• Reusable rockets

    From Alain Fournier@21:1/5 to All on Sat Sep 25 09:32:16 2021
    It has been a few years now since SpaceX has started reusing the first
    stages of their Falcon 9 rockets. I would have expected that by this
    time everyone would have recognised that this is the way to go. I know
    that Blue Origin is also going for reusable. But I haven't heard much
    about the others developing reusability. Maybe it's only because I
    missed some announcements. So have any of you heard about United Launch Alliance, Arianespace, the Russians, the Chinese or others developing
    reusable rockets or at least first stages?


    Alain Fournier

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  • From JF Mezei@21:1/5 to Alain Fournier on Sat Sep 25 15:36:48 2021
    On 2021-09-25 09:32, Alain Fournier wrote:

    So have any of you heard about United Launch
    Alliance, Arianespace, the Russians, the Chinese or others developing reusable rockets or at least first stages?


    Launching from Baikonour to either ISS or equatorial orbit, where would
    stage 1 land? hint: not in Russia. And if landihg on land, you expect a precise target and what happens when you miss the target?

    They could launch from Russia and gain flexibility in where it lands,
    but how much performance would they lose launching from more northern
    latitude and would that reduce the buysiness case for re-usability? (considering Russia doesn't pay Los Angeles salaries to its employees
    who build the rockets as does SpaceX)

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  • From Alain Fournier@21:1/5 to JF Mezei on Sun Sep 26 08:18:29 2021
    On Sep/25/2021 at 15:36, JF Mezei wrote :
    On 2021-09-25 09:32, Alain Fournier wrote:

    So have any of you heard about United Launch
    Alliance, Arianespace, the Russians, the Chinese or others developing
    reusable rockets or at least first stages?


    Launching from Baikonour to either ISS or equatorial orbit, where would
    stage 1 land? hint: not in Russia. And if landihg on land, you expect a precise target and what happens when you miss the target?

    They could launch from Russia and gain flexibility in where it lands,
    but how much performance would they lose launching from more northern latitude and would that reduce the buysiness case for re-usability? (considering Russia doesn't pay Los Angeles salaries to its employees
    who build the rockets as does SpaceX)

    SpaceX frequently lands their Falcon 9 boosters at launch site. The
    Russians could do the same. If you have a flight path where it is
    acceptable to fly a rocket, knowing that the rocket could explode, it is probably acceptable to land in a controlled fashion on that path.


    Alain Fournier

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  • From Snidely@21:1/5 to All on Mon Sep 27 01:05:00 2021
    Alain Fournier presented the following explanation :
    It has been a few years now since SpaceX has started reusing the first stages of their Falcon 9 rockets. I would have expected that by this time everyone would have recognised that this is the way to go. I know that Blue Origin is also going for reusable. But I haven't heard much about the others developing reusability. Maybe it's only because I missed some announcements. So have any of you heard about United Launch Alliance, Arianespace, the Russians, the Chinese or others developing reusable rockets or at least first stages?


    ULA has mentioned parachuting Vulcan engines home.

    The Chinese have emitted drawings that look like Starship, but I
    haven't followed that enough to know if they are planning to land them.

    The Russians probably have reusable sketches.

    I the small sat world, Electron has been practicing chuting home but
    the helicopters aren't trying to catch it yet.

    /dps


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  • From Greg (Strider) Moore@21:1/5 to Snidely on Mon Sep 27 13:30:33 2021
    "Snidely" wrote in message news:mn.d8417e59a35d0161.127094@snitoo...

    Alain Fournier presented the following explanation :
    It has been a few years now since SpaceX has started reusing the first
    stages of their Falcon 9 rockets. I would have expected that by this time
    everyone would have recognised that this is the way to go. I know that
    Blue Origin is also going for reusable. But I haven't heard much about
    the others developing reusability. Maybe it's only because I missed some
    announcements. So have any of you heard about United Launch Alliance,
    Arianespace, the Russians, the Chinese or others developing reusable
    rockets or at least first stages?


    ULA has mentioned parachuting Vulcan engines home.

    Last I saw, they appear to have given up on that.
    That said, it always struck me as they learned the wrong lesson from SpaceX. Yes, the engines are the most expensive part of the 1st stage and tanks are cheap, but snagging them in mid-air, landing, and reattaching them to new
    tanks is a HUGE operational complexity and cost.

    So yeah, other than Bezos talking big, but not really doing much, I haven't seen much else in the large rockets space (Though you do note Electron which
    is trying).

    The Chinese have emitted drawings that look like Starship, but I haven't >followed that enough to know if they are planning to land them.

    The Russians probably have reusable sketches.

    I the small sat world, Electron has been practicing chuting home but the >helicopters aren't trying to catch it yet.

    /dps



    --
    Greg D. Moore http://greenmountainsoftware.wordpress.com/
    CEO QuiCR: Quick, Crowdsourced Responses. http://www.quicr.net
    IT Disaster Response - https://www.amazon.com/Disaster-Response-Lessons-Learned-Field/dp/1484221834/

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  • From Alain Fournier@21:1/5 to All on Tue Sep 28 19:40:14 2021
    On Sep/27/2021 at 13:30, Greg (Strider) Moore wrote :
    "Snidely" wrote in message news:mn.d8417e59a35d0161.127094@snitoo...

    Alain Fournier presented the following explanation :
    It has been a few years now since SpaceX has started reusing the
    first stages of their Falcon 9 rockets. I would have expected that by
    this time everyone would have recognised that this is the way to go.
    I know that Blue Origin is also going for reusable. But I haven't
    heard much about the others developing reusability. Maybe it's only
    because I missed some announcements. So have any of you heard about
    United Launch Alliance, Arianespace, the Russians, the Chinese or
    others developing reusable rockets or at least first stages?


    ULA has mentioned parachuting Vulcan engines home.

    Last I saw, they appear to have given up on that.
    That said, it always struck me as they learned the wrong lesson from
    SpaceX.
    Yes, the engines are the most expensive part of the 1st stage and tanks
    are cheap, but snagging them in mid-air, landing, and reattaching them
    to new tanks is a HUGE operational complexity and cost.

    I disagree. If you want to do that, you should design the system from
    the start to do that easily. You have to build a system where you bring
    back the engine pod, put it on the launch pad and drop a new tank on
    top. All the connections should be done automatically. The snagging in
    mid-air should also be at least semi-automatic. Yes, that makes the
    engine pod heavier and more complex. Having a rocket that can land la
    SpaceX also makes the rocket heavier and more complex, but it is worth it.

    Personally, I think landing the whole rocket is the best way to go. But
    if you make a *big* investment in the engineering of a reusable engine
    pod, you could have a rocket with low operation costs. It isn't easy to
    do, but what SpaceX did isn't easy to do either.


    Alain Fournier

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  • From JF Mezei@21:1/5 to All on Wed Sep 29 21:09:25 2021
    On 2021-09-27 13:30, Greg (Strider) Moore wrote:

    Yes, the engines are the most expensive part of the 1st stage and tanks are cheap, but snagging them in mid-air, landing, and reattaching them to new tanks is a HUGE operational complexity and cost.


    The ability for engines to be let go in flight would presume
    quick-disconnect plumbing so engines can cleaninly separate from stage
    and then fall back with parachute etc.

    Once equipped with quick disconnect, once would assume that attaching a
    new first stage/tanks on top of engines would be easy.


    If you have a bunhc of engines falling from the sky, doubtful they could
    be caught by as many helicopters as there are engines, unless the
    separation is staged in such a way that each drops a safe distance fro
    the other. It might make more sense to drop the cluster as one "pod"
    that can be caught.

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  • From Greg (Strider) Moore@21:1/5 to JF Mezei on Mon Oct 4 12:31:53 2021
    "JF Mezei" wrote in message news:a785J.31037$oY4.5834@fx20.iad...

    On 2021-09-27 13:30, Greg (Strider) Moore wrote:

    Yes, the engines are the most expensive part of the 1st stage and tanks
    are
    cheap, but snagging them in mid-air, landing, and reattaching them to new
    tanks is a HUGE operational complexity and cost.


    The ability for engines to be let go in flight would presume
    quick-disconnect plumbing so engines can cleaninly separate from stage
    and then fall back with parachute etc.

    Once equipped with quick disconnect, once would assume that attaching a
    new first stage/tanks on top of engines would be easy.


    If you have a bunhc of engines falling from the sky, doubtful they could
    be caught by as many helicopters as there are engines, unless the
    separation is staged in such a way that each drops a safe distance fro
    the other. It might make more sense to drop the cluster as one "pod"
    that can be caught.

    Yes, they'd be catching a single pod.


    --
    Greg D. Moore http://greenmountainsoftware.wordpress.com/
    CEO QuiCR: Quick, Crowdsourced Responses. http://www.quicr.net
    IT Disaster Response - https://www.amazon.com/Disaster-Response-Lessons-Learned-Field/dp/1484221834/

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