Author Topic: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 51399 times)

Online AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #180 on: 03/12/2018 07:40 PM »
Great news:
Quote
Bob Smith, Blue Origin: making good progress on BE-4 engine. Recently had 114-second firing at 65% power. #SatShow
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/973297209860153349
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #181 on: 03/13/2018 02:17 AM »
If ACES is truly the magical holy grail, then the price will be high (though still lower then buying ULA!).  But if it's not actually that special, then the price would be low and that's all the more reason to license rather then try to work around ULA's patents.

The exception would be if ULA was unfriendly and unwilling to license, in which case Blue would be forced to reimplement and work around the patent protection, or maybe do a purchase via hostile takeover... but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

If ACES truly was the “holy grail”, ULA would have done it years ago. Patents you just sit on aren’t worth much.

Just sitting on patents and doing nothing with them is closer to patent trolling, although Amazon does have some experience in that regard. ;)
Blame the parents.
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Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #182 on: 03/13/2018 09:18 AM »
If ACES is truly the magical holy grail, then the price will be high (though still lower then buying ULA!).  But if it's not actually that special, then the price would be low and that's all the more reason to license rather then try to work around ULA's patents.

The exception would be if ULA was unfriendly and unwilling to license, in which case Blue would be forced to reimplement and work around the patent protection, or maybe do a purchase via hostile takeover... but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

If ACES truly was the “holy grail”, ULA would have done it years ago. Patents you just sit on aren’t worth much.

Just sitting on patents and doing nothing with them is closer to patent trolling, although Amazon does have some experience in that regard. ;)

The capabilities of ACES are really in excess of what the launch market needs currently. Everything commercial and government customers want to do right now can be achieved with Vulcan-Centaur5.
Given how ULA is owned by listed companies, it won't make large investments there is no proven market for.
However, this does not detract from ACES being a really great optimization for upper-stages that kills many birds with one stone. Getting rid of batteries, helium tanks, hypergolics and refire limits with an ICE while enabling propellant refill is actually pretty brilliant. The real market this is waiting for is a brand new lunar program. And it just so happens one is emerging for the next decade that will require increasingly heavy commercial landers to the lunar surface...
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #183 on: 03/14/2018 08:06 PM »
Severe Weather Agility Thrusters, and Associated Systems and Methods
Quote
1) Severe weather agility thrusters, and associated systems and methods are disclosed. (2) A representative system includes a launch vehicle having a first end and a second end generally opposite the first end, and is elongated along a vehicle axis extending between the first and second ends. (3) A propulsion system is carried by the launch vehicle and has at least one main engine having a corresponding nozzle positioned toward the first end to launch the launch vehicle. (4) At least one laterally-directed thruster is positioned toward the second end of the launch vehicle. (5) The system further includes a controller in communication with the launch vehicle and programmed with instructions that, when executed, direct the launch vehicle in a first direction during vehicle ascent, direct the launch vehicle in a second direction, opposite the first direction, during vehicle descent, and direct activation of the at least one laterally-directed thruster to guide the launch vehicle during descent.

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/1a/3a/f1/a988355123a935/US20170349301A1.pdf

Did Blue Origin try to patent using RCS thrusters to land a first stage?  :-\ 

« Last Edit: 03/14/2018 08:07 PM by tvg98 »

Offline rst

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #184 on: 03/15/2018 01:18 AM »
Did Blue Origin try to patent using RCS thrusters to land a first stage?  :-\

Well, what you quoted was the abstract of the patent. (Well, patent application; it doesn't seem to have issued yet.)  The actual claims are at the end, and get somewhat more specific; among the things claimed are landings involving coordinated firing of RCS and one or more main engines, specifically including off-center main engines (claim 11) -- and also situations where the landing engines are different from those used in launch (claim 20 and others).  So SpaceX hasn't demonstrated prior art for absolutely all of it before the apparent filing date (this continues an application from June 1, 2016).

That said ... IANAL, but my understanding is that public discussions of a technique can count as prior art even if they were never reduced to practice.  Which leaves me wondering if early speculative discussions of landing on off-center engines on this very forum could count as prior art.  (I'm pretty sure I remember such chatter, but I have no idea if it was early enough to matter.  The ITS announcement would be a better thing to point to in any event, if the dates worked -- but I'm not sure they do; September 2016, not June.)
« Last Edit: 03/15/2018 01:22 AM by rst »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #185 on: 03/15/2018 01:34 AM »
That doesn't strike me as particularly novel, though. I mean, if they just have a bunch of lawyer money burning holes in their pockets and they want to create a minefield for their competitors, they can't just think of every obvious slight variation in landing technology and patent it.
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Offline speedevil

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #186 on: 03/15/2018 02:02 AM »
Which leaves me wondering if early speculative discussions of landing on off-center engines on this very forum could count as prior art.  (I'm pretty sure I remember such chatter, but I have no idea if it was early enough to matter.  The ITS announcement would be a better thing to point to in any event, if the dates worked -- but I'm not sure they do; September 2016, not June.)

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44946.msg1789373#msg1789373 comes to mind - discussing landing on a F9 with no centre engine, for example. I'm sure I've discussed engine out strategies elsewhere.

It's somewhat depressing that you can get a patent on finding a novel problem statement and solving it in ways obvious to random 8-year-olds who have played KSP a bit.

(I have not read the patent in question).

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #187 on: 03/15/2018 09:34 AM »
I gave this a brief read. Apparently these are sets of relatively small thrusters that would push the vehicles sideways and maintain attitude to assist during a landing. The vehicle could translate directly without first pitching. AFAIK, neither Falcon 9 nor New Shepard can do so, they pitch first, move laterally and then pitch back the opposite direction to correct their attitude. Also it is mentioned that the extra stability and control of attitude enabled by the thrusters allow for a smaller landing gear. The span of the legs on New Glenn is relatively short compared to F9.

Apparently this system is designed for landings in severe weather like 40+ knot winds to increase the availability of the vehicle. In the event of engine out that forces landing with an outboard engine in strong winds, the vehicle could be rotated around its vertical axis to be more stable against the wind.

The most important info from this is that Blue Origin intends to build vehicles that can launch and land in conditions that currently would force scrubs and delays. That's super important if reusable vehicles are to have plane like operations. New Glenn seemed overbuilt for launching commercial satellites when it was announced but this is probably because it has huge margins to accommodate engine failure, bad weather, leg failures etc.. 
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #188 on: 03/15/2018 11:13 AM »
I gave this a brief read. Apparently these are sets of relatively small thrusters that would push the vehicles sideways and maintain attitude to assist during a landing. The vehicle could translate directly without first pitching. AFAIK, neither Falcon 9 nor New Shepard can do so, they pitch first, move laterally and then pitch back the opposite direction to correct their attitude. Also it is mentioned that the extra stability and control of attitude enabled by the thrusters allow for a smaller landing gear. The span of the legs on New Glenn is relatively short compared to F9.

Apparently this system is designed for landings in severe weather like 40+ knot winds to increase the availability of the vehicle. In the event of engine out that forces landing with an outboard engine in strong winds, the vehicle could be rotated around its vertical axis to be more stable against the wind.

The most important info from this is that Blue Origin intends to build vehicles that can launch and land in conditions that currently would force scrubs and delays. That's super important if reusable vehicles are to have plane like operations. New Glenn seemed overbuilt for launching commercial satellites when it was announced but this is probably because it has huge margins to accommodate engine failure, bad weather, leg failures etc..
I am pretty sure that the DC-X was using thrusters for attitude control for landings and they did a pretty extreme nose first maneuver and then went upright again. I may be wrong though. Maybe Gary Hudson can chime in on that?

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #189 on: 03/15/2018 02:43 PM »
I gave this a brief read. Apparently these are sets of relatively small thrusters that would push the vehicles sideways and maintain attitude to assist during a landing. The vehicle could translate directly without first pitching. AFAIK, neither Falcon 9 nor New Shepard can do so, they pitch first, move laterally and then pitch back the opposite direction to correct their attitude. Also it is mentioned that the extra stability and control of attitude enabled by the thrusters allow for a smaller landing gear. The span of the legs on New Glenn is relatively short compared to F9.

Apparently this system is designed for landings in severe weather like 40+ knot winds to increase the availability of the vehicle. In the event of engine out that forces landing with an outboard engine in strong winds, the vehicle could be rotated around its vertical axis to be more stable against the wind.

The most important info from this is that Blue Origin intends to build vehicles that can launch and land in conditions that currently would force scrubs and delays. That's super important if reusable vehicles are to have plane like operations. New Glenn seemed overbuilt for launching commercial satellites when it was announced but this is probably because it has huge margins to accommodate engine failure, bad weather, leg failures etc..

That's pretty much exactly how SpaceX described the ITS booster landing in 2016. That part at least certainly isn't novel.

Offline Nomic

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #190 on: 03/15/2018 02:53 PM »
That's pretty much exactly how SpaceX described the ITS booster landing in 2016. That part at least certainly isn't novel.

The patent specifically has thrusters at the top of the stage, could swear the original ITS had thrusters at the base to help with landing back on the pad, cant see it on the video though...

Offline rst

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #191 on: 03/15/2018 03:27 PM »
That's pretty much exactly how SpaceX described the ITS booster landing in 2016. That part at least certainly isn't novel.

ITS was announced September 2016. The application process for this (pending) patent seems to have started in June of that year, so the ITS disclosure might not count as prior art. DC-X, on the other hand, was all more than 20 years ago, so anything it did with RCS (including at least one test flight where its nose was pointed below the horizon) is probably worth a hard look for anyone interested in this patent.

(The DC-X engines-upward test flight was July 7, 1995; see here -- https://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/x-33/dcxtests.html ).

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #192 on: 03/15/2018 06:21 PM »
That doesn't strike me as particularly novel, though. I mean, if they just have a bunch of lawyer money burning holes in their pockets and they want to create a minefield for their competitors, they can't just think of every obvious slight variation in landing technology and patent it.
That's kind of the very essence of patent trolling, though, isn't it? Lots of lawyers and better funding than your opponents, who then settle, and you roll them all up starting with the very smallest and working progressively upwards.
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Offline woods170

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #193 on: 03/16/2018 07:25 AM »
That doesn't strike me as particularly novel, though. I mean, if they just have a bunch of lawyer money burning holes in their pockets and they want to create a minefield for their competitors, they can't just think of every obvious slight variation in landing technology and patent it.
That's kind of the very essence of patent trolling, though, isn't it? Lots of lawyers and better funding than your opponents, who then settle, and you roll them all up starting with the very smallest and working progressively upwards.
Most here are familiar with how Blue likes to throw stones in the SpaceX pond:
- Trying to get their hands on LC-39A where in fact Blue didn't stand to chance to conform to NASA requirements for the lease.
- Requesting (and getting) a patent for landing a rocket on an ocean-going platform, despite Blue knowing that there was prior art (which resulted eventually in the Blue patent being overthrown).

Offline Archibald

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #194 on: 03/16/2018 08:22 AM »
If ACES is truly the magical holy grail, then the price will be high (though still lower then buying ULA!).  But if it's not actually that special, then the price would be low and that's all the more reason to license rather then try to work around ULA's patents.

The exception would be if ULA was unfriendly and unwilling to license, in which case Blue would be forced to reimplement and work around the patent protection, or maybe do a purchase via hostile takeover... but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

If ACES truly was the “holy grail”, ULA would have done it years ago. Patents you just sit on aren’t worth much.

Just sitting on patents and doing nothing with them is closer to patent trolling, although Amazon does have some experience in that regard. ;)

Tell that to Aerojet and their Thrust Augmented Nozzle technology ! It could beat hands down both Skylon and BFS in the race to a workable SSTO, yet it seats in a locked vault since 2005 at least.

Quote
That's kind of the very essence of patent trolling, though, isn't it? Lots of lawyers and better funding than your opponents, who then settle, and you roll them all up starting with the very smallest and working progressively upwards.

Maybe Jeff Bezos tried to hire this guy (we still miss you 20 years after, Phil Hartman :( )
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Hutz

Or maybe this one
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recurring_The_Simpsons_characters#Blue_Haired_Lawyer

(couldn't help !)
« Last Edit: 03/16/2018 08:30 AM by Archibald »
... that ackward moment when you realize that Jeff Bezos personal fortune is far above NASA annual budget... 115 billion to 18 billion...

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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #196 on: 03/19/2018 08:32 AM »
Quote
CEO Bob Smith of @blueorigin on what @ulalaunch contract would mean for Blue, why reusing the New Glenn rocket first stage makes business sense regardless of launch cadence, and the virtues of patience provided by @JeffBezos's @amazon largesse.
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/interview-blue-origin-chief-executive-bob-smith/

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/975664660081979392

Online HMXHMX

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #197 on: 03/24/2018 05:36 AM »
I gave this a brief read. Apparently these are sets of relatively small thrusters that would push the vehicles sideways and maintain attitude to assist during a landing. The vehicle could translate directly without first pitching. AFAIK, neither Falcon 9 nor New Shepard can do so, they pitch first, move laterally and then pitch back the opposite direction to correct their attitude. Also it is mentioned that the extra stability and control of attitude enabled by the thrusters allow for a smaller landing gear. The span of the legs on New Glenn is relatively short compared to F9.

Apparently this system is designed for landings in severe weather like 40+ knot winds to increase the availability of the vehicle. In the event of engine out that forces landing with an outboard engine in strong winds, the vehicle could be rotated around its vertical axis to be more stable against the wind.

The most important info from this is that Blue Origin intends to build vehicles that can launch and land in conditions that currently would force scrubs and delays. That's super important if reusable vehicles are to have plane like operations. New Glenn seemed overbuilt for launching commercial satellites when it was announced but this is probably because it has huge margins to accommodate engine failure, bad weather, leg failures etc..
I am pretty sure that the DC-X was using thrusters for attitude control for landings and they did a pretty extreme nose first maneuver and then went upright again. I may be wrong though. Maybe Gary Hudson can chime in on that?

Sorry, I can't recall.  What I do remember is that the DC-X thrusters were 500-lbf, GH2-GO2, and were used for roll control during ascent.  But since DC-X used flaps for aero maneuvering and always had TVC authority from engines (i.e., no shut down or in-flight start-ups; it was never not under power) I don't believe the RCS was ever used/needed for landing control authority.

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #198 on: 03/24/2018 05:58 AM »
This seems to show thrusters used for attitude control for CRS-6 on 14th April 2014


Offline Lar

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #199 on: 03/25/2018 11:12 PM »
Quote
CEO Bob Smith of @blueorigin on what @ulalaunch contract would mean for Blue, why reusing the New Glenn rocket first stage makes business sense regardless of launch cadence, and the virtues of patience provided by @JeffBezos's @amazon largesse.
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/interview-blue-origin-chief-executive-bob-smith/

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/975664660081979392
Behind a paywall, can someone summarize (please don't post anything that violates copyrights!!) ?
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

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