Author Topic: Blue Origin fleet  (Read 10915 times)

Online matthewkantar

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Blue Origin fleet
« on: 05/30/2018 11:04 PM »
The word is out, Blue origin has purchased a ship. We're gonna need a bigger boat. Boat thread. Gonna need one.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #1 on: 05/31/2018 02:02 AM »
This excellent Blue Origin fleet-related post was written by CScott, on another Blue thread, just a few hours before this new thread was created.

It deserves to be here:

Jeff says they bought the boat for landing NG and are refitting it? Sounds like our marine sleuths over in the SpaceX ASDS threads ought to be given a heads up for a new hunting target...
I've done ASDS hunting, and I'll say that finding boat ownership from public records is quite hard. The typical ownership model seems to involve separate LLCs set up for each boat, which then have ownership and operating agreements with other opaque LLCs, etc.  SpaceX for example doesn't directly own any of their vessels, and Mr. Steven (for instance) which has been operated by Guice Offshore for months and has a big GO logo painted on it, still doesn't have any official paperwork documenting the relationship with GO; there seems to be a private contract beween SeaTran marine, Guice Offshore and SpaceX (or a subsidiary).

Custom-built commercial boats seem to be often "owned" by the builder and then "sold" for a nominal sum to the boat's own LLC when complete. Mr. Steven was sold by Gulf Craft LLC to Mr. Steven LLC for $1. So the boat owns itself.

Thus tracing top-down from Blue Origin to whatever ship it is outfitting is likely to be fruitless.  While Bezos says "bought" the likely case is that Blue Origin has signed contracts with a number of different folk, including perhaps the boat's own LLC, not actually transferred ownership in any boat registry.  We have better luck with folks that hang around docks with an ear to the rumor mill.
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
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Offline cscott

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2018 02:30 AM »
Thanks for the quote.

For what it's worth, I did poke around the public databases looking for anything containing "origin", with no luck.  Lots of companies with "blue" in their name, but nothing useful among owners of large boats.  It's worth noting that, since boats tend to be owned by their own self-named LLC, a ownership search for "blue" turns up a lot of boats with "blue" in their names as well... and as you can imagine there's a lot of them.

I also searched for "Bezos" and "Amazon", just to make sure I wasn't overlooking the obvious.

I suspect we'll first get details either when blue tweets a photo or a very large boat shows up in one of the ports near the Cape.

Offline GWH

Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/2018 07:30 PM »
I found this quote interesting, and related to the topic.
From CNES director of launches interview:
https://satelliteobservation.net/2018/06/02/cnes-director-of-launchers-talks-reusable-rockets/

"Blue Origin has a different concept, they will use a boat with hydrodynamic control surfaces for stability. The boat has to have some speed and the rocket has to match it."

I am not a ship guy, but interpret that as a ship having more than just your basic rudder and keel etc...

Online kevinof

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #4 on: 06/02/2018 07:45 PM »
Sounds like basic stability control fins each side of the hull. You need to be making headway (ie speed) for these to work. Work something like hydroplanes on a sub.

I found this quote interesting, and related to the topic.
From CNES director of launches interview:
https://satelliteobservation.net/2018/06/02/cnes-director-of-launchers-talks-reusable-rockets/

"Blue Origin has a different concept, they will use a boat with hydrodynamic control surfaces for stability. The boat has to have some speed and the rocket has to match it."

I am not a ship guy, but interpret that as a ship having more than just your basic rudder and keel etc...

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #5 on: 06/02/2018 08:03 PM »
It will be interesting to see what they have bought and how the modified it.

If it was a bespoke vessel I'd think along the lines of the Ullstein S182.
Most fiddly bits at the front end. Less spray during transfer. Fast crew transfer if you need it. Lots of space in the back.
A crane to move the stage around, perhaps lower it for transport. No need for a heavy lift crane though, a telescopic crane makes more sense to me.


@GWH
See Stabilizer (ship) or here for more detail. Usually two hydraulically controlled fins that primarily stabilize the roll of a ship. The reason why big cruise ships don't turn into a puke fest as soon as there is some weather.
Pros: Well known, effective, can be build to almost any size, mature control systems and software. Used from small yachts to the biggest cruise ships. Other commercial ships like use them too.
Main drawback: They need some water flow over the fins. Which is why Blue said that they'll recover during move.

Some Yachts use a different system. Large Gyroscopes are back. Rotate enough mass fast enough and the yacht will be quite stable, even at rest. Main drawback: Needs space and a lots of power. Pricey too.

Online noogie

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #6 on: 06/03/2018 01:32 AM »
It will be interesting to see if they will incorporate any ability to do some (maybe eventually all) of the post landing processing of the first stage on the boat to speed up turn around times for reuse of the 1st stage.

Offline brickmack

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #7 on: 06/03/2018 02:09 AM »
It will be interesting to see if they will incorporate any ability to do some (maybe eventually all) of the post landing processing of the first stage on the boat to speed up turn around times for reuse of the 1st stage.

Given the size of the ship relative to the rocket, I bet you could fit several boosters in it if the ability existed to open up the deck and store stuff inside. This would be a lot easier than doing refurb at sea, yet some of the stuff needed for refurb (namely bringing the booster horizontal) would be required for both. This wouldn't help vehicle-level turnaround (the opposite in fact), but it would allow them to do several launches in quick succession with only a single landing ship needed. This would also make some sense given their oddly large planned New Glenn fleet.

Online Kabloona

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #8 on: 06/03/2018 10:59 PM »
It will be interesting to see what they have bought and how the modified it.

If it was a bespoke vessel I'd think along the lines of the Ullstein S182.
Most fiddly bits at the front end. Less spray during transfer. Fast crew transfer if you need it. Lots of space in the back.
A crane to move the stage around, perhaps lower it for transport. No need for a heavy lift crane though, a telescopic crane makes more sense to me.

Probably the right idea, but that ship, at 115m length, is much shorter than the roughly 200m ship (as calculated by envy887 in link below, based on scaling comparison to the landing stage) shown in the Blue Origin landing video.

Also, since their ship will be in forward motion during landing, which introduces another variable into the equation and probably increases the error band, I'd expect they'll want plenty of length to allow for that potential error.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=10685.msg1653564#msg1653564

The new variable (landing platform in motion vs. stationary a la SpaceX) would seem to require that either (a) the  ship uses radar to acquire the incoming stage, and has its own onboard software running to calculate the most likely time of intercept (based on running the same guidance algorithm as programmed into the stage) or (b) the stage itself does the intercept time calculation and radios it to the ship, maybe as one element of a telemetry stream.

Since the ship will likely be recording the telemetry stream anyway, I'd guess option (b). Then it's up to the ship to hit the pre-preprogrammed coordinates at the predicted intercept time.
« Last Edit: 06/03/2018 11:14 PM by Kabloona »

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #9 on: 06/06/2018 08:04 AM »
Ulstein also has a X-bow variant called X-stern, so it should make traveling backwards easier too, if that is how they want to work it.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #10 on: 06/13/2018 09:29 AM »
....

The new variable (landing platform in motion vs. stationary a la SpaceX) would seem to require that either (a) the  ship uses radar to acquire the incoming stage, and has its own onboard software running to calculate the most likely time of intercept (based on running the same guidance algorithm as programmed into the stage) or (b) the stage itself does the intercept time calculation and radios it to the ship, maybe as one element of a telemetry stream.

Since the ship will likely be recording the telemetry stream anyway, I'd guess option (b). Then it's up to the ship to hit the pre-preprogrammed coordinates at the predicted intercept time.

option (c) A smaller support ship will track the landing platform ship and the incoming stage on 2 separate radars plus the fire-control tracking hardware to command the returning stage and the landing platform ship.

They will always need a support ship to move the landing platform ship's crew to before the landing attempt.

Online Kabloona

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #11 on: 06/13/2018 04:54 PM »
There's no point in trying to uplink commands to the stage while it's trying to land, because the target coordinates can be pre-preprogrammed and hit quite precisely, as SpaceX has already shown.

Plus, trying to uplink commands to the stage adds another level of complication and possible failure mode. If the uplink fails, the stage splashes.

Landing ship already "knows" where in 2-D space the stage will intersect with the ship's deck altitude, because it's pre-programmed into the stage. The only variable is time, ie when that happens, which can be determined by radar, or the stage itself predicting its own landing time and broadcasting it within the telemetry stream.

Then the entire problem is reduced to steering the landing ship through the center of the pre-programmed landing coordinates at the calculated T-0.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2018 08:38 PM by Kabloona »

Offline AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #12 on: 06/13/2018 09:57 PM »
I think this is backwards... the stage has all the sped and thus maneuverability, and the ship is essentially stationary.  Instead of having a fixed point in the ocean that the stage is targeting, it should target a moving point in the ocean... a very, very slow (few m/s) moving point relative to the stage's velocity (hundreds of m/s at terminal velocity).

If the booster flight is ten minutes, the ship will only travel about 2km as the booster travels to space and then 1,000km down range.  At launch, the ship's coordinates and inertial velocity could be uploaded to the booster for targeting; the ship only then needs to maintain course and speed for ten minutes.  (Traveling into the wind would be the most stable for the landing platform.)  This would also cover launch delays, local wind conditions at the landing site, and other unforeseen situations such as the ship being a few km too far away from datum at launch. 

Think of the aircraft carrier... it has a general rendezvous point and time; it maintains a steady speed into the wind -- and the aircraft maneuver to it.  The aircraft aren't given a point and time where they are to land and the carrier drives under them...

Note that some variety of terminal guidance/communications would alleviate most of the unknowns here.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2018 10:07 PM by AncientU »
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Online gongora

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #13 on: 09/26/2018 12:29 AM »
Quote
Tweet from Eric Berger:
Blue Origin appears to have purchased this roll-on, roll-off ferry for (perhaps?) transporting New Glenn rocket components.
https://t.co/IRBJbxWcfH

Tweet from Alan Boyle:
In May, I asked @jeffbezos whether the @blueorigin landing ship had been bought. "Actually, yes, we have," he said, "and were retrofitting it now. Its just about to start." So it's probly not Stena Freighter, which is yet to be delivered.

Tweet from NI Ferry Site:
Currently in dry dock in Portugal which could be her handover.  We'll find out soon enough I'm sure - her next destination has already been set as Pensacola (FL) for a few weeks time

Online matthewkantar

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #14 on: 09/26/2018 03:05 AM »
From Vessel finder:

Online matthewkantar

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #15 on: 09/26/2018 03:13 AM »
And a screenshot from the New Glenn intro video of the landing ship. If New Glenn is 7 meters in diameter, the ship shown in the video is <very> roughly 200 meters long, similar to the 183 meter length of Stena Freighter. Are we looking at the hull for the landing ship?

Edit: Stena Freighter seems a lot beamier than the boat pictured in the video.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2018 03:18 AM by matthewkantar »

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #16 on: 09/26/2018 05:40 AM »
Not unpossible. Biggest argument against it is that Blue is supposed to already have their ship in dock, getting converted.

Looking at size and deck layout it seems close enough for a landing ship.
Transport of large parts is also an option, but what to where? All manufacturing, launching and transfer from the landing ship is supposed to happen at the Cape.

Online ncb1397

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #17 on: 09/26/2018 06:16 AM »
Not unpossible. Biggest argument against it is that Blue is supposed to already have their ship in dock, getting converted.


What do you think it is doing in a one of these 3 cells?

https://www.google.com/maps/place/3828'36.2%22N+847'20.1%22W/
@38.4767096,-8.7892422,412m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d38.4767139!4d-8.7889111
« Last Edit: 09/26/2018 02:01 PM by gongora »

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #18 on: 09/26/2018 12:39 PM »
Not unpossible. Biggest argument against it is that Blue is supposed to already have their ship in dock, getting converted.


What do you think it is doing in a one of these 3 cells?


Your link is breaking the page. If you click a location in Google Maps, then click "Share" on the left side of the map, it gives you a short link to copy:

https://goo.gl/maps/6Vas2UvgBpG2

Transport of large parts is also an option, but what to where? All manufacturing, launching and transfer from the landing ship is supposed to happen at the Cape.

Transporting used boosters (which are certainly "rocket components") from the middle of the ocean to Port Canaveral, of course.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2018 12:41 PM by envy887 »

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #19 on: 09/26/2018 08:02 PM »
It's a full shipyard, they can do just about any modification. Bigger question to me is if there is anything in the Jones Act that Blue has to think about. Don't know nearly enough about that one though.

Ship to ship transfer of NG first stages. ;D Not bad!
And I though I had ambitious ideas with my future (once the idea is proven to work), bespoke landing ship.
A rather large Xbow ship* with heli platform** and a flat aft deck featuring large telescopic cranes*** to lower the stage to horizontal and an elevator*** to store it and a few more below****.

* More real estate in the back, and less wind and spray if the rocket has to stay up.
** Quick crew transfer is quick. Probably not happening though, helicopter operations on ship are not cheap.
*** Also to unload the stages in the harbor. Less dock time is cheaper and less stress about setting up huge cranes.
**** There are rules for helicopter elevators on yachts. Say for example AV gas tight seals so that a fuel spill on deck does not set the innards on fire... These would be somewhat similar.
***** Store the stage protected from weather but also to work on them on station and during transfer. Cleaning, inspection and perhaps small repairs. Blue has enough money to afford a more stages than absolutely required in Elons 24h turnaround system. More stages is also a buffer in case a stage gets lost or broken.

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