Poll

When will the first BFS be unveiled?

June 2018 or earlier
2 (1.4%)
July 2018
3 (2.1%)
August 2018
1 (0.7%)
September 2018
6 (4.2%)
October 2018
15 (10.6%)
November 2018
2 (1.4%)
December 2018
10 (7%)
January 2019
5 (3.5%)
February 2019
8 (5.6%)
March 2019
16 (11.3%)
April 2019
9 (6.3%)
May 2019
7 (4.9%)
June 2019
9 (6.3%)
July 2019
2 (1.4%)
August 2019
7 (4.9%)
September 2019
5 (3.5%)
October 2019 or later
30 (21.1%)
Never
5 (3.5%)

Total Members Voted: 142

Voting closed: 04/10/2018 11:47 PM


Author Topic: When will the first BFS be unveiled?  (Read 8314 times)

Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #20 on: 03/19/2018 11:06 PM »
https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/975870365338558464

"est. completion 16-18 months (NET H2 2019)" for the facility in which BFS will be built. Seems like Elon's claim that BFS will be flying early next year is already slipping into late next year... or 2020.

16-18 months is the expected completion for Phase II, which includes an expansion of a 65,000 square foot facility that will be built in Phase I.  The scheduling for completion of Phase I was not detailed.

Not only that, but since we know that Janicki is likely building the tanks, the may build the CF airframe in Seattle as well, at least for the first prototype. Maybe they plan to use the tent at the port or the phase I building in early 2019 just for final assembly and integration. (I have no idea how these manufacturing processes are structured, so just wild guesses).
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #21 on: 03/19/2018 11:19 PM »
16-18 months is the expected completion for Phase II, which includes an expansion of a 65,000 square foot facility that will be built in Phase I.  The scheduling for completion of Phase I was not detailed.

Yeah, I just saw that. There's a lot of time left in 2018, so hopefully Q1 or Q2 2019 will see BFS flights. Unveiling this year is a possibility.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline QuantumG

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #22 on: 07/14/2018 06:40 AM »
Hmmm.. Elon hinting at new information soon. Could be an unveiling?
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Cheapchips

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #23 on: 07/14/2018 09:12 AM »

There's a variety of stages they can choose to show it at I suppose. Maybe they've finished the tank part of the structure. Or all the pieces but not assembled yet. It'll be interesting regardless. We'll see in August+Elontime!

Offline speedevil

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #24 on: 07/14/2018 10:46 AM »

There's a variety of stages they can choose to show it at I suppose. Maybe they've finished the tank part of the structure. Or all the pieces but not assembled yet. It'll be interesting regardless. We'll see in August+Elontime!

Just before time at IAC 2018 there is a massive roar abruptly cut off, and Elon walks in in a flight suit 'Let's go out to the parking lot shall we?'.

Offline Star One

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #25 on: 07/14/2018 11:39 AM »
Hmmm.. Elon hinting at new information soon. Could be an unveiling?

Bit early for that isn’t it even by ‘Elon time’?

Offline speedevil

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #26 on: 07/14/2018 12:21 PM »
Hmmm.. Elon hinting at new information soon. Could be an unveiling?

Bit early for that isn’t it even by ‘Elon time’?
Hints from various places seem to indicate that it could be Raptor.
I think if it is going to be August, it's going to be either 'Raptor works and we've done 25 missions worth of firing on one engine' or a full scale pressurised tank.

Offline Star One

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #27 on: 07/14/2018 04:43 PM »
Hmmm.. Elon hinting at new information soon. Could be an unveiling?

Bit early for that isn’t it even by ‘Elon time’?
Hints from various places seem to indicate that it could be Raptor.
I think if it is going to be August, it's going to be either 'Raptor works and we've done 25 missions worth of firing on one engine' or a full scale pressurised tank.

Raptor seems far more likely to be the answer at this stage, so your speculation sounds pretty spot on to me.

Online TripleSeven

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #28 on: 07/14/2018 05:13 PM »
there will be no hint of a full up BFS until well into 2020.

Offline Cheapchips

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #29 on: 07/14/2018 06:10 PM »
there will be no hint of a full up BFS until well into 2020.

What do you mean by that?  BFS + BFB or BFS with heatshield and vacuum raptors. It

Offline Star One

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #30 on: 07/14/2018 07:38 PM »
there will be no hint of a full up BFS until well into 2020.

Aren’t they supposed to be flying a scaled down BFS in 2019?

Online TripleSeven

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #31 on: 07/14/2018 07:41 PM »
there will be no hint of a full up BFS until well into 2020.

What do you mean by that?  BFS + BFB or BFS with heatshield and vacuum raptors. It

there will be no flight worthy hardware of any kind until maybe 2020 and that is pushing it...more like 2021

Offline Lar

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #32 on: 07/14/2018 08:01 PM »
there will be no flight worthy hardware of any kind until maybe 2020 and that is pushing it...more like 2021
(fan) Thanks for your opinion. Not everyone agrees, I expect.

(mod) But bare assertions without at least some supporting details and exposition don't add a lot of value.
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Online RonM

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #33 on: 07/14/2018 08:30 PM »
there will be no hint of a full up BFS until well into 2020.

Aren’t they supposed to be flying a scaled down BFS in 2019?

Maybe some sort of Grasshopper style test bed, but I don't think a sub-scale BFS. SpaceX would need separate tooling for that.

Could use the full-scale landing propellant tanks and SL Raptors to build a test vehicle. Once SpaceX is done testing takeoff and landing, then go for full-scale BFS Cargo testing.

Online TripleSeven

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #34 on: 07/14/2018 09:06 PM »
there will be no flight worthy hardware of any kind until maybe 2020 and that is pushing it...more like 2021
(fan) Thanks for your opinion. Not everyone agrees, I expect.

(mod) But bare assertions without at least some supporting details and exposition don't add a lot of value.

its an opinion, which is just about what everyone has here.  Its formed based on SpaceX previous "timeline" performance, the complexity of the program, and comparisons of the timeline proposed with other programs of similar complexity.

I would be happy to be wrong, but well none of Elon's previous performances give hope that this will happen...  :)

See if Elon can get crewed Dragon off this year...and start ops next year.  see how much of block 5 is reusable and to what extent.

those will give pretty good answers as to how Elon time is going

the Boeing 777X of which I am very familiar with (I am a test pilot on it for my airline) started in 2013 and will deliver in 2019...its a derivative of a proven design ...Elon wont beat that time span :)
« Last Edit: 07/14/2018 09:10 PM by TripleSeven »

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #35 on: 07/15/2018 03:58 AM »
the Boeing 777X of which I am very familiar with (I am a test pilot on it for my airline) started in 2013 and will deliver in 2019...its a derivative of a proven design ...Elon wont beat that time span :)

Um... SpaceX has already done that repeatedly.  :)

That's 6 years for a derivative of a proven design.  6 years is the amount of time it took spaceX to go from the first successful Falcon 9 flight to the Falcon 9 block 5.  So SpaceX went through 2 major revisions and 2 serious optimization in the same amount of time it took Boeing to do one major revision.  :)

Obviously this is because Boeing drools SpaceX rulz.  :)

Or, more seriously, it's because rocketry is an industry that has changed a lot more recently while commercial jets already have settled on the design that works and are optimizing for fuel and maintenance economy.  They tried going bigger and going past the sound barrier but the existing convention won out over both.  When you have already got the design and are just optimizing it, the gains are more modest so the urgency is much lower.  On the other hand when you are starting new the sooner you get a prototype, the sooner you start learning from it so the urgency is much higher.

One more time for good measure. :)

Online TripleSeven

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #36 on: 07/15/2018 04:58 AM »
the Boeing 777X of which I am very familiar with (I am a test pilot on it for my airline) started in 2013 and will deliver in 2019...its a derivative of a proven design ...Elon wont beat that time span :)



Or, more seriously, it's because rocketry is an industry that has changed a lot more recently while commercial jets already have settled on the design that works and are optimizing for fuel and maintenance economy.  They tried going bigger and going past the sound barrier but the existing convention won out over both.  When you have already got the design and are just optimizing it, the gains are more modest so the urgency is much lower.  On the other hand when you are starting new the sooner you get a prototype, the sooner you start learning from it so the urgency is much higher.

One more time for good measure. :)

we will all see together.  As just barely in the "pre moon" generation (Ie I was alive before Apollo 11) and came of age in the technological development (in aviation) in the 80's...this is about the most exciting time for human space industry that I've lived through so far.

From a historical and technological development "interest" human space travel was just born to early...it was forced by cold war politics, particularly in human space flight to a level that was unsustainable from an economic standpoint...and then crashed fairly quickly when the interest dissolved.  Anyone who had half a brain in the 80's could see almost from the start the shuttle system did not have a chance of working...

but now...

today we are living in a world where while there is artificial and wasteful government spending; the ENTERPRISE of space lift have finally started to take hold...and in particular the development "effort" between SpaceX and BO is to me, just the kind of development that needs to occur to allow my children the "shot" at living in a world where human spaceflight affects the economics, politics and product development just as aviation has.

in aviation terms the SpaceX/BO competition is a lot like the Boeing Douglas race for a viable commercial transport as the nation approached the  Boeing 247/DC 3 level. 

I am somewhat skeptical of all the grand dreams both companies push out (ie cities on mars or the moon next decade) but am fairly certain that WHEN the technology and economics come together to make the first really reusable booster system...the world will change.  And I suspect its as unclear how it will change in the twenty to ten years after that happens, as it was during the 247/DC3 development period. or for a space analogy...we are kind of in the time period between Syncom and Westar/Anik.

if we are very very lucky, we will as a species get to the Ford Trimotor/DC3 era in human spaceflight in the next 10-15 years...I am 52 and according to the flight surgeons in very good health.....I expect to live another 40 years or so (all my relatives on both sides of my parents family except for the ones killed in wars have done that)...I expect that I will live to see the Boeing 377/Superconstellation era of space travel

it is all economics :)

I will be very surprised or will have to live a bit longer :) if we make it to the B707 era of space travel in my lifetime though.

Personally I am in a :) way satisfied with life though, except that it does not fly in space, my current B777 is the 2001 Pan Am Clipper...and the 777X will go past that...

good morning :)

« Last Edit: 07/15/2018 05:13 AM by TripleSeven »

Offline speedevil

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #37 on: 07/15/2018 10:39 AM »
From a historical and technological development "interest" human space travel was just born to early...it was forced by cold war politics, particularly in human space flight to a level that was unsustainable from an economic standpoint...and then crashed fairly quickly when the interest dissolved.  Anyone who had half a brain in the 80's could see almost from the start the shuttle system did not have a chance of working...

The hardware for doing first stage recoveries ala falcon 9 was available quite early - it was basically in more-or-less its modern state in 1986 when GPS kicked off. Even moderately before then. In 1966, it would have been a considerably larger penalty, and would likely have involved several more ships to do ranging for example.

The key wasn't the technology, but the approach.
BFR, if it is in fact reusable to the extent hoped, or close, will have succeeded if it wholly fails to meet its goals on payload.
Fifty tons to orbit will not meaningfully affect any applications. (before ISRU on Mars kicks off).

Any launcher which does not have massive overcapacity simply can't do this.
If SLS has a structural issue, it can't be solved by dropping Max Q by an order of magnitude by modifying the trajectory, for example.

As outlined in this thread, almost every single aspect of BFR can fail horribly and still result in a working rocket some orders of magnitude better than the competition and still achieve Mars.

If BFS can take off and land reliably, cheaply, even without demonstrating orbital class reentries, and is not hideously overweight (more than double), and Raptor is hitting the numbers, it has pretty much demonstrated it is capable enough.

This is one reason it may be revealed sooner, none of the normal reasons for halting development due to overweight or underperforming systems are present to nearly the same degree.
« Last Edit: 07/15/2018 10:43 AM by speedevil »

Online TripleSeven

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #38 on: 07/15/2018 12:16 PM »
From a historical and technological development "interest" human space travel was just born to early...it was forced by cold war politics, particularly in human space flight to a level that was unsustainable from an economic standpoint...and then crashed fairly quickly when the interest dissolved.  Anyone who had half a brain in the 80's could see almost from the start the shuttle system did not have a chance of working...

The hardware for doing first stage recoveries ala falcon 9 was available quite early - it was basically in more-or-less its modern state in 1986 when GPS kicked off. Even moderately before then. In 1966, it would have been a considerably larger penalty, and would likely have involved several more ships to do ranging for example.

The key wasn't the technology, but the approach.
BFR, if it is in fact reusable to the extent hoped, or close, will have succeeded if it wholly fails to meet its goals on payload.
Fifty tons to orbit will not meaningfully affect any applications. (before ISRU on Mars kicks off).





Its not relevant as its purely historical but I dont think that the software and the computers existed for the autolanding systems that the Falcon rocket (and I assume BFR etc) use today back in the 80's much less in the 60's.  My experience with autoland development and performance based navigation (including approaches to CATIIIB) is that the "machines" simply did not exist.  The shuttle from the late 70's era has autoland but it was not propulsive autoland and did so off a rather complicated land based navigation system.

(as an aside technologies are interactive...in the commercial airplane world without EFIS systems, even with GPS etc, Performance based navigation would be nearly impossible )

like I say though it doesnt matter as it is historical.

I agree with you that the key part of BFR and also in my view its biggest challenge is to be reusable to some "large number of cycles"...and there well we can only wait and see how that unfolds.

My view based on technological history is that the road to "get there" is going to be very long and involve a reasonable amount of "blocks".

What I dont know, but what would temper my opinion somewhat is how much of each "rebuilding, restoring and simply checking" that they have had to do with the block 4's they have reused (only once)  and how near they thought the basic systems and hardware were to "end of life".  they must have thought that they were close since they expended the Block4's. (although I recognize they were going on to the Block 5 so that was some incentive anyway)

One of three big questions that await SpaceX this next year..is what cycle the Block 5's can maintain (ie how many uses they get) and what the curve is on maintenance and cost to get to that cycle limit.  They wont know that until they actually try it and get some real flight ops knowledge.

my "guess" (and that is all it is) is that they will be lucky to get to 10 with each booster on the block 5.  I would love to be wrong, but even if they get to 10 that will be a MAJOR advancement in the state of the art.

Also if they can get to 10 and what it takes them to get to 10 will have in my view a large impact on future vehicles as they are designed and built.

the amazing thing in technology development is that the B707 was the success that it was...but by the time it flew in 58, Boeing had learned an amazing amount about "reusability" in airplanes from the B47 and B52... I dont have the numbers here in Istanbul, but its an amazing "arc" of improvement as both of the planes went from prototype to flight ops...and that is why the 707 was such an immediate success in terms of lowering the "revenue seat mile"

I think that the next two years of SpaceX operating the Block 5's may well be one of the most interesting in the technological history of spaceflight.  It certainly will go over ground in space operations that has never been gone over before...

but I would be quick to add this...this is only the launch equation.  Crewing the thing and the systems associated with that...is going to be an entirely new set of learning curves.

it is going to be a fun next 10-15 years in my view




Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: When will the first BFS be unveiled?
« Reply #39 on: 07/15/2018 03:41 PM »
If the starlink delivers it won't be waiting until your kid's are old for spaceflight to have a bigger economic impact, it will be in the next decade that we start shifting internet backbone into LEO. The space shuttle was supposed to be a "truck" capable of going again and again.  I think we finally have that truck with the block 5.  All we need is for the market to catch up and start putting things on that truck.  Starlink and OneWeb is a start but there could be a lot more.

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