Author Topic: Business Case For New Glenn  (Read 24539 times)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #100 on: 03/31/2018 02:52 PM »
New Glenn has the advantage of a bigger fairing. They can easily dual manifest to GTO and they can launch many sats for LEO constellations.

So they can take some business from FH but can in no way compete with cost of F9. Even if they sell with very little profit margin.
If a large fairing is important, then SpaceX can also develop one. Atlas V is similar in size to Falcon 9 and it has the option of a 7.1m fairing.
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Online TrevorMonty

Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #101 on: 03/31/2018 08:07 PM »
New Glenn has the advantage of a bigger fairing. They can easily dual manifest to GTO and they can launch many sats for LEO constellations.

So they can take some business from FH but can in no way compete with cost of F9. Even if they sell with very little profit margin.
A lot F9 profit margin is needed to cover past and future R&D work. Blue has Bezos very deep pockets to fund NG R&D , so profit margin can be very low. I don't think there will be much difference in per launch cost of NG vs F9 over a booster's life. NG US will be dearer but lot more capable.

Online envy887

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #102 on: 03/31/2018 08:49 PM »
New Glenn has the advantage of a bigger fairing. They can easily dual manifest to GTO and they can launch many sats for LEO constellations.

So they can take some business from FH but can in no way compete with cost of F9. Even if they sell with very little profit margin.
A lot F9 profit margin is needed to cover past and future R&D work. Blue has Bezos very deep pockets to fund NG R&D , so profit margin can be very low. I don't think there will be much difference in per launch cost of NG vs F9 over a booster's life. NG US will be dearer but lot more capable.

NG's new upper stage also has a much more straightforward path to full reuse, which could eventually offset its higher cost and reduce the total launch cost to well below Falcon.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #103 on: 04/01/2018 01:02 AM »
Yeah, NG can be fully reusable, which would allow it to easily compete (and undercut) Falcon 9. But that's why SpaceX is developing BFR. BFR should be able to outcompete even a fully reusable NG since it's return-to-launchsite (not a ship, which is more expensive operationally) and should be capable of faster turnaround due to landing on the launchmount. Also, the higher margin should enable a more robust heatshield and also has an integrated fairing (saves a lot), which a fully reusable NG couldn't afford for anything but LEO launches.

So yeah, per-launch:

Atlas V is more expensive than
expendable F9 which is more expensive than
partially reusable New Glenn which is more expensive than
partially reusable F9 which is more expensive than
fully reusable New Glenn which is more expensive than
fully reusable BFR.

After BFR, who knows. Blue Origin might borrow some of BFR's operational innovations for some other version of New Glenn or New Armstrong.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Lemurion

Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #104 on: 04/01/2018 04:21 AM »
Yeah, NG can be fully reusable, which would allow it to easily compete (and undercut) Falcon 9. But that's why SpaceX is developing BFR. BFR should be able to outcompete even a fully reusable NG since it's return-to-launchsite (not a ship, which is more expensive operationally) and should be capable of faster turnaround due to landing on the launchmount. Also, the higher margin should enable a more robust heatshield and also has an integrated fairing (saves a lot), which a fully reusable NG couldn't afford for anything but LEO launches.

So yeah, per-launch:

Atlas V is more expensive than
expendable F9 which is more expensive than
partially reusable New Glenn which is more expensive than
partially reusable F9 which is more expensive than
fully reusable New Glenn which is more expensive than
fully reusable BFR.

After BFR, who knows. Blue Origin might borrow some of BFR's operational innovations for some other version of New Glenn or New Armstrong.

I have to admit that I'm still not sold on a fully reusable New Glenn. Part of it is that I'm not sure how practical second stage reuse is going to be for New Glenn in even the medium term; the other part is that I'm also not sure that really counts as full reusability.

Unless things go very wrong, SpaceX is going to manage fairing recovery and reuse before New Glenn flies, by which point SpaceX will be recovering two of three components of their rocket. That should at least partially close the cost gap as SpaceX has indicated its fairing is several million dollars and New Glenn's larger fairing is unlikely to be cheaper.

It also runs into the question of whether second stage recovery on New Glenn will force more 3-stage launches--as it's likely that NG's third stage plus fairing probably equals the cost of F9's second stage.

Then we also come back to the question of speed. At this point SpaceX is targeting 2019 for BFS tests and Blue is targeting end of 2020 for New Glenn launches. At this point we can't be sure that Blue will be reusing second stages before BFR flies. At that point, Blue may be better off focusing on New Armstrong rather than trying for full reusability on New Glenn.


Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #105 on: 04/01/2018 09:28 AM »
I would keep an eye out to see if Orion might end up on New Glenn, at least to "supplement" SLS flights. Lockheed, who makes Orion, has a big incentive to not depend on SLS exclusively (i.e. Threats of low launch numbers, or program cancellation like Ares I) New Glenn Might be capable of delivering Orion to the lunar platform with the three stage configuration, and would be a reliable source of launch slots for Blue Origin.
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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #106 on: 04/01/2018 09:49 AM »
At this point we can't be sure that Blue will be reusing second stages before BFR flies.

At this point we can be almost sure they won't. They haven't even announced a timeline for this reusable second stage, never mind a design, nor performance specs, while BFS has a clear design path and is much more advanced in its development. Not to mention that New Glenn with the expendable second stage is scheduled to fly to orbit the same year as BFR is, 2020.
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Offline Lemurion

Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #107 on: 04/01/2018 10:14 PM »
At this point we can't be sure that Blue will be reusing second stages before BFR flies.

At this point we can be almost sure they won't. They haven't even announced a timeline for this reusable second stage, never mind a design, nor performance specs, while BFS has a clear design path and is much more advanced in its development. Not to mention that New Glenn with the expendable second stage is scheduled to fly to orbit the same year as BFR is, 2020.

That's one reason why I have issues with New Glenn; I really want to see what Blue can come up with but right now all I'm seeing is a bigger better version of Falcon 9. I actually think New Glenn is an example of Blue doing almost everything right except timing. Blue could eat Falcon 9's and possibly Falcon Heavy's lunch with New Glenn (especially if they do reuse the whole stack), but if it's coming on line alongside BFR it's not going to have the same chances it would have otherwise.

Amazon made its name on being a "Fast Follower," but right now Blue seems to be missing the "fast" part of things.

Online Lar

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #108 on: 04/02/2018 12:18 AM »
Agreed. But I would think they'll be reusing fairings in short order.
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Online TrevorMonty

Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #109 on: 04/02/2018 12:27 AM »
Agreed. But I would think they'll be reusing fairings in short order.
Alternatively develop 7m reuseable US with payload bay. A reuseable US will be on NG development path somewhere.

Offline Bob Shaw

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #110 on: 04/02/2018 12:41 AM »
At some point, Bezos may simply buy Musk out, or at least engage in a friendly merger...

Online IanThePineapple

Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #111 on: 04/02/2018 12:49 AM »
At some point, Bezos may simply buy Musk out, or at least engage in a friendly merger...

I really don't think Elon will want to give up SpaceX anytime soon, especially since they're doing so many huge and innovative things at the moment. Changing owners could cause some confusion and really mess up plans.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #112 on: 04/02/2018 02:10 AM »
Better to have two very strong competitors than one big monopoly! Two domestic providers with huge, fully reusable rockets is a very good thing for the industry. It means that any proposed medium/heavy expendable rocket is effectively a dead-end, as it can't even play second fiddle.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #113 on: 04/02/2018 02:33 AM »
At some point, Bezos may simply buy Musk out, or at least engage in a friendly merger...

That would, in my opinion, end the streak of innovation that SpaceX had been doing up to that point.

Blue Origin is doing good work, but they don't have a sense of urgency for what they are doing, and so far they have not shown the same willingness to take risks that a Musk-led SpaceX has. Plus they don't have a big, very specific, public goal that is guiding everything they are doing.

Launching rockets is hard, and Blue Origin should rightfully be congratulated for what they are doing and attempting to do, but SpaceX is just operating at a whole other level above them.
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 JH

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #114 on: 04/02/2018 04:33 AM »
At some point, Bezos may simply buy Musk out, or at least engage in a friendly merger...

What possible motivation could Musk have for accepting such an acquisition/merger? He has expressed skepticism of Blue's designs on multiple occasions and does not share Bezos's views on expansion into space. He is a majority owner of SpaceX, which is generally believed to be cash-flow positive. It isn't feasible.

Offline missinglink

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #115 on: 04/02/2018 11:19 AM »
What possible motivation could Musk have for accepting such an acquisition/merger?
Depends on what is dearer to Musk's heart, Tesla or SpaceX. Tesla is hemorrhaging money and headed for a cliff, a big infusion of cash from Bezos acquiring shares in SpaceX would keep Tesla going for a while longer. If Musk doesn't want to cede control over SpaceX, he can let Tesla go bankrupt, but his reputation will be in tatters.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2018 11:21 AM by missinglink »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #116 on: 04/02/2018 12:14 PM »
What possible motivation could Musk have for accepting such an acquisition/merger?
Depends on what is dearer to Musk's heart, Tesla or SpaceX. Tesla is hemorrhaging money and headed for a cliff, a big infusion of cash from Bezos acquiring shares in SpaceX would keep Tesla going for a while longer. If Musk doesn't want to cede control over SpaceX, he can let Tesla go bankrupt, but his reputation will be in tatters.
SpaceX is dearer to Musk, but the media greatly exaggerated Tesla’s problems. Tesla is still ahead of their very early plans for Model 3 production (which calls for 500,000 total Teslas per year by 2020), and if Musk had never pushed for greater production, they probably wouldn't be. Relax. Tesla's stock was probably overvalued before (or at least wasn't a bargain), but they'll be just fine.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2018 01:40 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline JH

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #117 on: 04/02/2018 06:24 PM »
It is true that predictions of Tesla's impending doom are eternal.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #118 on: 04/02/2018 07:22 PM »
What possible motivation could Musk have for accepting such an acquisition/merger?
Depends on what is dearer to Musk's heart, Tesla or SpaceX. Tesla is hemorrhaging money and headed for a cliff, a big infusion of cash from Bezos acquiring shares in SpaceX would keep Tesla going for a while longer. If Musk doesn't want to cede control over SpaceX, he can let Tesla go bankrupt, but his reputation will be in tatters.

Tesla is just a capital accumulation tool for Musk's true passion, which is SpaceX. Once Starlink comes online he doesn't need it anymore, as SpaceX can generate plenty cash of its own. Anyway, off topic for this thread.

Offline Slarty1080

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Re: Business Case For New Glenn
« Reply #119 on: 04/06/2018 12:30 PM »
At some point, Bezos may simply buy Musk out, or at least engage in a friendly merger...

That would, in my opinion, end the streak of innovation that SpaceX had been doing up to that point.

Blue Origin is doing good work, but they don't have a sense of urgency for what they are doing, and so far they have not shown the same willingness to take risks that a Musk-led SpaceX has. Plus they don't have a big, very specific, public goal that is guiding everything they are doing.

Launching rockets is hard, and Blue Origin should rightfully be congratulated for what they are doing and attempting to do, but SpaceX is just operating at a whole other level above them.

I do wonder if Elon and Jeff have met in private at any point. That would have been an interesting conversation for sure. But I agree it's better to have competition and SpaceX and Blue Origin are operating on different principles SpaceX is the Hare Blue Origin is the Tortoise (and NASA the wounded slug).
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