Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 114420 times)

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #400 on: 12/22/2017 10:40 PM »
With GovSat -1 also a reuse booster that means of the first 4 launches in 2018 3 of them use used boosters. FH, Govsat-1 and Paz.

In the first 3 months 1Q2018 there could be as many as 8 used boosters launched out of a possible 10 launches. Because of the FH there will be 4 new boosters with 8 used. That is a used to total rate of 67%. But obviously not all of those possible 10 launches will occur in the first 3 months.

Key is that the acceptance is growing and will be represented by the number of used boosters flown to the total number flown in 2018.

Also interesting the GovSat and Paz are European government launches, Luxembourg and Spain respectively.  Must be quite a stir in Europe about losing these flights from ArianeSpace... and them flying on reused boosters.  Maybe ESA needs to rethink its position on reusability.

Another European national program that selected reused vehicles was Bulgaria.  Many other government programs have chosen Falcon including Korean, Taiwan, Israel, Germany, etc. but these are only yet manifested on new boosters -- subject to change as manifest launches/future launches approach and reuse becomes the norm.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 10:47 PM by AncientU »
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Offline UKobserver

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #401 on: 12/23/2017 12:15 AM »
Moving across from the PAZ thread.

By accident or design, SpaceX seem to have hit upon a very effective method of persuading their customers to accept pre-flown cores, namely, to offer them a core that they have already used themselves, and therefore have intimate first-hand knowledge of the profile and stresses it was subjected to on it's first flight.

Based on that emerging pattern, and a feeling that I don't think they will move a booster between coasts if they don't have to; as 1041 has been set aside to fly Iridium 5, my guess would also be that 1038 (Formosat) lofts PAZ/Microsat 2a/2b.

Looking further ahead; It would be a real waste to expend a brand-new Block 4 (1044) launching Hispasat, so if I was SpaceX I would be trying hard to persuade that customer to re-use 1032, which would make a good use of their oldest remaining, single-flight core which hasn't performed a GTO mission. They could quite happily launch that expendable and feel that they've got good service out of it.

1039 (CRS-12) is reserved for CRS-14, so that would make 1040 (OTV-5) the next available booster for SES-16. Again, they could offer to make that expendable potentially, depending on how badly they want the core back. SES did seem to be in a hurry to launch this one, so they may be nudging SpaceX for a supersynchronous orbit.

That would use up the last of the non-reserved, non-GTO, pre-flown cores, so in that scenario if I was SpaceX I would use 1044 for Bangabandhu. At circa 3500kg it will be a fairly gentle (relatively-speaking) GTO flight for a late model block 4 (?), so they may well be able to get another flight out of it at some point.

Which would take them up to SES-12; They should have plenty of new cores ready to fly by then, but might they be able to persuade SES to be the first customer to re-fly a GTO core and use 1042 (Koreasat) for that one? They could have a pad-slot available to launch that as soon as mid-Feb, which surely wouldn't be enough time to refurbish 1043 (Zuma)? It could potentially allow SES to fly sooner than they would otherwise be able, and SpaceX would also be able to offer that as an expendable launch, boosting to a supersynchronous orbit for the quickest possible time to final position.

That's obviously a lot of guesses, each based on the last, and others with L2 access may know differently, but it seems like one possible scenario. 1032 and 1040 could easily be the other way around.

Question for those in the know; how close are the USAF to being ready to try a used booster? And would SpaceX be holding 1032 or 1040 in reserve for GPS III-1 so that they can offer a booster whose life and use the USAF has already watched closely? Or is that out of the question until Block 5?

Edit: Mods please move to a more appropriate thread if this is off-topic.
Edit: various amendments!

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #402 on: 12/23/2017 11:13 AM »
With GovSat -1 also a reuse booster that means of the first 4 launches in 2018 3 of them use used boosters. FH, Govsat-1 and Paz.

In the first 3 months 1Q2018 there could be as many as 8 used boosters launched out of a possible 10 launches. Because of the FH there will be 4 new boosters with 8 used. That is a used to total rate of 67%. But obviously not all of those possible 10 launches will occur in the first 3 months.

Key is that the acceptance is growing and will be represented by the number of used boosters flown to the total number flown in 2018.

Also interesting the GovSat and Paz are European government launches, Luxembourg and Spain respectively.  Must be quite a stir in Europe about losing these flights from ArianeSpace... and them flying on reused boosters.  Maybe ESA needs to rethink its position on reusability.

Another European national program that selected reused vehicles was Bulgaria.  Many other government programs have chosen Falcon including Korean, Taiwan, Israel, Germany, etc. but these are only yet manifested on new boosters -- subject to change as manifest launches/future launches approach and reuse becomes the norm.
ESA member states are encouraged to "fly Ariane" but it is not an obligation. In fact, not even all ESA missions fly Ariane.
If and when ESA member states develop missions separate from ESA (such as pure govsats like GovSat and Paz) they are free to choose the launch vehicle of their liking.

But I digress.
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 11:15 AM by woods170 »

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #403 on: 12/23/2017 01:17 PM »
The Ariane 6 push for 'exploitation' of the European launcher is a direct result of losing out to the competition IMO.  Since the thread is on customer views, it is informative that even customers who have top level pressure to not pick SpaceX/flight-proven boosters are still going that way.  Low price plus high reliability plus (recently) a shortened queue is a winning formula.
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Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #404 on: 12/23/2017 02:44 PM »
Many other government programs have chosen Falcon including Korean, Taiwan, Israel, Germany, etc.

Re: Israel.  If you're talking about Spacecom (Amos-6, -17, & -8) they are not a government program.  Just a satellite operator that happens to be based in Israel.  IAI (which is a state owned corp.) built the AMOS-6 satellite for them, but it wasn't a government program.
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Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #405 on: 12/23/2017 05:34 PM »
The Ariane 6 push for 'exploitation' of the European launcher is a direct result of losing out to the competition IMO.  Since the thread is on customer views, it is informative that even customers who have top level pressure to not pick SpaceX/flight-proven boosters are still going that way.  Low price plus high reliability plus (recently) a shortened queue is a winning formula.
Disagree a bit.

The same push took place when Ariane 4 went into service. And it was repeated prior to Ariane 5 going into service. Standard ESA/Arianespace MO. The only difference this time is that it is more urgent.

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #406 on: 12/24/2017 03:10 AM »
I think thereís also a culture change going on now. It may not be hugely impactful at the moment, but itís baking itself into the new generation of thinkers, leaders, and influencers. Itís what the current generation of the (old) space industry decision makers is exactly missing. And sadly itís whatís required for a disruption and a move towards the next great push forward. Sadly, because I fear NASA has found itself in the old camp. Largely not its fault, more of the governmental trappings itís tangled in, but true nonetheless.
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Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #407 on: 12/24/2017 04:12 AM »
I think thereís also a culture change going on now. It may not be hugely impactful at the moment, but itís baking itself into the new generation of thinkers, leaders, and influencers. Itís what the current generation of the (old) space industry decision makers is exactly missing. And sadly itís whatís required for a disruption and a move towards the next great push forward. Sadly, because I fear NASA has found itself in the old camp. Largely not its fault, more of the governmental trappings itís tangled in, but true nonetheless.

Agreed. But the old guard is very powerful and it's not a done deal that this new thinking will prevail. Or we may see a "two speed" economy where many but not all organizations embrace reuse, but things like SLS and Orion persist because they have powerful lobbyist friends and power blocks like the Alabama Mafia to protect them.  That wasted cost may just be a tax (or protection money if you like) on the new system that has to be paid in order not to get shut down.
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Offline bulkmail

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #408 on: 12/24/2017 11:58 AM »
...  Another European national program that selected reused vehicles was Bulgaria.  ...

minor nitpick: Bulgariasat is a private telecom/TV satellite, not a "national program"

Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #409 on: 12/26/2017 06:38 AM »
but things like SLS and Orion persist because they have powerful lobbyist friends and power blocks like the Alabama Mafia to protect them. 
Such a group only cares about the jobs such programmes bring to it's area. Siting a Blue Origin factory in has definitely helped the reusability case for Bezos. It'll be interesting to see how cost effective it is to run.
Quote from: Lar
That wasted cost may just be a tax (or protection money if you like) on the new system that has to be paid in order not to get shut down.
Given that SLS and Orion are both funded directly and completely by the USG that "tax" is actual tax paid by US Taxpayers. All of them, in 50 states.

However this is OT for this thread.

USG launches are a very big part of the global launch market, so I guess the key question is when, (and which) bit of the USG will embrace the use of a flight tested booster?

Using The Aerospace Corps 5/8 rule I'd guess when when they've seen at least 5 flights (mfg process working OK) to something close to one of the 9 reference orbits in the EELV certification list and they have a payload which has a low enough priority that they can afford to lose it.
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #410 on: 12/26/2017 09:33 AM »
USG launches are a very big part of the global launch market, so I guess the key question is when, (and which) bit of the USG will embrace the use of a flight tested booster?

Using The Aerospace Corps 5/8 rule I'd guess when when they've seen at least 5 flights (mfg process working OK) to something close to one of the 9 reference orbits in the EELV certification list and they have a payload which has a low enough priority that they can afford to lose it.

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. Iíve now added basic orbit type info (LEO, GTO, SSO etc) to the first post of this thread.

As always, corrections and additions welcome.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #411 on: 12/26/2017 12:08 PM »
but things like SLS and Orion persist because they have powerful lobbyist friends and power blocks like the Alabama Mafia to protect them. 
Such a group only cares about the jobs such programmes bring to it's area. Siting a Blue Origin factory in has definitely helped the reusability case for Bezos. It'll be interesting to see how cost effective it is to run.
Quote from: Lar
That wasted cost may just be a tax (or protection money if you like) on the new system that has to be paid in order not to get shut down.
Given that SLS and Orion are both funded directly and completely by the USG that "tax" is actual tax paid by US Taxpayers. All of them, in 50 states.

However this is OT for this thread.

USG launches are a very big part of the global launch market, so I guess the key question is when, (and which) bit of the USG will embrace the use of a flight tested booster?

Using The Aerospace Corps 5/8 rule I'd guess when when they've seen at least 5 flights (mfg process working OK) to something close to one of the 9 reference orbits in the EELV certification list and they have a payload which has a low enough priority that they can afford to lose it.

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
« Last Edit: 12/26/2017 12:12 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #412 on: 12/26/2017 12:50 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

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Offline john smith 19

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #413 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. Iíve 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 #414 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 #415 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]
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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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Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #416 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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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #417 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

Iíd like to focus on USAF for a minute (as theyíve publicly shown interest in reuse).

For F9 certification USAF went through their own process rather than rely on NASA certification. I interpret General Raymondís 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 thatíll 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 doesnít 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).

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #418 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 #419 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.

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