Author Topic: SpaceX's next big commercial customer  (Read 17849 times)

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #20 on: 03/11/2018 11:50 pm »
I know it's not happening, but I really thought that there would be many companies eager to run automated experiments on DragonLab flights and so far there has been none. Why is there no interest?

There is a lot of interest for doing experiments on the ISS, when NASA covers 90+% of the cost. That interest seems to evaporate once the whole price needs to be shouldered, even if relatively low with DragonLab.

If/when Falcon's manifest well and truly comes out of backlog I wonder if SpaceX may offer a few missions like DragonLab that are priced at marginal cost in hopes of generating future demand.

I suspect lots of things may happen when the manifest exits backlog.

We should start seeing these things now or very soon. Missions and payloads are years in the making and SpaceX’s manifest doesn’t show much past 2019. 
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Online gongora

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #21 on: 03/12/2018 12:10 am »
I know it's not happening, but I really thought that there would be many companies eager to run automated experiments on DragonLab flights and so far there has been none. Why is there no interest?

There is a lot of interest for doing experiments on the ISS, when NASA covers 90+% of the cost. That interest seems to evaporate once the whole price needs to be shouldered, even if relatively low with DragonLab.

If/when Falcon's manifest well and truly comes out of backlog I wonder if SpaceX may offer a few missions like DragonLab that are priced at marginal cost in hopes of generating future demand.

I suspect lots of things may happen when the manifest exits backlog.

Even selling them at cost with reused boosters and reused Dragons they'd probably still be too expensive for most non-governmental users.

Online gongora

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #22 on: 03/12/2018 12:11 am »
The GTO satellite market is in a lull. Are their expectations that one of the big players is going to announce a new set of GTO satellites (5+) due to launch in 3-4 years? Or are they all building and launching one at a time?

Is the chance of SpaceX launching some OneWeb sats greater than 0? For example, if LauncherOne isn't able to meet the schedule?

Is LauncherOne really going to be cheaper than SpaceX? Would OneWeb pay more than SpaceX rates just because they perceive StarLink as a competitor. I imagine SpaceX would have no problem launching OneWeb satellites.

The OneWeb constellation is being deployed on Soyuz rockets.

Online JBF

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #23 on: 03/12/2018 12:15 am »
The GTO satellite market is in a lull. Are their expectations that one of the big players is going to announce a new set of GTO satellites (5+) due to launch in 3-4 years? Or are they all building and launching one at a time?

Is the chance of SpaceX launching some OneWeb sats greater than 0? For example, if LauncherOne isn't able to meet the schedule?

Is LauncherOne really going to be cheaper than SpaceX? Would OneWeb pay more than SpaceX rates just because they perceive StarLink as a competitor. I imagine SpaceX would have no problem launching OneWeb satellites.

The OneWeb constellation is being deployed on Soyuz rockets.

Not all of them.   http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-gets-oneweb-as-second-new-glenn-customer/
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Online gongora

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #24 on: 03/12/2018 12:50 am »
The GTO satellite market is in a lull. Are their expectations that one of the big players is going to announce a new set of GTO satellites (5+) due to launch in 3-4 years? Or are they all building and launching one at a time?

Is the chance of SpaceX launching some OneWeb sats greater than 0? For example, if LauncherOne isn't able to meet the schedule?

Is LauncherOne really going to be cheaper than SpaceX? Would OneWeb pay more than SpaceX rates just because they perceive StarLink as a competitor. I imagine SpaceX would have no problem launching OneWeb satellites.

The OneWeb constellation is being deployed on Soyuz rockets.

Not all of them.   http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-gets-oneweb-as-second-new-glenn-customer/

The first ~700 Oneweb sats will launch on Soyuz.

Online envy887

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #25 on: 03/12/2018 01:40 am »
I know it's not happening, but I really thought that there would be many companies eager to run automated experiments on DragonLab flights and so far there has been none. Why is there no interest?

There is a lot of interest for doing experiments on the ISS, when NASA covers 90+% of the cost. That interest seems to evaporate once the whole price needs to be shouldered, even if relatively low with DragonLab.

If/when Falcon's manifest well and truly comes out of backlog I wonder if SpaceX may offer a few missions like DragonLab that are priced at marginal cost in hopes of generating future demand.

I suspect lots of things may happen when the manifest exits backlog.

Even selling them at cost with reused boosters and reused Dragons they'd probably still be too expensive for most non-governmental users.
They were talking $80m before reuse. Could probably go as low as $20m with reuse.

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #26 on: 03/12/2018 10:15 am »
Here's one:

Quote
Gregg Burgess, Sierra Nevada Corp.: 85–95% of Dream Chaser mission costs is the launch. Various companies, including ULA, working to reduce launch costs. “Multiple companies” around the world proposing to do future Dream Chaser launches after the first two on Atlas 5.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972938342760361984

So, why use the world's most expensive launcher?  Try the least expensive...

Flying the hell out of Dream Chaser for NASA and 'tourists' could keep a fleet of F9s busy.  The capsule experience, for those wanting to go 'retro' could be done with Dragon 2 -- the leggy version.
« Last Edit: 03/12/2018 10:50 am by AncientU »
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Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #27 on: 03/12/2018 12:32 pm »
Here's one:

Quote
Gregg Burgess, Sierra Nevada Corp.: 85–95% of Dream Chaser mission costs is the launch. Various companies, including ULA, working to reduce launch costs. “Multiple companies” around the world proposing to do future Dream Chaser launches after the first two on Atlas 5.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972938342760361984

So, why use the world's most expensive launcher?  Try the least expensive...

Flying the hell out of Dream Chaser for NASA and 'tourists' could keep a fleet of F9s busy.  The capsule experience, for those wanting to go 'retro' could be done with Dragon 2 -- the leggy version.

Dreamchaser launches on the F9 would be cool.  But they are currently planning to launch inside the fairing.  So not exactly passenger friendly.

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Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #28 on: 03/12/2018 12:49 pm »
Here's one:

Quote
Gregg Burgess, Sierra Nevada Corp.: 85–95% of Dream Chaser mission costs is the launch. Various companies, including ULA, working to reduce launch costs. “Multiple companies” around the world proposing to do future Dream Chaser launches after the first two on Atlas 5.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972938342760361984

So, why use the world's most expensive launcher?  Try the least expensive...

Flying the hell out of Dream Chaser for NASA and 'tourists' could keep a fleet of F9s busy.  The capsule experience, for those wanting to go 'retro' could be done with Dragon 2 -- the leggy version.

Dreamchaser launches on the F9 would be cool.  But they are currently planning to launch inside the fairing.  So not exactly passenger friendly.

That's the cargo version. 
The passenger version was outside, right?
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Online envy887

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #29 on: 03/12/2018 12:57 pm »
Here's one:

Quote
Gregg Burgess, Sierra Nevada Corp.: 85–95% of Dream Chaser mission costs is the launch. Various companies, including ULA, working to reduce launch costs. “Multiple companies” around the world proposing to do future Dream Chaser launches after the first two on Atlas 5.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972938342760361984

So, why use the world's most expensive launcher?  Try the least expensive...

Flying the hell out of Dream Chaser for NASA and 'tourists' could keep a fleet of F9s busy.  The capsule experience, for those wanting to go 'retro' could be done with Dragon 2 -- the leggy version.

Dreamchaser launches on the F9 would be cool.  But they are currently planning to launch inside the fairing.  So not exactly passenger friendly.

That's the cargo version. 
The passenger version was outside, right?

Were the coupled vehicle loads ever confirmed to be ok for the unfaired version? Putting a big aerosurface atop a long skinny stick like F9 does not seem like a great idea...

Offline Ludus

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #30 on: 03/12/2018 10:20 pm »
I know it's not happening, but I really thought that there would be many companies eager to run automated experiments on DragonLab flights and so far there has been none. Why is there no interest?

There is a lot of interest for doing experiments on the ISS, when NASA covers 90+% of the cost. That interest seems to evaporate once the whole price needs to be shouldered, even if relatively low with DragonLab.

If/when Falcon's manifest well and truly comes out of backlog I wonder if SpaceX may offer a few missions like DragonLab that are priced at marginal cost in hopes of generating future demand.

I suspect lots of things may happen when the manifest exits backlog.

Even selling them at cost with reused boosters and reused Dragons they'd probably still be too expensive for most non-governmental users.
They were talking $80m before reuse. Could probably go as low as $20m with reuse.

At SXSW Elon was saying the goal is $5M for 150 tons to NEO with BFR ready by the early 2020s.

Online JBF

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #31 on: 03/13/2018 09:38 am »
At SXSW Elon was saying the goal is $5M for 150 tons to NEO with BFR ready by the early 2020s.

If he is using US Tons that is an amazing $16 per pound.
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Online RotoSequence

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #32 on: 03/13/2018 10:06 am »
At SXSW Elon was saying the goal is $5M for 150 tons to NEO with BFR ready by the early 2020s.

If he is using US Tons that is an amazing $16 per pound.

If he's using metric tons, that's $15.15 a pound.  ;D

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #33 on: 03/13/2018 10:11 am »
That's the cargo version. 
The passenger version was outside, right?
Were the coupled vehicle loads ever confirmed to be ok for the unfaired version? Putting a big aerosurface atop a long skinny stick like F9 does not seem like a great idea...

They were OK for the unfaired version on top of Atlas V. Courtesy of extensive CFD modeling and wind tunnel testing between 2010 and 2014.
« Last Edit: 03/13/2018 10:20 am by woods170 »

Offline jpo234

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #34 on: 03/13/2018 10:51 am »
At SXSW Elon was saying the goal is $5M for 150 tons to NEO with BFR ready by the early 2020s.

If he is using US Tons that is an amazing $16 per pound.

If he's using metric tons, that's $15.15 a pound.  ;D

As somebody has pointed out, that's cheaper than the estimates for a space elevator:

Quote
For a space elevator, the cost varies according to the design. Bradley C. Edwards received funding from NIAC from 2001 to 2003 to write a paper, describing a space elevator design. In it he stated that: "The first space elevator would reduce lift costs immediately to $100 per pound"
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #35 on: 03/13/2018 11:10 am »
That's 30,000 tonnes for $1B... the cost of building and launching one SLS/Orion.
2.5 orders of magnitude.
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Online niwax

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #36 on: 03/13/2018 12:35 pm »
At SXSW Elon was saying the goal is $5M for 150 tons to NEO with BFR ready by the early 2020s.

If he is using US Tons that is an amazing $16 per pound.

If he's using metric tons, that's $15.15 a pound.  ;D

As somebody has pointed out, that's cheaper than the estimates for a space elevator:

Quote
For a space elevator, the cost varies according to the design. Bradley C. Edwards received funding from NIAC from 2001 to 2003 to write a paper, describing a space elevator design. In it he stated that: "The first space elevator would reduce lift costs immediately to $100 per pound"
Chances are he took current launch cost, dropped it by an order of magnitude and rounded. BOM on ficticious graphene/nanotube wire isn't exactly precise right now.
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Offline jpo234

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #37 on: 03/13/2018 12:51 pm »
At SXSW Elon was saying the goal is $5M for 150 tons to NEO with BFR ready by the early 2020s.

If he is using US Tons that is an amazing $16 per pound.

If he's using metric tons, that's $15.15 a pound.  ;D

As somebody has pointed out, that's cheaper than the estimates for a space elevator:

Quote
For a space elevator, the cost varies according to the design. Bradley C. Edwards received funding from NIAC from 2001 to 2003 to write a paper, describing a space elevator design. In it he stated that: "The first space elevator would reduce lift costs immediately to $100 per pound"
Chances are he took current launch cost, dropped it by an order of magnitude and rounded. BOM on ficticious graphene/nanotube wire isn't exactly precise right now.

I wouldn't be surprised. The point is, that this was the aspirational cost target for a futuristic technology 15 years ago and BFR might beat it by an order of magnitude (if you adjust for inflation).
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #38 on: 03/13/2018 01:03 pm »
Nanotube wire exists, and has about the same strength as decent (but not state of the art) carbon fiber, but it costs the same as synthetic diamond. But chemically, nanotube wire is nearly identical to carbon fiber (although it is more flexible). You CAN build a space elevator with similar materials, but it’d never pay for itself in mass. We could launch it with BFR, but it’d be pointless.

Also, launch costs were $10,000/pound when the space elevator thing was at its peak hype like 15 years ago.
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Offline Mariusuiram

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Re: SpaceX's next big commercial customer
« Reply #39 on: 03/13/2018 01:20 pm »
I doubt many of the traditional GEO sat companies are planning huge new GEO constellations. And even if they were, once SpaceX ramps up Starlink it will probably be hard to see them funding their direct competitor.

Big customers in the next 5-10 years (beyond SpaceX), in my mind, could be non-traditional commercial companies / pursuits. These are all probably low probability occurrences (say sub<35%), but don't need all to work:

Planet or their ilk: They are pushing the constant world coverage concept and if they manage to develop the algorithms they hope, their demands for higher resolution and better coverage should ramp up. With lower costs, it seems likely they could ramp up to a lot more satellites and slightly bigger (albeit still small vs traditional telescopes).

The Space Mining Companies: Its still a bit farfetched but maybe it does gain traction with some government funding or billionaire support. Likely would not be as simple as launching a single probe. Likely need multiple launches to NEO, which means relatively big rockets for small payloads.

Empire Building: Bigelow receives the most attention, but I would be shocked if there isnt another group looking at the lower launch cost trend and growing interest in space and coming up with a concept for a private space station / complex / whatever. Anything requiring significant volumes of material to space will be very dependent on the lowest possible costs, which at this point should be SpaceX.

Lastly, I also suspect there is a higher probability of government missions contracted "commercially". Military space seems to be shifting based on all the interviews I am reading and they are looking at completely new concepts for how to create distributed robust networks up there. This seems like something that SpaceX could benefit from as it would bring down the typical size as well as reduce the risk aversion.

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