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Blue Origin Thread (merged)

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15 minutes ago, 55delta said:

So, think SpaceX will pay out or give them a free launch?

Unless they have a contract with SpaceX - neither.

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7 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

Unless they have a contract with SpaceX - neither.

Well ... the answer might turn out to be different depending on whether this was just bad luck or whether SpaceX could be proven in court to have been negligent. Also, there aren't so many launch providers or launch customers that either party wants to do anything to alienate the other party. So I'm sure there are some interesting negotiations going on.

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That wouldn't happen without a clause in the contract if they had got a launch, even a failed one, but they didn't. They bought a launch, and they didn't get one.

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7 minutes ago, Kryten said:

That wouldn't happen without a clause in the contract if they had got a launch, even a failed one, but they didn't. They bought a launch, and they didn't get one.

 This would be the same as any damage after SpaceX received the satellite but managed to drop it then mounting it to the rocket or similar. 

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5 hours ago, magnemoe said:

 This would be the same as any damage after SpaceX received the satellite but managed to drop it then mounting it to the rocket or similar. 

<Reaction image removed - please check rule 2.3 c>

Edited by Deddly
Rude reaction image removed

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6 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

Also, the "coffin corner" has nothing to do with this at all. It's about the way that the airspeed margin can shrink between buffet stall (too fast) and separation stall (too slow) when the airplane is at a high altitude.

Not neccesarily, there are three parts to the corner that converge.

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3 hours ago, 55delta said:

While we wait for accident analysis, here's something to chew on. So Spacecom, that is, the Isreali satellite operator, is attempting to recoup their losses. Word has it, that they told their investors, that they are asking SpaceX for either a $50 million payment, or a free launch.

So, think SpaceX will pay out or give them a free launch?

Isnt that literally the entire point of insurance for satellites?

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7 hours ago, A Fuzzy Velociraptor said:
7 hours ago, A Fuzzy Velociraptor said:

Isnt that literally the entire point of insurance for satellites?

Well you assume they would have bought it, some companies self insure or assume a high deductable.

 

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18 hours ago, A Fuzzy Velociraptor said:

Isnt that literally the entire point of insurance for satellites?

All I've heard are reports that claim that the normal "satellite insurance" doesn't cover anything that doesn't happen during the launch (this wasn't a launch.  It wasn't even a countdown for launch).  I also have a hard time believing that the satellite was somehow manufactured, transported to KSC, and placed on top of a rocket all without insurance.  My guess is that all the various insurance companies are doing their usual game of hot potato and passing the claims around insisting that someone else pay them.

While spacex may have a burning need to fire up a few "flight proven" boosters (if only to reduce storage pressure), it will still cost them a bundle in logistics and other costs (largely because nobody has needed to care about such things.  [Note that in retrospec, much of the DC-X innovation seemed to center on reducing these costs].  Can anyone guess how expensive it is to launch a Soyuz (or similar) rocket after the rocket is manufactured?

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10 hours ago, A Fuzzy Velociraptor said:

Isnt that literally the entire point of insurance for satellites?

Satellite insurance is insurance for the satellite, not the launch. In this case they only got a payout from their sat maritime transport insurance, so launch definitely isn't included.

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4 hours ago, Kryten said:

Satellite insurance is insurance for the satellite, not the launch. In this case they only got a payout from their sat maritime transport insurance, so launch definitely isn't included.


Like wumpus I find it very hard to believe that an expensive satellite wasn't covered by somebody's insurance (SpaceX, IAI, Spacecom, any banks or financiers involved, etc... etc...) at every step of the process from exiting the factory doors through end-of-life.  Speculating over which insurance did or did not, will or won't pay out strikes me as just meaningless jaw flapping.

As to whether or not SpaceX owes a 'free' launch, that depends on the terms of the contracts involved, the terms of the insurance coverage, etc... etc...

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11 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:


Like wumpus I find it very hard to believe that an expensive satellite wasn't covered by somebody's insurance (SpaceX, IAI, Spacecom, any banks or financiers involved, etc... etc...) at every step of the process from exiting the factory doors through end-of-life.  Speculating over which insurance did or did not, will or won't pay out strikes me as just meaningless jaw flapping.

As to whether or not SpaceX owes a 'free' launch, that depends on the terms of the contracts involved, the terms of the insurance coverage, etc... etc...

Yes issues might well happens during transport or mounting. It would be weird to only insure the launch as the first part is less likely and cheaper to insure. 
Notice how you car insurance tend to cover fire an theft who cost close to nothing compared to insurance if you crash your car or the required one with damage you do to others.
 

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1 hour ago, DerekL1963 said:

Like wumpus I find it very hard to believe that an expensive satellite wasn't covered by somebody's insurance (SpaceX, IAI, Spacecom, any banks or financiers involved, etc... etc...) at every step of the process from exiting the factory doors through end-of-life.  Speculating over which insurance did or did not, will or won't pay out strikes me as just meaningless jaw flapping.

We know the satellite itself was covered by a prelaunch insurance policy purchased by ISI, but those policies don't cover launch cost. They're intended for circumstances like damage during transport, failures like we've had today being unprecedented in commercial launch. We know Spacecom are at least going to request a refund of the launch cost from SpaceX, and it's hardly likely they'll have announced this without their lawyers having a good look over it.

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9 hours ago, Kryten said:

Satellite insurance is insurance for the satellite, not the launch. In this case they only got a payout from their sat maritime transport insurance, so launch definitely isn't included.

Ah!  So that is why the satellite is still covered, but the cost of the rocket (and launch) is still in question.  I'm guessing the lawyers have been up and down the contract trying to figure out if spacex have completed their obligations or not.  Now I rather expect a "flight proven" launch, but a lot depends on the contract and how the satellite launching community [market] feels about such contracts and how closely they should be enforced (and of course if the thing leaves spacex on the hook for the full launch).

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It's actually not Spacecom seeking compensation from SpaceX, but rather SpaceX volunatrily offering them a refund, by the way. There is no legal ground on which Spacecom can make demands in this case, unless the launch contract had a passage about "if our rocket explodes on the pad you can have a new one for free" passage right from the start.

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Quick update via Blue's mailing list; the next flight is an in-flight abort test, and should take place in early October, with another livestream. The booster used will be the same one as the past few flights, and will probably be destroyed in the test. If it manages to survive, it'll be retired and put in a museum. The email also says that a 'sneak peek' of the orbital system should be included in the next one.

 

In other news, Blue're now planning to launch orbital systems from and test engines at CCAFS LC-11, as well as the previously announced LC-36.

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8 hours ago, Streetwind said:

It's actually not Spacecom seeking compensation from SpaceX, but rather SpaceX volunatrily offering them a refund, by the way. There is no legal ground on which Spacecom can make demands in this case, unless the launch contract had a passage about "if our rocket explodes on the pad you can have a new one for free" passage right from the start.

You better believe every contract on the whole manifest is being renegotiated to include such a condition.  I'd expect it to be covered *somewhere*, but who ends up with the hot potato is an open question.  Of course, since Elon Musk doesn't consider "his customers" to be just those already in the market for satellite launches but those who would buy a much cheaper satellite launch if such were available, he might cover an extra launch where ULA wouldn't (defense contractors provide *exactly* what the contract says, no more and no less).

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24 minutes ago, wumpus said:

You better believe every contract on the whole manifest is being renegotiated to include such a condition.  I'd expect it to be covered *somewhere*, but who ends up with the hot potato is an open question.  Of course, since Elon Musk doesn't consider "his customers" to be just those already in the market for satellite launches but those who would buy a much cheaper satellite launch if such were available, he might cover an extra launch where ULA wouldn't (defense contractors provide *exactly* what the contract says, no more and no less).

Thats part of the business, if the operators don't already know the risk, then they should not be in the business. This conversation has become pedestrian.

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2 hours ago, PB666 said:

This conversation has become pedestrian.

There's little meat for this thread until spacex fixes the launch pad.  And they can't start fixing it until every last scrap of evidence is examined.  Maybe we can at least talk about the cause of the explosion while they fix the pad (and publish scraps of potential causes).

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3 hours ago, wumpus said:

You better believe every contract on the whole manifest is being renegotiated to include such a condition.  I'd expect it to be covered *somewhere*, but who ends up with the hot potato is an open question.  Of course, since Elon Musk doesn't consider "his customers" to be just those already in the market for satellite launches but those who would buy a much cheaper satellite launch if such were available, he might cover an extra launch where ULA wouldn't (defense contractors provide *exactly* what the contract says, no more and no less).

So much BS floats around here. Some of you guys think Musk floats three feet above the ground.

ULA is just like SpaceX -- the potential customers and potential vendors in this area are quite limited, so neither side has any interest in screwing over the other side so badly that they lose their future business. Everything is always up for negotiation.

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3 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

So much BS floats around here. Some of you guys think Musk floats three feet above the ground.

ULA is just like SpaceX -- the potential customers and potential vendors in this area are quite limited, so neither side has any interest in screwing over the other side so badly that they lose their future business. Everything is always up for negotiation.

Not with government contracts.  You deliver what the thing says, and absolutely *zero* more.  Don't be surprised if it is a felony to deliver more (you certainly have to charge every hour worked, that gets driven into the lowly workers).  This might be slightly different in other branches (an old Army hand I worked with was doing quite well as an Army contractor after crashing and burning with Lockheed and the Navy*, but it was Lockheed I was most familiar with and if the contract doesn't include oxygen, don't expect to breathe).  In the unlikely event that ULA had a commercial cargo that wasn't delivered by lobbyists then they would be careful not to screw them over, but government is a different beast entirely.

* The ex-Army officer kept supplying "support" after it had be removed from the contract.  Even I, who knew next to nothing about contract management, knew you couldn't do that in our business.  He took one of our better techs with him and was last heard doing fine (so I suspect this isn't true everywhere, but I wouldn't expect to breathe if I didn't pay Lockheed for oxygen).

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SpaceX: 60 million dollar rocket and 200 million dollar sat exploded during Falcon 9 Rocket propellant load operation.

Me: Right pant leg covered in gasoline during Rider Lawnmower propellant load operation.

 

Let's just hope the mower will RTF soon...

EDIT: AAAAnd, the mower's broken now. What next, will it explode?

 

Edited by Ultimate Steve

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6 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Me: Right pant leg covered in gasoline during Rider Lawnmower propellant load operation.

 

Let's just hope the mower will RTF soon...

EDIT: AAAAnd, the mower's broken now. What next, will it explode?

You're lucky your mower does use neither hydrazine, nor liquid oxygen... doesn't?

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