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Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Aug 11, 2016.
A recent speech and Q & A at the small satellite conference:
Gwynne at the APSCC 2016 conference. Lots of useful data out of her concerning the company.
SpaceX's Shotwell on Falcon 9 inquiry, discounts for reused rockets and Silicon Valley's test-and-fail ethos - SpaceNews.com
Here's a big one: Shotwell also said Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX is offering a 10 percent discount to customers that agree to fly their payloads on reused Falcon 9 first stages.
Only a 10% discount for used stages. I wonder if some of that has to do with the recent anomaly and the monetary losses due to the downtime.
I was expecting a bigger discount. Surely when SpaceX does a mission with a "CPO" first stage their mission cost is reduced by much more than 10%?
If you read between the lines, it's pretty clear that they could offer a larger discount, but when you look at their launch backlog, they have way more demand than they can handle right now, so why not take the money and use it for more R&D?
@drees, fair point, and I would agree with you if the recent explosion on the pad had not occurred. But right now I would think there is a lot of uncertainty about Falcon 9 reliability in the launch community, and I thought it might help SpaceX's launch schedule get back on track if they offered a bigger discount for launching on a landed first stage. But apparently SpaceX has confidence that a bigger discount isn't necessary. Good for them, and I truly hope their optimism is justified! The company has no bigger fan than me.
I agree with drees. Just like in the earlier days of the Tesla Model S, they can't build and launch rockets fast enough at SpaceX, so there is little need to discount. As they catch up to their backlog by opening up more launch pads, maybe they can then start more discounting to keep their pads full.
Besides, a used core is simply a core that has undergone heavier testing, isn't it? . Maybe they should charge MORE for them!
If things keep going the way they are going, though, there might not be much competition in five years...
A pre-flight NASA briefing with Gwynne Shotwell. Lots of useful information.
Here's a breakdown of some of the information from the briefing:
SpaceX ready for first launch from historic KSC pad - SpaceNews.com
Shotwell, Cabana discuss SpaceX’s future
Hot points include details on Red Dragon - delayed to 2020.
Lots on Commercial Crew and the timetable.
Lots on 39A, 40, and all the other launch sites.
FH in summer or earlier.
Build cadence is already almost at two weeks per F9.
Nice interview with Gwynne:
April 2017 - Shotwell: Ambitious Targets Achievable This Year | Via Satellite
Thanks for the link. This quote was particularly interesting:
"...the final spin on Falcon 9 will be rolling out a little bit later than mid-year, and that is really the stage that rolls in all the lessons learned on reusability that we have learnt to date. Those vehicles will be highly reusable — 10 times at least. When those vehicles are flying regularly, we will start seeing more pressure around the launch price side,”
By "final spin" I assume she is referring to Block 5.
Absolutely. Minimum refurbishment needed version. Once they are launching regularly with only fuel and support systems as cost then the company will quickly be reimbursing the costs associated with the development of reusability. Right now the company seems to have a five to ten year advantage over all competitors. The one exception, though it isn't a big one, is Blue Origin. It will be very interesting if two privately owned companies focused on getting humanity off planet outdoes every government sponsored launch company on the planet. China will be the one country to take reusability seriously. Arianne has already thrown in the towel on it. They could change their mind in the future though.
The two big upcoming steps are FH and Commercial Crew. I'm also very curious to see how SpaceX, Elon, and Gwynne deal with testing Dragon 2 powered landings. As I mentioned in another thread the company will probably have to negotiate testing with cargo runs.
BO still seems many years behind SpaceX overall. Is there any public info showing that China is making real progress towards reusable first stages?
Amazing to see Ariadne publicly acknowledge that they do not intend to develop reusable rockets. They might as well put up a "Going Out of Business in 5 Years" sign.
That's not what they said. They said that Ariane 6 (due 2020) won't be reusable because it would take too long to develop a reusable rocket and they need faster delivery of lower launch costs. The implication was focusing on making Ariane 6 a cheap disposable rocket, and then focusing on reusability for Ariane 7.