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SpaceX record vs others?

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by ElectricTundra, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. ElectricTundra

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    How unusual was the explosion this morning? How does SpaceX success/fail rate compare to others and the industry?

    When I did consulting for Hughes I seem to remember at least a couple of incidents of their having had satellites destroyed prior to orbital deployment.
     
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  2. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    SpaceX has a very good success rate for a relatively new system. There are legacy systems that have a very excellent success rate. Arianne has had over 70 successful launches in a row. Atlas V has had an anomaly but still has a success rate of over 60 payloads delivered to orbit. SpaceX had about 18 successes before the CRS-7 failure and was on 9 successes after the failure.

    So the current success/failure rate is 27/2.
     
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  3. ElectricTundra

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  4. HVM

    HVM Savolainen

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    fail.jpg

    But remember, with Ariane 5 there was time when its f-rate was 2/14...
     
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  5. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    SpaceX is pushing for advancement of spaceflight in terms of both cost and capability, while the others hide behind long proven existing technology. SpaceX is bound to have more incidents, as much as I wish for them not to. I hope they get it figured out and corrected quickly.

    Hopefully with this happening on the pad instead of in the air, they will have much better evidence to diagnose and fix the problem.
     
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  6. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    I really want to dislike your post, but I Really wish there were a way to avoid these incidents. I fear maturity of the team and platform simply do require time.
     
  7. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    #7 dpeilow, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
    I'm not sure you can say SpaceX is on 2/27 as this wasn't a launch...

    As for the others hiding behind proven technology: Not really, both the ULA vehicles are very high tech with the RD-180 engine on Atlas V being cutting edge stuff when it first flew and the RS-68A being the most powerful hydrogen engine flown. Having dealt with them I have nothing but respect for their meticulous professionalism and it's no wonder they have 100% success rate.
     
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  8. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    One thing that list also helps illustrate is how young SpaceX is. That 2/27 has been accumulated over the last few years? How long has Atlas V been flying to get 63 launches?

    Or maybe, as an alternative explanation, what a good job the others have been doing of keeping spaceflight out of the public eye (I know I'm following as closely as I am because of SpaceX).
     
  9. HVM

    HVM Savolainen

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    Poust to be: Falcon 9 2/29 7%

    And ULA was forced by gov. coz both Boeing's and Lockheed Martin's rockets were failing left and right...
     
  10. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Even if the explosion occurred outside of the rocket, as it appears to be to me, then this would still be considered a failure. With the exception of some outside force causing the failure, any incident causing the loss of the vehicle would rest on the shoulders of SpaceX. As much as I would love for that not to be true.

    Whatever this was, it had to have been a number of things coming together all at once. The initial explosion was immediately energetic and intense. There is no small ignition which then led to a larger explosion.

    ULA and Arianne have a great track record. With ULA, even their partial failures have not resulted in a loss of the payload. If we count those then we have to count COTS-1 engine failure for SpaceX too.
     
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  11. Mike1080i

    Mike1080i Member

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    I'm not sure that was the case. As I recall the USAF/DoD wanted the EELV program to be competitive between Boeing's Delta IV and LockMart's Atlas V in hopes of reducing launch costs. As it turned out both were relatively high cost options for the commercial market and didn't gather enough customers beyond the DoD to support two entirely separate programs. I believe they had to convince the U.S. Government to allow them to merge in order to survive. (At least as I recall that was the argument they made.)

    Actually the prior versions of the both Delta II and Atlas II enjoyed quite high success rates. Boeing's intermediate step to Delta IV, the Delta III didn't fair so well. While the short lived Atlas III (an Atlas II reengined with the RD-180) performed fairly well IIRC.
     
  12. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    That's not exactly true. Most of the major launchers have all evolved their capability, and you can bet they're always trying to drive down cost (though, not necessarily price). They just don't move at the speed of spacex, or with such a well defined mission statement.

    SpaceX is definitely the most fast and loose of the commercial launchers; most of the time their public successes outshine the...let's call it the 'less put together' aspects of their operations. Combined with the very different public presence of spacex relative to other launchers, that sometimes allows people to disproportionally weigh failures with spacex vs others. If your rocket isn't reliable though, it doesn't matter how much you think you're pushing the advancement of Spaceflight.
     
  13. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Whether an accident occurs before or after the launch, since the rocket was on the pad with the payload and because of the accident the payload did not reach orbit, this is a failure.
     
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  14. ElectricTundra

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    Sometimes the cost of perfection is not worth it. 3M for example are masters of finding the sweet spot of run quality. They'll set very high quality standards but may then determine that 80% of production meeting that standard is more profitable than 90% or 95%. Not completely unlike the chip industry. If SpaceX launches cost half what others do then even blowing up a few rockets and payloads still leaves them well ahead of the game.

    When human lives instead of just dollars are at risk then that's a different animal.
     
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