Author Topic: SpaceX FH - Europa Clipper - KSC LC-39A - 10 October 2024 (15:51 UTC)  (Read 41758 times)

Online JayWee

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #60 on: 03/24/2022 05:22 pm »

EC launching on SLS:
- One SLS launch is $2.2B (as reported by NASA's IG).
- Of this $400M is eaten by SMD
- The remaining $1.8B is eaten by HEO.
Where's the development cost for the SLS Cargo fairing?

Offline Athelstane

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #61 on: 03/24/2022 05:43 pm »

EC launching on SLS:
- One SLS launch is $2.2B (as reported by NASA's IG).
- Of this $400M is eaten by SMD
- The remaining $1.8B is eaten by HEO.
Where's the development cost for the SLS Cargo fairing?

Not included. But following the logic of Zurbuchen's explanation, HEO would be stuck with the tab for that.

Offline alugobi

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #62 on: 03/24/2022 06:32 pm »
Congress makes the budget, and the costs of SLS do not matter to them.  They want it.  It's going to be tasked with doing something, whenever the peeps on the ground can make it launchable.

And then they're going to build another.  For the foreseeable future.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #63 on: 03/24/2022 07:01 pm »
...
Either way, Dr. Z seems willing to defend the decision to select Falcon Heavy as the best one possible for Europa Clipper.

Emphasis mine.

Understandably so. Because switching from SLS to FH saves NASA at least $1.8B. The calculus is easy:

EC launching on SLS:
- One SLS launch is $2.2B (as reported by NASA's IG).
- Of this $400M is eaten by SMD
- The remaining $1.8B is eaten by HEO.

By switching to FH:
- SMD still eats $400M (FH launch AND additional cost due to extended cruise phase)
- No other costs apply.

Switching to FH therefore saves NASA (and by extension the US tax payers) the $1.8B that would have been eaten by HEO in case of an SLS launch.
Put in other words: by switching from SLS to FH the cost of launch dropped by almost 80%. That is one very substantial discount.

Oh, and it gets worse. Don't forget that any SLS launch needs to absorb either all or some percentage of the SLS ground systems costs. From the NASA OIG report:
Quote
Ground systems located at Kennedy where the launches will take place—the Vehicle Assembly Building, Crawler-Transporter, Mobile Launcher 1, Launch Pad, and Launch Control Center—are estimated to cost $568 million per year due to the large support structure that must be maintained.

So best case would be that a second SLS launch would have been added to accommodate both the Artemis program and the Europa Clipper launch, but that would still mean about $284M for that Europa Clipper launch. Not sure who would have absorbed that cost...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline syosi

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #64 on: 03/25/2022 02:32 am »

EC launching on SLS:
- One SLS launch is $2.2B (as reported by NASA's IG).
- Of this $400M is eaten by SMD
- The remaining $1.8B is eaten by HEO.
Where's the development cost for the SLS Cargo fairing?

Not included. But following the logic of Zurbuchen's explanation, HEO would be stuck with the tab for that.

Considering that the hypothetical SLS to launch Europa Clipper would be a Block I, with a Delta IV Heavy upper stage, and the Europa Clipper clearly fits inside a standard fairing, I assume they would not need to develop a new faring, but would have just used a Delta IV fairing. So that particular additional cost would actually have been pretty minimal.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #65 on: 03/25/2022 11:02 am »

Considering that the hypothetical SLS to launch Europa Clipper would be a Block I, with a Delta IV Heavy upper stage, and the Europa Clipper clearly fits inside a standard fairing, I assume they would not need to develop a new faring, but would have just used a Delta IV fairing. So that particular additional cost would actually have been pretty minimal.

It wasn't a Delta IV fairing.  That production line has been long shut down.

Offline Athelstane

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #66 on: 03/25/2022 11:49 am »

Considering that the hypothetical SLS to launch Europa Clipper would be a Block I, with a Delta IV Heavy upper stage, and the Europa Clipper clearly fits inside a standard fairing, I assume they would not need to develop a new faring, but would have just used a Delta IV fairing. So that particular additional cost would actually have been pretty minimal.

It wasn't a Delta IV fairing.  That production line has been long shut down.

That was always my understanding: any fairing for a cargo version of SLS was going to have to be developed and built afresh for it. Dynetics got some award for it a couple years ago, I thought, but I am not sure where things stand now.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #67 on: 03/25/2022 12:30 pm »

Considering that the hypothetical SLS to launch Europa Clipper would be a Block I, with a Delta IV Heavy upper stage, and the Europa Clipper clearly fits inside a standard fairing, I assume they would not need to develop a new faring, but would have just used a Delta IV fairing. So that particular additional cost would actually have been pretty minimal.

It wasn't a Delta IV fairing.  That production line has been long shut down.

That was always my understanding: any fairing for a cargo version of SLS was going to have to be developed and built afresh for it. Dynetics got some award for it a couple years ago, I thought, but I am not sure where things stand now.

They are concentrating on the USA (Universal Stage Adapter) for Orion now.

Offline Athelstane

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #68 on: 03/25/2022 03:45 pm »

Considering that the hypothetical SLS to launch Europa Clipper would be a Block I, with a Delta IV Heavy upper stage, and the Europa Clipper clearly fits inside a standard fairing, I assume they would not need to develop a new faring, but would have just used a Delta IV fairing. So that particular additional cost would actually have been pretty minimal.

It wasn't a Delta IV fairing.  That production line has been long shut down.

That was always my understanding: any fairing for a cargo version of SLS was going to have to be developed and built afresh for it. Dynetics got some award for it a couple years ago, I thought, but I am not sure where things stand now.

They are concentrating on the USA (Universal Stage Adapter) for Orion now.

Thanks, Jim.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #69 on: 03/25/2022 10:29 pm »
"Yup. That's the deal.
Europa Clipper Project Manager Jordan Evans said the same thing at the later session specifically on this mission.
$230 M savings in launch costs, but $230 M additional for post-launch  because of longer cruise time."
This strikes me as bookkeeping shenanigans.  I suspect EC was about $200 million over budget, and an extra cruise year actually costs about $30M (made-up numbers).  So I suspect they chose to blame the excess on using the FH (because most people look on that decision favorably), rather than on cost overruns (which are viewed less favorably).  Also $200M seems small compared to the almost $2B saved, so folks won't complain about it.


Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #70 on: 05/14/2022 08:11 pm »
Cross-post:
<snip>
Also, the side boosters for Psyche will be reused and expended on the launch of Europa Clipper.
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Offline sdsds

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #71 on: 08/10/2022 06:00 pm »
For Europa Clipper launching on Falcon Heavy, it has been reported that a kick stage would be used.

Quote
First, in late 2018, NASA scientists concluded that the Falcon Heavy could complete the Clipper mission without needing a gravity assist from Venus, and therefore it would not have to go into the inner Solar System. The Falcon Heavy could do so with the addition of a Star 48 "kick stage."
Source: https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/07/spacex-to-launch-the-europa-clipper-mission-for-a-bargain-price/

Will the kick stage ride under the fairing as if it were part of the spacecraft, or below the fairing as if it were part of the launch vehicle?
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Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #72 on: 08/10/2022 06:06 pm »
It's not part of the launch vehicle, it's part of the payload.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #73 on: 08/10/2022 06:08 pm »
no kick stage

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #74 on: 08/10/2022 07:40 pm »
no kick stage
Instead they use some trajectory trickery.  FH cannot send Clipper to Jupiter directly, and a direct Mars gravity assist is too weak to enable Clipper to proceed to Jupiter.

So they do a Juno-like trajectory.  Juno went out into deep space, and then applied about 800 m/s retrograde.  This would seem to hurt, not help, but it set up Juno to cross the Earth's trajectory at an angle.  This allowed the Earth flyby to gain about 4 times what the deep space maneuver cost, for a large net benefit.

I believe EC is doing exactly the same thing, but with a Mars flyby in place of the Deep Space Maneuver.  The Mars flyby will reduce Clipper's speed, but this will be more than made up by the subsequent Earth flyby.

Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #75 on: 08/10/2022 08:31 pm »
For Europa Clipper launching on Falcon Heavy, it has been reported that a kick stage would be used.

Quote
First, in late 2018, NASA scientists concluded that the Falcon Heavy could complete the Clipper mission without needing a gravity assist from Venus, and therefore it would not have to go into the inner Solar System. The Falcon Heavy could do so with the addition of a Star 48 "kick stage."
Source: https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/07/spacex-to-launch-the-europa-clipper-mission-for-a-bargain-price/

Will the kick stage ride under the fairing as if it were part of the spacecraft, or below the fairing as if it were part of the launch vehicle?

This is old news. We've known ever since the RFI came out that it wouldn't need a kick stage

Offline ccdengr

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #76 on: 08/10/2022 09:02 pm »
This is old news.
Yes, but they have gone back and forth at least once after that around the time FH was selected.

Pet peeve: like many missions, there are two threads for EC -- this one, for the launch, and another for the mission overall https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47579.0 .  This has all been hashed over in the other one.

I'll admit that the kick stage is sort of a gray area.

Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #77 on: 08/10/2022 10:12 pm »
They really haven't gone back and forth since FH was selected. It was and it's always been without kick stage.

Offline ccdengr

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #78 on: 08/10/2022 11:21 pm »
They really haven't gone back and forth since FH was selected. It was and it's always been without kick stage.
OK, my confusion.

Chronology: "in late 2018, NASA scientists concluded that the Falcon Heavy could complete the Clipper mission without needing a gravity assist from Venus, and therefore it would not have to go into the inner Solar System. The Falcon Heavy could do so with the addition of a Star 48 'kick stage.'"  At this point the launch was supposed to be in 2022 IIRC.

August 2019: NASA OIG letter about SLS and EC says "NASA is also evaluating whether a
“kick-stage” on the Falcon Heavy could shorten the flight time to Europa compared to a baseline Falcon Heavy" for a 2023 launch.

Jul 23, 2021: NASA announces FH will launch EC in October 2024.  Doesn't say anything about the kick stage, which is apparently not needed.

It might be that the kick stage was needed for the original 2022 or 2023 launches and when they gave up on that it just quietly disappeared.

It's a bit hard to construct the exact sequence of events because of the politicization of the LV selection process.  I didn't find anything about this in the usual places (OPAG, etc.)

Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX FH / Europa Clipper - LC-39A - Oct 2024
« Reply #79 on: 08/11/2022 03:20 am »
They really haven't gone back and forth since FH was selected. It was and it's always been without kick stage.
OK, my confusion.

Chronology: "in late 2018, NASA scientists concluded that the Falcon Heavy could complete the Clipper mission without needing a gravity assist from Venus, and therefore it would not have to go into the inner Solar System. The Falcon Heavy could do so with the addition of a Star 48 'kick stage.'"  At this point the launch was supposed to be in 2022 IIRC.

August 2019: NASA OIG letter about SLS and EC says "NASA is also evaluating whether a
“kick-stage” on the Falcon Heavy could shorten the flight time to Europa compared to a baseline Falcon Heavy" for a 2023 launch.

Jul 23, 2021: NASA announces FH will launch EC in October 2024.  Doesn't say anything about the kick stage, which is apparently not needed.

It might be that the kick stage was needed for the original 2022 or 2023 launches and when they gave up on that it just quietly disappeared.

It's a bit hard to construct the exact sequence of events because of the politicization of the LV selection process.  I didn't find anything about this in the usual places (OPAG, etc.)

By 2020 a new flight trajectory was planned out that didn't need any kick stsge at all. You might have missed it but the RFI released in January of 2021 already contained that new plan. The kick stage is replaced by a Mars flyby and that's it. Mars flyby is part of the RFI and RFP and the contract awarded is for Falcon Heavy to fly EC towards Mars, then it comes by Earth and shoots off to Jupiter. Kick stage was supposed to give that initial bump in speed from Earth already, do a deep space maneuver and then come back for an earth flyby. Two different missions. The RFI leaves clear which one they're choosing.

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