Falcon Heavy: ArabSat-6A (mission)


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Unobscured Vision

Coast phase for deployment. Funky music. :yes: 

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Jim K

 

 

ArabSat-6a deployed.    :) 

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Unobscured Vision

Bird's away. :)

 

Fantastic launch. STP-2 is next for Falcon Heavy. (Y) :yes: 

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DocM

 

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DocM

 

Well, that probably ticked off all the right people 🙂 

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DocM

 

Oh, my...look who noticed....

 

 

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flyingskippy

I wonder if Shelby was watching.  😂

 

Awesome seeing this fly for the second time. They keep making it look easier and easier. 

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DocM

 

Just.Like.Clockwork

 

So, StarLink will be the first to reuse fairings...

 

 

 

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Jim K
5 hours ago, DocM said:

 

Random twitter comments are random.

 

Electron and FH are in two different markets.  I highly doubt they are starting to "sweat" ... ULA ... sure.

 

3rd party video from yesterdays launch/landing.

 

 

Quad booms at 8:30

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DocM
8 hours ago, Jim K said:

Random twitter comments are random.

 

Selected, not random. 

Quote

 

Electron and FH are in two different markets.  I highly doubt they are starting to "sweat" ... ULA ... sure.

 

No, they aren't - given the growth in smallsat constellations. Not just StarLink, OneWeb, Telesat etc., but the Doves and others including the military Blackjack program.

 

Deploying these affordably will depend on 2 things; $$/kilogram launched and launcher availability.

 

$$/kg (vehicle retail/capacity);

 

Electron: $27,000/kg

Falcon 9: $3,067/kg 

Falcon Heavy: $1,409/kg

Starship: SpaceX has estimated <$100/kg


Reusable vehicles: less (Electron isn't)

 

Reusability matters, and reusing a $6m fairing, which is ~20% of the cost of building the rocket, matters a lot.

 

Launcher availability;

 

Electron:  once ramped, 30-50/year

Falcon 9: 20-30/year (most reused, discounted)

Falcon Heavy: 5-6/year (most reused, discounted)

Starship: counting P2P - daily. For each cislunar or BEO, also include tanker flights.

 

Why is Starship a big deal vs smallsat launchers? Those aft cargo bins can deploy satellites too, even during P2P & tanker flights.

 

spacex-bfr-big-falcon-rocket-moon-mission-lunar-event-ap18261101326622.thumb.jpg.4270e208f336695ef699d950a799ff49.jpg

 

RocketLab being the fast smallsat leader has the advantage now, but reusable smallsat launchers are coming and will give them grief.  Also coming are daily-capable flyers like Starship or Boeing's Phantom Express.

 

Bottom line: as discussed at the last SmallSat conference; there's a small launcher shakeout coming, and the survivors will need to contend with large launchers flying often who are willing to fly regular "SmallSat Express" missions. SpaceX has already said they will. Blue has hinted at it.  

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Jim K
39 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

Selected, not random. 

 

No, they aren't - given the growth in smallsat constellations. Not just StarLink, OneWeb, Telesat etc., but the Doves and others including the military Blackjack program.

 

Deploying these affordably will depend on 2 things; $$/kilogram launched and launcher availability.

 

$$/kg (vehicle retail/capacity);

 

Electron: $27,000/kg

Falcon 9: $3,067/kg 

Falcon Heavy: $1,409/kg

Starship: SpaceX has estimated <$100/kg


Reusable vehicles: less (Electron isn't)

 

Reusability matters, and reusing a $6m fairing, which is ~20% of the cost of building the rocket, matters a lot.

 

Launcher availability;

 

Electron:  once ramped, 30-50/year

Falcon 9: 20-30/year (most reused, discounted)

Falcon Heavy: 5-6/year (most reused, discounted)

Starship: counting P2P - daily. For each cislunar or BEO, also include tanker flights.

 

Why is Starship a big deal vs smallsat launchers? Those aft cargo bins can deploy satellites too, even during P2P & tanker flights.

 

spacex-bfr-big-falcon-rocket-moon-mission-lunar-event-ap18261101326622.thumb.jpg.4270e208f336695ef699d950a799ff49.jpg

 

RocketLab being the fast smallsat leader has the advantage now, but reusable smallsat launchers are coming and will give them grief.  Also coming are daily-capable flyers like Starship or Boeing's Phantom Express.

 

Bottom line: as discussed at the last SmallSat conference; there's a small launcher shakeout coming, and the survivors will need to contend with large launchers flying often who are willing to fly regular "SmallSat Express" missions. SpaceX has already said they will. Blue has hinted at it.  

Lots of words ... still a random tweet from a random person.

 

Conveniently left out the biggest advantage of the Electron ... a dedicated platform for SmallSats where the customer doesn't have to take a back seat.  Falcon 9 has been around for a while now...with its much cheaper per kg capability .... yet Rocket Lab is ramping up their launches this year (about a dozen).

 

Anyway...kinda silly pointing at fairing recoveries (which cost more than an entire Electron rocket) as a reason for Rocket Lab starting to sweat (like hoping for their demise)...IMO  :)

 

 

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DocM

That's the conversation being held in the launch and small launch community, such as at SmallSat.  Exclusivity, like having a chauffeur driven Rolls, is nice but most people will take the cheaper taxi or bus. Easier on the sat operator's bottom line.

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Jim K
10 minutes ago, DocM said:

That's the conversation being held in the launch and small launch community, such as at SmallSat.  Exclusivity, like having a chauffeur driven Rolls, is nice but most people will take the cheaper taxi or bus. Easier on the sat operator's bottom line.

Sure. That probably explains Rocket Lab's recent and upcoming expansion(s) ... because of "the conversation...."

 

 

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DocM
33 minutes ago, Jim K said:

Sure. That probably explains Rocket Lab's recent and upcoming expansion(s) ... because of "the conversation...."

 

Not saying they're holding still, they aren't - setting up for KSC/Cape launches, turning their kick-stage into a smallsat bus, etc. 

 

That said, to get their $/kg down they need to address reusability before Phantom Express, Firefly, and bulk-launches of their bread & butter customers (constellations being where the industry is going) put them at an economical disadvantage.

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Jim K

Well, now you're switching gears from fairing recovery to other launchers. 

 

Point I was trying to make is that there is a customer base for Electron...customers who don't want to wait years to ride second fiddle to a large payload.  If cost was the only factor, Electron would never have left the ground since Falcon 9 was already launching both large and small payloads ... cheaper.  Instead, Electron has 12 launches planned this year (including two moon landers).  To expand on your analogy ... some will take the Rolls if it gets them to their destination faster than a taxi.  Others will take the taxi.  At least the customer has options ... and companies like SpaceX and Rocket Lab has a delivery system for them.

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DocM
4 minutes ago, Jim K said:

Well, now you're switching gears from fairing recovery to other launchers. 

 

The issue with fairings, Firefly, etc. is reusability and RocketLab doesn't have it. To survive they'll need it. Drives the lower $$/kg.

 

4 minutes ago, Jim K said:

 

Point I was trying to make is that there is a customer base for Electron...customers who don't want to wait years to ride second fiddle to a large payload.  

 

An advantage which evaporates once frequent/daily flyers who'll do regular "smallsat express" deliveries and other reusables fill up the calendar.  

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Jim K
33 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

The issue with fairings, Firefly, etc. is reusability and RocketLab doesn't have it. To survive they'll need it. Drives the lower $$/kg.

 

 

An advantage which evaporates once frequent/daily flyers who'll do regular "smallsat express" deliveries and other reusables fill up the calendar.  

Once again ... your pushing the conversation to other launch vehicles ... some of which haven't even launched from the original fairing recovered/Rocket Lab must be shaking in their boots.  Now, if Firefly Alpha is successful ... that would be a cause of worry for Rocket Lab.  Not fairing recoveries .... LOL

 

So yea ... 

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DocM

🙄

 

Dammit....

 

 

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flyingskippy

You can't get ###### done in 10 ft seas.  Just concentrate on not puking.

 

They will figure out a solution. They already have the hard part down pat.

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DocM
4 hours ago, flyingskippy said:

You can't get ###### done in 10 ft seas.  Just concentrate on not puking.

 

Piloting a 28 footer in northern Lake Huron waters and hoooo-boy, a squall blew up with 6-8 footers. Did not have fun getting back to harbor. Came out of nowhere; no warning on the radio, etc.  Huron and Gitchi-gami will do that.

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They will figure out a solution. They already have the hard part down pat.

 

 

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DocM

Yay!!

 

 

 

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Jim K

 

 

 

A little shorter...

 

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