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Thread: Blue Origin's launch vehicles

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Oh, yes, definitely. It’s so different from reporters covering old time NASA launches. Sometimes they would get a bit emotional, but were pretty objective. Not so here.
    Agreed more like a carnival atmosphere. But it was a perfect flight. Now onto business schedule for them assuming that the ride price is within reasonable limits of most people.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    What is too short?
    The flight. Mind you, I wouldn’t say no to a flight on this rocket, but ten minutes from liftoff to landing is too short.

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  3. #123
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    Up and down by the time we got up. Just as well, enabled me to miss the hype. Equally meaningful as Branson's stunt.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    The flight. Mind you, I wouldn’t say no to a flight on this rocket, but ten minutes from liftoff to landing is too short.
    It is a ballistic trajectory so in my mind the time is OK. Now if you mean that the time was too short for the passengers to feel "zero G', then I guess it was too short.

  5. #125
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    I had a teleconference at the same time, so I watched it on my phone without audio. Probably for the best, given earlier posts about the commentators.
    Everything seemed to go well, but I kept wanting the see some movement in the capsule after landing. Dude, move your arm so I know you didn’t die in a pressurization-loss event.

    It looks like fun, but I’d save my money for a orbital flight.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I’ve heard “Karman line” mentioned several times and other references to the same subject. They really want to push that point, no doubt at Bezos’ instructions. There was a short hold so a small delay, but not too bad. The entire flight should take a bit over 10 minutes. I really notice different approaches: The launch tower is very utilitarian, not a futuristic look like you might expect from Musk. Oh, still another mention of the Karman line, did you know it’s internationally recognized?
    I agree with your comments. SpacedX are the same but somehow less disingenuous, but clearly boasting. With Sir Dick and Blues Horizon, it's huffing and puffing. It's simple. Let people know that you know that they know it's a pitch, tell them what you're gonna say, say it and then tell them what you said. The trickery need not go any further. Not only that but they should be building each other up. Duh!

    Hopefully, in a few years, we'll routinely be bombarded with well thought out and sophisticated advertisement, reflective of a thriving industry.

    I get the joke CowDude Jeff. Dark Helmet from Spaceballs, right?

    Regardless, congrats on this achievement and many more!

  7. #127
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    Glad it all went well, but honestly its just a distraction from the plodding progress of the New Glenn and lack of flight ready BE4 engines for the Vulcan.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    It is a ballistic trajectory so in my mind the time is OK. Now if you mean that the time was too short for the passengers to feel "zero G', then I guess it was too short.
    That’s part of it. It’s pretty much straight up to a minimum altitude for space, so even for suborbital it is a short flight. I’ve always been far more interested in orbital flights. But also, if spending some huge amount of cash for this, it would be hard for me to think of spending it all for a ten minute ride. Virgin Galactic has an advantage here: The combination of the carrier plane and the rocket plane flight makes for a longer and more complex experience.

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  9. #129
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    The viability window for these up and down joyrides may be short. Since SS1's 2004 flight suborbital Point 2 Point (P2P) as a commercial service has been discussed, being fleshed out in papers since ~2010,

    2013 example: https://doi.org/10.1089/space.2013.0010

    Today most people are aware of SpaceX's plans, fleshed out during the first reconstructed National Space Council meeting a few years ago, but it's only one example. These concepts Rance from aircraft-like concepts to more rocket-like systems like Starship. China is the latest entry. As these eventually come into service these up & down joyrides will assume the same historical niche as the early aviation barnstormers.
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2021-Jul-21 at 04:17 PM.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    The viability window for these up and down joyrides may be short. Since SS1's 2004 flight suborbital Point 2 Point (P2P) as a commercial service has been discussed, being fleshed out in papers since ~2010..

    ….As these eventually come into service these up & down joyrides will assume the same historical niche as the early aviation barnstormers.
    That is a possibility. P2P could well provide a crucial boost to activity in earth-moon space, providing valuable connectivity for a new range of space habitats.

    Yet I am sure I heard Tim Dodd (Everyday Astronaut) say the other day that he thought regular P2P services could be 10 years away. So plenty of time for the up and down joyrides to drop in price and find a sustained pipeline of willing customers. For many it could be their only chance of getting into space.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon View Post
    …P2P could well provide a crucial boost to activity in earth-moon space, providing valuable connectivity for a new range of space habitats.

    Yet I am sure I heard Tim Dodd (Everyday Astronaut) say the other day that he thought regular P2P services could be 10 years away. So plenty of time for the up and down joyrides to drop in price and find a sustained pipeline of willing customers. For many it could be their only chance of getting into space.
    Thinking a bit more about this, what is to stop SpaceX from disrupting the emerging Sub-Orbital market by offering a competitively priced alternative orbital experience before the P2P infrastructure is in place?

    For instance, once the orbital tests are successful, could they fit out say two Starships, one for luxury short duration trips in space (the ISS orbits in ~90 mins) and the other a kind of super luxury space hotel for flights of longer duration eg around the moon?

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon View Post
    Thinking a bit more about this, what is to stop SpaceX from disrupting the emerging Sub-Orbital market by offering a competitively priced alternative orbital experience before the P2P infrastructure is in place?

    For instance, once the orbital tests are successful, could they fit out say two Starships, one for luxury short duration trips in space (the ISS orbits in ~90 mins) and the other a kind of super luxury space hotel for flights of longer duration eg around the moon?
    HI DavidLondon,

    It seems to me an actual orbit or more would entail significant training requirements. Extended stays in zero g sound like fun but time investment could make the shorter hops more attractive, besides cheaper.

    I like that Musk has (apparently) booked a ticket on Virgin. These guys should be each others' biggest boosters, as related to Space Tourism. Bezos' obnoxious insistence on differentiating his offering from Virgin's is counterproductive. They should set up an association of enthusiasts who assign Wings to people who went up and experienced freefall for a certain amount of time. Call them what they want. Billionauts is a great title I just thought up and they can use for free. lol.

    Apparently, Lamborghini got in the business of cars after he felt slighted by Ferrari. Rather hilarious. It's not the first time vain Titans of industry have competed. And we need to ridicule those aspects of the story. But, especially on this forum, we should be celebrating the accomplishments.

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    HI DavidLondon,

    It seems to me an actual orbit or more would entail significant training requirements. Extended stays in zero g sound like fun but time investment could make the shorter hops more attractive, besides cheaper.
    >
    Several "Spaceflight Participant" training programs have started up for those not considered crew members, and SpaceX has their own training program for those civilians assuming the Commander and Pilot duties.

    For the Crew Dragon Inspiration4 mission they're training entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who is rated to fly commercial and military aircraft, as Commander. The Pilot is Dr. Sian Proctor, a geoscientist who has done a few "Analog Astronaut" missions with NASA. AA missions are like simulated Mars missions, or like her time aboard the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) habitat.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon View Post
    Thinking a bit more about this, what is to stop SpaceX from disrupting the emerging Sub-Orbital market by offering a competitively priced alternative orbital experience before the P2P infrastructure is in place?
    I thought SpaceX was the potential near-term suborbital P2P supplier? Starship potentially could hold a large number of passengers for long suborbital flights. SpaceshipTwo and New Shepard are suborbital hoppers that carry a few passengers and can barely get high enough for it to count as space. I don’t believe either of them could go on extended ballistic flights, so the companies would have to build something entirely new. Also, SpaceshipTwo’s design is pretty much a dead end.

    Mind you, I’m skeptical of suborbital P2P. The sound issues would be worse than for supersonic aircraft. I would also expect it to have even more challenging economics than supersonics, and I also wonder if countries will be happy to have regular intercontinental suborbital rocket flights landing near any major cities. After all, they really need to be sure they aren’t nuclear missiles or even the same passenger rocket but carrying nuclear weapons. And then, there is the flight safety issue, both for passenger safety and overflight limitations. An accident could easily set it back. Passenger aircraft have had many decades to mature designs, and issues still come up occasionally. I suspect that if it occurs at all it will be very restricted, especially in the early days.

    For instance, once the orbital tests are successful, could they fit out say two Starships, one for luxury short duration trips in space (the ISS orbits in ~90 mins) and the other a kind of super luxury space hotel for flights of longer duration eg around the moon?
    They would have additional costs over suborbital because of the Super Heavy stage. On the other hand, suborbital P2P is just a fast alternative to regular airflight. Less expensive human access to orbit would be something new. If the economics aren’t too bad, I’d guess that fast turnaround Starship/Super Heavy flights to a space station with centrifugal gravity for some sections would be a winner.

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    Just for the record, Starship P2P flying without a Super Heavy booster is said to have a range of ~10,000 km. Perhaps more now that they're talking about Starship having 9 engines instead of 6.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    And then, there is the flight safety issue, both for passenger safety and overflight limitations. An accident could easily set it back. Passenger aircraft have had many decades to mature designs, and issues still come up occasionally. I suspect that if it occurs at all it will be very restricted, especially in the early days.
    I don't know what kind of market there might be for suborbital cargo, but I wouldn't be surprised if suborbital P2P becomes established first by hauling cargo. Then, once cost and safety is proved, moving people.

  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell View Post
    I don't know what kind of market there might be for suborbital cargo, but I wouldn't be surprised if suborbital P2P becomes established first by hauling cargo. Then, once cost and safety is proved, moving people.
    It'll be military cargo. The US military is already interested. They're the only ones who could afford it.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell View Post
    I don't know what kind of market there might be for suborbital cargo, but I wouldn't be surprised if suborbital P2P becomes established first by hauling cargo. Then, once cost and safety is proved, moving people.
    I’d expect the commercial cargo market to be very limited. It would be more expensive and they couldn’t just fly when someone on the other side of the planet wanted any particular thing, so there would be shipping delays in processing before things were flown on the rocket. I don’t know if it really would reduce the total transport time that much and be worth it.

    I can see SpaceX getting a contract with the DoD to at least test it for rapid deployment, but I wonder if it would develop into something serious.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  19. #139
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    Ahem...

    SpaceX has completed 100 Raptor & RVac engines, with engines to about #150 under construction.

    Eric Berger @SciGuySpace (Ars Technica)
    Unofficially—because Blue Origin never talks about these things publicly—I've heard that a total of nine BE-4 engines have been built as part of the development program so far. Nine. Zero currently on the test stand.
    ||
    Eric Berger @SciGuySpace
    Jul 26, 2021
    Replying to @tobyliiiiiiiiii
    None of those nine are flight engines.
    |
    ∆V@DELTA_V
    Oh god. That's really embarrassing. I feel sorry for @torybruno.

    https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/stat...40029270773760
    https://twitter.com/DELTA_V/status/1419741573206749186
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2021-Jul-27 at 04:53 AM.

  20. #140
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    When behind, divide your efforts...

    1) JARVIS, a reusable stainless steel upper stage/payload module for New Glenn.

    2) Bezos has hired a big-time lawyer to essentially gut the Outer Space Treaty's ban on claiming ownership of bodies in space.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...ts/?comments=1

  21. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    When behind, divide your efforts...

    1) JARVIS, a reusable stainless steel upper stage/payload module for New Glenn.

    2) Bezos has hired a big-time lawyer to essentially gut the Outer Space Treaty's ban on claiming ownership of bodies in space.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...ts/?comments=1
    Maybe Bezos needs less lawyers and more engineers.

  22. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Just for the record, Starship P2P flying without a Super Heavy booster is said to have a range of ~10,000 km. Perhaps more now that they're talking about Starship having 9 engines instead of 6.
    That’s interesting. I first came across the ‘point to point’ concept in Robert Zubrin’s 2019 book ‘The Case for Space’. He clearly states that to obtain global reach you would need orbital velocity, which requires a two stage rocket. So you would need a booster stage at the launch point which returns to the launch site. And then another booster stage at the initial destination to launch for a return journey. Each point to point location, which would be sited several miles from any major city (so require connections eg by helicopter to the final destination), would need its own booster infrastructure.

    But maybe the technology has improved sufficiently since Zubrin’s book to develop suborbital P2P using say 9 engines on a Starship without needing a booster. Is that right?

    If so, what is to stop SpaceX from simply fitting out a Starship now to provide competition for Blue Origin and Virgin for a suborbital experience?

    Though I also agree with 7cscb that a bit more co-operation between the big spenders to develop complementary technologies could help speed up progress in general.

  23. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon View Post
    But maybe the technology has improved sufficiently since Zubrin’s book to develop suborbital P2P using say 9 engines on a Starship without needing a booster. Is that right?
    It depends on the details like the total change in velocity and the rocket equation. The reason you usually stage for orbit is that for Earth it is a pretty significant velocity change for chemical fuel rockets and with a single stage you need to carry all the structure (tanks and engines) to orbit. With a careful design it is just possible to do that on Earth, but you would end up with a small useful payload. If you’re going suborbital with lower maximum velocity (say, half orbital velocity) it dramatically reduces the fuel requirement for the same payload (reduction is much more than half). And half orbital velocity can get you quite a good distance. (That’s also why single stage to orbit can make sense for the Moon or Mars - the velocity change is much less). So for P2P you might want staging depending on design, how much payload you want and maximum distance, but staging increases complexity and operational cost.

    If so, what is to stop SpaceX from simply fitting out a Starship now to provide competition for Blue Origin and Virgin for a suborbital experience?
    Mainly, Starship needs more safety testing, but assuming that works out, it would be way beyond the mini space hoppers in terms of experience and could carry far more passengers for longer flights (even if not really for P2P). But will SpaceX be interested in Starship for, basically, entertainment? Who knows?

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  24. #144
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    And of course bad news for Bezos as the GAO shoots down his protest over the HLS award to SpaceX

  25. #145
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    It's funny how it's OK to monopolize and undersell your competitors into non-existence if it's YOUR venture, but unfair if it's someone else's.

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  26. #146
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    An article on reasons for the BE-4 delays:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...ate-heres-why/

    It’s pointed out that Blue Origin keeps very quiet about this stuff, so they got some comments from involved people speaking anonymously. It looks like Blue Origin will be finishing its first flight ready engines by the end of the year or early next. For all the delays, ULA should be getting engines faster and cheaper than if they had gone with the traditional Aerojet.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  27. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    An article on reasons for the BE-4 delays:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...ate-heres-why/

    It’s pointed out that Blue Origin keeps very quiet about this stuff, so they got some comments from involved people speaking anonymously. It looks like Blue Origin will be finishing its first flight ready engines by the end of the year or early next. For all the delays, ULA should be getting engines faster and cheaper than if they had gone with the traditional Aerojet.
    Ars also states those first flight engines will not have been fully qualified when delivered to ULA. ANOTHER set of engines will do the qualification tests, meaning if there's a problem that fix needs to be applied to the engines ULA has already integrated into Vulcan 1.

    This has a high cluster-frack potential.

  28. #148
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    Interesting article on new Blue Origin developments:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...nk/?comments=1

    It looks like Blue Origin is taking lessons from SpaceX. It is about what BO is calling “Project Jarvis” - an effort to develop a reusable upper stage for their upcoming New Glenn. I believe previously the upper stage was to be a use once item, but they are now taking Starship/Super Heavy seriously and understand thay need full reusability to compete. Oh, and also they will be trying a more iterative development process. It sounds like Blue Origin and Bezos are getting serious. Good. It has been too long a wait for the reusability revolution, which will force other launch providers to adapt or die, and will radically and permanently alter launch economics, which in turn will allow things to begin that I’ve been hoping to see most of my life.

    By the way, I had to laugh when reading a comment where the poster called the company “Below Orbit.”

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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    Jarvis will be a stainless steel reusable upper stage like Starship, but smaller. No clue as to the engine mix yet.

    Meanwhile, ULA wants their BE-4 engines...

    Eric Berger @SciGuySpace (Ars Technica)
    Tory Bruno with probably his sharpest public words yet on Blue Origin the BE-4 engine delay. Privately he's quite a bit sharper, hah.

    "I need them to diligently work through the plans we have and get done on time."

    https://t.co/1lGaXIJGJJ
    https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/stat...665991170?s=19

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