Author Topic: Predictions for 2018  (Read 30677 times)

Offline Zingpc

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #80 on: 02/02/2018 04:30 AM »
Just one thing.

NASA rejects the use of LOX enclosed COPVs for human flight.

This could be an instant conclusion if there is another COPV popping, say due to fuel loading rate mixup/ limits violation coupled with a quality control lapse at manufacturing.

This could have interesting consequences... Musk goes for raptor conversion of Falcons for human flight. The commercial kero fuels will continue for a while.  The falcon heavy could be the vehicle on which to prove this system for risk taking customers as in the recent flights. 

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #81 on: 02/03/2018 08:18 AM »
Apparently I underestimated the smallsat vehicles - now there are two small rocket - Electron and the Japanese who conducted a successful orbital flight. It would be interested if the Japanese rocket will have a commercial future (as far as I know, it's not considered, just a tech demonstrator)

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #82 on: 02/05/2018 10:51 PM »
Japanese who conducted a successful orbital flight

I guess you mean SS-520-4 flight 2. Yeah, it's a great achievement but it's not really the same category.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Athrithalix

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #83 on: 02/06/2018 09:51 AM »
I track these small launchers fairly closely, and I'm almost certain we won't see the SS-520 enter commercial service. It sounds like a technology piece to allow them to explore moving on to something else.

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #84 on: 02/14/2018 03:01 PM »
Since no one has mentioned it here yet, yay Falcon Heavy! Flew successfully on Feb. 6th
Video!:

I predicted at least one successful FH flight. That turns out to have been a rather low bar.

I also predicted at least one Falcon 9 would be lost while attempting to land. Are there bonus points for two in one?

Offline K-P

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #85 on: 03/04/2018 07:53 PM »
Not a prediction but just a thought:
What would you expect from manned space exploration in 2018 and in the upcoming years if SpaceX didn't exist?

I try not to be a SpaceX fanboy too much, but still I can not help to think about, how things have changed after shuttle retired and NASA launched it's latest (or last...?) manned mission. Without SpaceX and its plans, there would be very little to look for in the coming decade.

Russia:
After ISS is abandoned, there's no destination for Soyuz to go. Maybe 1 solo flight per year for "research" or tourism in LEO. Maybe 1 flight per year to Chinese space station if politics allow. But that's it.
And there's always a chance their entire space program is forgotten once Putin goes out of the picture and another turmoil in Russia begins...

China:
The always exciting one manned flight per 2 years to their LEO station.

Europe:
Nothing.

NASA:
SLS gets delayed more and more every year and it seems more and more unlikely to fly ever.
Manned EM-2 might happen, but building DSG is a stretch. Regular DSG operations are even less likely.
Moon landers and/or Mars ships are never gonna happen by current funding/system/architecture.
So, nothing to look forward there really.
(sorry for being cynical, but this is the reality today)

Other:
Delta IV Heavy is phased out pretty soon.
So is Ariane 5.
So there goes away two major heavy-lift vehicles in the world.
What and when will replace that lost capability for alternative solutions to SLS, is anyone's guess.
Vulcan maybe, maybe not. But without NASA's input there won't be too many Boeing spaceships flying to Boeing gateways in space...
Bigelow seems to be on a back burner.
Blue Origin might have some aces in the sleeve, but so far nothing too mind-blowing has been realised. And their schedules with New Glenn etc. will most certainly move to the right anyway.

So all in all. No matter how you feel about SpaceX or Elon Musk, things would be looking pretty bad (or at least bleak) without their rocket fleet and future missions. It's like 1975 again. But much worse.

Now we bring SpaceX back in the equation. And things suddenly look somewhat brighter. For 2018. For 2019. For the 2020s.
It's not just about having another reliable rocket family in the medium/heavy category.
It's a freaking revolution.
And it's a program with a mission, with a plan, with a leader.
And it is flying, flying again, and bending metal for future missions.

I haven't been this excited for years about the future of manned space exploration.
And boy, I am a cynical person, really. And I used to follow each and every shuttle mission and ISS construction flight. And I used to love NASA hands down. But last 15 years of this nonsense has made me lost my trust and hopes for the rocket/spacecraft program they are putting together after shuttle program.

The main reason behind all this might be of course that the organization and program still tries to do things as were done during the days of Apollo. But it is a different world now. And after Falcon 9 / FH, it is also a different space now...

All the said above applies of course only to manned spaceflight.
What NASA or parts of it (JPL...) does good is robotic exploration and I love that.
But manned spaceflight and rocket business...
At the moment I feel it will be 50/50 odds between STS-135 and EM-2 for which will be written in the history books as the final NASA manned spaceflight...

Offline JH

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #86 on: 03/04/2018 09:11 PM »
A few things worth noting:

Without SpaceX, Arianespace would probably be going forward with the Ariane 5 ME, rather than retirement of the Ariane 5. Also, The Ariane 64 design has similar performance to the Ariane 5 ECA for GTO and Ariane 5 ES for LEO, but at a lower price. Therefore, I don't know that it is fair to call the retirement of the Ariane 5 a loss, even if you only care about specifically European launch capacity... The caveat of course being that the Ariane 5 was designed to launch the Hermes shuttle, and some would argue is more aligned with the needs of HSF than the Ariane 6 as a result.

As for the D4H retiring, I don't think that there is any reason to believe that ULA would have changed their stable of rockets without the emergence of SpaceX. Also, much like the A5/A6 situation, the Vulcan with just a Centaur V upper stage (not even ACES) is expected to come close to D4H performance, but at a much lower price. So again, there isn't really anything being lost. In fact, as Vulcan is intended to carry astronauts, while the D4H never was, HSF is gaining a powerful launch vehicle, rather than losing one.

I guess my point is that you can't double count things. Yes, some rockets are going away, but they are only going away because of SpaceX's existence, and they are being replaced by things that are arguably better.

Offline dpspaulding

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #87 on: 03/07/2018 11:29 AM »
I truly understand people's cynicism in regards to NASA and the SLS/Orion program. I'm a young employee at Cape Canaveral, too young to have been here in person for the end of Shuttle, and driving around out here is like exploring a place of abandoned history. Brevard County has many towns that sprung up solely due to the space program and now many of them look like old mining boom towns with empty store fronts and deteriorating homes. We are approaching the longest gap in American manned spaceflight since the period between Apollo and Shuttle. With that said, my feelings are changing because I can tell you first hand that the Space Coast is on the rise. There are new homes/apartments, new shopping centers, and new restaurants/bars being built everywhere around the Space Center, even towns impacted the worst by the end of Shuttle, such as Titusville.

I'm excited about the future of SpaceX and Blue Origin here and have friends who work for both as pad technicians and engineers. Boeing and Sierra Nevada are getting closer everyday to being man-rated with the Starliner and Dream Chaser. I'm also here to say that SLS and Orion are here for the long haul. The VAB has completed a massive restoration and repurposing to support SLS. The new MLP (mobile launch platform) for SLS is almost completed with the crew access arm being installed a couple of weeks ago. The new KSC Headquarters building is in the final phase of construction and work on support facilities increases every month. It seems like there are more and more construction vehicles lined up at the gates to the base every week. Orion continues to be the headline project in my company, Lockheed Martin. The Michoud Assembly plant in Louisiana is up and running building the fuel tanks for the SLS first stage. The Stennis Space Center in Mississippi has completed work on new engine test stands and support facilities for SLS. In Huntsville, AL (I grew up near here), the MSFC is buzzing with levels of activity not seen since the days when the ISS was being built and assembled in space by the shuttle.

Lastly, NASA is absolutely suffocated by its meager budget, congress, and the opinion of American constituents. NASA receive's 0.4% of the U.S. Government's annual budget yet everyone jumps to complain about their tax dollars being used for space flight. If you add up every annual budget in NASA's history you'll get a number that is slightly lower than the annual budget of the DoD in 2016 alone. NASA is trying to compete with billionaire entrepreneurs and regain the lead in space transportation/exploration with both hands tied behind its back. NASA put a man on the moon with the same computing power as an iPhone and created the most sophisticated and beautiful spacecraft, the Space Shuttle, against every demand and restriction you could think of. Without NASA none of that happens and there would be no ISS. SpaceX, Blue Origin, etc. talk about doing things and achieving great strides in manned spaceflight, but NASA has achieved these things, is achieving, and will continue to beat the odds. Until these private companies put astronauts in space, NASA is humanity's space exploration golden boy.

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #88 on: 03/08/2018 07:58 PM »
Looks like my original tenth prediction came true:

10: Orion and SLS : Even more delays, launch date now firmly in 2020.

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #89 on: 03/09/2018 12:42 AM »
This is a place to make predictions (or was, technically I think we draw a metaphorical line somewhere in the very early part of the year, which almost anyone would say we are past) ... not to debate SLS or commercial crew.

I was moved by dpspaulding's initial post. Inclined to trim the rest of the back and forth away.
"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

Offline Bubbinski

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #90 on: 04/21/2018 10:49 PM »
One prediction of mine came true this week, I got in a launch trip and saw TESS (and AFSPC-11) blast off :)

I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline philw1776

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #91 on: 04/22/2018 03:30 PM »
I just hit in this one this week...

16. Congress finally confirms NASA Administrator

None falsified yet unlike last year when I predicted in 2017 "No gravitational waves yet detected" which unknown to me was false before being posted.  Love it when pessimism gets trashed by accomplishments.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Online jebbo

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #92 on: 09/14/2018 09:16 AM »
As we're 75% through the year, I thought I'd see how I'm doing so far:

1. Number of orbital launches will exceed 100 for the first time since 1990.

Looking dodgy ... my current projection is ~96, but China may still save the day :-)

Quote
2. SpaceX.
- Will miss their 30 launches target, but will exceed 25.
- FH will launch at least twice, with at least one success.

Looking about right, so far.

Quote
- Construction at Boca Chica will begin in ernest.
- First Starlink test satellites will launch

I think both of these will class as a "fail"

Quote
3. Blue Origin.
- More progress on BE-4.
- More New Shepard flights.

Looking okay so far, though there has been less progress on both than I expected

Quote
- Glimpses of new hardware when their factory at the Cape is open.
- Will demonstrate something unexpected and dramatic (like they did with NS)

Looking like two more "fails"

Quote
4. Space science.
- TESS will launch and return 1st science data, with multiple exoplanets (easy win ;) ).

This is slightly tricky: has launched fine; the 1st science data will be on the ground and will include lots of exoplanets, but the public data release isn't until Jan 2019.

Quote
- More interstellar objects like `Oumuamua will be found (algorithms will be tweaked as we now know they exist).

Looking unlikely so far ... there have been a couple around ~1.05 but unclear if they are visitors or have been perturbed.

Quote
- Another planet will be confirmed around Proxima Centauri (maybe; dependent on HARPS time allocation).

Looking unlikely, though I know time has now been allocated.

Quote
- Firm launch date for JWST before end Q2 2019.

FAIL.

Quote
- In the next observing run of LIGO (late 2018) there will be a 10+ minute alert before a NS/NS merger allowing much better observation of the kilonova.

The next observing run has slipped into 2019, so while I stand by the prediction, it is one for next year now.

As ever, I am an optimist (even though I tried to dial down my enthusiasm in these predictions).

--- Tony

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #93 on: 09/15/2018 12:12 AM »
As we're 75% through the year, I thought I'd see how I'm doing so far:
<snip>
Quote
- Construction at Boca Chica will begin in ernest.
- First Starlink test satellites will launch
I think both of these will class as a "fail"
<snip>
There are the 2 Starlink forerunners in orbit. Tinitin-A and Tintin-B that gone up with the Paz Satcom bird in February.

Offline jbenton

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #94 on: 09/16/2018 12:20 AM »

Quote
4. Space science.
- TESS will launch and return 1st science data, with multiple exoplanets (easy win ;) ).

This is slightly tricky: has launched fine; the 1st science data will be on the ground and will include lots of exoplanets, but the public data release isn't until Jan 2019.

--- Tony

Does this count?

50 exoplanet candidates:

Quote
In just six weeks of science observations, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has already found 50 possible new worlds for scientists to examine.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2018/09/14/nasa-tess-exoplanet-spacecraft-finds-new-worlds/#.W51MuUxFy74

Important caveat from the article:

Quote
TESS finds planets by watching the dip in light as a planet passes in front of its parent star. It began science observations on July 25 and the first set of information was available to astronomers on September 5, but the first step in examining TESS’ data is to eliminate false positives. Sometimes a possible “planet” will actually be a binary star blocking its companion’s light, or it could be sunspots on the star’s surface, no second body needed.

While most of these planetary candidates will be discarded upon future analysis, principal investigator George Ricker at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told Astronomy there are likely six new bona-fide planets lurking in this data alone. Ricker says that usually five to 20 percent of planetary candidates turn out to be true planets, once the transit method is followed up by the radial velocity method on the ground (which observes the influence of an orbiting object). And even amateurs can help with the search, he said.

“We make alerts available to astronomers worldwide, and we continue to do that, because there are a lot of amateurs with superb instruments they can use for the initial parts of the screening,” Ricker said, adding the process will likely take months or years due to the number of planetary candidates – suspected rocky planets and larger ones – to double-check.

Online jebbo

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #95 on: 09/17/2018 07:10 AM »
- First Starlink test satellites will launch
There are the 2 Starlink forerunners in orbit. Tinitin-A and Tintin-B that gone up with the Paz Satcom bird in February.

Thanks, I somehow missed that. Seems I'm doing slightly better than I thought :-)

Quote
- TESS will launch and return 1st science data, with multiple exoplanets (easy win ;) ).
This is slightly tricky: has launched fine; the 1st science data will be on the ground and will include lots of exoplanets, but the public data release isn't until Jan 2019.

Does this count?

As I'm sometimes embargoed on exoplanet discoveries, I'm not going to count this as a win until/unless there's an actual announcement.
« Last Edit: 09/17/2018 08:19 AM by jebbo »

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #96 on: 09/17/2018 08:05 AM »
With most of the year over, my prediction success rate is like that:



1. Smallsat launchers: we'll see more flights from Vector and Electron, perhaps we'll see the debut of Virgin Orbit. We may see a rocket going to orbit between December 2017 and January 2019.

---mostly TRUE: We saw a rocket going to orbit in January 2018 - by Electron. Vector is currently on hiatus, but making good progress. Virgin Orbit is making good progress too - there's a good chance at least one of these companies will launch something.

2. SpaceX: Another good year with reusability and frequent rocket launches. Crewed Dragon will be delayed until 2019. Neither Boeing, nor SpaceX will send people to space. Falcon Heavy conducting a successful flight.

---ABSOLUTELY TRUE. Falcon Heavy was a success, and unfortunately, Commercial crew was delayed...

3. Virgin Galactic: There will be powered flights in 2018, but they will be less frequent than anticipated (once per three weeks). Manned flight to space (above 80kms, the boundary used in the USA for space) will occur in November 2018 at the earliest, more likely in 2019.

---TRUE, so far. As I predicted, powered flight happened and they're less frequent. The turnaround of VSS Unity is about 2 months. There's still a chance to see the second part of my prediction come false. A manned flight to space may come sooner - this month or in October, as we're approaching two months since the last flight.

4. Blue Origin: More delays in 2018. Several unmanned tests in summer-autumn period. No manned flight yet.

--TRUE. We saw only one flight this summer, and yes - as I predicted, no manned flight this year.

5. Planetary exploration: Hayabusa and Osiris-REX reaching their asteroid targets. Both take photos. Japan has bad history with interplanetary exploration and rocket engines, and I don't expect things to have improved for Hayabusa - so I predict there could be trouble.  Osiris-ReX is fine. ExoMars-Trace Gas Orbiter starts delivering pictures and data. Another flawless year for Juno.

--IN PROGRESS... Both Hayabusa 2 and ORX took photos of the asteroids. Landings of Hayabusa 2 are yet to be seen. ExoMars TGO did start delivering pics and data, and it's good so far to Juno.

6. Lunar Exploration. More delays for the Google Lunar Xprize program. We may see a launch attempt in 2018, but I don't believe it will be successful. Landing on the Moon is hard, so I don't believe Chandrayaan-2 will make it to the surface flawlessly too. I'm quite pessimistic here.

--IN PROGRESS... Google Lunar Xprize was somewhat canceled, but we may still see SpaceIL launching this year. Chandrayaan, unfortunately, got delayed to 2019.

7. Russian space : We'll see at least one flight from Vostochny. We'll see a flight test of an Angara rocket, perhaps the lightweight Angara-1.2. 2018 will be the decisive year for the Nauka module and we'll see either another big delay or (possibly) even cancellation.

-TRUE on Vostochny part. FALSE on Angara... still waiting here. As for Nauka, I don't want to comment ...

8. Mars Exploration : InSight will launch and land successfully. NASA has experience, I don't expect nasty surprises here.

-IN PROGRESS. I hope this will come true.

9. CubeSats: I expect this part of the industry to continue growing, with more than 200 CubeSats delivered into orbit.

-To be determined in the end of the year

10: Orion and SLS : Even more delays, launch date now firmly in 2020.

--Of course it's TRUE!!!
« Last Edit: 09/17/2018 08:06 AM by Svetoslav »

Offline woods170

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #97 on: 09/17/2018 12:14 PM »
With most of the year over,  <snip>

Unless you mean Fiscal Year the year is far from over.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #98 on: 09/17/2018 01:32 PM »
2018 is the year NASA returns.

To the public NASA went away with the crash of Columbia in 2003. A few more missions occurred and then the Space Shuttles stopped. As the readers of this website know since then NASA has been returning to manned flight by getting companies to develop new space vehicles.

The business press has discovered that California is going into recession. When companies fire people and close down the ordinary press will report it. Bad news in an election year is disliked by politicians, so they will look for good news. In 2018 NASA may have lots of good news.

In previous years COTS and Commercial Resupply Services have transported cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

In January/February the Falcon Heavy is due to have a test flight. This will be the biggest American rocket currently flying. (Saturn V has retired and SLS is still in development.)

In the spring/summer Lunar CATALYST partner Moon Express hopes to land 30kg of payload on the Moon.

Commercial Crew Program company SpaceX plans to send a Dragon 2.0 to the ISS in spring 2018. A Boeing CST-100 is due at the ISS in summer 2018. Later flights will carry people.

In 2018 NASA's back. It will return to the International Space Station and is preparing to return to the Moon.

Oh the good ol' days, seriously people they're not gonna come back, not how you want them to
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moSFlvxnbgk&feature=youtu.be&t=59s


It is now September 2018 three quarters of the way through the calendar year.

I did not allow sufficient time for the inevitable delays. SpaceX may get an unmanned Dragon 2 to the ISS this year but the manned trip has been delayed until next spring (2019). Lunar CATALYST has not succeeded yet but the teams are still trying for 2019.

The good old days will not come back but I noticed at the end of the video AbuSimbel linked Princess Elsa created an ice palace.

I am optimistic so the song 'An Elephant Fly' from the film Dumbo applies.

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #99 on: 09/17/2018 05:51 PM »
2018 is the year NASA returns.

To the public NASA went away with the crash of Columbia in 2003. A few more missions occurred and then the Space Shuttles stopped. As the readers of this website know since then NASA has been returning to manned flight by getting companies to develop new space vehicles.

The business press has discovered that California is going into recession. When companies fire people and close down the ordinary press will report it. Bad news in an election year is disliked by politicians, so they will look for good news. In 2018 NASA may have lots of good news.

In previous years COTS and Commercial Resupply Services have transported cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

In January/February the Falcon Heavy is due to have a test flight. This will be the biggest American rocket currently flying. (Saturn V has retired and SLS is still in development.)

In the spring/summer Lunar CATALYST partner Moon Express hopes to land 30kg of payload on the Moon.

Commercial Crew Program company SpaceX plans to send a Dragon 2.0 to the ISS in spring 2018. A Boeing CST-100 is due at the ISS in summer 2018. Later flights will carry people.

In 2018 NASA's back. It will return to the International Space Station and is preparing to return to the Moon.

Oh the good ol' days, seriously people they're not gonna come back, not how you want them to
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moSFlvxnbgk&feature=youtu.be&t=59s


It is now September 2018 three quarters of the way through the calendar year.

I did not allow sufficient time for the inevitable delays. SpaceX may get an unmanned Dragon 2 to the ISS this year but the manned trip has been delayed until next spring (2019). Lunar CATALYST has not succeeded yet but the teams are still trying for 2019.

The good old days will not come back but I noticed at the end of the video AbuSimbel linked Princess Elsa created an ice palace.

I am optimistic so the song 'An Elephant Fly' from the film Dumbo applies.


Hope to see an elephant or two (or even three?) fly in 2019.
Failure is not only an option, it's the only way to learn.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the custody of fire" - Gustav Mahler

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