Aethon

Blue Origin Thread (merged)

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5 hours ago, CoreI said:

Be very, very careful when comparing the achievements of SpaceX and BO. Theoretically, BO landed and reused a used booster before SpaceX. However, you have to look at the booster and mission. New Shepard is a much smaller rocket than the Falcon 9. Also, it only went onto a suborbital trajectory. Not to hate on BO, but a suborbital return is like a bounce pass in basketball when compared to  returning after delivering a payload into orbit. Also, one of the key factors in BO's ability to reuse New Shepard five times was that the heating from reentry was much less intense than what the Falcon 9 has to endure.

With all the delays to Falcon Heavy, what are the odds that New Glenn launches first? (I know, close to zero. It's a joke)

BO did land a booster and reuse it before SpaceX. That's simply a fact. But that doesn't diminish SpaceX's accomplishments, rather it's a sign of the differing approaches the two businesses use. BO is much more gradual in their pursuit, starting with landing and reusability while SpaceX started with orbital launch and then moved to landing and reusability. BO is also using a lot less money. But they're also trying to fly passengers on sub-orbital hops using New Shepard, which SpaceX isn't attempting. The business models are different, albeit BO does wish to develop a heavy lifter. SpaceX is farther ahead in terms of putting stuff into orbit and then landing the first stage, but BO beat them to a successful demonstration of a rocket going into space and landing under its engine's power.

10 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

Remember that the LEM did propulsive landings (actually *in* space), and many other unmanned probes have also. DC-X wasn't the first either. But every gain in experience helps the next folks to do better.

We're generally referring to propulsive landings in the atmosphere after having gone to space.

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9 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/03/18/ses-10-telecom-satellite-fueled-and-readied-for-launch-on-reused-rocket/

Interesting bits in here. Apparently the boosters for the FH demo might be USED cores. :o Good way to save a couple bucks but sounds kinda daring, too. Also, booster for SES-10 was refurbished in 4 months. GS says their short-term goal for refurbishment is to cut that down to two months, with less than a day turnaround on a longer timeframe. 

Interesting read, but I think it would be better to use new cores for the first FH flight. Seems safer :/ 

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9 hours ago, CoreI said:

Also, one of the key factors in BO's ability to reuse New Shepard five times was that the heating from reentry was much less intense than what the Falcon 9 has to endure.

A returning falcon 9 won't receive much more heating in practice than what NS receives, because of the entry burn. Otherwise falcon would need a complete TPS covering, rather than a coating in a few areas like NS has.

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19 hours ago, Elthy said:

Why? SpaceX seems way ahead in most fields, while Blue Origin only has their New Shepard, which about equals the old grasshopper.

The grasshopper doesn't equal the New Shepard at all, the grasshopper only developed the control landing, the other is a full human grade suborbital rocket.

Blue Origin has a reusable from the start design, SpaceX has a cheap and easy to manufacture rocket design upgraded to be reusable.

In the mid-long term I think Blue origin will be cheaper, because the lower operations cost. Blue origin has already a proven reused suborbital rocket, they know the caveats, all the logistics needed and what to improve in the next design (it's also said that they hired engineers from the dc-x program, and remember that the dc-x was very focused in reduced maintenance and ground support) and they will probably design the New Glenn with this in mind.

The joke is that I don't like neither of them.

18 hours ago, magnemoe said:

DC-X was an SSTO, it would fail no matter how well funded. You can not build an practical ssto with rocket engines. Skylon might work, same with beamed power, not rockets. 

I didn't claimed that it would have been a successful SSTO, but it would have developed the technologies required to have a better rocket tech, and probably would have ended in a good reusable first stage in the 90's or the 00's. DC-X was more a tech and logistics demonstrator, than a real scale model.

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20 hours ago, TheEpicSquared said:

Interesting read, but I think it would be better to use new cores for the first FH flight. Seems safer :/ 

Either a reused core is safe enough to launch with or it's not.

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If you think about it, the Shuttle SRBs are in some ways closer to the F9 first stage than the Shuttle itself is. Recovered and relaunched first stages.

The F9 S1 is just a lot easier to reuse.

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On 3/19/2017 at 3:32 AM, CoreI said:

Be very, very careful when comparing the achievements of SpaceX and BO. Theoretically, BO landed and reused a used booster before SpaceX. However, you have to look at the booster and mission. New Shepard is a much smaller rocket than the Falcon 9. Also, it only went onto a suborbital trajectory. Not to hate on BO, but a suborbital return is like a bounce pass in basketball when compared to  returning after delivering a payload into orbit. Also, one of the key factors in BO's ability to reuse New Shepard five times was that the heating from reentry was much less intense than what the Falcon 9 has to endure.

F9 first stage does not deliver payload to orbit, it's the second stage that is responsible for almost 80% of the total speed. At the moment of staging, the first stage is traveling at 1660 m/s (in the specific case of CRS-10), which is not a whole lot faster than New Shepard (aprox. 1300 m/s).

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46 minutes ago, Shpaget said:

F9 first stage does not deliver payload to orbit, it's the second stage that is responsible for almost 80% of the total speed. At the moment of staging, the first stage is traveling at 1660 m/s (in the specific case of CRS-10), which is not a whole lot faster than New Shepard (aprox. 1300 m/s).

In the specific case of CRS-8, which is the booster which will be launching SES-10 next Monday, staging took place at a velocity of 1,850 m/s at an altitude of 68 km. 1850 m/s is twice the kinetic energy per unit mass and experiences nearly three times as much peak heating.

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Which is still a lot less than energies involving orbital speeds.

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Spacex is way too ambitious. They can choose reusable or a mars mission, not both.

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16 minutes ago, Yobobhi said:

Spacex is way too ambitious. They can choose reusable or a mars mission, not both.

My friend, SpaceX's plans to go to Mars are entirely dependent upon reusability, specifically with their BFR.  Each begets the other. 

45 minutes ago, TheEpicSquared said:

So, this is not the Lunar XPrize team? Are they still on the manifest for "this year" then?

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7 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

So, this is not the Lunar XPrize team? Are they still on the manifest for "this year" then?

Not the XPrize team, as far as I can tell. There hasn't been any news on the XPrize team, SpaceIL, for a while now. :/ 

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12 minutes ago, Shpaget said:

Which is still a lot less than energies involving orbital speeds.

Yes, this is true; there are no first stages which reach orbit because nobody flies SSTOs. But this fact does not negate the difference between a glorified sounding rocket like New Shepard and an orbital-class first stage.

Also, CRS-8 was LEO. GTO missions like JCSAT-14 staged at 2.32 km/s.

You can also look at it in terms of payload. On escape, the Aerojet Rocketdyne CCE-SRM develops 70,000 lbs of thrust, accelerating the BO crew capsule at a peak of 7 gees. Thus, the crew capsule masses around 10,000 lbs or 4.5 tonnes. So the New Shepard propulsion module delivers 1.3 km/s to a 4.5 tonne payload. In contrast, the Falcon 9 first stage on GTO missions delivers nearly twice that velocity to a 120+ tonne payload.

This isn't apples and oranges; it's grapes and watermelons.

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11 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

You can also look at it in terms of payload. On escape, the Aerojet Rocketdyne CCE-SRM develops 70,000 lbs of thrust, accelerating the BO crew capsule at a peak of 7 gees. Thus, the crew capsule masses around 10,000 lbs or 4.5 tonnes. So the New Shepard propulsion module delivers 1.3 km/s to a 4.5 tonne payload. In contrast, the Falcon 9 first stage on GTO missions delivers nearly twice that velocity to a 120+ tonne payload.

But that's still more than enough energy to be 'orbital class'. Heck, NS is in the same size class as, and likely has more total impulse than Falcon 1. If SX had recovered one of them, would you be here saying that didn't count?

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We all realize that F9 is a whole lot bigger, but the level of complexity of electronics and software for navigation/guidance, attitude, control and ultimately powered landing is basically the same no matter the size - and that is the most important aspect of powered landing.

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1 minute ago, Shpaget said:

We all realize that F9 is a whole lot bigger, but the level of complexity of electronics and software for navigation/guidance, attitude, control and ultimately powered landing is basically the same no matter the size - and that is the most important aspect of powered landing.

But, but, but, ... it's not SpaceX! It's not Elon! They don't have the cool hipster dudes doing webcasts. It's just not the same.

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Posted (edited)

22 minutes ago, Shpaget said:

We all realize that F9 is a whole lot bigger, but the level of complexity of electronics and software for navigation/guidance, attitude, control and ultimately powered landing is basically the same no matter the size - and that is the most important aspect of powered landing.

Yes, and Grasshopper involves those aspects as well.

I mean, Grasshopper and the F9dev didn't reach suborbital spaceflight, and ordinarily I wouldn't consider them to be part of the conversation, but if we can't see F9 as a different class than NS, then we can't really consider NS to be in a different class from Grasshopper and F9dev.

Edited by sevenperforce

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So when I'm in here in three years or so saying F9 barely counts as reusable because it's not in the same class as NG, you'll be fine with it?

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7 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

Yes, and Grasshopper involves those aspects as well.

I mean, Grasshopper and the F9dev didn't reach suborbital spaceflight, and ordinarily I wouldn't consider them to be part of the conversation, but if we can't see F9 as a different class than NS, then we can't really consider NS to be in a different class from Grasshopper and F9dev.

Fine by me.

They all fall in the group of suborbital vertical landing systems and none of these mentioned were the first.

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Posted (edited)

42 minutes ago, Kryten said:

So when I'm in here in three years or so saying F9 barely counts as reusable because it's not in the same class as NG, you'll be fine with it?

Hey, no one is saying that New Shepard is "barely reusable". I was just responding after Corel noted that some caution must be taken in comparing the achievements of SpaceX with the achievements of Blue Origin.

Is the distinction between "suborbital sounding-rocket class" and "orbital-class first stage" meaningful? I mean, I suppose you could call New Shepard orbital class. It's notionally possible to launch a payload to LEO from a starting velocity of 1.3 km/s and a stage+payload mass of 4.5 tonnes, but you're cutting it pretty close. Falcon 1 staged a similarly-sized payload at twice the velocity of New Shepard.

Edited by sevenperforce

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2 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

So, this is not the Lunar XPrize team? Are they still on the manifest for "this year" then?

They were a Lunar XPrize team until a few days ago, when they finally gave up, since they would only be able to launch their mission in 2018, and the deadline for the XPrize is end of 2017.

Source: http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/weltall/mond-mission-part-time-scientists-gewinnen-vodafone-als-partner-a-1139371.html (in German)

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3 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

My friend, SpaceX's plans to go to Mars are entirely dependent upon reusability, specifically with their BFR.  Each begets the other. 

 

Do you seriously expect a company with no experience beyond LEO to develop something such as the ITS in a short time? NASA will get there first for sure, and do it much better.

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1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

Is the distinction between "suborbital sounding-rocket class" and "orbital-class first stage" meaningful? I mean, I suppose you could call New Shepard orbital class. It's notionally possible to launch a payload to LEO from a starting velocity of 1.3 km/s and a stage+payload mass of 4.5 tonnes, but you're cutting it pretty close. Falcon 1 staged a similarly-sized payload at twice the velocity of New Shepard.

There are entire orbital rockets that are less than 4.5 tonnes; it's not ultimately that hard in terms of total energy or impulse. You only have a hard distinction between 'orbital class' and 'suborbital class' if you're talking small rockets, up to maybe two tons.

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