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DocM

SpaceX Updates (Thread 4): F9, FH & Dragon

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Happy birthday Doc! :D

 

And dang on the scrub! :(

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Thanks guys :)

what about sea launch way?

Even more expensive, which is why SeaLaunch has been teetering on bankruptcy for ages. That and Zenit-3SL isn't very reliable.

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Sea Launch has suffered problem only due to issues w/ Zenit, otherwise it'd be amongst the cheapest ways. afaik, SL wants to substitute Zenit w/ another launcher? not sure which one? 

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Dnepr is being decommissioned. The Soyuz family needs more infrastructure being multi-cored and is launching from Arianspace's equitorial spaceport. Proton is worse than Zenit, milti-cored and too large for the platform.

Angara 5 has the closest performance, but it's still in development and therefore unproven. It's also a multi-core rocket and likely too large.

Unless Sea Launch (now Russian owned) fixes Zenit or comes up with another launcher they may be screwed. They sure as hell can't afford to lose another bird from the PR standpoint.

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hmm? i checked out: 1st candidature is Angara & 2nd is they want to build analog of Zenit w/ hardware of Zenit + Proton-M as well. they expect new launcher for more heavy payload than Zenit.


 

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http://www.vrns.ru/technology/2965/

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They sure as hell can't afford to lose another bird from the PR standpoint.

market has had no too vast range of offers.

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If you mean a lack of alternatives - wrong. The present and future are stacked against them unless they come up with an EELV class booster within a year or so.

Falcon 9 is ramping up for GTO up to 5.5 tonnes. IF SpaceX were to develop a SuperDraco based 3rd kick-stage it would easily exceed Proton.

Falcon Heavy for up to 21.2 tonnes to HTO (or multi-manifest). FH is on the shop floor being built NOW, and work has started on converting Vandenberg and KSC LC-39A. Maiden flight in a few months. Small premium over F9.

OtbitalATK's Antares is very likely getting upgraded to handle GTO/EELV launches. They'll be using existing ATK solid first stage tech (the SLS Dark Knight composite solids) and an RL-10 hydrogen upper stage.

StratoLaunch Thunderbolt, using the same ATK tech as Antares butca shorter lower stage, for payloads up to 4.5 tonnes to LEO.

Etc.

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Oops....from launch changes log

2014-06-25: Sea Launch/EchoStar-n

Deleted; canceled

2014-06-25: Sea Launch/AngolaSat and Energia 100

Deleted; canceled (manifested Jan. 2014)

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You know the current state of Russian-Ukrainian cold war and hot civil war in Eastern Ukraine.

So, Russia already decided that after 2014 Zenit-M launching site will be excluded from the lease agreement with Russia at Baikonur.

 

I think the similar fate will be with Sea Launch complex - Russia will abandoned Ukrainian build hardware.

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I'm sure they will where possible, just as the US is preparing to dump Russian hardware.

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f9 is Just demonstrator w/ very humble actual characteristics. Do at least 4 flights per year w/o terrific plague of delays. :) SL has a lot of troubles because of Ukraine, but even with those unfortunate conditions, there a way longer list of launches.

 

The Zenit-3SL rocket carrying the spacecraft lifted off at 14:09:59 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Monday, May 26th (21:09:59 UTC, 23:09:55 CEST) from the launch platform, positioned at 154 degrees West longitude in the Pacific Ocean. One hour later, the Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the satellite, weighing 5,967 kilograms (13,155 lbs.) into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 3 degrees East longitude.  Eutelsat acquired the spacecraft?s first signals from orbit shortly after spacecraft separation. All systems performed nominally throughout the launch mission.
 
http://www.sea-launch.com/news/11407

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Zenit has russian engines, Antares also.

Zenit rockets and Antares first stage built in Dnepropetrovsk in east region of Ukraine in area where civil war is very close now and could be in that area soon.
 
If civil war in Ukraine in that area will go pro-ukraine - Russia will cut off supply of engines.  

If war will go to pro-russian side - US will cut off payloads to Zenit rockets.

So, in any case Ukrainian rockets have no future - Zenit for sure and Antares first stage future also in question...

Russian Proton will have limited short future.
Angara will not be ready for several years.
Soyuz rocket is good, but it can lift only 7 metric tons to LO.

So, SpaceX Falcon with all frustrating slow development has bright future.
Practically no other rocket could compete for price.
SpaceX just need to speed up production ...or faster make first stage reusable.

Go SpaceX !!!

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Practically no other rocket could compete for price.

as far as f9 is demo rocket, there doesn't have actual price. Just compare initial price & current one: it's had a pure tendency to rise up. if to say about Angara, i consider it as waste of time: CCBs are cheap only on paper, (in practice) there are huge heap of "trifles" to bloat cost extremely. Rocketry has 3 nice options:

 

1. Sea launch.

2. Air launch.

3. Orbital tug.

 

SpaceX just need to speed up production ...or faster make first stage reusable.

current tech doesn't allow to get economically viable reusable stage. Musk was making deep pit for self with all his claims about reusability: Now, his funds are almost in red, rocket is stuffed by issues as hell. he must admit reusable variant dead & go for expendable ones. There will be only chance to survive?

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Congratulations DocM with your birthday even i am a bit late with it.

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as far as f9 is demo rocket, there doesn't have actual price. Just compare initial price & current one: it's had a pure tendency to rise up. if to say about Angara, i consider it as waste of time: CCBs are cheap only on paper, (in practice) there are huge heap of "trifles" to bloat cost extremely. Rocketry has 3 nice options:

 

1. Sea launch.

2. Air launch.

3. Orbital tug.

current tech doesn't allow to get economically viable reusable stage. Musk was making deep pit for self with all his claims about reusability: Now, his funds are almost in red, rocket is stuffed by issues as hell. he must admit reusable variant dead & go for expendable ones. There will be only chance to survive?

 

 

Proof please.

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proof about what? bad luck of reusability??? recycling can be more expensive than production: (for recycling) you must go all steps down, you do w/ production of expendable one, but there have additional steps as well. Broken details have to be substituted -- in result, you get mix of old & new guts. Even if such mix goes pretty on testbed, it can lose TWR (thrust-to-weight ratio). In short, reusable stage has greater cost, but there is low chance to compensate that overhead.

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The focus is not on recycling but on refueling and reusing without refurb when landing on the ground (landing at sea will require more work).
There was some info from SpaceX that they could reuse engines upto 20 times, similar plans probably for first stage body. It could bring cost down 10 times.

Will see. So far, step by step SpaceX showing success in this way. It's slow progress, we wish it could be done faster, but it's going in right direction.
Most landing testing will be done with existing launches with little extra cost.

The reusability of hardware is only the way for real progress in space exploration.

 

Including reusability of space tugs, but those make sense when the destination is the same for many launches as the Space Station.

 

Sea launch and Air launch so far did not show real cost effect, except Air launching small payloads by existing airplanes, and this is the key word: existing mass produced airplanes.

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Congratulations DocM with your birthday even i am a bit late with it.

Thanks :)

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Ks8877, recycling is more appropriate terminology: each time, you need to run stage on the testbed. If everything works out well -- you get minimal cost to reuse it further, otherwise there unpredictable extra spending (up to full price of stage). Musk's scheme is terrificly sensitive to any TWR losses because it pounds range. if about SL, then i can repeat: scheme has suffered setbacks due to Zenit issues. However, such way is good for dV & safety of launch as well.   

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SpaceX has petitioned the court to include this RD-180 engine price scalping info in their lawsuit.

Lawsuit inclusion story....

Space News story....

WASHINGTON ? U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has asked the Pentagon?s acquisition czar whether the Defense Department is overpaying for the Russian-made main engine that powers its workhorse Atlas 5 rocket.

In a June 20 letter to Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, McCain asked for clarification on claims that RD-Amross earns profits of more than 200 percent on each RD-180 engine it sells to U.S. rocket maker United Launch Alliance.

>

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SpaceX has petitioned the court to include this RD-180 engine price scalping info in their lawsuit.

Lawsuit inclusion story....

Space News story....

 

Musk gonna commit suicide??? he doesn't have rocket to pull leg of ula. they have many ways to pound him in very barbaric manner. however, such actions are clear evidence that his funds are going to get in red.

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seems, FFM, you're the last one here to contradict obvious things :) no launches mean no monies, furthermore, it means losses as well. Musk cannot keep claimed launch rate, his manifest has fallen in deep & dark places. Where monies could come from to him??? his logic is obvious: only gov. buckies can keep him afloat, thereby he constantly has assaulted ula to make endless channel of subsidies from gov.  however, big corpies have far better armed lobby to destroy them that easy ;)

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seems, FFM, you're the last one here to contradict obvious things :) no launches mean no monies, furthermore, it means losses as well. Musk cannot keep claimed launch rate, his manifest has fallen in deep & dark places. Where monies could come from to him??? his logic is obvious: only gov. buckies can keep him afloat, thereby he constantly has assaulted ula to make endless channel of subsidies from gov.  however, big corpies have far better armed lobby to destroy them that easy ;)

 

You seem to hate Musk and his plans quite a lot, why don't you stick to talking about anything with actual proof rather than spout nonsense with no evidence. :/

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Of course our friend ignores that many delays have been due to range issues, ORBCOMM's satellites having trouble and faulty parts from suppliers which can happen to any launcher.

Even with these teething issues F9's launch rate is far higher than Atlas V or Delta IV in their first 10 launches.

As for money burn rate, SpaceX is not in the red or even close to it.

Their biggest problem is KSC's antiquated facilities and their effect on scheduling and operations, which is why the Boca Chica spaceport in Texas is where they'll be doing most if their commercial launches. KSC will mainly be for NASA and military launches.

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Delta II OCO-2 has been on the books for 5 years after OCO-1 was lost due to a fairing failure of its Taurus XL launcher. Still waiting on the pad.

Russia's Angara #1 was all set to launch after years of delays and the countdown was halted. Now it's been sent all the way back to the factory. This will not be a fast fix.

Proton has screwed itself into the ground more times than most of us can remember.

Challenger. 'Nuff said.

Rocket science is hard, and if SpaceX delays rather than lose very expensive payloads or generate dead astronauts I call that an improvement.

Hell, as heavily instrumented as F9 is part of the problem is they pick up problems most launchers would end up flying with.

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