Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 158584 times)

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #500 on: 05/23/2018 05:19 PM »
Thought the 'competitors' bit was interesting:
Quote
SpaceX achievements generate growing interest in reusable launchers
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As SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 with a previously-flown first stage May 22, both the company and its competitors are seeing a growing acceptance of reusable vehicles in the overall market.
https://mailchi.mp/spacenews/spacetechexpo-show-daily-spacex-achievements-generate-growing-interest-in-reusable-launchers-industry-warns-of-launch-vehicle-glut
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #501 on: 06/29/2018 11:10 AM »
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #502 on: 06/29/2018 11:43 AM »
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?

What we should watch for is the first customer which chooses a flight-proven booster because it is flight proven...  For quite a while, members of NSF have been predicting these reused boosters will be more reliable than maiden voyage boosters -- time is approaching when that prediction will be demonstrated.  Soon after, it should become "we've always known that..."

This paradigm shift is what will make BFS acceptable without launch abort hardware.
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Online meekGee

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #503 on: 06/29/2018 02:53 PM »

What we should watch for is the first customer which chooses a flight-proven booster because it is flight proven...  For quite a while, members of NSF have been predicting these reused boosters will be more reliable than maiden voyage boosters -- time is approaching when that prediction will be demonstrated.  Soon after, it should become "we've always known that..."

This paradigm shift is what will make BFS acceptable without launch abort hardware.

Well put.

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« Last Edit: 06/29/2018 02:54 PM by meekGee »
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #504 on: 06/29/2018 06:59 PM »
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?
Actually what we all await is what price SX will charge for it.
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Online envy887

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #505 on: 06/29/2018 07:05 PM »
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?
Actually what we all await is what price SX will charge for it.

About $50 million, per Musk. Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that, it should only apply to Block 5.

How much that drops from competition and any market expansion remains to be seen. That's the interesting part.

Offline rpapo

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #506 on: 06/29/2018 08:13 PM »
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #507 on: 06/29/2018 11:12 PM »
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
'Hired' better? Maybe 'booked'.
« Last Edit: 06/29/2018 11:13 PM by AncientU »
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Offline speedevil

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #508 on: 06/30/2018 12:13 AM »
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
Has any major rocket vendor ever actually sold the rockets?

Online meekGee

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #509 on: 06/30/2018 06:21 AM »
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?
Actually what we all await is what price SX will charge for it.
That's the least interesting number since until such time that competition shows up, SpaceX can keep margins arbitrarily high



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Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #510 on: 06/30/2018 08:35 AM »
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
Has any major rocket vendor ever actually sold the rockets?
No. I'm not sure how it worked historically but most of the recent designs are launched by a crew working for a "Launch Services Provider" that's basically another part of the mfg. I think in the 60's some were launched by USAF crews.

It's a misconception customers (IE the people with the payloads) actually "buy" a rocket. They buy a "Ticket to ride" with the usual 1 in 50 failure risk. AIUI F9 will be on its 39th launch since RTF.
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. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #511 on: 06/30/2018 06:33 PM »
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
Has any major rocket vendor ever actually sold the rockets?
No. I'm not sure how it worked historically but most of the recent designs are launched by a crew working for a "Launch Services Provider" that's basically another part of the mfg. I think in the 60's some were launched by USAF crews.

It's a misconception customers (IE the people with the payloads) actually "buy" a rocket. They buy a "Ticket to ride" with the usual 1 in 50 failure risk. AIUI F9 will be on its 39th launch since RTF.
Um..

18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 4030 (which brings up where did 39 come from?

The real item is that in the last 6 months 9 used boosters have flown out of a total of 14 boosters flown. Such that it is now more likely that a flight will use a flown booster than a new one. 64% reflight rate.

What this generally means customers are less concerned with whether the booster is new or used but how much the price is. Acceptance is climbing for customers to near total across the board. Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.
« Last Edit: 06/30/2018 08:06 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline alang

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #512 on: 06/30/2018 07:33 PM »
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
Has any major rocket vendor ever actually sold the rockets?
No. I'm not sure how it worked historically but most of the recent designs are launched by a crew working for a "Launch Services Provider" that's basically another part of the mfg. I think in the 60's some were launched by USAF crews.

It's a misconception customers (IE the people with the payloads) actually "buy" a rocket. They buy a "Ticket to ride" with the usual 1 in 50 failure risk. AIUI F9 will be on its 39th launch since RTF.
Um..

18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 40

The real item is that in the last 6 months 9 used boosters have flown out of a total of 14 boosters flown. Such that it is now more likely that a flight will use a flown booster than a new one. 64% reflight rate.

What this generally means customers are less concerned with whether the booster is new or used but how much the price is. Acceptance is climbing for customers to near total across the board. Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.

Are you sure about that arithmetic?

Offline Thorny

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #513 on: 06/30/2018 09:14 PM »
18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 4030 (which brings up where did 39 come from?

38 launches since the CRS-7 accident, not counting the Amos-6 accident.

Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #514 on: 07/01/2018 05:48 AM »
Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.

Also NASA LSP and NASA Commercial Crew(?).  I don't think we've ever seen any direct comments addressing reuse from the Crew office, but I doubt they'd accept it yet.  Also, since I haven't seen any public info supporting your stated timeline, I'm highly dubious that USAF will be prepared to accept reuse that soon.  The latest statements that I recall on this topic was that, while they are interested and willing, USAF still hadn't even fully determined what information they needed and how exactly they would go about certifying reused boosters.  Maybe with FH they won't have as much of a choice if SpaceX is pretty much only offering flights on reused boosters?  But I'm sure SpaceX would agree to producing bespoke rockets for them if USAF asked for it.
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Offline aero

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #515 on: 07/01/2018 06:19 AM »
Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.

Also NASA LSP and NASA Commercial Crew(?).  I don't think we've ever seen any direct comments addressing reuse from the Crew office, but I doubt they'd accept it yet.  Also, since I haven't seen any public info supporting your stated timeline, I'm highly dubious that USAF will be prepared to accept reuse that soon.  The latest statements that I recall on this topic was that, while they are interested and willing, USAF still hadn't even fully determined what information they needed and how exactly they would go about certifying reused boosters.  Maybe with FH they won't have as much of a choice if SpaceX is pretty much only offering flights on reused boosters?  But I'm sure SpaceX would agree to producing bespoke rockets for them if USAF asked for it.

Didn't Elon say that they would build 30 to 50 block 5's? That seems enough to launch all of the above missions on new vehicles for a few years, at least. Just keep the new ones in inventory, pull one out and launch it when demanded, then introduce it into the "flight proven" fleet after recovery. With rapid reuse and 10 to 100 launches per flight proven vehicle, that should be enough to satisfy commercial customer demand. The initial "flight proven" fleet consists of two Block 5's, one on each coast and grows as the DOD et.al. requires another launch.

The above system of using the Block 5's may have start-up delays due to inspections and/or refurbishment of the initial ones launched but those delays should be overcome in reasonably short order with most of the rockets still in the new inventory.
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Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #516 on: 07/01/2018 09:02 AM »
He said 30-50, indicating that 30 is enough for the number of anticipated launches. But if some customers keep demanding new vehicles they may need 50.

It seems to me that the Airforce is actively working on certifying flown boosters for operational flights but have no clue on the timeline. Anyone have a clue on the Airforce possibly accepting flown boosters for the upcoming demo flight?

Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #517 on: 07/01/2018 09:45 AM »
Um..

18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 4030 (which brings up where did 39 come from?

The real item is that in the last 6 months 9 used boosters have flown out of a total of 14 boosters flown. Such that it is now more likely that a flight will use a flown booster than a new one. 64% reflight rate.

What this generally means customers are less concerned with whether the booster is new or used but how much the price is. Acceptance is climbing for customers to near total across the board. Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.
Looked up the list of Falcon 9 and FH launches on Wikipedia and counted them, excluding AMOS 6.
Which is not bad for an ELV, but you'd expect better from a semi RLV.  So far that puts its failure rate below 2.53%
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Offline hopalong

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #518 on: 07/01/2018 10:06 AM »
He said 30-50, indicating that 30 is enough for the number of anticipated launches. But if some customers keep demanding new vehicles they may need 50.

It seems to me that the Airforce is actively working on certifying flown boosters for operational flights but have no clue on the timeline. Anyone have a clue on the Airforce possibly accepting flown boosters for the upcoming demo flight?

What may happen is that agencies like the USAF and NRO will have 'their own' boosters.
That is, cores which they have followed through their build and have certified, then reserved for their use only, if need be, stored between missions in their own secure hanger at CCAFS or VAFB.

This would help in the certification of an flight proven core as it will be 'their' core whose history they know in detail.
« Last Edit: 07/01/2018 10:07 AM by hopalong »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #519 on: 07/01/2018 10:07 AM »
Um..

18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 4030 (which brings up where did 39 come from?
See other post.
Quote from: oldAtlas_Eguy
The real item is that in the last 6 months 9 used boosters have flown out of a total of 14 boosters flown. Such that it is now more likely that a flight will use a flown booster than a new one. 64% reflight rate.

What this generally means customers are less concerned with whether the booster is new or used but how much the price is. Acceptance is climbing for customers to near total across the board. Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.
OTOH the failure of the FH core in landing (which was the new build booster) does not build confidence in the FH as a design.
How serious an impact that has on SX's business remains to be seen.

From the customers PoV reuse only matters to them when it
a) Changes the price over a new build booster
b) Changes the reliability WRT  a new build booster.

IIRC SX are offering F9 launches with pre flown boosters at $50m, a sufficient price reduction to be worth looking at.

For various parts of the USG the question will be what's the reliability differential of flying pre flown? OTOH if they haven't even worked up a the questions they feel they need to have answered to feel comfortable this is likely to be a long process. It would be in SX's interests to find ways to accelerate this process but how that could be done (by them or others) is OT for this thread. 

BTW Can you remember if Block 4 was originally claimed to be capable of up to 10 flights?
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. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

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