Author Topic: Predictions 2019  (Read 10514 times)

Offline Tywin

Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #40 on: 12/25/2018 09:55 pm »


        Becomes official program with marginal support
        Orbit up in the air as SLS/Orion draws heat from Congress
        NASA, ESA and JAXA commit to build modules
        Russia - talk but no agreement to contribute
        PPE contract awarded
        UAE, Israel, South Korea, and Australia engage wanting to be part of return to Moon
                 Commit to Contribute something
        China - if trade deal worked out including respecting intellectual property (big if) talks to include start

I'm predicting an optimistic year with lots of positive activity

And what about India,  they will participate in some way in the Gateway?

I think so the same, a lot new emergen space countries, will be pleased to participate in the Gateway...
The knowledge is power...
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Offline yoram

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #41 on: 12/26/2018 04:46 am »

F9 has roughly the same flight rate as 2018. They finish clearing out out their backlog and there is a slowdown of new sats delivered, however there are a few primary flights for Starlink replacing it. Starlink is still ramping up production, so there are only a few flights for it.

First stage landings are mostly successful, with perhaps one lost.

No demonstration of 48h turnaround for Block 5 in this year, but Starlight flights get S1 turnaround down to two weeks.

FH is doing the expected two launches successfully, however only one center core is being recovered.

The first Starship hopper is making some test flights, with an eventual loss, but there is already a second one in production when it happens The SH first stage does not fly in 2019, but we see some photos of it. There's at least one Raptor blowup on a test stand.

SpaceX does at least one more capital raise.

Air Force

Air Force flight ranges increase possible flight rate with more automation, lying the ground works for future much busier space ports. However the effective flight rate is roughly on the same level as the previous year.

Blue Origin

First tourist flights on New Sheppard happen.

Some more details about New Glenn revealed and the factory makes good progress, but no test flight or demonstrated hardware.


Both Commercial Crew providers do successful unmanned test flights, and one delivers crew to the ISS in a later flight. The other manned test slips into 2020.

ISS gets extended beyond 2025.

Webb has further delays and overruns. The overruns impacts at least one other telescope project. There's first public complaints from astronomers about the impacts of Webb overruns on other projects (not sure about that one)

At least one prominent politician in Congress or Senate speaks out against SLS.

Lunar Gateway makes some minor progress.


Ariane 6 test flight slips to the end of the year, but is successful.

There is indication (but no public announcement) for a more serious development program to update Ariane 6 to a reusable first stage with a profile similar to F9.


They get the quality issues under control, so all flights are successful with only minor problems.

Proton keeps losing market share. Soyuz, both in the Baikonur and the Guyana and the manned version, is launching successfully roughly at the same rate. Angara has only one launch with more production problems.

Zvedza still doesn't launch, but gets ready for an early '20 launch.

There's an announcement to modify one the boosters in development for reusability, with a precursor test bed.

There's a meaningful public mile stone of a nuclear thermal engine ground test, with a flight test announced for the following year (but likely to slip).  This renews interest in nuclear propulsion in the US (ok that may be optimistic)

Small launchers

Rocket Lab has one failure, but other than that is doing well.

One startup (Firefly? Vector?) do a meaningful public test.

At least one startup gives up.

US startups

Bigelow announces a commercial flight of an inhabitable, but unmanned module, on New Glenn.

Planetary resources goes bankrupt, but gets bought and reemerges.


One manned flight.

At least one rocket startup has a meaningful milestone (suborbital flight), with another showing pictures from engine tests and flight hardware being built.

« Last Edit: 12/27/2018 05:43 am by yoram »

Offline alang

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #42 on: 12/26/2018 06:55 pm »
Global economic downturn impacts commercial launch manifests.
Military spend remains resilient but more cost focussed.
Musk has already thought about this and the loan is part of the planning.

Offline Oumuamua

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #43 on: 12/29/2018 05:12 pm »
First of all, best wishes for everyone in the new year  :)
Now for the predictions. In 2019:

-The total number of launches will be higher than 2018
-Soyuz will launch more often than Falcon 9 (orbital)
-SpaceX will not attempt a recovery (drone ship or landing pad) for the in-flight abort mission.
-Vector will not reach the karman line.
-The manned crew dragon mission will fly this year,  Starliner will not fly with crew in 2019.
-Encouraged by the return of US manned spaceflight a major space project (large commercial space station) will be announced with serious funding and with respected people/companies that support it.
-Planet nine will be found
-There will be speculation in the media that planet nine or it’s moons are inhabited by intelligent aliens. SETI will actually observe the system and come up empty, but that will not put the idea to rest.

Offline philw1776

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #44 on: 12/29/2018 05:45 pm »
1. FH has 2 successful flights with all cores recovered per mission profile goals
2. Unmanned Crew Dragon 2 flight to ISS 1st QTR.  Crewed flight to ISS by 4th QTR.
3. Boeing also flies crew to ISS in 2019
4. Falcon class recovered core re-used 4 times
5. Raptor @ full BFR design level thrust fired successfully NLT April 2019 (Late from my 2018 prediction)
6. Hop test flights @ Boca Chica by "Water Tower" boilerplate Q1.  Using sub-scale raptors initial flights.
7. Elon actually delivers and does a Starship specs update in March-April
8. "Real" Starship proto arrives @ Boca Chica from LA 4th QTR.  Full scale Raptor engines.
9. SpaceX launches updated Starlink satellite constellation test sats
10. SpaceX recovers fairings successfully, and re-flies
11. No Falcon 9 upper stage recovery design OR mini-BFS
12. Lunar Gateway boondoggle shelved (I know, wishful thinking on my part.  Make it so!)
13. BO makes New Shepard commercial customer flights
14. BO reveals New Glenn details. 2020 first flight target date.
15. Not just China, but other spacecraft land on the moon
16. No SETI signal received
17. No Planet 9 discovery
18. Virgin Galactic flies non-test pilots
19. Europa Lander plans fade away
20. New Horizon plans a 2nd KBO flyby sometime mid decade
Jan 6th addition
21. We find out about SpaceX's plans for Boca Chica off shore launch of Super Heavy
« Last Edit: 01/06/2019 03:21 pm by philw1776 »
"It'll bang right out!"

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #45 on: 12/29/2018 07:44 pm »


        Becomes official program with marginal support
        Orbit up in the air as SLS/Orion draws heat from Congress
        NASA, ESA and JAXA commit to build modules
        Russia - talk but no agreement to contribute
        PPE contract awarded
        UAE, Israel, South Korea, and Australia engage wanting to be part of return to Moon
                 Commit to Contribute something
        China - if trade deal worked out including respecting intellectual property (big if) talks to include start

I'm predicting an optimistic year with lots of positive activity

And what about India,  they will participate in some way in the Gateway?

I think so the same, a lot new emergen space countries, will be pleased to participate in the Gateway...
I don't know enough about India and how much they want to do things on their own and how much they want to collaborate with others.

If enough emerging countries want to participate, the foreign policy aspect of the gateway might become as important for it getting approved as anything else.  If it can be used as a carrot for China to agree to honoring intellectual property rights, it may have a value right there that politicians will consider.  It will be an interesting year no matter what happens.

Online Kryten

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #46 on: 12/30/2018 09:44 am »
Firefly Alpha's maiden flight is delayed well into 2020
New Shepard flies crew in late Q3 or Q4. No paid passengers this year
LauncherOne first flight is successful, three launches total in 2019
Vector attempts to launch a multi-engine stage towards the end of the year, no orbital attempt
Astra fly to orbit before the end of the year
At least three small launch startups go bust as the bubble starts to contract
20-25 Spacex launches
Raptor Grasshopper has an F9R dev-style catastrophic failure
No US lander successfully lands on the moon

No failures for Arianespace
Vega-C is pushed to 2020

OneSpace and Landspace are flying orbital before the end of the year, but none of the other startups make orbital attempts.
KZ-11 flies and the KZ-21 motor is tested
At least one previously unknown company does a 10+km launch

SSLV maiden launch is successful
Chandrayaan-2 lands safely

No complete launch failures in 2019

At least one Iranian launch attempt
None from the DPRK, but they resume missile testing before the end of the year
5-10 Electron launches

110-130 flights worldwide, as small launchers start to pick up pace
4-6 complete failures
China>US>Russia pattern holds (nb. I don't count Electron as US)

Offline Gliderflyer

Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #47 on: 12/30/2018 06:22 pm »
Here we go again:

- SpaceX will fly Falcon 9 17 times
- There will be no Falcon 9 turnaround faster than 2 weeks
- Falcon Heavy will fly twice
- SpaceX will have a launch failure that results in the loss of the payload
- Both SpaceX and Boeing fly unmanned test flights, but only Boeing flies crew
- Neither Commercial Crew Vehicle flies crew to the ISS
- Rocket Lab will fly 9 times with 1 partial failure
- Virgin Orbit will conduct 1 orbital flight attempt
- Vector will not reach orbit
- Blue Origin will unveil some New Glenn hardware, but no complete vehicle
- Obligatory carbon/epoxy and LOX ignition prediction

- EXOS flies at least twice and reaches 100 km
- Blue Origin will fly New Shepard 3 times
- Blue Origin will fly people to 100 km in December
- SpaceShipTwo will fly from New Mexico
- VSS Unity will break 90 km, but won’t be capable of reaching 100 km

- The SpaceX water tower successfully flies and is awesome
- LinkSpace successfully flies their 5 engine VTVL testbed
- The mass launch of 5000 model rockets planned for the Apollo 11 anniversary occurs, and goes about as well as one would expect
« Last Edit: 12/30/2018 06:26 pm by Gliderflyer »
I tried it at home

Offline Refleks

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #48 on: 12/30/2018 11:15 pm »
My preditions...

Elon will change Starship design again

James Webb will be delayed again until further notice.

NASA will post an update showing a new facility that destroys rockets as soon as they come off the manufacturing line, touting it as a huge success and finally after many decades of research approaching a similar efficiency level to just burning pallets of money.

Finally, I will win the lottery and develop, prototype, and proof-of-concept Sea Dragon's giant pressure fed engine.

Finally, Rocket Lab will make the cutest Electron Heavy rocket (you know you want it)

In all seriousness, I really hope everyone (including the small startups) are wildly successful and 2019 is a great year for spaceflight.   I'm glad to be around during this time in human history and advancements that seem a lifetime away are finally starting to seem like they're finally in reach, and I've found my interest renewed.  Cheers!

Online OhYeah

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #49 on: 12/31/2018 12:00 pm »
That Electron Heavy is one sexy looking piece of hardware, I must admit.

I have a prediction for tomorrow (1st of January). I can't shake the feeling that something unexpected will happen with the New Horizons probe and Ultima Thule encounter. Nothing like this has been attempted before and everything they've thrown at the probe it has managed to do exceeding expectations. I hope the luck (read: hard work) doesn't run out now.

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #50 on: 12/31/2018 12:34 pm »
Here we go:

Human spaceflight:

1. SpaceShipTwo-Unity will conduct several test flights, at least some of which will reach space (=80 km altitude). However, the first commercial flights are delayed to the second half of the year, even further. We won't see flights from Spaceport America soon.

2. More delays for Blue Origin, they won't send a human to space in 2019.

3. More delays for Starliner. Uncrewed test flight will happen, but the crewed one will be pushed to 2020.

3. Crew Dragon will fly in uncrewed mode during the winter or early spring. There will be delays for the in-flight abort test and the first crewed vehicle. First flight with humans onboard will happen in late 2019.

Robotic probes:

1. New Horizons flyby of Ultima Thule is successful

2. Chang'e 4 landing is successful

3. Chang'e 5 sample return further delayed to 2020

4. Chandrayaan-2 further delayed to at least spring. At least one of the two non-Chinese lunar landers (Beresheet or Chandrayaan-2) will fail. I hope I'm wrong.

5. InSight successfully deploys all instruments and starts the scientific missions.

6. No methane will be discovered by ExoMars just yet.

7. The last Minerva-2 hopper will land on asteroid Ryugu successfully. Both Osiris-Rex and Hayabusa 2 will collect samples.

8. Anomaly with Proton-M rocket launching Spektr-RG spacecraft (I dearly hope I'm wrong about that).

9. More delays for James Webb.


1. Rocket Lab begins regular flights, with one per 3-4 weeks.

2. Vector conducts unmanned suborbital test successfully.

3. Virgin orbit makes orbital test flight, it will be a success.

4. Second Falcon Heavy launch is a success. Lightsail-2 test will be successful.

5. Another big delay for SLS announced.

6. At least one of the Chinese startupts will launch a satellite to orbit.

Russia space:

1. Another major failure in 2019.

2. Angara delayed further, the next launch is in the second half in 2019 at the earliest, more likely pushed to 2020

3. More delays for Nauka module, the anticipated arrival at Baikonur in 2019 will happen later than expected (but it will at long last happen).

Offline Prober

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #51 on: 01/01/2019 02:44 am »
2019 the year of turmoil, and accountability
1) Accountability comes to NASA doors
2) Major announcements come 4-6 months into the new year.
3) Just as it was in the days of Challenger short sighted thinking brings “FAIL”
4) Political and economic forces brings revaluation of many space programs around the globe
5) Space Force more than many will believe possible.
6) Private interests find Freedom, Adventure and dream projects now possible.
7) 1990's timeline reestablished, many projects discarded now become possible. Dreams of "Space Wealth" bring excitement as new business becomes possible
 8) SpaceX Mars too little too late
« Last Edit: 01/15/2019 08:11 pm by Chris Bergin »
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline Colleteral888

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #52 on: 01/01/2019 01:21 pm »
Here are my predictions for 2019

-The two planned launch for the Falcon Heavy will be successful and all 3 boosters will be successfully recovered for both flights
-SpaceX will launch as many rockets as they did in 2018 but there will be one partial failure.
-Starship prototype unveils, first few flights are successful but there will be a failure which would destroy the vehicle
-The Starship launch date will be delayed
-ULA will have no failures with their Atlas and Delta rockets and all their missions are successful
-Vulcan will continue as planned
-SpaceX and Boeing will both successfully launch their uncrewed and crewed flights for NASA to the ISS
-Rocket Labs will have at least 1 or 2 partial failures
-Blue Origin will begin commercial suborbital flights however it will happen only later in the year.
-Blue Origin will reveal more on their New Glenn rocket and the rocket will continue to be on track for launch in 2021
-Virgin Galactic will fly at least 3 more test flights but they will not fly any passengers on board in 2019
-The SLS/Orion programme will continue on track
-Insight will successfully deploy its instruments and will begin its mission
-TESS will find a shit load of exoplanets
-OSIRIS-REX will get a sample out of Bennu
-Parker Solar Probe will answer a lot of questions we have about our Sun and even creates new ones

Offline yokem55

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Re: Predictions 2019
« Reply #53 on: 01/02/2019 12:18 am »
Well, here's this year's attempt at collecting Highly Valuable Internet Points. Finding the right balance between practical predictions and whimsical speculation is the real challenge here...

  • 18 Flights - 16 Falcon 9's, 2 Falcon Heavy's. All successful.
  • 0 Deliberately Expended Cores.
  • 1 Landing/Recovery Failure.
  • Demo-1 Flies mid February.
  • In-flight abort Flies by end of May.
  • Demo-2 (Crewed) Flies by end of September. SpaceX 'Captures the Flag'.
  • 'Redesigned' Raptor reaches 300 Bar.
  • StarShip Hopper Successfully Hops to altitude of 3000 ft but crashes on landing.
  • 1 Starlink launch with 10+ satellites
  • A wet recovered fairing pair is flown. Dry fairing recovery is abandoned

  • ULA
  • ULA Launches 9 times (5 Atlas, 2 Delta Medium's, 2 Delta Heavy's. All successful.
  • Vulcan has a major set back (1 year-ish).
  • Musk and Bruno get into an ugly spat on Twitter.

  • Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems
  • NGIS causes another major issue with JWST.
  • The first OmegA test CBC is test fired before the end of the year.
  • Zuma 2 is announced at the end of the year to be launched on a Falcon 9 in 2020.
  • Antares launches twice successfully.
  • The first Atlas/Vulcan boosters fly on an Atlas V successfully

  • Blue Origins
  • New Shepherd launches humans to space a week ahead of the SpaceX Demo-2 crew mission. There is much online snark between Musk and Bezos as a result.
  • The first New Glen booster test article takes shape.
  • BE-4 is demonstrated to over perform ULA's requirements on the test stand.

  • Boeing
  • Starliner successfully launches its orbital flight test in by the end of August.

  • NASA
  • SLS core completes 'Green Run' static fire by end of September.
  • Issues found during the Green Run cause a delay to 2022.
  • The Orion Ascent Abort happens, but the launch motor under performs, which puts the test results in doubt.
  • The Senate wants to increase the funding for SLS, the new House does not. The compromise increases funding, but drastically delays the Lunar Gateway.
  • Europa Clipper enters full production. The hard requirement of launching on SLS is dropped to a requirement that it be launched on the vehicle allowing the 'earliest arrival date' after the spacecraft is ready. The lander is formally canceled.
  • An Ice Giant orbiter mission is approved. Destination (Uranus or Neptune) is TBD
  • Opportunity is declared dead.
  • Curiosity continues on.
  • Insight has a nominal, but unsurprising mission.
  • Hubble has another issue that drastically limits where it can be pointed.
  • Juno-Cam Dies.
  • A small portion of New Horizon's Ultima Thule data is lost before it can be received on the ground.
  • JWST is delayed to 2022 due to issues caused by NGIS.
  • WFIRST is delayed to the late 2020's.
  • Success with commercial crew allow's ISS to be formally extended to 2030.

  • Other US Space
  • RocketLabs launches 8 times, with one partial failure.
  • Virgin Orbit successfully launches Launcher One.
  • No other small launch provider reaches orbit.

  • ArianeSpace
  • Ariane 5 flies 10 times. All successfully.
  • Ariane 6 reamains on schedule for 2020.

  • Russia/Soyuz
  • A Soyuz launch vehicle has another major mishap.

  • Offline mulp

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    Re: Predictions 2019
    « Reply #54 on: 01/06/2019 11:35 am »
    Some politicians will declare the US is losing the space race to China.

    Some debate, some big talk, maybe 30% change Trump promises he will beat China in his first term, but no new money, maybe cuts to NASA based on cutting leftist global warming religion, aka weather.

    Rising nay saying over too many launches and orbiting satellites, confusing debate over pace, some rational, most ignorant.

    Overall a year of progress with any failures taken in stride, eg, like the failure to deliver crew to ISS, etc. As long as no deaths.

    Year might end with debate over US government or private sector driving space exploration, use. Both funding and control.

    Offline moreno7798

    Re: Predictions 2019
    « Reply #55 on: 01/09/2019 10:46 pm »
    Lets' see how wrong I am this year...

    1. Starship Hopper v1 flies Q1 2019
    2. Starship Hopper v2 (orbital) flies Q2 2019
    3. Starship flies Q3 2019
    4. Super Heavy flies Q4 2019
    5. Crew Dragon does not fly until Q2 2019 because of children fights in the District of Columbia
    6. Blue Origin flies someone to space in 2019
    7. Richard Branson flies to space in 2019
    8. StratoLaunch flies 3 satellites to orbit in 2019
    9. Musk unveils Mars ISRU hardware in 2019
    10. Three #dearmoon participants are introduced
    11. Rocketlab flies 7 times to space
    12. Rocket Lab unveils plans for a new rocket
    13. SLS continues its slow death

    Offline yg1968

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    Re: Predictions 2019
    « Reply #56 on: 01/10/2019 01:05 am »
    Here are my predictions for 2019:

    1- FH will fly twice.

    2- F9 will fly 24 times.

    3- The Starship hopper will have a successful hop.

    4- SpaceX will be successful in catching a fairing this year.

    5- The uncrewed and crewed demo flights for SpaceX will fly in 2019.

    6- The uncrewed demo flight for Boeing will fly in 2019 but not their crewed demo flight.

    7- Blue Origin and VG will fly people this year.

    8- Stratolaunch's plane will fly this year but will not launch a Pegasus rocket this year.

    Offline Eric Hedman

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    Re: Predictions 2019
    « Reply #57 on: 01/10/2019 06:17 am »
    For anyone still wanting to predict this year, it's getting late.  Going too far into the year before predicting takes some of the fun out of it.  So get your prognostications in before too long.  Any predictions after the shutdown ends shouldn't count as much. :)

    Offline Falcon H

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    Re: Predictions 2019
    « Reply #58 on: 01/12/2019 04:58 am »
    1- SpaceX will announce that Super Heavy will switch to using conventional landing legs, rather than landing in a cradle.

    2- SLS will sip another year, heating up debate about its future even more. Commercial alternatives will be considered more seriously.

    3- Blue Origin will show off some renderings of New Armstrong. No New Glen test flights, or completed hardware.

    4- Virgin Galactic will fly one customer.

    6- New Shepard will make multiple flights with crews, but no paying customers will be flown.

    7- ULA will start to take reusability more seriously and will consider redesigning Vulcan.
    "Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond our little blue mud ball--or go extinct" Elon Musk

    Offline tenkendojo

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    Re: Predictions 2019
    « Reply #59 on: 01/14/2019 11:03 pm »
    1. SLS program suffers additional delays, pushing EM-1 mission to 2021+.

    2. JWST experiences another 6 months due to new sunshield problems, but still scheduled to launch by the end of 2021.

    3. Big Falcon Hopper conducts several successful short hops, but no orbital Starship test until 2020.

    4. Additional "radical" and counterintuitive" redesigns BFR/Starship, Elon Musk decides to add landing legs to BFR, and renames the whole thing, twice.

    6. ULA announces partially reusable redesigns of its Vulcan.

    7. ESA unveils new partially reusable Ariane 7 designs.

    8. Russia reaches deals to sell RD-180s to China and/or India.

    9. China pushes its Long March-5B maiden launch to 2020.

    10. Jeff Bezos announces its Starlink competitor satellite constellation plan.
    « Last Edit: 01/14/2019 11:08 pm by tenkendojo »