NASA’s Risk Aversion

Remember when they were insisting on new-car-smell Dragons for CRS missions? Well, they’ve now approved flight-proven boosters. As I’ve long said, there will come a day when customers will demand a discount to fly on an unproven vehicle.

[Update a while later]

With today’s launch, SpaceX will double its record for annual launches.

[Update half an hour before launch]

You can follow launch and landing at the webcast.

6 thoughts on “NASA’s Risk Aversion”

  1. When do they intend to fly a booster for the third time? And how many reflights per booster do they want? I’ve not seen that reported anywhere.

      1. Right. The Block 5 Falcon 9, in addition to increased thrust, has improvements intended to facilitate reuse, with the goal being ten flights with only inspection, not refurbishment, between flights. Only Block 5 will be used for commercial crew flights, so they need to get some of them flying successfully before their Commercial Crew demo missions.

        The three reflights so far have all been LEO followed by GTO, and though they’ve recovered them all, they are a bit crispier following a GTO mission. This December 4 CRS-13 missions will be the first time they will use a booster for two LEO flights, so it could be a candidate for a third flight. It may depend on how soon the Block 5 starts flying.

  2. Neither have I. Do any reader’s here subscribe to L2 at NASASpaceflight? It’s always been a little too pricey for me.

  3. Apropos reused boosters, KOREASAT-5A booster just landed on OCISLY, though I saw a pretty sporty fire burning at the base before the feed cut out.

    1. Later in the webcast they showed the fire out. Still some smoke. The announcer said something like “stage 1 looks good, ready for its next flight”! They’ll need to remove a fair bit of soot first.

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