Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 115128 times)

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5843
  • Liked: 3665
  • Likes Given: 5106
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #320 on: 11/27/2017 09:05 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
I would compare by payload mass orbited. The result shows different leaders in different categories, at least for 2017 to date.  Ariane 5 leads in mass to GTO/beyond LEO (~48 tonnes to ~36 tonnes for Falcon 9, ~25 tonnes for Proton, and maybe only ~17 tonnes for Atlas 5 and ~16 tonnes for DF-5 based CZ).  Falcon 9 leads a bit in LEO mass (~59 tonnes compared to 52 tonnes for R-7 and ~11+ tonnes for Atlas 5).  For its part, R-7 has accounted for all three of the crewed launches this year, so there is a third category "leader", Ariane 5 and Falcon 9 being the other two.

No launches, worldwide, have gone beyond earth orbit this year to date, which might be considered a fourth category.  Atlas 5 and Proton accounted for the two heliocentric launches in 2016, and Proton's payload weighed more than the Atlas 5 payload.  If you aggregate the last 5 or 10 years, Atlas 5 leads in solar orbit launches.

Now, if this comparison is extended back a few years, a different picture emerges. Here are/were your "world leaders".

Category Leaders, Total Mass or No. Crew Launched

       LEO        >LEO        Solar   Crew
--------------------------------------------
2010   R7        Proton      H-2A      STS
2011   R7        Ariane 5    Atlas 5   STS
2012   R7        Ariane 5     -        R7
2013   R7        Ariane 5    Atlas 5   R7
2014   R7        Ariane 5    H-2A      R7
2015   R7        Ariane 5     -        R7
2016   R7        Ariane 5    Proton    R7
2017   Falcon 9  Ariane 5     -        R7
--------------------------------------------

 - Ed Kyle

If you compare by payload mass orbited as you propose, there would only be one 'leader' in 2017 and likely for the foreseeable future.
Falcon 9 at 95 tonnes.  Distant second are R7 at 52 tonnes and Ariane 5 at 48 tonnes -- approximately half of F9's of mass delivered to orbit.  Funny your goal post shuffling didn't notice that.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 09:07 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2783
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2884
  • Likes Given: 2249
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #321 on: 11/27/2017 09:51 PM »
The conversation now has shifted to the specifics of classifying leaders. That's an improvement because it is quantitative and measurable.

Note one of the outstanding elements of Ed Kyle's excellent post - it's not just one thing, but many (he could have also classed NSS too). Also, his table is organized so that your eye is drawn to the frequency of names as how to judge "leadership hold", sort of like momentum.

Now can we return to reuse with this gained. All those categories will slowly have separate amounts that share a booster, however you arrange the metric displayed.

From that, you can see how quantitatively customer's views on reuse build/reduce leadership.

(I think I understand meekGee's argument to be that where things are moving to is more relevant than where things were. One way of using Ed's excellent work is to rewrite the table with your expectation of change linked to it. That way you go on record with both the forecast and it's effect captured unambiguously, and we all can judge this as things work out.)

Doesn't that seem a equable way to have an opinion on how customer's views on reuse works out in practice, to get away from the pointless squabbles of subjective guesses as to what might / might not be happening here?

Online envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3571
  • Liked: 1760
  • Likes Given: 1124
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #322 on: 11/27/2017 10:06 PM »
Large interplanetary and large NSS launches (read: very expensive payloads) are a very small market segment that doesn't pay all that well compared to HSF support and commsats. The payloads/trajectories also aren't amenable to reuse. That's why they haven't been a major priority for SpaceX - they can get a bigger piece of the pie with other launches while making more progress with reuse. Thus the focus on other customers.
Funny you should say that.

Shotwell stated that NSS is a key market for any serious LV mfg because it's pretty large.

NSS is a small market in terms of launches but a big one in terms of value, and the customers (DoD, NRO) place a premium on their payloads not getting blown up.

I said "large NSS", not NSS in general. Large NSS payloads have more revenue but not necessarily more profits because they require dedicated hardware (longer fairings, etc.), facilities, and operations (VI, etc.).

SpaceX is making a point of emphasis to service NSS payloads that are amenable to using platforms and support that already exist for commsat launches. They will eventually service all NSS payloads, but there is a good profit/effort reason they went for ISS support missions first, then commsats and then a subset of NSS.

Reuse is one of the platforms that exists for ISS and commsat launches, and one that IMO Space is trying very hard to get the USAF etc. to buy into for at least smaller NSS launches - and eventually bigger ones too, but they have to start somewhere.

Online envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3571
  • Liked: 1760
  • Likes Given: 1124
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #323 on: 11/27/2017 10:14 PM »
There's a big difference in launch energies for the three payload categories.  That is why I did the categories.  6 tonnes to GTO requires a lot more work than 6 tonnes to LEO, so a direct comparison isn't correct.

Mass to GTO or elsewhere is pretty much just 2x - 3x more mass in LEO, which is later converted into energy. All the systems that do this are quite similar, so it's not that hard to roughly normalize to a representative mass in LEO.

Offline deruch

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2018
  • California
  • Liked: 1563
  • Likes Given: 2831
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #324 on: 11/27/2017 10:27 PM »
Here's Gwen Shotwell telling you that you're wrong (from her speech at the 2016 FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference): 
Quote
[Talking about the first recovered booster] We did take that rocket, moved it over to SLC-40... And we fired her up, and actually we learned something about the rocket.  We went to full thrust on all engines, we did shut down early.  And now we will make our vehicle even more robust for the ascent portion.  It's the first time we've been able to bring hardware back.  And I think [of] almost anyone in the industry, with the exception obviously of Shuttle, where you bring your hardware back and you examine it and not only do you make it more robust so that you can fly to Mars and fly back.  But you make it more robust to drop your satellites off in orbit as well...But it's in full play here.  We're actually going to make some mods based on what we saw on that stage landing and firing again.
My point was not that it won't happen. It was that it does not seemed to have happened yet

WHAT???  My first reply contained a direct statement from Gwen Shotwell saying exactly that when SpaceX tested/examined the recovered booster from the Orbcomm launch that they discovered an issue which they have subsequently gone back and redesigned and which has improved the vehicle's reliability for delivering payloads.  That statement was made in Feb. 2016, almost 2 years ago.  What we are talking about has already happened long ago!  That improved reliability wasn't couched as what they discovered improving reuse efforts but explicitly as for delivering payloads.

I don't recall exactly what the found issue was off hand, though I seem to recall that it had something to do with a leak.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 10:56 PM by deruch »
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7034
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 6622
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #325 on: 11/27/2017 11:26 PM »
Sure. Europe won't adapt to retain market share just retain marginal indigenous launch, thus "lost" to it and own industrial base.
It slips through their hands due to lack of competitive responds/base. Others not Europe haven't committed yet.
Yes, it looks like A6 is going to happen and the results are not looking good :(

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962

"Crawl walk run." Vulcan BE4 / Centaur V / Booster Reuse? Keep in mind Bruno's penchant for rapidly moving development.
Hence my questions about wheather ULA is committed to engine module reuse or might reconsider full stage recovery?

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962

Careful. Jim's still claiming just more props and it'll work. He may be right. BO thinks so to.
I am extremely wary of arguing with Jim but that would imply that the SX design team had simply missed that option. 
This would be especially surprising given that SX's second mantra when it comes to design is "Propellant is cheap." The whole Mars architecture demonstrates this. Nor do SX fear a tank stretch if they can't fit enough in with the current sized vehicle.
Looking at how quickly they abandoned hypergol thrusters for GN2 once they knew the idea could work suggests that they would have done as much to avoid putting grid gins on the top end of the F9 booster as they would have tried to find a way to not have to put wings on the BFS.

Actually there is a way that Jim is both right and wrong. Yes it could be done with more propellants but they are heavier than the grid fin package, and not by a trivial amount. So despite the weight and the complexity they are (reluctantly) the best option. [EDIT Actually a couple of other reasons could explain it.
a)They are at the limit of the size of their FSW rigs. I'm not sure how rigid a limit that is for the length of structure you can make on one of these. I think they'd try really hard to get the extra length if they could before going with the more complex and difficult (to make) solution.
b) It would cut into the customers weight growth margin.
This seems pretty much sacred in the LV business. Even a single Kg would mean SX having to go back to  customers and tell them that weight margin they thought they had isn't as big as they were told it was.  :(
Weight growth seems to be a very common occurrence on payloads and I suspect some payload types (or some mfgs?) are more prone to it than others.  I could see the design team being told "We are not going to tell them that. Find another way." ]

We know so little about BO's vehicles in any detail it's impossible to say how closely they resemble a conventional TSTO. What might work for them could be completely different.
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962

Everyone wants to see Block 5.
We are told it will be the ultimate flowering of the F9 architecture, except Shotwell mentions she expects the FH will have at least a 2nd spin of the design, and was still willing to look at cross feed if someone needs a 60t+ payload. IDK maybe that would help with US recovery as well.
« Last Edit: 11/28/2017 08:23 AM by john smith 19 »
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2783
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2884
  • Likes Given: 2249
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #326 on: 11/28/2017 12:05 AM »
Actually there is a way that Jim is both right and wrong.
Jim is always right about "it".

However, the hard part is understanding what/when/how/where "it" is he's right about. Matters more than that its "right".

Offline Norm38

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Liked: 458
  • Likes Given: 645
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #327 on: 11/28/2017 02:08 AM »
^^^ Only when we understand the question will we know what the answer means?  ;)
« Last Edit: 11/28/2017 02:09 AM by Norm38 »

Offline JamesH65

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 740
  • Liked: 451
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #328 on: 11/28/2017 09:14 AM »
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) .
Nope. Just one non-LEO, non-GTO mission. Not enough to earn the confidence Atlas/Ariane has in doing more capable missions yet.

I suppose you completely missed the 'if it works' bit then, and I was not talking about ONE F9H flight.It will need to fly quite a few times for any sort of reliability figure to be determined.

Quote
I'd take bumbling and feckless over 'leadership'.
One spends billions on certain payloads. So you don't think being responsible in launching them ... matters? How thoughtful.

You can continue to deliberately misconstrue what I am writing if you wish, just to try and make your point, but it stands out like a sore thumb. The point is that SpaceX are NOT bumbling and feckless. A bumbling and feckless company would not have achieved what they have, in the timescales they have. They would not even have people using their services. They are using a completely different approach, some call it a silicon valley approach, I call it agile iterative development. They try stuff, it  sometimes works, sometimes it doesn't, but it produces results faster than the competition. That is not 'bumbling'.

Quote
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!
Perhaps ... in their remarks concerning flight/payload/test risks prior? Or in like kind exchanges with equally arrogant and condescending BO?

Examples required please, emphasising what issues have been caused by this alleged condescension and arrogance. The only one I can think of the problem on the launch pad that destroyed the cargo. Since rectified, and shown to be caused by a previously unknown mechanism.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5843
  • Liked: 3665
  • Likes Given: 5106
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #329 on: 11/28/2017 10:45 AM »
...arrogant and condescending is (was) old space to new.  Recall CEO Gass, or many old school on this forum.
Interesting how some try to turn the phrase.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8054
  • N. California
  • Liked: 4301
  • Likes Given: 859
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #330 on: 11/28/2017 01:38 PM »
...arrogant and condescending is (was) old space to new.  Recall CEO Gass, or many old school on this forum.
Interesting how some try to turn the phrase.
Yeah, but uncomfortable as it is to watch, it is this attitude that drove the inaction back when action could still made a difference.

At this point OS almost has to be arrogant, and hope that something goes seriously wrong for SpaceX. What's the alternative?  Doom and gloom?
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Online abaddon

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1631
  • Liked: 1088
  • Likes Given: 902
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #331 on: 11/28/2017 01:42 PM »
SpaceX customers' views on reuse.  Unless competitors (and forum members!) are customers, we appear to have pivoted here.

We will witness two launches in December that are going to re-use previously flown boosters, both having flown missions for the same customer respectively.  Both are new customers as far as approving use of a "flight-proven" booster.

The first concrete application of reuse seems to primarily be allowing SpaceX to increase flight rate without having to produce more boosters.  This is allowing SpaceX to achieve that higher flight rate (up to 2x) without investing in newer/bigger/costlier production facilities.  We've also heard of some discounting, although reports would suggest that it is not a significant discount at this time and schedule has been the primary driving factor.

Barring setbacks, it seems like SpaceX customer's views on reuse in the near term, and of most of the space industry in general, will be one of acceptance.  This means SpaceX will be given the opportunity to demonstrate that reuse can be an economically successful and possibly even dominating strategy.  That wasn't previously a guaranteed outcome, so this is a pretty big deal.  Block 5 will obviously play a big role here, as the current 2x reuse is a sharply limiting factor.  Based on NASA requirements for multiple Block 5 launches before Commercial Crew, there should be quite a nice stash of Block 5 boosters ready for other customers to reuse soon.

SES, Bulsatcom, NASA CRS, Iridium.  Who's next?
« Last Edit: 11/28/2017 01:44 PM by abaddon »

Offline scdavis

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
  • Liked: 34
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #332 on: 11/28/2017 02:02 PM »
Quote
SES, Bulsatcom, NASA CRS, Iridium.  Who's next?

abaddon, I appreciate your note so much that I'm using my first post (after lurking for a long time) to respond.

As much fun as it is to debate our thoughts on reuse, and competitors' thoughts on reuse (really I enjoy it!), customers will speak through their actions. They will choose SpaceX or not, they will be willing to fly on reused boosters or not.

Perhaps this thread could benefit from a running list of actual data:

Date         Customer Name        Pertinent Event
---------     ----------------          -----------------       

Where a pertinent event might be
* Announcement of plan to accept reused boosters
* Customer comment they will never use reused boosters, or not until X time
* Link to article quoting customers about experience with reuse
* Flights of reused boosters
* Responses to flight successes/failures that affect customer view of reuse

It could be interesting to see a flow of customer decisions over time.

Offline LouScheffer

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1752
  • Liked: 2220
  • Likes Given: 242
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #333 on: 11/28/2017 02:27 PM »
@LouScheffer:  In addition to the mission-specific increase in margins, you also get a margin increase because a reusable rocket is expected to address a more general market than does a dial-a-rocket.  This might not be so relevant with the biggest GTO launches where the rocket is near its performance limits, but it could be substantial additional margin factor on LEO flights.  For a majority of its flights, Falcon 9 Block 5 will have huge margins, as far as these things go.
You can get this margin with dial-a-rockets, too, by buying a configuration bigger than the minimum one that meets your requirements.  I've heard it stated that national security payloads sometime do this.  It's like buying insurance against performance shortfalls. 

In fact, a back of the envelope calculation indicates that has already happened, on the Delta-IV flight with the fuel leak.  The task was to put a GPS satellite massing 1620 kg into a 20,000 km circular orbit inclined 55 degrees.  A regular (no solids) Delta-IV can put 4200 kg into GTO, requiring LEO+2460m/s.   Using the DCSS specs of fueled mass 24170 kg, empty mass 2850 kg, ISP=462, then dropping the payload from 4200 kg to 1630 kg gives you an extra 1600 m/s to use (delta-V = 462*9.8*ln((24170+4200)/(2850+4200)) = 6304 m/s for a 4200 kg payload, delta-V = 462*9.8*l((24170+1630)/(2850+1630)) = 7927 m/s for the lighter payload.)
Now to get from a circular LEO 200 km orbit to a 20,000 km circular orbit takes 2067 m/s (to get to 200 x 20,000) followed by a 1432 m/s burn to circularize at 20,000.  Total is LEO + 3500 m/s, or about 860 m/s harder than a GTO insertion.  There is an additional penalty since the LEO orbit is at 55 degrees, not 28.  This will be in the range of 200 m/s.  So the total delta-V is about 860+200 = 1060 m/s more than GTO.  But the lesser mass of GPS gives you about 1600 m/s more to play with.  The Delta-IV with no solids could easily do the job. 

But the customer actually purchased a Delta-IV Medium+(4,2), providing another example where very large margins allowed the mission to complete successfully.  From Space Safety Magazine: "The satellite was luckily below Delta 4ís lift capacity, so there was more reserve available to draw upon than is usually the case."  This bodes very well for re-usable rockets (with their higher margins) becoming more reliable than expendables.

Another possible benefit of big margins is that you could run the engines at less than their maximum certified thrust.  The Shuttle did this, not using the maximum thrust except where really needed (and of course commercial planes do this all the time).

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7034
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 6622
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #334 on: 11/28/2017 10:24 PM »
Quote from: John smith 19
My point was not that it won't happen. It was that it does not seemed to have happened yet
Ah, we are talking at cross purposes about what "it" is.

You are talking design design improvements. I've never doubted that being able to inspect flown hardware would deliver enormous benefits to any company that did it.  Up that that point all ELV's are designed based on engineering judgement (and nowadays simulation) as to how big the main stresses are and in what locations and directions they operate in.

But the data that drives those design choices are collected based on previous flights. So what if designers are looking in the wrong places? What if the actual peaks are elsewhere in the design, but they've never been found. I fully expect SX have found out things that are unknown to other LV mfgs who have not recovered their stages.

I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

That's the disconnect. 

My apologies for not making my PoV clearer. I had thought it obvious from the context of my comments, but obviously not.  I will have to work on making them more comprehensible to you in future.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4627
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1747
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #335 on: 11/29/2017 12:01 AM »
Quote
It may be that government need splits off from commercial forever at this point, because the lack of need/desire/budget to compete forever rents the economic fabric globally. And that you have a smaller handful of providers with commercial market share at a fraction of the price of dedicated national ones, who are painfully subsidized to maintain minimal flight rate.

How long can a boutique provider of expendable NSS launches survive in a world in which BFR and NG are flying frequently with demonstrated reliability and low cost?

By having a customer that can print money, and legislators who revel in spending it like a sailor on a weekend pass.
DM

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7926
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 3902
  • Likes Given: 1193
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #336 on: 11/29/2017 07:59 AM »
Quote
SES, Bulsatcom, NASA CRS, Iridium.  Who's next?

abaddon, I appreciate your note so much that I'm using my first post (after lurking for a long time) to respond.

As much fun as it is to debate our thoughts on reuse, and competitors' thoughts on reuse (really I enjoy it!), customers will speak through their actions. They will choose SpaceX or not, they will be willing to fly on reused boosters or not.

Perhaps this thread could benefit from a running list of actual data:

Date         Customer Name        Pertinent Event
---------     ----------------          -----------------       

Where a pertinent event might be
* Announcement of plan to accept reused boosters
* Customer comment they will never use reused boosters, or not until X time
* Link to article quoting customers about experience with reuse
* Flights of reused boosters
* Responses to flight successes/failures that affect customer view of reuse

It could be interesting to see a flow of customer decisions over time.
Excellent post. And (belated) welcome to the forum!

Offline tdperk

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 263
  • Liked: 83
  • Likes Given: 31
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #337 on: 11/29/2017 01:23 PM »

I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

That's the disconnect. 

My apologies for not making my PoV clearer. I had thought it obvious from the context of my comments, but obviously not.  I will have to work on making them more comprehensible to you in future.

And your disconnect is that since the current build of Falcon became current, they have 16 of 16 successes.

That's 100% success rate.

To the extent there are known unaddressed issue with the current build, which may be legacy from previous builds, you have a fair point to make.  So, no known point to make.

Offline Norm38

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1095
  • Liked: 458
  • Likes Given: 645
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #338 on: 11/29/2017 01:28 PM »
I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

That's the disconnect. 


You keep saying this, but not a single 2nd stage (the ones that actually exploded) have been inspected post flight. Because 2nd stages are not recovered. So there is no opportunity for reuse to directly improve 2nd stage reliability.

First stages have been recovered, and not a single M1D 1st stage has failed.

So where is the disconnect?  You can't criticize reuse for not improving the reliability of expendable hardware.
You CAN criticize the flight record of F9 versus other launchers, but it's not relevant to a reuse thread.  Except to maybe show that expendable hardware is less reliable than reusable hardware?
« Last Edit: 11/29/2017 01:38 PM by Norm38 »

Offline Negan

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 290
  • Southwest
  • Liked: 65
  • Likes Given: 249
Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #339 on: 11/29/2017 03:13 PM »
I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

And because of this F9 might be able to acquire Category 3 certification from NASA. Not sure NRO and USAF have the same standards, but they were looking at collaborating with NASA on this. Bottom line the explosion at this point is probably a non-issue.

Certification is what matters, and we presently don't know what the certification matrix will be for a reusable F9 or a FH. This is what will tell us what future missions might be available and how these customers truly feel about reuse.

https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/NPD_attachments/AttachmentA_7C.pdf

https://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/oct/HQ_11-348_USAF_Agreement.html

EDIT: WAG they are waiting for reusable F9 Block 5 to get Category 3 certification. This could help getting the same certification for FH and BFR easier.

EDIT: I don't see any proof that the reason SpaceX has not been doing Category 3 Risk missions has anything to do with customer confidence or cherry picking missions. Seems it is because of the very logical way SpaceX is progressing with their most important goal of reusability.
« Last Edit: 11/29/2017 05:05 PM by Negan »

Tags: