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Falcon 9 Block 5 update



 
 
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  #11  
Old September 14th 18, 11:17 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,678
Default Falcon 9 Block 5 update

In article ,
says...

"Jeff Findley" wrote in message
...

In article ,
says...
Yeah, the ULA "solution" seems like what I'd expect from a traditional
vendor.

I mean they're right, physically the engines are the most expensive
components. And I'm not surprised their reaction is, "Let's work on the
most expensive HARDWARE" and not really look at it from an entire systems
POV like SpaceX and Blue Horizon has, which is the entire system.
Sure, you get the engines back... but you need an expensive aircraft for
every recovery. SpaceX only needs a drone ship for some of their
recoveries. I'd be curious to see which is cheaper to operate. The
helicopter only needs to be in flight for a couple of hours, but aircraft
hours are very expensive. The drone ships are probably very cheap to
operate
on an hourly basis, but need to be in operation for more hours.


Don't forget the expensive separation system to get the engines with all
their plumbing, electrical connections, structure, and etc. to cleanly
separate. That's going to be hard to develop, complex to operate, and
prone to "little" failures. All those connections had better separate
cleanly (especially the plumbing). Anything that's not a clean
separation means higher refurbishment costs at best and loss of the
engine(s) at worst.


Yeah, I hadn't even thought about that. Again, a stage separation is far
simply. Sure you've got some electrical connections, but no plumbing.


Right, and Vulcan will still have a first stage separation event, so
they're adding significant complexity to the vehicle to only get the
engines back. Why not add a similar, proven, amount of complexity to
get the entire stage back in one piece?

The only bit of IP ULA might not have to do a VTVL is the software. And
there are plenty of small start-ups they could parter with or simply buy
outright in order to gain that IP.

I think ULA is hamstrung by its parent companies. They really, really,
don't want to put much more money into ULA. It's pretty much on life
support at this point. I expect it will eventually be sold off or re-
absorbed into the parents. But, I have no real insight into this, see
..sig.

Jeff
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These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
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  #13  
Old September 14th 18, 06:59 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,728
Default Falcon 9 Block 5 update

Jeff Findley wrote on Fri, 14 Sep 2018
06:20:38 -0400:

In article ,
says...
Yep. And so far ULA has only paid lip service to reuse (their so called
"smart reuse" is dumb since it only recovers the engines of the first
stage. By the time this is perfected, SpaceX might very well be flying
BFR/BFS which will be fully reusable.


ULA is copying the Russians. The Boeing capsule 'crashes' like the
Russian capsules and Vulcan engine recovery is just what the Russians
do.


Please elaborate on "Vulcan engine recovery is just what the Russians
do". I am unaware of the Russians snagging engines mid-air with a large
helicopter, which is what ULA plans to do. Mind you, if anyone could do
this, it would be the Russians. Some of their helicopters are the
biggest in the world.


Russia actually drops them in a swamp to get a nice 'soft' impact. But
they're just recovering the engines.


--
"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
  #14  
Old September 14th 18, 07:44 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,728
Default Falcon 9 Block 5 update

JF Mezei wrote on Fri, 14 Sep 2018
13:51:58 -0400:

On 2018-09-14 06:17, Jeff Findley wrote:

Right, and Vulcan will still have a first stage separation event, so
they're adding significant complexity to the vehicle to only get the
engines back. Why not add a similar, proven, amount of complexity to
get the entire stage back in one piece?


Aren't they expecting to catch thsi by helicopter ?
This saves on the cost of software, sensors of making the stage land
itself (as well as landing gear).


But it requires putting a helicopter in the path of the falling
engine, which is a great way to knock down a helicopter and requires a
sufficiently precise reentry to be near the helicopter.



The only bit of IP ULA might not have to do a VTVL is the software.


And the money to lose a number of stage 1s during initial
development/testing (as happened with SpaceX).


As opposed to how many engines and helicopters they'll lose?


On the other hand, what are the rates of succesful recovery of engines
that fall down from the sky?


Zero. Particularly with helicopters.


One plus sign: this scheme results in steady production of stages,
whether they succeed in recovering engines or not. Only the production
of engines is uncertain since they don't know how many they will
recover. Small consolation prize I know, but was trying hard to find
some positive.


The engines are a huge part of the cost of the total stage.


--
"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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