Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 89028 times)

Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #420 on: 12/26/2017 05:55 PM »
The USAF has been making encouraging noises but maybe lead times on reuse certification etc will preclude them being first? I think the question of whether USG customers want to see reuse on similar orbits first is an interesting one. I’ve now added basic orbit type info (LEO, GTO, SSO etc) to the first post of this thread.

As always, corrections and additions welcome.
It's the idea of a "comfort zone" and how close SX have been to delivering bing in that zone. The whole idea of putting a "toe in the water."

IIRC there are 4 grades of NSS launches and I assume the USG would like to start with the lowest IE Most expendable grade, first on a flight tested booster.
So the pacing item would seem to be when is the next one of those payloads available? It's not something I keep an eye on so  I'm not sure when that's going to happen.

But IIRC SX is now certified for NSS launches so as their back list of successful launches increases they might decide to start bidding a reflown booster on higher priority payloads, on the ground that "No we haven't launched one of your most expendable payloads because you haven't been building any lately, but all the others we've launched have done exactly what we promised."
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Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #421 on: 12/27/2017 12:01 PM »
Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

[notAviewIagreeWith]
Doesn't count, it's just t-shirts and Tang.
[/notAviewIagreeWith]

I don't care what Jim thinks of this one. It is a mission, carried out on behalf of a US government agency, on a flight-proven booster.

What I'm not saying is that... oh wait... I'm not saying that.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #422 on: 12/27/2017 12:41 PM »
Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

[notAviewIagreeWith]
Doesn't count, it's just t-shirts and Tang.
[/notAviewIagreeWith]

Thanks... expected that, so all's right with the world.

Worth noting that Falcon 9 flew as many USG 'missions' as did Atlas v in 2017 -- six -- and twice that number of other flights -- twelve -- against Atlas v's zero.  Since acceptance of Falcon 9 has become widespread, and Falcon 9 will soon be flying mostly flight-proven boosters, we'll see the continued acceptance of this standard across the USG (beyond Tang and t-shirt 'missions').   

Cue the notAviewIagreeWith...
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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #423 on: 12/27/2017 12:48 PM »
I think maybe Jim's taking a holiday break or something, so I tossed that out there, tagged to show I didn't agree, just so it was there:)

... I am more aligned with AncientU's view that the tide is turning.

That said, I do think that F9 will still have to climb through the risk categories formally. But I expect that climb to be with reused boosters or with a mixture and some statement that the new/reused nature of the booster is not a factor in the certification. We'll see
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #424 on: 12/27/2017 01:40 PM »
That said, I do think that F9 will still have to climb through the risk categories formally. But I expect that climb to be with reused boosters or with a mixture and some statement that the new/reused nature of the booster is not a factor in the certification. We'll see

I’d like to focus on USAF for a minute (as they’ve publicly shown interest in reuse).

For F9 certification USAF went through their own process rather than rely on NASA certification. I interpret General Raymond’s remarks about reuse in the same way:

Quote
"But we need to do a review to make sure they are safe. Then I'm all in for using reusable rockets to launch our satellites."

So I think the above point about climbing through risk categories irrespective of reuse comes down to whether there is some sort of one-off reuse review that’ll satisfy USAF that flight proven risk is no greater than new booster risk? I can only see that happening if USAF is happy to sign-off the process SoaceX use to assess/certify a booster as fit for reuse. Even NASA doesn’t appear to be in that place yet.

I can believe this will all change with block 5, in time. But I can see it taking a year or more (although I think approval, in principle, for some classes of USAF launch will happen in 2018).

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #425 on: 12/27/2017 01:53 PM »
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.
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Offline ZachF

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #426 on: 12/27/2017 02:20 PM »
Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

[notAviewIagreeWith]
Doesn't count, it's just t-shirts and Tang.
[/notAviewIagreeWith]

Thanks... expected that, so all's right with the world.

Worth noting that Falcon 9 flew as many USG 'missions' as did Atlas v in 2017 -- six -- and twice that number of other flights -- twelve -- against Atlas v's zero.  Since acceptance of Falcon 9 has become widespread, and Falcon 9 will soon be flying mostly flight-proven boosters, we'll see the continued acceptance of this standard across the USG (beyond Tang and t-shirt 'missions').   

Cue the notAviewIagreeWith...

The number of boosters SpaceX successfully landed this year is equal to all the launches of ULA and Ariane 5 combined. This should be a wake-up call. Waiting until re-use has been 'fully 100% proven' (analysis paralysis) until making a move yourself is a great way for your consumer base to disappear beneath you. Ask RIM how this approach worked (bold strategy Cotton).

Being able to launch as soon as your satellite ready is also a giant selling point with considerable value that doesn't get the attention it deserves.

I wouldn't be surprised in the least if SpaceX flies more flight-proven boosters next year than ULA and OATKs combined mission total.

Offline ZachF

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #427 on: 12/27/2017 02:23 PM »
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.

By 2019 (or perhaps even late next year), F9B5 could be flying more launches in a hot/busy month than Atlas V or Ariane 5 fly in a year.
« Last Edit: 12/27/2017 02:27 PM by ZachF »

Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #428 on: 12/29/2017 12:23 PM »
Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

[notAviewIagreeWith]
Doesn't count, it's just t-shirts and Tang.
[/notAviewIagreeWith]

What is controversial about ISS program (and C3PO?) having a higher tolerance for risk in supply missions than LSP generally does?  They had very explicitly defined CRS missions as all Category D payloads, though some trunk payloads may have bumped this up on specific flights.  But, I actually thought that was one of the more interesting tidbits during the recent CRS-13 prelaunch briefing.  The ISS program deputy (can't remember his name), talked about their process to determine what data they wanted to see from SpaceX before moving ahead with the preflown booster's use.  He specifically stated that LSP had been included in discussions/evaluations/decisions (?).  Which means that even if LSP isn't as open to using preflown boosters, they've at least already had to start thinking about it and have had some exposure/input/buy-in to the process.  IMO, that should hopefully serve to start greasing the wheels for an eventual move to full adoption in the future.
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Online speedevil

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #429 on: 12/29/2017 01:00 PM »
What is controversial about ISS program (and C3PO?) having a higher tolerance for risk in supply missions than LSP generally does?  They had very explicitly defined CRS missions as all Category D payloads, though some trunk payloads may have bumped this up on specific flights.  But, I actually thought that was one of the more interesting tidbits during the recent CRS-13 prelaunch briefing.  The ISS program deputy (can't remember his name), talked about their process to determine what data they wanted to see from SpaceX before moving ahead with the preflown booster's use.  He specifically stated that LSP had been included in discussions/evaluations/decisions (?). 
From memory, it was also mentioned that while some risks may increase, some may decrease, and their best estimates are that it's a wash.
If you view the statistics classically, then unreflown are at ~2/43, and reflown at 0/4. Perhaps slightly over 2/43 if you count the anomalies in flight.

0/4 doesn't retire a whole lot of risk, but once you start getting to 0/16 as seems likely before the first dragon 2 launch, or 0/30, when the first crewed launch goes up, ... (assuming of course that the first numbers stay the same)

(edit: added some, as I forgot the FH side-cores which should probably count)
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 01:13 PM by speedevil »

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #430 on: 12/29/2017 01:06 PM »
The advantage (and value) of the more risk tolerant approach in COTS is that it allows innovation to proceed so long as it is properly supported by test and analysis.  (Quite a contrast to the crew program.)  The move to boosters with landing legs and intentions to do post-separation landing experiments is one example; the acceptance of SpaceX's test regime for previously-flown boosters is another.  Contrast this with a COTS program that strictly limited SpaceX to flying the approved v1.0 that they did demo flights with...

Customer acceptance that the launch service provider will be as deeply committed to success and capable enough to handle the technology and analyses as they are makes this a true public-private partnership.  We saw the same kind of win-win relationship between SES and SpaceX -- from the very beginning -- and now we see it with Iridium.

It seems that the relationship with the USAF for NSS flights is closer to the COTS model than it is to commercial crew or LSP, notably after AF brass stepped in to stop the dictation of requirements that was happening during initial certification to avoid nullifying the advantages of commercial innovation.  This wise move by the USAF probably indicates that they will accept reflown cores before parts of NASA like commercial crew and LSP.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 01:08 PM by AncientU »
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Online gongora

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #431 on: 12/29/2017 01:38 PM »
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.

By 2019 (or perhaps even late next year), F9B5 could be flying more launches in a hot/busy month than Atlas V or Ariane 5 fly in a year.

By late next year F9 is not going to be flying 7+ times a month.  That's more than double the flight rate SpaceX is aiming for next year.

Here is an excerpt from an Air Force Magazine article on EELV:
Quote
When asked if recycled rockets could be used for launches as soon as EELV Phase 1A, Raymond was unwilling to commit to a timetable, but said, “I’m open to it.” SMC’s Leon expressed similar optimism with a bit more caution. “We don’t have a schedule for it yet” at EELV, she said. She thinks the Air Force is more likely to use recycled boosters first in “experimental-class programs” that can take advantage of rapid acquisition authorities. “You’re not going to see it in phase 1A as far as I can tell,” Leon said.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 01:38 PM by gongora »

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #432 on: 12/29/2017 03:11 PM »
By late next year F9 is not going to be flying 7+ times a month.  That's more than double the flight rate SpaceX is aiming for next year.
More than double the rate indeed.
But, three times a month (as has happened twice this year) is more than double the rate of launches this year.

Might seven a month happen with four pads, and a similar bunching of scheduling with 30 or 35 launches  a year - maybe.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #433 on: 12/29/2017 04:36 PM »
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.

By 2019 (or perhaps even late next year), F9B5 could be flying more launches in a hot/busy month than Atlas V or Ariane 5 fly in a year.

By late next year F9 is not going to be flying 7+ times a month.  That's more than double the flight rate SpaceX is aiming for next year.

Here is an excerpt from an Air Force Magazine article on EELV:
Quote
When asked if recycled rockets could be used for launches as soon as EELV Phase 1A, Raymond was unwilling to commit to a timetable, but said, “I’m open to it.” SMC’s Leon expressed similar optimism with a bit more caution. “We don’t have a schedule for it yet” at EELV, she said. She thinks the Air Force is more likely to use recycled boosters first in “experimental-class programs” that can take advantage of rapid acquisition authorities. “You’re not going to see it in phase 1A as far as I can tell,” Leon said.

That quote from General Raymond was made five weeks after the first reflight.
https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/space-symposium/2017/04/06/air-force-space-command-head-open-to-reusable-rockets/

The quote from (former Boeing executive) Claire Leon is from an unknown date, but refers to the above statement from the Space Symposium.  She did make a statement a month later on July 5th (still only one reflight) that pre-flown boosters would be precluded:

Quote
For the first part of the Pentagon’s competitive space launch contracts — dubbed Phase 1A — the Air Force has decided not to allow previously flown boosters for any missions.

Leon said that approving reusable-rocket technology would require an entirely new certification process, at a time when the military wants to focus certifying things like the Falcon Heavy or new entrants like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

However, the service is open to eventually accepting reusable technology as part of a company’s bid.

“We are trying to reduce the cost of launch, and if this is the offering from commercial providers we need to get on board,” Leon said. “It’s just going to take us a little bit of time, but it is something we are starting to study first. Longer term my hope is any company that’s offering flight proven hardware demonstrates or develops a track record that helps us build confidence.”
http://spacenews.com/air-force-ask-spacex-ula-to-bid-on-a-five-launch-contract/

Five boosters are now reflown; many more to follow in next few months.  USAF requires three flights at base level for certification.  Question is, whether a flight-proven Falcon 9 is a 'new' vehicle like FH, or if it is just a flight tested version of an already certified vehicle.

Note: Certifying Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is years off into the future.  I suspect that flight-proven boosters will be pushed (via court if necessary) long before then.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 04:40 PM by AncientU »
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Offline ZachF

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #434 on: 12/29/2017 04:51 PM »
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.

By 2019 (or perhaps even late next year), F9B5 could be flying more launches in a hot/busy month than Atlas V or Ariane 5 fly in a year.

By late next year F9 is not going to be flying 7+ times a month.  That's more than double the flight rate SpaceX is aiming for next year.

Here is an excerpt from an Air Force Magazine article on EELV:
Quote
When asked if recycled rockets could be used for launches as soon as EELV Phase 1A, Raymond was unwilling to commit to a timetable, but said, “I’m open to it.” SMC’s Leon expressed similar optimism with a bit more caution. “We don’t have a schedule for it yet” at EELV, she said. She thinks the Air Force is more likely to use recycled boosters first in “experimental-class programs” that can take advantage of rapid acquisition authorities. “You’re not going to see it in phase 1A as far as I can tell,” Leon said.

For 2019 SpaceX is aiming for over 40 a year, which is ~4 a month. Some months will probably be a good deal more, and some less (or even 0). Ariane launches 5-7 times a year (6 this year), and Atlas V 6-9 times a year.(6 this year) With 3 pads operational I don't think a single hot month of ~7 launches in out of the question, probably not in 2018 but perhaps 2019.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 04:53 PM by ZachF »

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #435 on: 12/29/2017 06:01 PM »
2019 has a goal of 30-40 flights for customers per GS, and an unknown number of Starlink flights.  Could easily be ten or more of the latter, so 40-50+ flights.  Since it is possible that they will only fabricate 10-15 Block 5 boosters per year, and likely all Starlink flights will be on reflown boosters (the zeroth 'customer view' on reuse is expected to be bullish), there will have to be something like 30-40 reflights, or 3-ish reused boosters flying per month.

At that point, Atlas v's and Ariane 5's diminishingly small flight rates won't matter.
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #436 on: 01/11/2018 01:03 PM »
I missed the possibility, now confirmed, of SES-16 (GovSat1) launching this month on a flight-proven booster:

Quote from: SpaceFlightNow
SES is considering launching its next satellite — SES 16 developed in partnership with the government of Luxembourg — with a reused Falcon 9 booster in January.

Article Link

SES 16 slips to January and on a re-used booster (as I think can be expected for most SES flights from here on out).

Confirmation it's flight-proven in today's press release. I'll update the first post in the thread.

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #437 on: 01/11/2018 08:25 PM »
I love the table in the first post but I wonder if there is some way to distinguish among announcments, planned launches, and actual launches in a visual manner that isn't dependent on color. Maybe indenting? Just musing.  Thanks for doing it!
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Online rockets4life97

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #438 on: 01/11/2018 08:26 PM »
I love the table in the first post but I wonder if there is some way to distinguish among announcments, planned launches, and actual launches in a visual manner that isn't dependent on color.

Maybe bold actual and planned launches? It would bring out the color difference and differentiate from announcements.

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