present an opportunity for Phase 2 NSS launches to be openly competed (as will this year's handful of Phase 1A offerings, though many are 'just' GPS-IIIs).  That competition plus the ongoing competition on the commercial side will demonstrate who is a niche/boutique provider and who leads the US/global launch industry. 

« Last Edit: 11/25/2017 12:43 PM by AncientU »
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Offline JamesH65

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #291 on: 11/25/2017 07:32 PM »
Minor nitpick. Interplanetary and research launches are THE niche market. Commercial sats are the opposite, they form the majority of launches. So ULA/Ariane are the niche providers, not SpaceX.

I'm not going to argue whether that makes a change to any leadership - they are very different markets with different requirements, and you can have leaders in both.



Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #292 on: 11/25/2017 09:14 PM »
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.

No, you entirely miss the point. Perhaps because you need to.

A leader must address more than a subset of launch capabilities. Because you never know when that particular capability will be required. A leader cannot be just a niche provider.

...

There is no question that Atlas V and Ariane 5 have traditionally carried the highest dollar payloads and that because of their impeccable launch records and long-established 'leadership' positions.  Similar track record would make AJR the 'industry leader' in rocket engines.
(You are proving to me that you are beginning to "get it".)

To get those accomplishments took decades and hard work to maintain, also dealing with a certain aspect of terror in potentially losing it. Watching someone else bumble along fecklessly and always appear golden, where disaster might be in the next step, dripping arrogance and condescension, with a sycophantic audience praising all while almost all of the hard, subtle stuff remains ahead ... captures the moment here for many.

(For me its just as hard this, as having heard for decades on the topic of reuse, before/during Shuttle/CELV/EELV half right justifications of why/what not to try, and being slammed down hard about it. FWIW.)

Quote
  Much of this 'leadership' is based on an industry that reached stasis (stagnation to most observers) and thus is highly resistant to change (see Block Buy which placed most of this decade's NSS launches with one provider) or very long lead selection of the launch provider (see JWST).
Careful with the "stagnation" and "highly resistant to change" as it is too nonspecific, bordering on the worst to claim.

While I don't wish to place words in your mouth, I'll attempt to rewrite your claims carefully so as to illustrate the debacle better as I observed it happening. Like in the above mention by me, it won't please the fans (and likely not many of those that have lived this either), but it'll attempt to capture things better.

Shuttle was a leadership capability grasp beyond the reach of the world's superpower that taught good and bad. CELV/EELV tactically executed alternatives costly then less costly then optimally executed for an imperfect world to get the best possible, also teaching leadership that was good (capabilities within achievable bounds) and bad (overly cautious evolution to not risk the gains, funds/ROI to payoff the past not reaching beyond the current envelope to push the future into the present). Shuttle/CELV/EELV all weren't stagnant, they did advance, but not beyond a certain scope (hundreds of things to cite).

Because policy, not engineering capability/skill/desire, restrained.

The benefit of Bezos and Musk, as well as other earlier space entrepreneurs wasn't engineering - it was in evading policy to press the future forward. And when they did/do, they did do the engineering, the missions,   the realization of vision ... to establish an independent of policy right to access leadership, regardless of the prior "good or bad" as to be realized.

(For some, this challenge to the policy bound leaders is two edged, because we might lose much of the "good" by a  "bad turn", especially as we are in an age that seems to have a hard time separating "good" from "bad".)

Those in the policy bound camp often feel equally screwed by being narrowly lead and having to reinvent while already having had the "best thing" all along, without reconciliation/budget/"room to manage accelerated change" ... while also the constantly rewritten rules never settle to where they can use tested process on lean budget to achieve the certain result.

They have reasons to resent a feckless rival that can let things go "boom" where they can't ever, even a once. And where payoff has to happen within a few missions not over the lifetime of a LV. An unfair playing field.

During a period of transition, where if this "new direction" has a "fatal flaw", they'll be counted on to act as the "back up" but also to meet the same/better economics on.

So of course they cannot keep the past/policy as well as two futures and avoid looking like they are stagnant. (Aerojet and ULA are very different here - Aerojet never got to the point of reinvention that Bruno is getting from ULA.)

(Perhaps in this you can also see where the AF/SX thing went wrong in its unfair "fairness" attempt. Part of how to interpret the mess about the block buy. )

Quote
Most definitions of leadership include the aspect of 'followership.'  In the launch industry, now that it appears to be moving again, are the followers emulating the Atlas V/Ariane 5 model?  Are new vehicles choosing AJR engines?  Which of these 'leaders' are advancing the state of the art in rocketry?  Who are their followers (not traditional customers only)?
You follow when the lead breaks a certain path. Realize that Shuttle was an example of a long, hard, proven ... false path.

I'd put it to you that ULA/Arianespace mistook a huge government program for a entrepreneurial experimental program, and yes that you can stick fully on their leadership of the time. (Bruno isn't hidebound like Gass was although very much a product of same past.)

ULA thought of leadership in the form of optimizing their already perfected path to serving a non growth market. And they could be proven right if it doesn't grow but shrinks!

As to AJR engines, how nice of you to include the failed AJR "theory turnaround" prior to M1D/Raptor/BE4. They also could see the writing on the wall that few engines on government missions was a dead-end. But it was just a marketing gesture, as I fear low cost RL10 is also. Because the financial returns on what you'd have to do, don't merit it and get in the way of its government teat feed. (IMHO they would have had to do a BE-4 like model allowing IPR cost sharing and outsourced production such that it would be easier to just use/improve the engine base than milk max revenue off of a handful of engine sales annually. Not going to happen.)

Likely we're now going to see booster/fairing reuse followers.

But you're right, leaders have to establish followers, and none of them have done their duty in that regard, I would suggest, at the direction of parents/stakeholders/Congress as well (mind you McCain has always been on their a$$es about it).

(The moment SX appeared on the scene was the time for the leaders to start moving (if they had not been already) setting a pace for a new "follower". When they spent time "bad mouthing" and not attempting to wrestle again with the future, they stopped acting as leaders. They chose to change the topic into one of "monopoly" which is an evasion of leadership. Which Congressional leadership agreed with and still does.)

Quote
Falcon 9 (soon FH) are gaining ascendancy and capability quite rapidly.  The most flexible/nimble customers are following their lead to lower cost and reusable rockets.  And major launch providers across the globe are following, too, but from a distance and time lag that demonstrates the inertia of the launch industry.
No - not at all.

Asendancy/capability hasn't happened at all yet. They are routinely making "messes" still.

Suggest F9/FH have threatened the leadership's "future vacuum". As a result they can "mine out" mission/capability, increasing the cost of being a leader, to the point that leaders collapse and capability is lost til the new leader slowly builds it in, if at all. (You can't fly certain missions then, you can't depend on uniformity of launch of all capabilities.)

You can say they successfully disrupted launch providing, so they can begin the struggle to ascend.

Quote
2019 will present an opportunity for Phase 2 NSS launches to be openly competed (as will this year's handful of Phase 1A offerings, though many are 'just' GPS-IIIs).  That competition plus the ongoing competition on the commercial side will demonstrate who is a niche/boutique provider and who leads the US/global launch industry.
Nope, not at all.

Doesn't address the difficult need. Note that Centaur V is now part of Vulcan, meaning that all launch need must be addressed by a provider to get any of the launches.

So those that become qualified can't "cherry pick" anymore, but have to compete on an even footing. This is the beginning of the battle for leadership - those that qualify and post a series of mission successes.

Minor nitpick. Interplanetary and research launches are THE niche market. Commercial sats are the opposite, they form the majority of launches. So ULA/Ariane are the niche providers, not SpaceX.
You are speaking of market segmentation, which is meant for economic comparison.

I am speaking in the context of leadership of industry, where all segments need to be present for the consideration of leadership.

(Space launch isn't a "real" market because it is too small in numbers, thus being a category or segment leader is nonsensically small. Remember that markets work by statistics in the hundreds minimally per sample, not ones.)

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I'm not going to argue whether that makes a change to any leadership - they are very different markets with different requirements, and you can have leaders in both.

Have been attempting to properly assess, aside from fandom, what the situation is. Sorry if it pops your bubble.

Wanting to have a fantasy is not so interesting as accomplishing reality.

Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #293 on: 11/26/2017 03:02 AM »
Minor nitpick. Interplanetary and research launches are THE niche market. Commercial sats are the opposite, they form the majority of launches. So ULA/Ariane are the niche providers, not SpaceX.
You are speaking of market segmentation, which is meant for economic comparison.

I am speaking in the context of leadership of industry, where all segments need to be present for the consideration of leadership.

(Space launch isn't a "real" market because it is too small in numbers, thus being a category or segment leader is nonsensically small. Remember that markets work by statistics in the hundreds minimally per sample, not ones.)

"Quantity has a quality all its own"

If SpaceX can do 30 launches next year, I don't think there's any doubt they're the industry leader even if they couldn't do somethings like Vertical Integration.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #294 on: 11/26/2017 05:22 AM »
Minor nitpick. Interplanetary and research launches are THE niche market. Commercial sats are the opposite, they form the majority of launches. So ULA/Ariane are the niche providers, not SpaceX.
You are speaking of market segmentation, which is meant for economic comparison.

I am speaking in the context of leadership of industry, where all segments need to be present for the consideration of leadership.

(Space launch isn't a "real" market because it is too small in numbers, thus being a category or segment leader is nonsensically small. Remember that markets work by statistics in the hundreds minimally per sample, not ones.)

"Quantity has a quality all its own"
Absolutely.

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If SpaceX can do 30 launches next year, I don't think there's any doubt they're the industry leader even if they couldn't do somethings like Vertical Integration.
If they do 30 next year, all others will be on short rations, and the effects of reuse will be un-ignorable as a consequence of space launch.

And in the press, it will become routine. Remarkable as a broad range of customers reuse boosters casually.

VI is a consequence of certain missions, a cost/delay/burden to bear. Harder are other things in building up demonstrable on-orbit capabilities.

So yes that would compel launch futures to rise. But ... tell me about all of the long term/duration missions that will commit to manifest next year, all the heavy comsats advancing to flight on FH rather than waiting for an unshared Araine 5 launch. For leadership has many qualities that can be spoken to, where all need not be immediately felt all at once.

With those I might have reason to agree. However, 30 of the same as past years more speaks to the weaknesses of rivals in assessing/addressing threat.

And things are not all about SX during that time surely. Other major missions are flying on Atlas/Ariane - do these make the providers somehow less as leaders? What reduces the value of those difficult missions, such that another vendor is seen as more of a leader for not doing them?

Yes its important to have reuse and potentially low cost phase in. But remember that there's a bit more to it than that alone to retain perspective on.

Offline Semmel

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #295 on: 11/26/2017 09:04 AM »
Why is it important to be a leader?

Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #296 on: 11/26/2017 09:17 AM »

The current administration, even more so than the former, has an interest in commercialization of "national security". This means taking it out of the direct purview of agencies and placing it, its management and oversight, in private hands, sometimes with little/no scrutiny.

Under the guise of being cheap, it also is easier to manipulate to justify your own "confirmation bias", which is exactly what is desired at the moment. Also, leakage into the commercial sector and use for political games becomes more possible, the further it is from the guise of duty to country. Which should concern all more than it appears to at the moment.

To illustrate the point in a related manner, a recent death of a soldier in Niger was directly traceable to commercial extraction with no viable backup/cover. We left a man behind to horrible end. It was the whole universe lost to that one, for all the wrong reasons.

The reasons for control, chain of custody, and chain of command come in the compromises/consequences of security.
600 years on and it seems we still have "condottieri" of the 21st century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condottieri

I quite like the side item about unit leaders being called "Venture Captains."
I'm sure quite a few people would indeed describe VC's as quite mercenary in outlook.  :)

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
As to "national", its more about indigenous source to not be beholden to another. As well as economic results of maintaining a key industrial capability and its share of the global economy. However, for this look to JSF "good and bad".
Highly appropriate to Arianespace and the whole history of European LV development.
Yes they are in denial. Because they are dealing with larger scale problems first. Cost of maintaining industrial base/supply chain/labor costs.
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Turning the question on its head. Knowing that recovery and reuse is possible why would you not  design in R&R friendly features to your new booster design from day one? Not necessarily for immediate use but available once its flight qualified for you target market.
Because it interferes with the direct costing of your narrow mission, because you cannot "unwind" things that you need from things the way they've been done in the past.

So you separate the two in a modern context, get that to work to do your mission, then examine how to make it viable in a actual, bidded cost environment where you are competing at a like level. Which is what Vulcan and Ariane 6 are about.

Which is why you can't do "R&R friendly features in your new booster design from day one", you need to "unwind" first. Which is why we are here, no surprise.

That would explain the head of Arianespace's comment about reducing the subcontractor list from 140 to 40, something I presume ULA should also be looking at doing if at all possible.

One of the lessons I've learned from studying various examples in various industries is it's always more expensive to do something twice, but it's sometimes necessary, depending on the level of uncertainty in a situation.

IOW most of the time doing something in design is an incremental cost, so why not do it now. If it has to be designed in later you're going to have to change some (all ?) of the work you've done already.

For example if ULA are really committed to booster reuse they are going to need a GNC package and the power to run it, regardless of how they plan to do reuse. It's logical to design in the support for that from the start in terms of cabling and mounting brackets and power unit sizing.

Beyond that would depend on how committed they are to "engine module" recovery rather than whole stage.  If they're dead set on engine module then it makes no sense not to design in the parachute storage as well, as it's likely to have substantial structural implications to the design. People don't often realize the Ariane 5 SRB's had recovery parachute bays fitted from the first flight. After early qualification they were not AFAIK filled, but they could have been.

Likewise making all tankage/engine module electrical and fluid connectors in 2 parts, with provision (but not necessarily actual installation of actuators) for separation (and sealing?) on demand seems obvious as well.

I'm reminded of how much work ULA had to do to crew rate Atlas V for CTS, especially in stress analysis as the safety factor was IIRC 1.25, instead of the 1.4 NASA required for crew carriage.

This is probably better discussed in the Vulcan thread but the Genie is out of the bottle. While IMHO retro fitting booster recovery to an existing stage was always a fantasy, with a more-or-less clean sheet design we know it can be done and that has bottom line cost reduction from the first re-use of that hardware.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #297 on: 11/26/2017 11:34 AM »
Why is it important to be a leader?

When you are not satisfied with the status quo or have a vision for the future that is not happening with existing structures (as Bert & I put it, "You can't get there from here..."), then you must become a leader -- or shut it.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline JamesH65

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #298 on: 11/26/2017 02:35 PM »
To get those accomplishments took decades and hard work to maintain, also dealing with a certain aspect of terror in potentially losing it. Watching someone else bumble along fecklessly and always appear golden, where disaster might be in the next step, dripping arrogance and condescension,

And the bumbling feckless SpaceX have, in 15 years, gone from nothing to having a reusable launcher, the ability to supply the ISS with theit own capsule, dropped the price of launch dramatically, caused others to serious look at their plans for the future. And all for a fraction of the price ULA and others have spent, to get where they are. The only thing SpaceX don't have that ULA and Ariane etc have, is the historical record of flight reliability, and the very heavy lift capability (although F9H should fix that if it works) . I expect that to come eventually, perhaps sooner than ULA/Ariane might like. I also expect another RUD at some point, that comes with the territory of advancing the state of the art.

I'd take bumbling and feckless over 'leadership'. Leadership implies people following, and I'm not sure SpaceX follow ULA or Ariane.


And just out of interest, where is this arrogance and condescension? I see it from over zealous fans, but there is little SpaceX do about them!

Online LouScheffer

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #299 on: 11/26/2017 02:41 PM »
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even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

This is a rookie business mistake, and ULA will not be the first to make it.  GM thought Japan could only make entry level cars.  US Steel thought foreign entrants could only make rebar and other less demanding alloys. 

The problem is that it's easier for the low-cost, high volume entrant to improve their capability, than for the high-cost, low volume entrant to lower their prices.   It's a standard business school study:
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Entrants that prove disruptive begin by successfully targeting those overlooked segments, gaining a foothold by delivering more-suitable functionality—frequently at a lower price. Incumbents, chasing higher profitability in more-demanding segments, tend not to respond vigorously. Entrants then move upmarket, delivering the performance that incumbents’ mainstream customers require, while preserving the advantages that drove their early success.
Of course you can argue that the mantle of leadership has not passed yet. But the signs are on the wall....

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