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Cost of a T-Space CXV launch

Posted by: Andy Hill - Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:03 am
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Cost of a T-Space CXV launch 
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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 15, 2005 11:30 am
The table of the last post I am using now for calculations that modify the launch costs of the Soyuz so that their comparability is improved.

Because of the Ziolkovsky-equation an increase of weight results in an exponential increase of the amount of required propellant. Logically
a reduction of the weight results in an exponentially reduced required amount of propellant. This menas that the costs will be significantly
over-estimated by what I am going to do now - I am going to multiply the launch cost of Soyuz by the result of the division of the CXV-weight
by the Soyuz-weight. The results are to be read in the following table:

Code:
vehicle    CXV-     vehicle-    launch     modified
           weight   weight      costs      launch costs
Soyuz TM   3674     7250        65000000   32939310,34
Soyuz A    3674     5880        65000000   40613945,58


Obviously the upper boundary of the - modified - launch costs would still be above the flight costs of the CXV - althought they are largely
reduced.

This means that the economies of scale are not as large as the break-even-point-analysis seemed to indicate. The reason why the CXV is more
economical is its lower weight.

Additionaly these calculations seem to indicate too low upper boundaries because the total costs of one launch have been modified - which is
injustified: The reduction of the weight affects the amount of propellant and the stages of the rocket mainly while the Soyuz itself is equipped
qith a lot of supposedly expensive instruments which I think to keep the investment into the Soyuz capsule at a high level.

Unfortunately I don't have any data ablout the structure of the estimated $65,000,000 launch costs - the shares caused by the Soyuz capsule,
the propellant and the stages seperated.

I will look for improvements and corrections of the calculations. Currently economies of scale still are to be assumed because the CXV can
carry four to six persons while the Soyuz can carry three to four only.




Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:55 am
Before going on I calculated a table of break-even-points of CXV-flioght-costs with Soyuz-launch-costs:

Code:
prop.   var. Booster   remainder    vehicle      booster    Soyuz       num.
costs   costs          var. costs   investment   invest.    flt.costs   flt.
76202    5000000              0     400000000           0   65000000    6,68
76202   10000000              0     400000000           0   65000000    7,28
76202   10301128              0     400000000           0   65000000    7,32
76202   15000000              0     400000000           0   65000000    8,01
76202          0              0     400000000     5000000   65000000    6,24
76202          0              0     400000000    10000000   65000000    6,32
76202          0              0     400000000    10301128   65000000    6,32
76202          0              0     400000000    15000000   65000000    6,40


Obviousl the CXV would be cheaper than Soyuzbeginning with the seventh, eighth or ninth flight.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:01 pm
Sure... :roll:


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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:05 am
Jeff, how many times have you heard the phrase "the numbers can't lie"?

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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:14 pm
Soyuz flies today--where tSpace hasn't even shown that it can fly at all. Math and statistics whiz during the development of the R-7 might have concluded it was too large.

Math is good in engineering tolerances--economics is not nor ever will be as exacting.

I had a contact who had a scheme for a small business. He also had a nice table of numbers showing how much he would make if just 1% out of a hundred people bought his product. It all looked nice on paper.

The problem is that 1% estimate (that looked very reasonable) was actually too high. Mr. Augustin is assuming that t/Space knows what it is doing, where I am not so sure. Space flight is hard, and flight rates will always be low so far as I can see. So it makes more sense to increase throw weight in this scenario as Griffin suggests.

Rutan's designs are probably better fodder for economic prediction--for his craft have actually flown and are a bit more of a known quantity. Thing is, he will have to build a heavy transport craft to have enough paying passengers for Tier Two to work--thus confirming my assertion that heavy lift is an inescapable need in one sense or the other.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:26 pm
Well, publi, as much as you are fond of touting R-7 as the universal booster for any old payload... we both know that it was first an ICBM and was designed around a very specific payload, namely a big-a** A-bomb. That being the case, I doubt that anyone would have said it was too big :)

But our acerbic comrade has a valid point in this thread and the other one (which is probably where I should have posted, but oh, well) on flight rates... the high flight rate concept is critical to the mathematics of economic spaceflight, but it has never been accomplished! It was tried, in fact, that is what STS was supposed to be about; but nobody has really been able to do it.

The breakout commercial launch operators in this new generation are focused on that and they understand it. Musk says that he expects Falcon I to become the most widely-used OLV in the world by a significant margin, and that is where he expects to make back his investment. Rutan said that MAV considered funding scores of weekly test flights of SS1 just to prove out the feasibility of sustained high flight rates.

Now, both of these ventures are still short of thier goals, but they are both still working towards them, so we can all wait to find out in 4 or 5 years whether it really is possible to fly as often as one needs to in order to reap the benefits of flight volume. In the interim, if I am NASA director, I certainly don't want to wait around for the economics to develop, especially if my orders are "quit messing around and go to the moon!" And if I am a NASA engineer and my orders are "figure out a reliable way to get to the moon," you bet your sweet six I am thinking about SDHLLV.

In the end, BOTH kinds of capabilities are needed, and kudos to the team at NASA for coming up with both in the Constellation program. And kudos to NASA for the new Centennial Challenges to help get more private industry thinking about space technology. And kudos to Burt and Elon and Paul and Richard and all those people whose money/reputation/livelihood are on the line in these ventures. And yes, publi, kudos even to the Rocket Racing league, because every time a CH4/LOX engine fires, the human mission to mars becomes more reliable.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:27 pm
SawSS1Jun21 wrote:
kudos even to the Rocket Racing league, because every time a CH4/LOX engine fires, the human mission to mars becomes more reliable.
I did think racing EZ rockets was a stupid idea at first, but now I am not so sure. If enough people pay to watch the races, that is a source of funding for perfecting reliable and reusable rocket engines. We really don't have any rocket engine now that can fly more than a few flights without a major overhaul. We need engines that can go hundreds of flights with almost no maintenance before RLVs are feasible. What makes me disbelieve all these economic estimations is that they have zero money allocated to maintenance, and I believe that maintenance is going to be the largest part of the cost of space flight for decades to come.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:11 pm
That is a good point.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:58 am
Hello, SawSS1June21,

you are understanding it the right and correct way so far.

I am doing nothing else than to take the data and numbers available, to look to those of their links, connections and causal logics that are of economic nature and then apply economic methods to them for getting conclusions and comparisons.

Hello, Peter,

what I am doing here doesn't have anything to do with estimations or statistics or the like. The data t/Space or other companies are publishing all are data each company has to publish before it can hope to get a single customer, funder, backer or even procurer. So they are of no statistical nature like Collins' data are.

To these non-.statsical and non-estimation data I apply investigation methods of Enterprise Economics which are used by the majot number of large, middle.sized and even small companies all over the world. I myself have installed them to a small company doing very well in the Microchip-business.

So they are very reliable methods - as reliable as the methods of Engineering.

This is no trial to look into the future as stistics, estimations and econometrics are doing - this is a cross-section-comparison enabled by methods unveiling how the economical side ofvehicles work. It's like a method to look for how a special new rocket works. Estimations can't be done this way.



The comparison etc. will go on later - I first have to have ready the next step of comparison.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:37 am
Klaus.Schmidt has sent me a PM last week that he has found a special number in the informations made available by t/Space: The length of thje booster is 27.5 meters. I currently don't know if I used that number but I will check that.

In between I have gathered more data about Soyuz for use in this thread. But one essential number (or group of numbers) I am still missing - the price or investment into the follwing Soyuz-engines:

RD-107-8D74K
RD-108-11D512P
RD-0110
RD-107A
RD-108A
RD-0120

Has anyone available the numbers?

Additionally it seems to me that the price of N2O4 and ADMH may be of use - whonos can you help me out?

I have found two alternative ways to get an idea about the costs trcuture of Soyuz-flights but they are weaker.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:08 pm
I didn't check yet if I used the number Klaus Schmidt has found but applied the infornmations I had found together with the two ideas.


In one of the previous posts I was incontent with the circumstance that I didn't know the share of the propellant costs of the Soyuz launch costs of $ 65 mio. I am interested in that share because I need it to find out the launch costs of Soyuz in case it would equal the weight (or mass) of the CXV. The amount of propellant required would be less if Soyuz would equal that weight and the launch costs might be below the $ 65 mio.

So I looked for some informations which I found the time to base calculations on. There are the following approaches:



1. applying propellant costs directly

I. reduced weight of Soyuz taken into account only
II. reduction of the weight of the stages of the Soyuz rocket taken into account additionaly.

2. applying an information where the Soyuz rocket-costs are given separated from the payload



1. applying propellant costs directly

According to Wikipedia (german) the first two stages of a Soyuz rocket use LOX and cerosene as propellant and the third stage RD0110 does that too. As far as I remember whonos used a LOX-price of 0.1 $/kg. At August the 24th 2005 cerosene was to be had at a price of 0.65 $/kg according to my informations. In order to calculate in favor of the Soyuz capsule as well as for the Soyuz rocket will use the cerosene price only - the share of those hardware costs of the launch costs will then be less than they really are.

The only Soyuz-versions I have launch-weight- and height-informations about is the Soyuz-U and I have only launch-weight-informations about the Soyuz-U2 and the Soyuz-2/ST - but the propellant-weight is given separately. So I will use these three rockets here.

Here is a table of the propellant costs - I assumed prop./total to be constant and used that to calculate the propellant weight of the Soyuz-U - may be that the result is below the real value and thus provide a calculation against the hardware.

Code:
   rocket       prop.-    total     non-     prop./    prop.-
                weight    weight    prop.    total     costs
                in t      in t      in t               all
                                                       cerosene

   Soyuz-U2     275.140   298.240   24.100   0,92      $ 178,841.00
   Soyuz-2/ST   274.215   298.300   24.085   0,92      $ 178,239.75
   Soyuz-U      287.96    313       25.04    derived   $ 187,174.00
   




I. reduced weight of Soyuz taken into account only

Because of the exponential property of the Ziolkovsky-equation a linear reduction of the weight of the vehicle - the Soyuz-capsule - should overestimate the reduced propellant costs. If I apply the ratio between the weight of the CXV plus the Soyuz-rocket and the Soyuz capsule plus the Soyuz-rocket as the factor of reduction this is a linear reduction and so I will do so now. It takes into account the weight of the rocket also.

According to my informations only the Soyuz-2/ST has the payload capacity of 7.5 t which is a little bit more than the weight of the Soyuz (TM)-capsule:

Code:
       capsule      weight   rocket       nonprop-   wght   nonprop-   linear
                    in kg                 wght of    CXV    wght of    factor
                                          rocket     kg     rocket
                                          added             added

       Soyuz (A)    5800     Soyuz-U2     29.900 t   3674   27.774     0,93
       Soyuz (A)    5800     Soyuz-2/ST   29.885 t   3674   27.759     0,93
       Soyuz (A)    5800     Soyuz-U      30.840 t   3674   28.714     0,93
       Soyuz (TM)   7250     Soyuz-2/ST   31.335 t   3674   27.759     0,89
       




I get the followoing results for the linearly reduced weights of the capsules:

Code:
       capsule      rocket       prop.-    prop.-       new
                                 weight    costs        total
                                 in t      in $         lnch.-
                                                        costs

       Soyuz (A)    Soyuz-U2     255,880   166,322.00   64,987,481.00
       Soyuz (A)    Soyuz-2/ST   255,020   165,763.00   64,987,523.25
       Soyuz (A)    Soyuz-U      267,802   174,071.30   64,986,897.30
       Soyuz (TM)   Soyuz-2/ST   244,051   158,633.15   64,971,459.15
       




Obviously a reduction of the weight of the Soyuz down to the weight of the CXV wouldn't reduce the costs from $ 65 mio. below $ 64 mio. even if I overestimate the propellant costs like done in this approach. Up to now the formerly calculated reduction down to $ 30 mio. to $ 40 mio. can't be correct unless another approach results in that a reduction. If that doesn't occur then this would be an argument that the CXV has a very high sum of savings in safety costs, labour costs of launch and economies of scale.





II. reduction of the weight of the stages of the Soyuz rocket taken into account additionaly.

Since the propellant-weight to be lifted at launch is reduced if the weight of the Suyuz-capsule is reduced to the weight of the CXV the non-propellant-weight of the stages may be reudced also. The volume of the stages will be reduced but because of the economies-of-scale-link between volume and material required for that volume the reduction of the amount of material per volume is less than the reduction of the volume. This means that the reduction of the weight of the tanks and stages will not be that large. So if I apply the factor already used again I will overestimate the reduction of weight and the resulting second reduction of weight of the propellant:

Code:
       capsule      rocket       prop.-    prop.-       new
                                 weight    costs        total
                                 in t      in $         lnch-
                                                        costs

       Soyuz (A)    Soyuz-U2     237,224   154,195.60   64,975,354.60
       Soyuz (A)    Soyuz-2/ST   237,169   154,159.85   64,975,920.10
       Soyuz (A)    Soyuz-U      249,056   161,886.40   64,974,712.40
       Soyuz (TM)   Soyuz-2/ST   217,205   141,183.25   64,962,943.50
       




It seems that the reductions of weight wouldn't reduce the launch costs below the $ 64 mio.-mark - so weight seems to be not the cause of the 4 65 mio.-launch costs.

I know that this isn't that new but because of the comparison CXV-Soyuz I calculated this for completion and it seems that the propellant costs aren't that high above the propellant costs of the CXV but might really be higher than those. But the reason for the large difference in launch costs must be another one.





2. applying an information where the Soyuz rocket-costs are given separated from the payload

I was looking for the maximum of aluminum costs to be involved into the Soyuz-rocket and capsule but find them being between 44,927.73 and 47,767.00 only which still doesn't explain the level and the difference. I cvonsider it to be not worth the tiem to calaculate something based on this.

But I found another information which seems to provide an insight. Under the link www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/space/amos/AMOS_2.html I found the following:

Quote:
Spacecom, a joint venture between IAI, Eurocom, Mer Services Group and General Satellite Services Co., invested some $130 million in AMOS 2, including $70 million to build the satellite, $35 million for the launch and $25 million for insurance. Once the launch has been successfully completed, Spacecom intends to start raising the $160 million needed to build AMOS 3. The goal is to launch AMOS 3, which will weigh two tons, by 2007, so that it will ready to replace AMOS 1, which is due to cease operations in 2008.

After IAI threatened a lawsuit, Ariane arranged the alternative launch on the Soyuz, which is made by a company jointly owned by Ariane.
.

I am not sure if I should read this that way that it is saying that the Soyuz-rocket including propellant etc. costs $ 35 mio. but the fact the Arianspace arranged this alternative rocket and that no different number is provided there might be interpreted as if the launch by thta rocket costs $ 35 mio. like a launch by Ariane. Under the aspect that there is a joint venture between Arian and Russia called Starsem their costs might be that similar.

Although that rocket is none of them I already considered this would mean that the Soyuz-capsule costs around $ 30 mio. - may be $ 20 mio. to $ 25 mio.

Please note the $ 20 mio. to $ 30 mio. are the costs of the Soyuz-capsule only but not the launch costs: The capsule alone costs as much as one single flight of the CXV at least - based on t/Space's information I am using here - and might cost more than that flight costs. The aluminum costs I calculated above include 9,021,32 to 9,116.44 for a Soyuz (A) or $ 11,276.65 to 11,395.55 for a Soyuz (TM) only. For this reason weight can't be the reason of the costs - currentlx I can't imagine nothing but safety, capsule-engines, comoputers, sensors, radio, instruments, heat shield, navigation-equipment and the like, labour costs and cosntruction costs.



Both the expensive non-reusable capsule and the - in comparison to the planned booster of the CXV - expensive non-resuable Soyuz-rocket themselves cause the launch costs of $ 65 mio. Regarding the CXV on the other hand there is an dditional reusability: the carrying airplane. So it will be interesting how much that airplane might be going to cost.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:28 pm
Here a short synopsis about the vehicles etc.

Code:
                                CXV        Soyuz (A)   Soyuz (TM)      
weight    vehicle                3674 kg   5880 kg     7250 kg      CXV lightest   
          booster/equiv         17918 kg   2 upper     2 upper      assuming hardware   
                                           stages      stages       only
          airplane/1. st.       ?          1. stage    1. stage     assuming hardware
                                                                    only   
          total                 ?          ~29000      ~31400       assuming hardware
                                                                    only   
size      vehicle    length      4.422 m   7.4  m      7.48 m       CXV shortest   
                     radius      2.1   m   1.15 m      1.36 m       CXV widest   
size      booster/   length     27     m   2 upper     2 upper      
          equiv.                           stages      stages
                     radius      2.1 m     ?           ?      
1.stage   kind                   airplane   1. st.      1. st.      
                                           Soyuz       Soyuz
 
flights possible     vehicle    >1         1           1            more CXV-flts poss.   
                     booster/   >1         1           1       more CXV-1.-
                     equiv.                                         stagee-flts poss.            

var. costs non-veh              <=~10 mio    35 mio      35 mio     CXV less var. costs
investment              400 mio    >=30 mio    >=30 mio     CXV more fixed costs   
                  
economical flight rate          >7         <=7         <=7          CXV high flt rate
                                                                    -oriented   


It will be most essential to get data about the share of the labour costs or safety costs involved in the Soyuz-launch costs of $ 65,000,000 ot about the costs of the engines of the Soyuz-rocket.


There is an interesting number about the Soyuz rocket - the costs of aluminum are not more than between around $ 36,000 and around $ 57,000. If made of aluminum the booster of the CXV might be much cheaper than the calculated $ 10 mio. But if it is made of another material than aluminum which is lighter perhaps then this material might be much more expensive than aluminum - keeping the booster costs around $ 10 mio. A high flight rate of the resuable CXV then might drop the costs of the expendable booster due to degression of costs of the booster's production costs or even economies of scale of the production of the booster.

I am going to replace the question marks etc.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:26 pm
Several questions...
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/546/1


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:14 pm
Some of which has been answered

http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=843


Last edited by FerrisValyn on Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:50 pm
The synopsis completed looks as follows - but it's the first step synopsis only since the airplane requires further considerations:

Code:
                                CXV        Soyuz (A)   Soyuz (TM)      
weight    vehicle                3674 kg    5880 kg     7250 kg     CXV lightest   
          booster/equiv         17918 kg    8900 kg     8900 kg     CXV-booster heaviest
                                                                    hardware only
          airplane/1. st.       162400 -   14200 kg    14200 kg     CXV-1.-st. much heavier
                                180800 kg                           hardware only   
          total                 183992 -   28100 kg    30350 kg     CXV-total much heavier
                                202392 kg                           hardware only   
size      vehicle    length      4.422 m    7.4  m      7.48 m      CXV shortest   
                     radius      2.1   m    1.15 m      1.36 m      CXV widest   
size      booster/   length     27     m   34.5  m     34.5  m      CXV-booster shortest
          equiv.                                               
                     radius      2.1 m     2.95-       2.95-        CXV-booster
                                           2.66 m      2.66 m       lest diameter
1.stage   kind                   airplane   1. st.      1. st.       CXV-first-stage
                                           Soyuz       Soyuz        reusable
          method of lift        speed +    thrust      thrust       CXV doesn't need
                                buoyancy   brute force brute force  that weight of prop.
          take-off              horizontal vertical    vertical     CXV is air-assisted

flights possible     vehicle    >1         1           1            more CXV-flts poss.   
                     booster/   >1         1           1       more CXV-1.-
                     equiv.                                         stage-flts poss.            

var. costs non-veh              <=~10 mio    35 mio      35 mio     CXV less var. costs
investment              400 mio    >=30 mio    >=30 mio     CXV more fixed costs   
                  
economical flight rate          >7         <=7         <=7          CXV high flt rate
                                                                    -oriented   


Important remark: The weight inserted for the airplane is the weight of a Boeing 747 since no data to be had about WK2 or VLA and t/Space are talking about a Boeing 747 as alternative for the VLA. Since the data about the 747 are from Wikipedia the weight includes all the equipment required to be able to carry passengers, freight or weapons - and the VLA may be going to be much lighter because of materials and optimizations for air launches. The most take-off-weight was around 300 tons - so between 138 tons and 120 tons are propellant while the data I found about the Soyuz include more than 200 tons of propellant. So the propellant costs as one part of the variable costs are less for the CXV than for Soyuz. Additionally it's cerosene for both the airplane and the first Soyuz-stage. I will post an extended synopsis later which will include avague idea about the VLA.

Still the data about the share of the labour costs or safety costs involved in the $ 65,000,000 are to be searched for.

Next the costs of the airplane are to be analyzed and to be included into the synopsis somehow - unless the labour/safety costs are found before. The analysis will include a special consideration.

Up to now it seems that the flight cost advantgae of the CXV is achieved by

- CXV vehicle-weight requiring less propellant
- CXV vehicle-length and -radius resulting in less surface and thus material
- CXV booster-length and -radius resulting in less surface and thus material
- reusability of CXV first stage and thus flight rate (> 1)
- CXV first stage-take off by combination of horizontal take-off with speed causing buoyancy which saves propellant to get thrust
- reusability of CXV vehicle and thus flight rate (>1)

The cost advantage results in savings above a flkight rate of seven flights.



The look into the airplane costs and informations about Soyuz labour or safety costs will be interesting.





Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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