Author Topic: Blue Origin fleet  (Read 23233 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...

Offline 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.

Offline 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.

Online 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.

Offline 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.

Offline 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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Offline 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 we’re retrofitting it now. It’s 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/38°28'36.2%22N+8°47'20.1%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.

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #20 on: 09/27/2018 02:36 am »
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.

The US built requirement of the Jones Act limits transport of cargo between US ports. Catching a rocket in international waters and then bringing it to a US port would seem to be excluded.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #21 on: 09/27/2018 06:35 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/38°28'36.2%22N+8°47'20.1%22W/
@38.4767096,-8.7892422,412m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d38.4767139!4d-8.7889111

I wonder the same thing as I land on RW 5 at LTBA all the time.  or bike by it :) greetings from Yeslikoy :)

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #22 on: 09/28/2018 12:05 am »
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.

The US built requirement of the Jones Act limits transport of cargo between US ports. Catching a rocket in international waters and then bringing it to a US port would seem to be excluded.

Does that count for out-and-back from the same port though, like Sea Launch did?

Online ncb1397

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #23 on: 10/07/2018 08:59 pm »
If anyone is from Lisbon, Portugal area, Stena Freighter is currently on the west side of the A2 highway suspension bridge. Would be interesting to see if there were any modifications done.
« Last Edit: 10/07/2018 09:00 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline TGMetsFan98

Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #24 on: 10/10/2018 06:12 pm »
Cross post:

Smith confirms Stena Freighter is the New Glenn recovery ship!

https://twitter.com/b0yle/status/1050076402660204544
"Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here." -Coop

Offline Aurora

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #25 on: 10/10/2018 06:49 pm »
According to Marine Traffic website - the ship is heading to Pensacola Port, FL (not Cape Canaveral Port, FL) to arrive on 18 October at 02:00 in the morning.

Offline rliebman

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #26 on: 10/10/2018 06:59 pm »
hope it is able to dock in Pensacola. May need to be rerouted - maybe to Florida 'east coast', as noted above.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #27 on: 10/11/2018 10:02 am »
Interesting development.
With the Air Force development money and the addition of a second launch pad the type of ship makes even more sense.

Seems to me like they'll transport the rocket below and then land it on top.
I guess the remaining question for now is if there is a second ship that they bought earlier or if it was always this one.
Oh, and of course if Blue has an option to buy the sister ship which AFAIK sold to a company in Mexico.

Online b0objunior

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #28 on: 10/11/2018 10:13 am »
Interesting development.
With the Air Force development money and the addition of a second launch pad the type of ship makes even more sense.

Seems to me like they'll transport the rocket below and then land it on top.
I guess the remaining question for now is if there is a second ship that they bought earlier or if it was always this one.
Oh, and of course if Blue has an option to buy the sister ship which AFAIK sold to a company in Mexico.
The thing is, it would take the best part of two weeks to get from florida to vanderberg. That's pretty prohibitive when you want to launch on the east coast and the west coast in short order.

Online ncb1397

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #29 on: 10/11/2018 10:17 am »
Interesting development.
With the Air Force development money and the addition of a second launch pad the type of ship makes even more sense.

Seems to me like they'll transport the rocket below and then land it on top.
I guess the remaining question for now is if there is a second ship that they bought earlier or if it was always this one.
Oh, and of course if Blue has an option to buy the sister ship which AFAIK sold to a company in Mexico.
The thing is, it would take the best part of two weeks to get from florida to vanderberg. That's pretty prohibitive when you want to launch on the east coast and the west coast in short order.

1.)I don't think New Glenn fits in the cargo bay without some major modifications
2.)A launch every 2 weeks is 26 launches a year, which is 52 geostationary satellites per year.
« Last Edit: 10/11/2018 10:19 am by ncb1397 »

Online b0objunior

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #30 on: 10/11/2018 10:24 am »
Interesting development.
With the Air Force development money and the addition of a second launch pad the type of ship makes even more sense.

Seems to me like they'll transport the rocket below and then land it on top.
I guess the remaining question for now is if there is a second ship that they bought earlier or if it was always this one.
Oh, and of course if Blue has an option to buy the sister ship which AFAIK sold to a company in Mexico.
The thing is, it would take the best part of two weeks to get from florida to vanderberg. That's pretty prohibitive when you want to launch on the east coast and the west coast in short order.

1.)I don't think New Glenn fits in the cargo bay without some major modifications
2.)A launch every 2 weeks is 26 launches a year, which is 52 geostationary satellites per year.
Two weeks is one way.

Online ncb1397

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #31 on: 10/11/2018 10:35 am »
Interesting development.
With the Air Force development money and the addition of a second launch pad the type of ship makes even more sense.

Seems to me like they'll transport the rocket below and then land it on top.
I guess the remaining question for now is if there is a second ship that they bought earlier or if it was always this one.
Oh, and of course if Blue has an option to buy the sister ship which AFAIK sold to a company in Mexico.
The thing is, it would take the best part of two weeks to get from florida to vanderberg. That's pretty prohibitive when you want to launch on the east coast and the west coast in short order.

1.)I don't think New Glenn fits in the cargo bay without some major modifications
2.)A launch every 2 weeks is 26 launches a year, which is 52 geostationary satellites per year.
Two weeks is one way.

1.)launch on the east coast
2.)drop of the stage (couple days)
3.)east coast to west coast (2 weeks)
4.)launch on the west coast.

So, even if you were going back and forth every single launch, it would still be around 2 dozen launches per year. That would be the worst case scenario though.

Online b0objunior

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #32 on: 10/11/2018 10:47 am »
Interesting development.
With the Air Force development money and the addition of a second launch pad the type of ship makes even more sense.

Seems to me like they'll transport the rocket below and then land it on top.
I guess the remaining question for now is if there is a second ship that they bought earlier or if it was always this one.
Oh, and of course if Blue has an option to buy the sister ship which AFAIK sold to a company in Mexico.
The thing is, it would take the best part of two weeks to get from florida to vanderberg. That's pretty prohibitive when you want to launch on the east coast and the west coast in short order.

1.)I don't think New Glenn fits in the cargo bay without some major modifications
2.)A launch every 2 weeks is 26 launches a year, which is 52 geostationary satellites per year.
Two weeks is one way.

1.)launch on the east coast
2.)drop of the stage (couple days)
3.)east coast to west coast (2 weeks)
4.)launch on the west coast.

So, even if you were going back and forth every single launch, it would still be around 2 dozen launches per year. That would be the worst case scenario though.
Yeah, and helping Blue Origin's case is that west coast launches are more scarce than west coast ones.

Offline Zond

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #33 on: 10/11/2018 07:32 pm »
According to Marine Traffic website - the ship is heading to Pensacola Port, FL (not Cape Canaveral Port, FL) to arrive on 18 October at 02:00 in the morning.
Anybody got an idea why the ship would be going to Pensacola? I didn't find a big shipyard nearby where they could convert the ship and it is also not in the vicinity of existing Blue Origin facilities.

Offline Aurora

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #34 on: 10/11/2018 07:43 pm »
Interesting development.
With the Air Force development money and the addition of a second launch pad the type of ship makes even more sense.

Seems to me like they'll transport the rocket below and then land it on top.
I guess the remaining question for now is if there is a second ship that they bought earlier or if it was always this one.
Oh, and of course if Blue has an option to buy the sister ship which AFAIK sold to a company in Mexico.
The thing is, it would take the best part of two weeks to get from florida to vanderberg. That's pretty prohibitive when you want to launch on the east coast and the west coast in short order.

1.)I don't think New Glenn fits in the cargo bay without some major modifications
2.)A launch every 2 weeks is 26 launches a year, which is 52 geostationary satellites per year.
Two weeks is one way.

1.)launch on the east coast
2.)drop of the stage (couple days)
3.)east coast to west coast (2 weeks)
4.)launch on the west coast.

So, even if you were going back and forth every single launch, it would still be around 2 dozen launches per year. That would be the worst case scenario though.

Tremendous cost of fuel to travel back and forth between the eastern and western ranges (and expense for trans-versing the Panama Canal)   Fuel cost was a tremendous cost to Sea Launch operations - moving the platform and command ship back and forth.   Blue Origin will reveal their strategy when they are ready.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #35 on: 10/11/2018 08:33 pm »
Looking at pictures they should have a hatch clearance of roughly 7 meters.
Too bad that the pictures I found are not good enough to read the actual height limit sign.  :)

I doubt that Blue would buy a RoRo Ferry that can't (be made to) fit New Glenn.


Extra cost for west coast launches is a moot point to me. If the USG wants NG to launch there they'll have to pay for that service.

Blue: Hey USG, do you really want us to launch from Vandenberg? You would be the only customer.
USG: Yes we do.
Blue: Well. That will be $ for a ship and $$ for a pad and some $ each launch to move stuff around...
USG: Here, have $500 million as a start. How soon can we talk about vertical payload integration?


Yes, the $500 are for something else. OTOH Bezos seems to be more willing to jump through hoops than Musk.
Within reason of course. Blue is not building a pad for giggles, there will be some assurances from the Air Force. (And if they get broken that can used too.)

Offline Steve D

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #36 on: 10/12/2018 03:27 pm »
Will the ship be manned for the landings? Or will the crew leave the ship somehow while NG lands?
Steve

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #37 on: 10/12/2018 04:37 pm »
Not manned according to Blue a while ago.

Probably could be done. LNG tankers -which have a much bigger blast radius- have some neat safety systems beyond the usual stuff.
But there is no real need to do it. Either the stage stands the landing or not.

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #38 on: 10/12/2018 04:41 pm »
The NASA term Is "crewed" ...

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #40 on: 10/17/2018 10:02 am »
According to MarineTraffic.com, Stena Freighter has arrived along the Florida Coast.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #42 on: 10/19/2018 12:18 am »
Stena Freighter pictured at Port of Pensacola!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpFw4EYj67C

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #43 on: 10/19/2018 12:34 am »
This freighter is going to be transporting rocket stages back to the US, having left from a US port correct?
I am curious to know whether BO plans to re-flag it to the US and operate it under the Jones Act, because I am not sure if it will be exempt from the Jones Act or not.

Jones Act means US mariners crew the vessel instead of foreign crew, this vessel is currently a foreign crew.
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Offline Rocket Surgeon

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #44 on: 10/19/2018 06:07 am »
This freighter is going to be transporting rocket stages back to the US, having left from a US port correct?
I am curious to know whether BO plans to re-flag it to the US and operate it under the Jones Act, because I am not sure if it will be exempt from the Jones Act or not.

Jones Act means US mariners crew the vessel instead of foreign crew, this vessel is currently a foreign crew.

They will probably need a US Citizen or Permanent Resident crew anyway under ITAR anyway

Offline jpo234

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #45 on: 10/19/2018 01:32 pm »
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.

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #46 on: 10/20/2018 09:57 am »
This video does show that's its one big "boat"!

https://twitter.com/WEARAllenStrum/status/1053381209013805058




Offline Cowboy Dan

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #50 on: 10/25/2018 03:35 pm »

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #51 on: 10/26/2018 03:16 am »
Gotta possible Stena Freighter scenario unfolding:
https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2018/10/24/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-rocket-landing-ship-docked-pensacola-port/1739488002/

Quoting the interesting part at end:

Quote
However, at the Oct. 11 City Council meeting, Jack Burglund with Offshore Inland Marine & Oilfield Services said on top of being scheduled to bring in seven oil tankers for refit and repair to the Port of Pensacola, the company would have a major announcement soon.  ... "We have an absolutely huge announcement to make probably within the week," Burglund said at the Oct. 11 meeting. "Unfortunately, both me and Offshore Inland are locked into a non-disclosure where we can't announce the name of the company, but we did sign a contract that will have a vessel arriving here next week for upwards of two years. That will be working between 50-75 people a day." Crews could be seen at the port loading large pieces of metal onto the ship on Tuesday.

Article is dated early Wednesday, Oct 24th.
« Last Edit: 10/26/2018 03:17 am by ChrisC »
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Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #52 on: 10/26/2018 10:09 am »
What would they possible do with a ship that needs a major refit?
That guessing game is almost as obvious as it gets. Almost because parking at Ingalls is an option too.

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #53 on: 10/26/2018 05:40 pm »
What would they possible do with a ship that needs a major refit?
I think building a landing platform, and possibly stage storage, cranes, etc, below it, would count. But, two years?  Gradatim!
« Last Edit: 10/26/2018 05:40 pm by Lar »
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Offline SDSmith

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #54 on: 10/26/2018 06:53 pm »
What would they possible do with a ship that needs a major refit?
I think building a landing platform, and possibly stage storage, cranes, etc, below it, would count. But, two years?  Gradatim!
The biggest issue that I have are the stacks at the back of the ship. With the ship in transit during landing and if the ship is slightly faster than the booster, the stacks could be hit.

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #55 on: 10/26/2018 06:58 pm »
I think anything on the ship that is soft can be put below or behind a couple of inches of steel. My guess is that this ship will be extensively modified.

It will be interesting to see how B.O. practices for landings. Will they splash a few boosters like SpaceX did? Or will they go right for an attempt on the ship?

Offline nacnud

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #56 on: 10/26/2018 07:24 pm »
Given the cost and size of their booster I can really see them trying not to splash any of them!

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #57 on: 10/26/2018 07:49 pm »
Blue does not really need the ship ASAP, NG is a bit delayed.

Lets see...
Add landing deck/reinforce upper deck.
Delete some obstacles. (Put a hinge on the stacks?)
I'd love to add some cranes as handling equipment. Less footprint in port sounds nice.
Enlarge the rear hatch so that NG fits through it, interior should be big enough.
I see a red door ship and I want to paint it black blue.
Much more fire suppression systems, both on deck and internally.
And of course all maintenance and applicable certification work (if any) done and up to date on delivery. 

As for the time frame. Quite long as mentioned. 2 years? Blue can get a bespoke ship in 2 years. (Of course: Money, please! applies) I guess it's a "Would you like two years of steady work?" kind of deal.
A clear scope of work (easy to plan) with long timeframe (cheap) and most likely a guaranteed delivery date (not so cheap). OTOH if there are any surprises there is certainly enough time to work them too.



Will Blue drop a few stages into the drink for practice? I doubt it, too expensive.
The guesstimate is still 7*$8 million for a set of first stage engines. Say ULA has to pay for a lot of R&D and the internal cost at Blue is 1/3 of that. For ~$19 million you can refurbish the ship quite a bit.
NG should have the throttle range and a whole lot of reserve fuel so I say they'll hover, a lot. Either try it directly or at the most hover next to the ship and then crab walk the stage.

That does of course not mean that landing will work from day one.

The big risk is rupturing the tank and spilling a few tons of LNG&LOX.
There are ways to mitigate some of the problems. Sealed, positive pressure interior. Independent air supply for crew (0 during landing). Gas protected operation of engines (for operation within flammable gases).
The recent German multi purpose ships and at least one of the big tugs on the North Sea have the gear. [article] [Nordic tug wiki]



Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #58 on: 10/26/2018 08:09 pm »
I think anything on the ship that is soft can be put below or behind a couple of inches of steel. My guess is that this ship will be extensively modified.

It will be interesting to see how B.O. practices for landings. Will they splash a few boosters like SpaceX did? Or will they go right for an attempt on the ship?

How many ships can you buy with the several hundred million dollars they would waste by splashing a booster?

Offline Aurora

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #59 on: 10/26/2018 08:47 pm »
Only speculation:    New Glenn program will probably follow the New Shepard program flight testing, performing short take off and landings at CCAFB, then attempt landing on the Stena Freighter (using until we have a name) off the Florida Coast, as close to CCAFB that will be approved by all authorities.   They could attempt landing on the ship in "relatively stationary" position, or moving position at various speeds to validate their plans.   Their planned return zone is 630x440 miles area, off the US coast between NC and FL.

First stage booster with 7 BE-4 engines will be an expensive "launch test" and planning to splash a launch vehicle will be challenging to insurance at reasonable rates prior to successful string of launching and landing (similar to SX).   One

New Glenn booster has to be expensive similar to FH, probably more.

Offline Lar

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #60 on: 10/26/2018 09:55 pm »

How many ships can you buy with the several hundred million dollars they would waste by splashing a booster?
I don't think the direct cost of one booster is several hundred million but I may be confused.

I expect Blue to continue to run things hardware rich[1] so losing one booster, while expensive, isn't THAT bad is it?

1 - in the sense of having spares, not the exploding engine kind of hardware rich.
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Offline Lars-J

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #61 on: 10/27/2018 01:02 am »

How many ships can you buy with the several hundred million dollars they would waste by splashing a booster?
I don't think the direct cost of one booster is several hundred million but I may be confused.

I expect Blue to continue to run things hardware rich[1] so losing one booster, while expensive, isn't THAT bad is it?

1 - in the sense of having spares, not the exploding engine kind of hardware rich.

Blue is hardware rich in the sense that they can afford to replace hardware fairly quickly (i.e. a failure won't kill the program).

But they are not hardware rich in the way that they have lots of extra ships or boosters ready to go. Previous failures for them (such as NS, and BE-4) have caused significant delays.

Anyone expecting that Blue will start flying NG with several landing ships (or NG boosters) ready to step in is going to be in for a disappointment. I don't think they will purchase another ship until they need it. They will build them as they need them. Bezos it super rich, but doesn't like to spend money until he has to.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2018 01:05 am by Lars-J »

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #62 on: 10/27/2018 02:50 am »

How many ships can you buy with the several hundred million dollars they would waste by splashing a booster?
I don't think the direct cost of one booster is several hundred million but I may be confused.

I expect Blue to continue to run things hardware rich[1] so losing one booster, while expensive, isn't THAT bad is it?

1 - in the sense of having spares, not the exploding engine kind of hardware rich.

With engines worth ~$56 million retail (if they are indeed selling to ULA for $16 per pair), the booster probably costs at least $100 million each. I'd say it's at least expensive enough that the (<<1%?) probability of a landing accident that destroys a ship isn't worth the 100% chance of loosing the booster if the ship isn't there.


Offline Lar

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #63 on: 10/27/2018 04:21 am »

How many ships can you buy with the several hundred million dollars they would waste by splashing a booster?
I don't think the direct cost of one booster is several hundred million but I may be confused.

I expect Blue to continue to run things hardware rich[1] so losing one booster, while expensive, isn't THAT bad is it?

1 - in the sense of having spares, not the exploding engine kind of hardware rich.

Blue is hardware rich in the sense that they can afford to replace hardware fairly quickly (i.e. a failure won't kill the program).

But they are not hardware rich in the way that they have lots of extra ships or boosters ready to go. Previous failures for them (such as NS, and BE-4) have caused significant delays.

Anyone expecting that Blue will start flying NG with several landing ships (or NG boosters) ready to step in is going to be in for a disappointment. I don't think they will purchase another ship until they need it. They will build them as they need them. Bezos it super rich, but doesn't like to spend money until he has to.
They need more than one booster. I would expect them to have a production line, even for the first one, so that when the first one rolls out, the second is partway done... yes that means revisions but that's OK.

I don't think Blue's cost for engines is the same as ULA's cost so I remain dubious that one booster is worth hundredS of millions. I think even 100 million is a stretch but maybe.
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Offline Ludus

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #64 on: 10/27/2018 05:57 am »
I wonder if they’ll automate it for landings. SpaceX could afford to repeatedly wreck boosters both because they were paid for and expendable anyway and there was nobody on the ASDS to get hurt. Sealaunch evacuated the crew to 5 km away.

Turning that big a ship into a crewless remotely operated drone would be interesting in itself.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #65 on: 10/27/2018 01:02 pm »
I don't think Blue's cost for engines is the same as ULA's cost so I remain dubious that one booster is worth hundredS of millions. I think even 100 million is a stretch but maybe.

NS was very slow, one PM at a time. NG has to be faster because customers.

I think half a dozen sets to begin with. Not all of them flight models or even fully completed.
Need to qualify the build process. (Biggest flying carbon fiber LOX tanks ever, until BFR.) Need some structural test articles. Need something to bang around while training the moving and handling at the factory/transporter/launchpad/ship before the real thing arrives. Something to train pad and post landing operations. There is some overlap between these.

There is a need to learn how to build this rocket. Then learn how to build it effectively.
Blue can't bank on a successful landing. Even if the stage lands it might be cooked. They need enough stages on hand (or build them fast enough) to fulfill contracts.
Once the rocket flies there will be changes, so OTOH don't have too many in case of major redesigns.


I'd like to have 2 fully completed flight sets, as identical as possible, before the first flight. -In case of root cause analysis after the first launch.- 1 or 2 partially assembled sets because there will be changes.

Test articles are more difficult. We also don't know what the rejection criteria for the wound tanks are. What happens if there are voids in the laminate? What happens if NDT shows anomalies? Observe over time? Destructive testing to find out what the problem is?
Might be really easy to get some test articles to train with as production processes get dialed in.  :)



Turning that big a ship into a crewless remotely operated drone would be interesting in itself.

They said no crew during landing.
Not really a problem. It is just the autopilot driving a straight line at known speed.
Obviously needs a bit of control systems engineering to be on point and a better remote solution than cobbling up a VPN connection over INMARSAT.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #66 on: 10/27/2018 01:46 pm »
Engine production will also limit how fast the booster can be built. Between Vulcan and NG the demand could be upto 30 a year.
Blue will need a lot in first few years to build a fleet of boosters plus usual failure or two. Luckily ULA initial demand will be low and build up till Atlas is phased out.


Offline ZachF

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #67 on: 10/27/2018 05:28 pm »

How many ships can you buy with the several hundred million dollars they would waste by splashing a booster?
I don't think the direct cost of one booster is several hundred million but I may be confused.

I expect Blue to continue to run things hardware rich[1] so losing one booster, while expensive, isn't THAT bad is it?

1 - in the sense of having spares, not the exploding engine kind of hardware rich.

Blue is hardware rich in the sense that they can afford to replace hardware fairly quickly (i.e. a failure won't kill the program).

But they are not hardware rich in the way that they have lots of extra ships or boosters ready to go. Previous failures for them (such as NS, and BE-4) have caused significant delays.

Anyone expecting that Blue will start flying NG with several landing ships (or NG boosters) ready to step in is going to be in for a disappointment. I don't think they will purchase another ship until they need it. They will build them as they need them. Bezos it super rich, but doesn't like to spend money until he has to.
They need more than one booster. I would expect them to have a production line, even for the first one, so that when the first one rolls out, the second is partway done... yes that means revisions but that's OK.

I don't think Blue's cost for engines is the same as ULA's cost so I remain dubious that one booster is worth hundredS of millions. I think even 100 million is a stretch but maybe.

HundredS is probably a stretch, but a little over $100m isn't. If they're selling BE-4s to ULA for $8m each, they probably cost ~$6m, so that's $42 million of engines right there. Next youre looking at a 50+ meter, probably 80 tonne empty stage with strakes, control surfaces, and landing legs. If the Falcon 9 booster has cost estimates in the $25-30m range at 1/4-1/3 the mass, and is built in much higher numbers (better economy of scale), $100+ million for the massive (It really is huge) NG first stage doesn't seem out of the question.

I'd personally guess its cost right at $100m... That's still not bad for what it is.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2018 05:35 pm by ZachF »
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Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #68 on: 10/27/2018 06:36 pm »
How heavy is the stage without engines?

Since this is the fleet thread:
The big off shore racing sail boats are very roughly $1 million per ton. For one off prototypes like top tier IMOCA monohulls or the Ultime class trimarans. Carbon fiber all the laminates, Nomex honeycomb or foam cores, hand laminated, out of autoclave cured.

Complexity is roughly similar so it should be close enough. Flying a 32m ~16t trimaran on ~4m^2 of foil surface like the Americas Cup catamarans did takes a good bit of mechanical engineering.

With automation the rocket should cost less.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #69 on: 10/27/2018 06:54 pm »
What would they possible do with a ship that needs a major refit?
I think building a landing platform, and possibly stage storage, cranes, etc, below it, would count. But, two years?  Gradatim!
The biggest issue that I have are the stacks at the back of the ship. With the ship in transit during landing and if the ship is slightly faster than the booster, the stacks could be hit.

The Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carriers had movable stacks that swings down outwards from vertical to near horizontal.

Alternate solution is to re-route the engine exhausts to a reinforced mack on revised forward superstructure.

Wonder what kind of landing deck Blue is going to installed on the ship? I am guessing something like on Royal Navy's RFA Argus, which is a similar size and layout.

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #70 on: 11/05/2018 05:56 am »
Looks like the Stena Freighter name, home port registry, and S markings on her funnels have been painters over in the last few days:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpxIb3IBMOs/

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #71 on: 11/05/2018 02:44 pm »
For what it's worth, there are 13 historical picture of the "Stena Freighter (2004)" on Wikimedia, with the sort of license attached that allows them to be used in any of the various-language Wikipedias.

Those might be interesting to some of you for capturing details about the ship that you haven't seen in any of the recently-captured photos.

Moreover, some of you who are capturing your own high-quality images of the (former?) Stena Freighter in the beginnings of its current state of change, to become the Blue Origin booster landing ship, may wish to upload a few of them occasionally to Wikimedia with the proper CC-SA license that would allow your work to be used on the various Wikipedia articles that will no doubt be looking for images of this noteworthy ship.
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Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #72 on: 11/05/2018 03:11 pm »
Here is just one of the Creative Commons licensed images of the Stena Freighter (2004), which is a png, and by license is available for others to modify for derivative works as long as credit is given to the originator of the original image.

[img=https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MF_Stena_Freighter_2004.png]http://File:MF_Stena_Freighter_2004.png[/img]

File:MF_Stena_Freighter_2004.png

(the highest resolution image is available at the link above)
« Last Edit: 11/05/2018 03:17 pm by Llian Rhydderch »
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."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #73 on: 11/05/2018 04:10 pm »
Looks like the Stena Freighter name, home port registry, and S markings on her funnels have been painters over in the last few days:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpxIb3IBMOs/

And looking closely at the vessel, looks like she is flying the flag of the Marshall Islands.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #74 on: 11/22/2018 08:00 am »
Stena Freighter's car door is open, considering how the ship is docked might indicate construction work?

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqc4EorH9u4/

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #75 on: 11/25/2018 11:53 am »
There is a wealth of information uncovered on the (former) Stena Freighter, and curated into a Wikipedia article with extensive sources by several of the long-time spaceflight editors over there. 

This article was created yesterday Blue Origin landing platform ship 

It includes a very complete history of the ship, from being laid down in 1997, hull complete in 1999 as the shipyard went bankrupt, eventual completion in 2004.
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."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Online matthewkantar

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #76 on: 12/01/2018 03:38 pm »
I noticed in the recently published New Glenn User's Guide, B.O. has updated the rendering of the landing ship. This may be closer to what they are building, as they now have an actual ship.

The biggest change is the addition of a heliport. This suggests to me that rather than building a sturdy bunker, Stena Freighter will be uncrewed for landings.

The old photo is a screen shot from the 3/7/2017 video "Introducing New Glenn" on YouTube, The newer one is from the October 2018 New Glenn User's Guide.
Matthew

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #77 on: 12/02/2018 06:07 am »
The biggest change is the addition of a heliport. This suggests to me that rather than building a sturdy bunker, Stena Freighter will be uncrewed for landings.

They said early on that there would be no crew during landing. Possible but not worth it.

That said a second ship geared for helicopter operation is not exactly cheap either. The recovery happens a bit out there.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #78 on: 12/02/2018 06:31 pm »
The biggest change is the addition of a heliport. This suggests to me that rather than building a sturdy bunker, Stena Freighter will be uncrewed for landings.

They said early on that there would be no crew during landing. Possible but not worth it.

That said a second ship geared for helicopter operation is not exactly cheap either. The recovery happens a bit out there.

Think there will be no insurer willing to underwrite the presence of crew aboard during landing operations.

Will point out that you need a non-coastal multi helo capable support ship in any case. You need organic helo support to ensure landing zone is clear of other vessels and aircraft.

The crew ferrying helo should be large enough to move the whole landing ship's crew in one flight.

Multiple helos to ensure at least one operational helo on station. It is the middle of the Atlantic after all.

Online meekGee

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #79 on: 12/02/2018 07:31 pm »
The biggest change is the addition of a heliport. This suggests to me that rather than building a sturdy bunker, Stena Freighter will be uncrewed for landings.

They said early on that there would be no crew during landing. Possible but not worth it.

That said a second ship geared for helicopter operation is not exactly cheap either. The recovery happens a bit out there.

Think there will be no insurer willing to underwrite the presence of crew aboard during landing operations.

Will point out that you need a non-coastal multi helo capable support ship in any case. You need organic helo support to ensure landing zone is clear of other vessels and aircraft.

The crew ferrying helo should be large enough to move the whole landing ship's crew in one flight.

Multiple helos to ensure at least one operational helo on station. It is the middle of the Atlantic after all.

Doubt that you need multi helicopters on the ship - they will all evacuate before launch, so if the helicopter breaks down, you can just delay the launch.

Not to mention that they can use a fast boat too - the whole helicopter thing is just a nice-to-have.

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Offline CameronD

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #80 on: 12/02/2018 10:13 pm »
Looks like the Stena Freighter name, home port registry, and S markings on her funnels have been painters over in the last few days:

And looking closely at the vessel, looks like she is flying the flag of the Marshall Islands.

Just found this thread. :)

Painting over a vessel's details is usually indicative of de-registration.  A quick vessel search confirms the Freight Ship formerly known as "STENA FREIGHTER" is currently classified by DNV, with a matching USCG record, and is now called "LPV".

The DNV entry for "LPV" indicates it used to be with RINA and was re-registered with DNV on 26 October for Port of Majuro, Marshall Islands - a US 'associated state' and a handy way of getting around any USCG requirement to be US-flagged.  So perhaps that part is settled then?

http://vesselregister.dnvgl.com/VesselRegister/vesseldetails.html?vesselid=19270
 
I still expect we'll see a change from "Freight Ship" to "Research Vessel" following SpaceX's lead, although one thing is for certain: until the details are painted on the stern this vessel isn't going anywhere ...and when it does I'm sure the crew will eventually get used to using adapters to charge their iPhones.


EDIT:  Irrelevant waffle removed..
« Last Edit: 12/02/2018 11:34 pm by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #81 on: 12/02/2018 11:05 pm »
The biggest change is the addition of a heliport. This suggests to me that rather than building a sturdy bunker, Stena Freighter will be uncrewed for landings.

They said early on that there would be no crew during landing. Possible but not worth it.

That said a second ship geared for helicopter operation is not exactly cheap either. The recovery happens a bit out there.

Think there will be no insurer willing to underwrite the presence of crew aboard during landing operations.

Will point out that you need a non-coastal multi helo capable support ship in any case. You need organic helo support to ensure landing zone is clear of other vessels and aircraft.

The crew ferrying helo should be large enough to move the whole landing ship's crew in one flight.

Multiple helos to ensure at least one operational helo on station. It is the middle of the Atlantic after all.

Doubt that you need multi helicopters on the ship - they will all evacuate before launch, so if the helicopter breaks down, you can just delay the launch.

Not to mention that they can use a fast boat too - the whole helicopter thing is just a nice-to-have.

??? So for the lack of a helo you are going to scrubbed the launch until the next available launch window from pad 36 in Florida? Presuming you can get the helo operational again without going back to port to get a replacement.

Transferring personnel between two ships in the middle of the Atlantic in a small boat in any sea state other flat calm in daylight is neither fast or easy.

Then there is the issue of helo support for landing zone clearance. You can not clear the landing zone without organic shipboard helo support.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #82 on: 12/02/2018 11:30 pm »
??? So for the lack of a helo you are going to scrubbed the launch until the next available launch window from pad 36 in Florida? Presuming you can get the helo operational again without going back to port to get a replacement.

Transferring personnel between two ships in the middle of the Atlantic in a small boat in any sea state other flat calm in daylight is neither fast or easy.

Then there is the issue of helo support for landing zone clearance. You can not clear the landing zone without organic shipboard helo support.

Yep. If that is indeed going to be their normal operations - that the landing ship needs to be emptied of all crew - that will add some interesting wrinkles, delays, and cost to what originally seemed like a nimble operation.

Doing it for the first few launches might be a good idea, but after that? It would seem to complicate this more than they originally thought.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2018 11:31 pm by Lars-J »

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #83 on: 12/02/2018 11:37 pm »
Crew gets in the chopper and takes off from the ship when the rocket lifts off, flies a few clicks away and loiters, after the stage lands it touches back down. No problem.


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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #84 on: 12/02/2018 11:40 pm »
Transferring personnel between two ships in the middle of the Atlantic in a small boat in any sea state other flat calm in daylight is neither fast or easy.

Not if they cut away the stern under the ro-ro ramp to form a dock.. and then so long as the ship is moving forward at even a slow speed, you could park the entire support vessel in there in relative flat calm:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well_dock
 
« Last Edit: 12/02/2018 11:42 pm by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline sunworshipper

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #85 on: 12/02/2018 11:47 pm »
Crew gets in the chopper and takes off from the ship when the rocket lifts off, flies a few clicks away and loiters, after the stage lands it touches back down. No problem.
And what does the crew do in the worst case of the first stage destroying the ship?

Online meekGee

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #86 on: 12/03/2018 12:01 am »
The biggest change is the addition of a heliport. This suggests to me that rather than building a sturdy bunker, Stena Freighter will be uncrewed for landings.

They said early on that there would be no crew during landing. Possible but not worth it.

That said a second ship geared for helicopter operation is not exactly cheap either. The recovery happens a bit out there.

Think there will be no insurer willing to underwrite the presence of crew aboard during landing operations.

Will point out that you need a non-coastal multi helo capable support ship in any case. You need organic helo support to ensure landing zone is clear of other vessels and aircraft.

The crew ferrying helo should be large enough to move the whole landing ship's crew in one flight.

Multiple helos to ensure at least one operational helo on station. It is the middle of the Atlantic after all.

Doubt that you need multi helicopters on the ship - they will all evacuate before launch, so if the helicopter breaks down, you can just delay the launch.

Not to mention that they can use a fast boat too - the whole helicopter thing is just a nice-to-have.

??? So for the lack of a helo you are going to scrubbed the launch until the next available launch window from pad 36 in Florida? Presuming you can get the helo operational again without going back to port to get a replacement.

Transferring personnel between two ships in the middle of the Atlantic in a small boat in any sea state other flat calm in daylight is neither fast or easy.

Then there is the issue of helo support for landing zone clearance. You can not clear the landing zone without organic shipboard helo support.

No need to hyperventilate...  The only problem is if the helicopter fails to start up...  that's pretty rare, and helicopters are relied upon in life-critical situations all the time.

In this case if the helicopter doesn't start up, it's not even life-critical - it simply means either mission delay, or depart by boat if the seas are calm.

And you don't need a second large ship, just a fast transfer boat that can reach shore - like any of the type SpaceX uses.

There are many other systems that can fail and cause a launch delay..  That's perfectly acceptable.

I think they'll have a helicopter pad, but not multiple helicopters, that's all.
« Last Edit: 12/03/2018 12:12 am by meekGee »
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Online ncb1397

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #87 on: 12/03/2018 01:30 am »
Crew gets in the chopper and takes off from the ship when the rocket lifts off, flies a few clicks away and loiters, after the stage lands it touches back down. No problem.
And what does the crew do in the worst case of the first stage destroying the ship?

Quote
An amphibious helicopter is a helicopter that is intended to land in and take off from both land and water. Amphibious helicopters are used for a variety of specialized purposes including air-sea rescue, marine salvage and oceanography, in addition to other tasks that can be accomplished with any non-amphibious helicopter. An amphibious helicopter can be designed with a waterproof or water-resistant hull like a flying boat or it can be fitted with utility floats in the same manner as a floatplane.[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphibious_helicopter

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #88 on: 12/03/2018 07:53 am »
Transferring personnel between two ships in the middle of the Atlantic in a small boat in any sea state other flat calm in daylight is neither fast or easy.

Not if they cut away the stern under the ro-ro ramp to form a dock.. and then so long as the ship is moving forward at even a slow speed, you could park the entire support vessel in there in relative flat calm:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well_dock

A couple of issues with the well dock idea.

Any boats in the well dock have to be relatively flat bottom and shallow draft. Don't think sailing in the middle of the Atlantic is going be fun with such a boat.

Is a support boat small enough to go in the well dock got enough range to get near a coastline from the middle of the Atlantic?


Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #89 on: 12/03/2018 08:20 am »
....
....

Think there will be no insurer willing to underwrite the presence of crew aboard during landing operations.

Will point out that you need a non-coastal multi helo capable support ship in any case. You need organic helo support to ensure landing zone is clear of other vessels and aircraft.

The crew ferrying helo should be large enough to move the whole landing ship's crew in one flight.

Multiple helos to ensure at least one operational helo on station. It is the middle of the Atlantic after all.

Doubt that you need multi helicopters on the ship - they will all evacuate before launch, so if the helicopter breaks down, you can just delay the launch.

Not to mention that they can use a fast boat too - the whole helicopter thing is just a nice-to-have.

??? So for the lack of a helo you are going to scrubbed the launch until the next available launch window from pad 36 in Florida? Presuming you can get the helo operational again without going back to port to get a replacement.

Transferring personnel between two ships in the middle of the Atlantic in a small boat in any sea state other flat calm in daylight is neither fast or easy.

Then there is the issue of helo support for landing zone clearance. You can not clear the landing zone without organic shipboard helo support.

No need to hyperventilate...  The only problem is if the helicopter fails to start up...  that's pretty rare, and helicopters are relied upon in life-critical situations all the time.

Most helos are not operating in the middle of the Atlantic with limited tech support. Most navel warships embarked two helos so that one helo should be available most of the time.

Quote
In this case if the helicopter doesn't start up, it's not even life-critical - it simply means either mission delay, or depart by boat if the seas are calm.

The helo is needed for landing zone clearance.

Quote
And you don't need a second large ship, just a fast transfer boat that can reach shore - like any of the type SpaceX uses.

Unlike SpaceX, the Blue Origin ship will be in the middle of the Atlantic a few days steaming from any port.

Quote
There are many other systems that can fail and cause a launch delay..  That's perfectly acceptable.

I think they'll have a helicopter pad, but not multiple helicopters, that's all.

Disagree. Having an additional helo ensure a launch is not delayed or reschedule.

The Eastern launch range schedule appears to be heavily booked in the future. So losing a launch date might push the delayed launch weeks to the right.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #90 on: 12/03/2018 08:48 am »
Crew gets in the chopper and takes off from the ship when the rocket lifts off, flies a few clicks away and loiters, after the stage lands it touches back down. No problem.
And what does the crew do in the worst case of the first stage destroying the ship?

Quote
An amphibious helicopter is a helicopter that is intended to land in and take off from both land and water. Amphibious helicopters are used for a variety of specialized purposes including air-sea rescue, marine salvage and oceanography, in addition to other tasks that can be accomplished with any non-amphibious helicopter. An amphibious helicopter can be designed with a waterproof or water-resistant hull like a flying boat or it can be fitted with utility floats in the same manner as a floatplane.[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphibious_helicopter

Landing in the middle of the Atlantic means the helicopter is not likely to take off again if the engines gets shutdown. Very few helicopter actually land on the ocean for any reason, they usually just use the rescue hoist. The amphibious helicopter is usually used near a coast or inland.

There is not that many amphibious helicopters left in the market and don't think there is any new one coming into service.

Fun factoid, the USCG have retired all their HH-3 Pelicans.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #91 on: 12/03/2018 03:58 pm »
Do they actually have to clear the area around the landing ship?

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #92 on: 12/03/2018 04:22 pm »
Looking at their rendering the Helicopter platform does not have a hanger. That is no place to move a landed helicopter out of the elements.  No hanger is completely normal. Simply means helicopters land refuel and take off. Helicopters will not be there for an extended stay. How long is an extended stay?  Call it overnight. So no helicopter hanger, helicopters will not be on board longer than a day.

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #94 on: 12/04/2018 05:48 am »
Thinking about it. There is actually 3 helo landing spots on the landing ship. The small one at the stern and the double one amidship that doubles up as rocket landing pad.

Blue Origin didn't extended the landing pad to the stern like most amphibious assault ships. Since it looks like the ship's propulsion exhausts uptakes is incorporated into the superstructure the small helo pad is on. Probably to reduce the amount re-routing of the exhausts ducting from the previous twin side exhaust stacks in the landing ship's previous incarnation.

Also looking more close on image of the landing ship. It appears they remove the stern ramp for Ro-Ro operation and reworked the stern of the ship. Of course it might be artistic license.

Previous posts about putting in a well dock will required ballast tanks be installed. Which is not a feature of most RO-RO transport ships.

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #95 on: 12/04/2018 05:58 am »
Unlikely that it will be a yacht.
Helicopter operations on yachts are very constricted. Most are touch and go. (The least licensing requirements.) Relatively few carry helicopters for any amount of time. (Maintenance goes through the roof. Carrying AV fuel makes thing complicated. Crew training and equipment requirements go up.) Much easier to rent a helicopter and pilot at the destination.
A handful of yachts does have hangars. Complexity is high and lessons about safety have been learned the hard way.

If you want to go the yacht route use a yacht tender for all your transportation and toy needs. The old Garcon is to small but the 2016 model comes with a certified hangar and heli deck. (Damen YS 6911, I'm sure there are also others. No idea how or if at all yacht certifications transfer to the commercial world.)

Online matthewkantar

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #96 on: 12/04/2018 06:26 am »
Unlikely that it will be a yacht.
Helicopter operations on yachts are very constricted. Most are touch and go. (The least licensing requirements.) Relatively few carry helicopters for any amount of time. (Maintenance goes through the roof. Carrying AV fuel makes thing complicated. Crew training and equipment requirements go up.) Much easier to rent a helicopter and pilot at the destination.
A handful of yachts does have hangars. Complexity is high and lessons about safety have been learned the hard way.

If you want to go the yacht route use a yacht tender for all your transportation and toy needs. The old Garcon is to small but the 2016 model comes with a certified hangar and heli deck. (Damen YS 6911, I'm sure there are also others. No idea how or if at all yacht certifications transfer to the commercial world.)

The "yacht" sited here will have length, beam and displacement comparable to an Arleigh Burke class destroyer. No problem with helicopter operations from such a craft.

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #97 on: 12/12/2018 06:40 pm »
Instagram user pictured tugs along the ship, last AIS position received was 11 hours ago at the last berthing location:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrRP9SnjTIW/
And
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:197671/mmsi:538008209/imo:9138795/vessel:LPV

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #98 on: 12/12/2018 10:24 pm »
Instagram user pictured tugs along the ship, last AIS position received was 11 hours ago at the last berthing location:

Moving to a better berth perhaps?  The paint job is in mighty good condition for a ship that isn't going anywhere for a while.

"LPV" is an unusual name for a ship:  Does it mean anything special in the Blue Origin world??

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #99 on: 12/13/2018 02:14 am »
Some of us are thinking LPV = Landing Platform Vessel

Does this make sense to others?
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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #100 on: 12/13/2018 03:51 am »
That's what came to my mind

Ken

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Re: Blue Origin fleet
« Reply #101 on: 12/13/2018 05:33 am »
Some of us are thinking LPV = Landing Platform Vessel

That would kinda preclude another though wouldn't it?  After all, one vessel hardly makes a fleet..

If true, the next would have to be "LPV Too". :)
« Last Edit: 12/13/2018 05:35 am by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

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