Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 114606 times)

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #60 on: 05/02/2017 05:26 PM »
ULA response at same forum as Lt agency Kwast:

Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312

Oh dear. Guess what ULA, customers don't care if rocket is still powerful to lift their payloads (and on the evidence so far F9 is doing just fine on that score).

That's not a very constructive response by them.

Tory Bruno has one heck of a challenge to change this culture given the persistence of this attitude even with the ever growing pile of evidence that reuseability is the only viable path forward to have a sustainable future.

The SMART reuse concept/promotion (instead of booster reuse) is a product of the Tory regime.
He personally made a pretty strong argument that launches would never become a commodity. 
Doesn't sound like he is part of the solution.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2017 05:30 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Star One

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #61 on: 05/02/2017 05:34 PM »
ULA response at same forum as Lt agency Kwast:

Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312

Oh dear. Guess what ULA, customers don't care if rocket is still powerful to lift their payloads (and on the evidence so far F9 is doing just fine on that score).

That's not a very constructive response by them.

Tory Bruno has one heck of a challenge to change this culture given the persistence of this attitude even with the ever growing pile of evidence that reuseability is the only viable path forward to have a sustainable future.

The SMART reuse concept/promotion (instead of booster reuse) is a product of the Tory regime.
He personally made a pretty strong argument that launches would never become a commodity. 
Doesn't sound like he is part of the solution.

Are we entering the era where ULA's seeming current corporate culture is now a hinderance rather than a help?
« Last Edit: 05/02/2017 05:34 PM by Star One »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #62 on: 05/02/2017 06:26 PM »
I'd think the USAF were very much noting yesterday's launch and I am sure even something as trivial as the eye catching video of the first stage return would have helped.

Especially given who was there yesterday to watch in person:

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It was an honor to host CSAF @GenDaveGoldfein at the 45th SW! Thank you for taking time to meet with our #Airmen and launch team!

https://twitter.com/45thspacewing/status/859418492772261888

I had to look it up, Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) is no 2 at the AF and a member of the joint chiefs of staff (AF no 1 being vice chair of the joint chiefs)

Offline Star One

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #63 on: 05/02/2017 06:34 PM »
Nothing like impressing the big boss. This all plays into the Air Force's long held desire for rapid access to space. Something they know certain peer competitors will also be seeking.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #64 on: 05/02/2017 07:17 PM »
Nothing like impressing the big boss. This all plays into the Air Force's long held desire for rapid access to space. Something they know certain peer competitors will also be seeking.

That is an interesting point...
Once reusable rockets are proven (I think they are now), the US military must go all-in on them, lest the Chinese do -- they are certainly capable of copying anything -- and space access becomes no contest.  Talk about motivating the customer...

This is how new markets are created.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2017 07:19 PM by AncientU »
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #65 on: 05/02/2017 07:24 PM »
Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #66 on: 05/02/2017 08:32 PM »

Tory Bruno has one heck of a challenge to change this culture given the persistence of this attitude even with the ever growing pile of evidence that reuseability is the only viable path forward to have a sustainable future.

The SMART reuse concept/promotion (instead of booster reuse) is a product of the Tory regime.
He personally made a pretty strong argument that launches would never become a commodity. 
Doesn't sound like he is part of the solution.

I am going to be contrary here and say that I believe Tory is  a good guy, means well, isn't stupid, and is just playing the hand he was dealt. Maybe ULA are spinning some FUD, yes...  (not like anyone else ever does that)

But I also think that their masters aren't going to unleash them all the way to do reuse the most efficient way with a clean sheet design of everything. SMART is the best they can do with the cards they hold. I wish them all the best with it. There is, and will be a place for ULA at the table. Especially as the pie continues to grow.

(I haven't changed my views on the fixed price block buy, and I greatly admire Dr. Sowers work but think he's wrong about the reuse numbers... but I have a grudging admiration for ULA...)

Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D

Yea, I'm dubious that government **investment** is necessary, especially the strategic kind. Just start buying water delivered to LEO and contracting for cargo delivered to the lunar surface, and the rest will follow.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2017 08:40 PM by Lar »
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Offline Star One

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #67 on: 05/02/2017 09:02 PM »
Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D

I know lots of people from different countries post on here and I didn't want to accidentally cause ill feeling. Perhaps over cautious?

Offline Lemurion

Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #68 on: 05/02/2017 10:51 PM »
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.

Then again, I'm always suspicious of anything that relies on mid-air helicopter recovery.




Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #69 on: 05/02/2017 11:18 PM »
Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D

Although the key rocket advancements SpaceX and Blue Origin are fielding and planning to field were not the result of direct investment by the U.S. Government.  And by "direct", I mean no funding that was provided specifically to build reusable rocket technologies.

As Lar suggests, the best way to encourage continued U.S. aerospace industry leadership is to ensure that they have a market for their capabilities.  If the U.S. Government can help with that, either directly or indirectly, that would be good.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #70 on: 05/03/2017 03:25 AM »
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns.  Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 

The disconnect is that launch payloads aren't bulk commodities.  There's no "penalty" for reducing lift capacity so long as they have enough for any specific customer. 
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Offline rakaydos

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #71 on: 05/03/2017 04:08 AM »
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns.  Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 

The disconnect is that launch payloads aren't bulk commodities.  There's no "penalty" for reducing lift capacity so long as they have enough for any specific customer.
There also may be an element of goverment contract language.
"Our boosters were built to lift X tons, just like you asked. If we added reuse, we wouldnt meet that contract anymore."

Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #72 on: 05/03/2017 04:10 AM »
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns.  Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 

The disconnect is that launch payloads aren't bulk commodities.  There's no "penalty" for reducing lift capacity so long as they have enough for any specific customer.

If I remember the math correctly even for bulk commodities reusable first stage still wins over SMART as long as you allow the reusable vehicle to launch more often, it only loses out to SMART when the calculation insists the same # of launches for both reusable first stage and SMART. This may explain why ULA prefers SMART, since their launch rate projection is a lot lower than SpaceX's.

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #73 on: 05/03/2017 06:41 AM »
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns. Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 
Emphasis mine.
I disagree with your analysis. Referring back to the original statement:

Quote from: Jeff Foust
Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312

As you can see, Les Kovacs referred to additional systems (hardware), not to propellant, with regards to payload-hit.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 06:43 AM by woods170 »

Offline kerogre256

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #74 on: 05/03/2017 10:10 AM »
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns.  Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 

The disconnect is that launch payloads aren't bulk commodities.  There's no "penalty" for reducing lift capacity so long as they have enough for any specific customer.
This argument is completely irrelevant in case of falkon9 because, they remove legs, fins and you have perfect high performance throw away rocket like everyone else... this is how you design reusable rocket....

Offline kerogre256

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #75 on: 05/03/2017 10:13 AM »
And Big Boss was definitely impressed....
"Glad I could see this in person. Congrats to all involved!"

https://twitter.com/GenDaveGoldfein/status/859065684671815684

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #76 on: 05/03/2017 10:25 AM »
...

Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D

Yea, I'm dubious that government **investment** is necessary, especially the strategic kind. Just start buying water delivered to LEO and contracting for cargo delivered to the lunar surface, and the rest will follow.

Investment in reusable rockets maybe... but first, 1) stop giving 50 core block buys to the old guard to freeze out competition (reduced to 36 cores by SpaceX legal pushback), 2) stop trying to reformat new entrants during 'certification' to look like old guard suppliers (backed off after SpaceX pushback), 3) stop using managed competition/allocation for future awards instead of full and fair competition, 4) add selection criteria that include a) flight proven hardware and b) degree to which supplier promotes ULCATS, along with c) launch record and d) schedule performance, 5) keep cost weighted as 50% or more of selection criteria, 6) end ELC subsidy, and then 7) get out of the way.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 10:35 AM by AncientU »
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Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #77 on: 05/03/2017 11:16 AM »
And Big Boss was definitely impressed....
"Glad I could see this in person. Congrats to all involved!"

https://twitter.com/GenDaveGoldfein/status/859065684671815684

And he's even awarding a trophy for it!!!
Quote
A close-up look at the Commander in Chief's trophy. Great job, Falcons. #BoltBrotherhood #LetsFly #SinkNavy #BeatArmy

https://twitter.com/GenDaveGoldfein/status/859520634866499584
strike-through mine
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 11:17 AM by AncientU »
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Online Semmel

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #78 on: 05/03/2017 11:18 AM »
There is one more thing that 'SMART' is bad at, and that is the "rapid" part of re-usability. If SpaceX achieves that, 10 flights with only visual inspection in between (like aircraft), that is GOT to be cheaper than SMART re-use, even if SpaceX has to start with a rocket that doubles the launch capability of Vulcan. So the tradeoff is not capability vs. re-use strategy. The re-use strategy defines how large the launch vehicle has to be designed in the first place. And if you have to make the booster 50% more potent to get the same payload to orbit, but regain the entire booster and no refurbishment has to be done, its much cheaper than if the engine pod has to be integrated with a new set of tanks, new heat shield, new piping connections, new integration testing, etc. SMART is, in comparison to full reuse quite stupid. But as said before, its the best ULA could do given the hardware they have. I dont blame them for the recovery strategy. The blame must go to the launch vehicle design and choice of engine number.

And there is one more point that no one mentioned (as far as I remember). SpaceX style reuse allows (whether they do it or not) a far more expensive tank design. For example, SpaceX could decide to go for carbon fibre for the first stage tanks. Its too expensive for expendable boosters, but guess what... I dont know if the trouble is worth the mass savings. But if it is, there is an other performance gain possible. Something that would never be economical with SMART.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #79 on: 05/03/2017 11:23 AM »
They are going with carbon composite tankage -- and 42 FFSC engines.
Try that with SMART.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2017 11:29 AM by AncientU »
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