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  #41  
Old May 16th 17, 02:33 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,679
Default RD-180 relplacement

Jeff Findley wrote:

In article . com,
says...

On 2017-05-15 14:09, Fred J. McCall wrote:

percentage of the cost basis of the engine. For rockets the cost of
fuel is almost irrelevant to the cost of operation, so trying to
compare to aircraft is comparing apples and aardvarks.



The numbers given by Elon Murk show cost of fuel is minimal compared to
cost of new rocket.

However, in an environment where re-use becomes common, cost of turn
around (incl engine check/maintennce) and cost of fuel become the big
ticket items, just as is the case for commercial aircraft.


We're a long, long way from fuel costs being an issue. The first Falcon
9 first stage to refly cost SpaceX refurbishment costs less than half
the cost of building a new stage. As far as I know they didn't say
exactly how much, but we can guess if it was really 1/4 the cost they
would have said 1/4 instead of 1/2. At any rate, fuel is less than 1%
of launch costs, so refurbishment costs are still the lion's share of
reflight costs.


External estimates in the past have put the cost of reusing the stage
at around 10% of the cost of the original stage. That feels high to
me. If you judge by what Musk has put forward for ITS operation,
reusing the booster costs about 0.1% of the original cost. This
ranges up to 5% for the actual spacecraft (2nd stage). He also
expects to get 1,000 launches out of the booster. The spacecraft gets
around a dozen relaunches, so that 5% figure may be about right for
Falcon stages.


--
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable
man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore,
all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
--George Bernard Shaw
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  #42  
Old May 17th 17, 02:13 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,624
Default RD-180 relplacement

In article ,
says...

Jeff Findley wrote:

We're a long, long way from fuel costs being an issue. The first Falcon
9 first stage to refly cost SpaceX refurbishment costs less than half
the cost of building a new stage. As far as I know they didn't say
exactly how much, but we can guess if it was really 1/4 the cost they
would have said 1/4 instead of 1/2. At any rate, fuel is less than 1%
of launch costs, so refurbishment costs are still the lion's share of
reflight costs.


External estimates in the past have put the cost of reusing the stage
at around 10% of the cost of the original stage. That feels high to
me. If you judge by what Musk has put forward for ITS operation,
reusing the booster costs about 0.1% of the original cost. This
ranges up to 5% for the actual spacecraft (2nd stage). He also
expects to get 1,000 launches out of the booster. The spacecraft gets
around a dozen relaunches, so that 5% figure may be about right for
Falcon stages.


For this first reflight of a Falcon 9 first stage they reportedly did a
lot more work and replaced more parts than they likely needed to. But,
they weren't going to take any chances with this first reflight. If it
had gone "boom", it would have cast serious doubt on their credibility
to refly hardware.

Plus, SpaceX is still flying Block 4 versions of the first stage.
Sometime this year the Block 5 version will start flying. Block 5
incorporates changes to improve reuse (i.e. reduce inspection and
refurbishment costs). So, SpaceX will hopefully be spending a lot less
time and money refurbishing the Block 5's.

ITS is supposed to be much more reusable than Falcon 9 first stages
since ITS will have all of the necessary reusability features built into
it. Falcon 9 first stage has had to change quite a bit over time to get
to where it is today. I'm sure compromises were made along the way.

Jeff
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All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #43  
Old May 17th 17, 02:54 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Scott M. Kozel[_2_]
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Posts: 150
Default RD-180 relplacement

On Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 2:26:47 PM UTC-4, Fred J. McCall wrote:
r"Scott M. Kozel" wrote:

On Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 8:42:25 AM UTC-4, Fred J. McCall wrote:

"Scott M. Kozel" wrote:

Three separate heavy lift vehicles in development that
would be capable of taking men to the Moon or Mars.

Actually only one 'program'. And two commercial efforts.

I don't really understand that. Last time one vehicle was
developed and they built 16 of them and had programs in
place to use them within a reasonable period of time, that
provided economies of scale and focus to do the program.
It was a national scale program and accomplished great
things.

Last time we had a single government program that spent money like
water, made the trip, and then had no follow-on, which is why we can't
get beyond LEO anymore.

The current approach doesn't make sense; too many vehicle
types in development and no real focus toward building
enough of them to have an actual program.

The 'government program' (how we did Apollo) is the high priced
spread. It's true that it makes no sense because it has no real goal
(it changes with every President) and is too expensive to fly. The
other two efforts are commercial efforts, make more sense, spend a lot
less money, and will be far cheaper to fly.

If we did it the old way, we would ONLY have SLS, Musk and Bezos would
keep their money, and we'd get another 'flags and footprints' mission
to somewhere at best.


What kind of commercial effort for such a vehicle and program
could provide the tens of billions of dollars in private capital
to fund it? What would be the business model?


A classic government engine development effort costs around $1.5
billion. Bezos is developing New Glenn, engines and all, for that
amount of money. He's funding it (and most of the rest of Blue
Origin) by selling a billion dollars of his Amazon stock every year.
Bezos is worth around $81 billion. Meanwhile, Musk is only worth
around $16 billion, so he's not funding it all with personal checks
like Bezos is. He's funding a lot of it now by undercutting the rest
of the world on launch costs.


The federal government could provide 60-80% of the funding, but
that would not be a private sector effort, that would be massive
subsidization by the government.


Bezos is funding BE-4 out of his own pocket. USAF is funding AR-1
development. BE-4 will be cheaper to buy (by a lot) and the
government isn't paying to develop it. Meanwhile Musk is getting
around $34 million from USAF to develop Raptor (while putting up $68
million of his own money). I wasn't kidding when I said that private
commercial development costs an order of magnitude less than
government funded development.


Sure Apollo was expensive, but I wonder how the private sector
could profitably fund a program like that.


It wouldn't. It would get the same results for a lot less money and
then sell missions to anyone who wanted them. Note that USAF has gone
down this road now. They don't generally develop rockets. They just
buy launch services. No reason NASA can't do the same. Or anyone
else, for that matter. The entire budget for New Glenn is what it
costs the government to develop an engine. I don't know what they'll
charge for a launch. Look at SpaceX launch costs compared to Atlas or
Delta. Estimates for SpaceX ITS is around $10 billion to develop with
a launch cost of around $63 million. SLS development is about twice
that to complete Phase I and costs almost a billion dollars per
launch.


Well, we may see soon whether the private sector can launch to the Moon or Mars at 1/10 the cost of NASA. If a multi-billionaire can spare $5 or $10 billion donated to the effort obviously that will help the taxpayers! :-)

Of course, they will able to take advantage of already existing processing and launch facilities at KSC.

What about the Manned Spaceflight Center? That was and is a massive government program to provide the infrastructure and human training for manned spacecraft, and provided Mission Control for each mission. Who will perform that and fund that with private sector launches to the Moon or Mars?
  #44  
Old May 17th 17, 05:19 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,679
Default RD-180 relplacement

"Scott M. Kozel" wrote:

On Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 2:26:47 PM UTC-4, Fred J. McCall wrote:
r"Scott M. Kozel" wrote:

On Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 8:42:25 AM UTC-4, Fred J. McCall wrote:

"Scott M. Kozel" wrote:

Three separate heavy lift vehicles in development that
would be capable of taking men to the Moon or Mars.

Actually only one 'program'. And two commercial efforts.

I don't really understand that. Last time one vehicle was
developed and they built 16 of them and had programs in
place to use them within a reasonable period of time, that
provided economies of scale and focus to do the program.
It was a national scale program and accomplished great
things.

Last time we had a single government program that spent money like
water, made the trip, and then had no follow-on, which is why we can't
get beyond LEO anymore.

The current approach doesn't make sense; too many vehicle
types in development and no real focus toward building
enough of them to have an actual program.

The 'government program' (how we did Apollo) is the high priced
spread. It's true that it makes no sense because it has no real goal
(it changes with every President) and is too expensive to fly. The
other two efforts are commercial efforts, make more sense, spend a lot
less money, and will be far cheaper to fly.

If we did it the old way, we would ONLY have SLS, Musk and Bezos would
keep their money, and we'd get another 'flags and footprints' mission
to somewhere at best.

What kind of commercial effort for such a vehicle and program
could provide the tens of billions of dollars in private capital
to fund it? What would be the business model?


A classic government engine development effort costs around $1.5
billion. Bezos is developing New Glenn, engines and all, for that
amount of money. He's funding it (and most of the rest of Blue
Origin) by selling a billion dollars of his Amazon stock every year.
Bezos is worth around $81 billion. Meanwhile, Musk is only worth
around $16 billion, so he's not funding it all with personal checks
like Bezos is. He's funding a lot of it now by undercutting the rest
of the world on launch costs.


The federal government could provide 60-80% of the funding, but
that would not be a private sector effort, that would be massive
subsidization by the government.


Bezos is funding BE-4 out of his own pocket. USAF is funding AR-1
development. BE-4 will be cheaper to buy (by a lot) and the
government isn't paying to develop it. Meanwhile Musk is getting
around $34 million from USAF to develop Raptor (while putting up $68
million of his own money). I wasn't kidding when I said that private
commercial development costs an order of magnitude less than
government funded development.


Sure Apollo was expensive, but I wonder how the private sector
could profitably fund a program like that.


It wouldn't. It would get the same results for a lot less money and
then sell missions to anyone who wanted them. Note that USAF has gone
down this road now. They don't generally develop rockets. They just
buy launch services. No reason NASA can't do the same. Or anyone
else, for that matter. The entire budget for New Glenn is what it
costs the government to develop an engine. I don't know what they'll
charge for a launch. Look at SpaceX launch costs compared to Atlas or
Delta. Estimates for SpaceX ITS is around $10 billion to develop with
a launch cost of around $63 million. SLS development is about twice
that to complete Phase I and costs almost a billion dollars per
launch.


Well, we may see soon whether the private sector can launch to the Moon or Mars at 1/10 the cost of NASA. If a multi-billionaire can spare $5 or $10 billion donated to the effort obviously that will help the taxpayers! :-)


It doesn't even take that. Musk has certainly spent a bunch of his
own money, but his launch company is a going concern that is turning a
profit.


Of course, they will able to take advantage of already existing processing and launch facilities at KSC.


They pay leases on those. If they didn't exist, they'd build their
own.


What about the Manned Spaceflight Center? That was and is a massive government program to provide the infrastructure and human training for manned spacecraft, and provided Mission Control for each mission.


Only used for government launches.


Who will perform that and fund that with private sector launches to the Moon or Mars?


SpaceX currently includes all that stuff in their launch costs and
provide it themselves. Like everything else they do, they do it a lot
more cheaply than the government.


--
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable
man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore,
all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
--George Bernard Shaw
  #45  
Old May 17th 17, 11:04 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,624
Default RD-180 relplacement

In article ,
says...
Well, we may see soon whether the private sector can launch to the
Moon or Mars at 1/10 the cost of NASA. If a multi-billionaire can
spare $5 or $10 billion donated to the effort obviously that will
help the taxpayers! :-)

Of course, they will able to take advantage of already existing
processing and launch facilities at KSC.


Do note that SpaceX has leased Pad 39A (anyone was allowed to bid on
that) and do note that they have built a lot of their own facilities
(buildings, strong-back for the launcher, horizontal transporter,
landing pads, and etc.) to go along with that. It's not like SpaceX
moved into the VAB and took over the former shuttle processing facility.

There really isn't much of a "free lunch" there. Other US launch
providers had the same opportunity to bid on leasing Pad 39A. Other US
launch providers also have the opportunity to lease pads ad Cape
Canaveral (just as SpaceX leases pad 40).

What SpaceX never had was the $1 billion dollar per year guaranteed
revenue that used to be part of the ULA EELV deal with the US
Government. That was "taking advantage" of the US Government in a far
more lucrative way than SpaceX ever has and never resulted in any
significant innovations that reduced the cost of the EELVs. Why would
it? The incentive was never there to reduce costs!

What about the Manned Spaceflight Center? That was and is a massive
government program to provide the infrastructure and human training
for manned spacecraft, and provided Mission Control for each mission.
Who will perform that and fund that with private sector launches to
the Moon or Mars?


I'm sure NASA will get to continue to train its astronauts pretty much
anyway it wants. If it thinks there is value in things like continuing
to let the pilots fly T-38 jet aircraft on the government's dime in the
interest of keeping up their flight hours, then more power to them.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #46  
Old May 17th 17, 10:59 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Greg \(Strider\) Moore
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 599
Default RD-180 relplacement

"Jeff Findley" wrote in message
...

In article ,
says...
Well, we may see soon whether the private sector can launch to the
Moon or Mars at 1/10 the cost of NASA. If a multi-billionaire can
spare $5 or $10 billion donated to the effort obviously that will
help the taxpayers! :-)

Of course, they will able to take advantage of already existing
processing and launch facilities at KSC.


Do note that SpaceX has leased Pad 39A (anyone was allowed to bid on
that) and do note that they have built a lot of their own facilities
(buildings, strong-back for the launcher, horizontal transporter,
landing pads, and etc.) to go along with that. It's not like SpaceX
moved into the VAB and took over the former shuttle processing facility.

There really isn't much of a "free lunch" there. Other US launch
providers had the same opportunity to bid on leasing Pad 39A. Other US
launch providers also have the opportunity to lease pads ad Cape
Canaveral (just as SpaceX leases pad 40).

What SpaceX never had was the $1 billion dollar per year guaranteed
revenue that used to be part of the ULA EELV deal with the US
Government. That was "taking advantage" of the US Government in a far
more lucrative way than SpaceX ever has and never resulted in any
significant innovations that reduced the cost of the EELVs. Why would
it? The incentive was never there to reduce costs!

What about the Manned Spaceflight Center? That was and is a massive
government program to provide the infrastructure and human training
for manned spacecraft, and provided Mission Control for each mission.
Who will perform that and fund that with private sector launches to
the Moon or Mars?


I'm sure NASA will get to continue to train its astronauts pretty much
anyway it wants. If it thinks there is value in things like continuing
to let the pilots fly T-38 jet aircraft on the government's dime in the
interest of keeping up their flight hours, then more power to them.

Jeff


I suspect too initially SpaceX and others will rent/lease any additional
facilities they need (like DSN for deep space missions).
If they're smart (and so far they seem to be) they'll build what they have
to and lease what is cheaper.

As for Manned Spaceflight Center, etc. Just as the US has say the Military
Airlift Command and other services that somewhat duplicate commercial
services, I suspect the government will want to keep its own capabilities
for various reasons.

--
Greg D. Moore http://greenmountainsoftware.wordpress.com/
CEO QuiCR: Quick, Crowdsourced Responses. http://www.quicr.net
IT Disaster Response -
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