Yeah, it may be overkill, but what numbers are you using to estimate that SS/SH is more expensive than a triple core, expended second stage, possibly expended center core, fairing recovery FH mission?Yes, and yes. The issue is that SS is WAAAY too big for anything but the mega-ist of constellations or big lift human based missions (which is its point) and so there's not going to be a huge external demand to buying a more expensive rocket even if it has more favorable mass-to-orbit economics.
The design appears similar, but scaled up in size/ capacity (versus direct reuse).The Gimbals are actuators from Optimus,
That's a cool example of not reinventing theThe design appears similar, but scaled up in size/ capacity (versus direct reuse).
The design appears similar, but scaled up in size/ capacity (versus direct reuse).
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Oh, I totally agree they look like they grew from the same team, was just clarifying that they were not of the size used on Optimus Sub-prime. Now Optimus Prime on the other hand 🤯...I misspoke. My understanding was that they were designed by the same team/project, which had worked on a variety of sizes from very small (fingers on Optimus) to very large (gimballing raptors.) But I may have misunderstood entirely.
Between the domes? Are you referring to above the methane top dome and below the crew area?But I suspect those modules would be pretty ideal for Starship-- More cubical and should fit in the places between the domes.
Yeah, it may be overkill, but what numbers are you using to estimate that SS/SH is more expensive than a triple core, expended second stage, possibly expended center core, fairing recovery FH mission?
Starship propellant cost is around one million dollars.
First, while it would be inappropriate for me to talk actual numbers, I think it's fair to work this through public domain level info/speculation.
Second, I'd contest our disconnect is that I don't think you're asking the right question--few people are buying the enhanced F9's and even fewer who actually need it (Evidence: the super light SpaceForce! missions, the not-that-heavy Arabsat, etc), so using those enhanced variants maths' really doesn't address much market.
Near as makes no difference for an analogy, SS capacity is more or less that of a C5/AN-124. F9 capacity is more or less that of a 737 freighter. The aspiration for SS fully taking over SX launch duties comes down to an assumption of "build it and they will come"--that enough paying customers are going to want/use something WAY bigger than the 737 simply because its available. While certainly plausible, there's some major flaws in that logic. For instance: History has shown that for-profit companies are not going to spend more than they need to in their cost centers...so nobody's going to buy the Antonov when all they need is the 737. To that end, to date--and likely until SS becomes operational, its hard to imagine a material amount of top tier customers (= entities that are guaranteed to need launch services) will pivot their infrastructure toward something that needs a bigger-than-737
History has also shown that for-profit companies are reluctant to invest in their suppliers unless there's a really high probability of return, so those who could use SS the most (externally funded moonshot mega-constellations like AST) really have to play the game with respect to their investors--gotta get enough money to make it work but can't simply dump money into a supplier and hope-real-hard that it comes good...especially a supplier like SX who is obviously driven by internal aspirations and not simply being a service provider. Someone like a GEO provider, for instance, isn't going to push hard to use SS other than as a potential cost opportunity over F9 in this case.
Last thing that immediately comes to mind, for years there's been talk of SX being a game changer in the industry due to their F9 prices and launch rates...but that's really not come good to any significant degree. Yeah entities have gravitated more toward SX and away from other launch providers, but if you look at total number of industry launch activity it's not like some huge step or knee in the curve due to SX. It's pretty fair to consider that logic will to some degree damp the SS "game changer" ambition. I know I'm broken record on this one, but the big problem here is that launch service portion of a space mission is already a pretty small fraction of the cost of the total space mission...so making a small number smaller, while great, isn't anywhere near a go/nogo.
So that all racks up to an implicit requirement that SS price be lower than F9 price for people to want F9, and IMO any chance of that happening requires near-full aspirational-level success of Starlink, because--as asserted above--that's really the only place SX is going to get the SS volume high enough to drive down the total recurring cost (RE+capex amortization).
Cost trumps capacity. If an option is cheaper, it doesn't matter if it's overkill.The issue is that SS is WAAAY too big for anything but the mega-ist of constellations or big lift human based missions (which is its point) and so there's not going to be a huge external demand to buying a more expensive rocket even if it has more favorable mass-to-orbit economics.
If an option is cheaper, it doesn't matter if it's overkill.
I'd say F9 is a game changer, it just looks less so because SpaceX is the one changing the game. Could Starlink happen without F9? (Or Iridium gen 2?).
Yes, when they were planning to reuse the second stage also, saving $5-$8 million a launch.Wasn't Elon talking about Falcon being $4M or something internal cost a few years ago?
I think we're talking past each other again. F9 has saved a lot of companies real money on launch cost for sure, the point is that F9/SX hasn't been the catalyst for some game changing industry revolution as was wildly speculated by the fanbase. There's really no evidence that SS is going to be the catalyst for some industry revolution, or at least certainly not anytime soon. 2035? Maybe.
Yeah, seems to be some crossed wires. SpaceX has launched 73 Starlink missions. Would that have occured without a (mostly) reusable F9?Starlink happening without F9 is a bit of a nuanced question because general consensus is that Starlink is pretty high up on the S-curve right now for the growth Falcon can support. Sure there's down-market regions that can open up to provide more revenue and the v2 minis will provide an incremental step in capacity, but by and large they're pretty tapped on capacity--more satellites (save for the polar shells) really won't move the needle much. To really scale from here they need V2 to step function, and V2 needs starship.
Do you think the JWST would have been made a lot simpler if they it flew in SS ? Some of the complex folding maneuvers needed to fit inside the Altas perhaps would have been simpler?Yes, when they were planning to reuse the second stage also, saving $5-$8 million a launch.
Yeah, seems to be some crossed wires. SpaceX has launched 73 Starlink missions. Would that have occured without a (mostly) reusable F9?
Agree further expansion relies on SS.
I'm not expecting industry to suddenly flock to SS nor the building a lot of huge satellites (though I do hope for some huge satellites to be built), only that I see SS being lower cost than F9. Especially since SpaceX will have them anyway for Starlink and marginal cost to fly a commercial payload would net them more than an F9. (Assuming multimode design and not Starlink only).
Do you think the JWST would have been made a lot simpler if they it flew in SS ? Some of the complex folding maneuvers needed to fit inside the Altas perhaps would have been simpler?