Discussion:
"The space race is over and SpaceX won"
(too old to reply)
Lynn McGuire
2018-04-06 20:36:38 UTC
Permalink
"The space race is over and SpaceX won"

https://www.cringely.com/2018/04/06/the-space-race-is-over-and-spacex-won/

"The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently gave SpaceX
permission to build Starlink — Elon Musk’s version of satellite-based
broadband Internet. The FCC specifically approved launching the first
4,425 of what will eventually total 11,925 satellites in orbit. To keep
this license SpaceX has to launch at least 2,213 satellites within six
years. The implications of this project are mind-boggling with the most
important probably being that it will likely result in SpaceX crushing
its space launch competitors, companies like Boeing and Lockheed
Martin’s United Launch Alliance (ULA) partnership as well as Jeff Bezos’
Blue Origin."

Impressive, very impressive. However, I think that Cringely is a bit
premature. The space race will be ongoing for many years, nay decades,
to come.

Lynn
Lynn McGuire
2018-04-06 20:45:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lynn McGuire
"The space race is over and SpaceX won"
https://www.cringely.com/2018/04/06/the-space-race-is-over-and-spacex-won/
"The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently gave SpaceX
permission to build Starlink — Elon Musk’s version of satellite-based
broadband Internet. The FCC specifically approved launching the first
4,425 of what will eventually total 11,925 satellites in orbit. To keep
this license SpaceX has to launch at least 2,213 satellites within six
years. The implications of this project are mind-boggling with the most
important probably being that it will likely result in SpaceX crushing
its space launch competitors, companies like Boeing and Lockheed
Martin’s United Launch Alliance (ULA) partnership as well as Jeff Bezos’
Blue Origin."
Impressive, very impressive.  However, I think that Cringely is a bit
premature.  The space race will be ongoing for many years, nay decades,
to come.
Lynn
"Communication with a geostationary satellite has a minimum theoretical
round-trip latency of no less than 239 ms, but in practice, current such
satellites offer latencies of 600 ms or more. Starlink satellites would
orbit at 1/30 of geostationary orbits, and thus offer a practical
latencies around 25 to 35 ms, comparable to currently existing cable or
fiber networks.[39]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlink_(satellite_constellation)

Wow, Starlink is actually going to be usable. a 1 gpbs connection with
a 35 ms latency is very usable.

Lynn
J. Clarke
2018-04-07 00:30:25 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 6 Apr 2018 15:36:38 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
"The space race is over and SpaceX won"
https://www.cringely.com/2018/04/06/the-space-race-is-over-and-spacex-won/
"The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently gave SpaceX
permission to build Starlink — Elon Musk’s version of satellite-based
broadband Internet. The FCC specifically approved launching the first
4,425 of what will eventually total 11,925 satellites in orbit. To keep
this license SpaceX has to launch at least 2,213 satellites within six
years. The implications of this project are mind-boggling with the most
important probably being that it will likely result in SpaceX crushing
its space launch competitors, companies like Boeing and Lockheed
Martin’s United Launch Alliance (ULA) partnership as well as Jeff Bezos’
Blue Origin."
Impressive, very impressive. However, I think that Cringely is a bit
premature. The space race will be ongoing for many years, nay decades,
to come.
SpaceX is using a different business model from the competition. The
competition's business model is based on selling rockets. SpaceX's
business model is selling launches.

And if BFR goes anything close to the way it's planned, then by the
time the "competition" gets into the 2018-vintage game SpaceX is going
to be so far ahead that they'll never catch up.

Of course this assumes that Tesla doesn't fail and take SpaceX down
with it.
Dan Tilque
2018-04-07 11:18:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
SpaceX is using a different business model from the competition. The
competition's business model is based on selling rockets. SpaceX's
business model is selling launches.
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.

Virgin Galactic is also going for tourism, so they're in competition
with Blue Origin. And there was a recent announcement that someone is
planning a space hotel. No doubt they'll be trying to get both VG and BO
to be able to dock. It may be interesting to see how that works out.
--
Dan Tilque
J. Clarke
2018-04-07 11:58:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
SpaceX is using a different business model from the competition. The
competition's business model is based on selling rockets. SpaceX's
business model is selling launches.
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Post by Dan Tilque
Virgin Galactic is also going for tourism, so they're in competition
with Blue Origin. And there was a recent announcement that someone is
planning a space hotel. No doubt they'll be trying to get both VG and BO
to be able to dock. It may be interesting to see how that works out.
Virgin Galactic isn't competition. Their main objective is what
amounts to a glorified amusement park ride. They aren't working on
anything that can achieve orbit. They spun off their "small
satellite" business into a separate company that is using throwaway
boosters and has yet to fly anything--in any case they're talking $12
million for 600 pounds in orbit. SpaceX is talking 7 million to put
300,000 pounds in orbit. So even in their small satellite business
they're pretty much DOA.

As for the space hotel, the "space hotel" is about the size of a
bizjet cabin. SpaceX's next generation booster will be able to fly a
couple of those "hotels" as cargo.

As for being able to dock, everybody except the Chinese who is
actually doing manned spaceflight has docking equipment compatible
with ISS. One hopes that this "space hotel" is also compatible.

Sorry, but at this point SpaceX doesn't _have_ competition.
Dan Tilque
2018-04-07 17:16:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.

Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high. They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
--
Dan Tilque
J. Clarke
2018-04-08 15:08:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Lynn McGuire
2018-04-08 22:03:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.

Lynn
J. Clarke
2018-04-08 22:15:50 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the Giant-Killer.
Technologically he's not doing anything that wasn't within the means
of NASA 50 years ago. What's different is that he's not in thrall to
the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who have a vested interest in selling
throwaway rockets.
Kevrob
2018-04-09 01:44:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the Giant-Killer.
Technologically he's not doing anything that wasn't within the means
of NASA 50 years ago. What's different is that he's not in thrall to
the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who have a vested interest in selling
throwaway rockets.
He's landed reusable boosters. NASA hasn't managed that. Other
than the reusable solid ones used on the shuttle, everything else
has been throwaway. That's one technological advance.

Starlink looks pretty cool. too. They have competition in that
niche, which should drive improvements.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/29/17178126/spacex-satellite-broadband-internet-fcc-approval-license-starlink-spectrum

Kevin R
J. Clarke
2018-04-09 05:44:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the Giant-Killer.
Technologically he's not doing anything that wasn't within the means
of NASA 50 years ago. What's different is that he's not in thrall to
the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who have a vested interest in selling
throwaway rockets.
He's landed reusable boosters. NASA hasn't managed that.
He isn't using any kind of magic to do it. At one point the Saturn
first stage was going to be reusable but for whatever reason NASA
decided not to pursue that, then they took a wrong turn with the Space
Shuttle--whatever possessed them to try to create a reusable payload
when they didn't have a reusable booster to launch it with is beyond
my capacity.
Post by Kevrob
Other
than the reusable solid ones used on the shuttle, everything else
has been throwaway. That's one technological advance.
It's only a "technological advance" in the sense that Musk didn't
just talk about it, he went ahead and did it. SDIO was close in the
'90s but the program got transferreed to NASA at which point it died
of Not Invented Here.
Post by Kevrob
Starlink looks pretty cool. too. They have competition in that
niche, which should drive improvements.
https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/29/17178126/spacex-satellite-broadband-internet-fcc-approval-license-starlink-spectrum
Yep. Would be nice to have another alternative--Frontier is slow as
crap and Cox is getting flaky.
Christian Weisgerber
2018-04-09 11:14:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
It's only a "technological advance" in the sense that Musk didn't
just talk about it, he went ahead and did it.
That's Musk in a nutshell, isn't it? Tesla, Space X, Hyperloop.
It's all stuff that has been _talked_ about for decades.
--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber ***@mips.inka.de
Kevrob
2018-04-09 11:38:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christian Weisgerber
Post by J. Clarke
It's only a "technological advance" in the sense that Musk didn't
just talk about it, he went ahead and did it.
Which is no small thing, IMNSHO.
Post by Christian Weisgerber
That's Musk in a nutshell, isn't it? Tesla, Space X, Hyperloop.
It's all stuff that has been _talked_ about for decades.
Kevin R
J. Clarke
2018-04-09 11:45:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Christian Weisgerber
Post by J. Clarke
It's only a "technological advance" in the sense that Musk didn't
just talk about it, he went ahead and did it.
Which is no small thing, IMNSHO.
I agree with this. My point is that NASA wasted vast amounts of money
on dead ends when it _could_ have been doing what SpaceX is doing.
Post by Kevrob
Post by Christian Weisgerber
That's Musk in a nutshell, isn't it? Tesla, Space X, Hyperloop.
It's all stuff that has been _talked_ about for decades.
Kevin R
Joe Pfeiffer
2018-04-09 13:58:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
He isn't using any kind of magic to do it. At one point the Saturn
first stage was going to be reusable but for whatever reason NASA
decided not to pursue that, then they took a wrong turn with the Space
Shuttle--whatever possessed them to try to create a reusable payload
when they didn't have a reusable booster to launch it with is beyond
my capacity.
While most of the Shuttle design strikes me as a big bundle of mistakes,
that's the one thing they tried to get right -- the SRBs were reusable,
and the expensive part of the booster (the engines) was reusable.
J. Clarke
2018-04-10 03:10:34 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 09 Apr 2018 07:58:56 -0600, Joe Pfeiffer
Post by Joe Pfeiffer
Post by J. Clarke
He isn't using any kind of magic to do it. At one point the Saturn
first stage was going to be reusable but for whatever reason NASA
decided not to pursue that, then they took a wrong turn with the Space
Shuttle--whatever possessed them to try to create a reusable payload
when they didn't have a reusable booster to launch it with is beyond
my capacity.
While most of the Shuttle design strikes me as a big bundle of mistakes,
that's the one thing they tried to get right -- the SRBs were reusable,
and the expensive part of the booster (the engines) was reusable.
For certain values. I worked for the company that recovered the
boosters (until they screwed up and lost the contract by doing
something really _stupid_). The off-the-record opinion of everybody
involved in that operation was that the boosters were "reusable" like
a car that has been rolled over is reusable.

While the main engines were reusable, the orbiter had to be gone over
inch by inch by team of experts after every flight to make sure that
none of the tiles was loose, busted, or missing. The thermal
protection never got a proper development program, so it was crap.
Joe Pfeiffer
2018-04-10 04:15:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Mon, 09 Apr 2018 07:58:56 -0600, Joe Pfeiffer
Post by Joe Pfeiffer
Post by J. Clarke
He isn't using any kind of magic to do it. At one point the Saturn
first stage was going to be reusable but for whatever reason NASA
decided not to pursue that, then they took a wrong turn with the Space
Shuttle--whatever possessed them to try to create a reusable payload
when they didn't have a reusable booster to launch it with is beyond
my capacity.
While most of the Shuttle design strikes me as a big bundle of mistakes,
that's the one thing they tried to get right -- the SRBs were reusable,
and the expensive part of the booster (the engines) was reusable.
For certain values. I worked for the company that recovered the
boosters (until they screwed up and lost the contract by doing
something really _stupid_). The off-the-record opinion of everybody
involved in that operation was that the boosters were "reusable" like
a car that has been rolled over is reusable.
While the main engines were reusable, the orbiter had to be gone over
inch by inch by team of experts after every flight to make sure that
none of the tiles was loose, busted, or missing. The thermal
protection never got a proper development program, so it was crap.
I'll have to take your word for it that the SRBs were that badly
damaged; as I understand their design there's no reason that should
necessarily have been the case.

Yes, the amount of refurbishment the orbiter needed was ridiculous; that
stems from one of the two most glaring errors they made with the whole
program: (1) landing like an airplane (that's the one that required the
whole tile system instead of an ablative heat shield), and (2) putting
the orbiter next to, and not on top of, the tank and boosters. The
latter being what was arguably the root cause of losing two crews.
Peter Trei
2018-04-09 13:08:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the Giant-Killer.
Technologically he's not doing anything that wasn't within the means
of NASA 50 years ago. What's different is that he's not in thrall to
the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who have a vested interest in selling
throwaway rockets.
He's landed reusable boosters. NASA hasn't managed that. Other
than the reusable solid ones used on the shuttle, everything else
has been throwaway. That's one technological advance.
NASA also relanded, and reflew, the Shuttles, far more times than Musk has
reflown boosters.

Problem was, the refurbishment was so complex and expensive, it betrayed all
the promises that re-use would quick and cheaper than throwaways.

pt
Kevrob
2018-04-09 19:48:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the Giant-Killer.
Technologically he's not doing anything that wasn't within the means
of NASA 50 years ago. What's different is that he's not in thrall to
the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who have a vested interest in selling
throwaway rockets.
He's landed reusable boosters. NASA hasn't managed that. Other
than the reusable solid ones used on the shuttle, everything else
has been throwaway. That's one technological advance.
NASA also relanded, and reflew, the Shuttles, far more times than Musk has
reflown boosters.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that they
were powered. The Shuttle glided in. That was a tremendous feat
of engineering, but as we know, fraught with peril for live crew.
Post by Peter Trei
Problem was, the refurbishment was so complex and expensive, it betrayed all
the promises that re-use would quick and cheaper than throwaways.
Indeed.

Kevin R
Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha
2018-04-09 20:36:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Peter Trei
On Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 6:15:56 PM UTC-4, J. Clarke
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
On Sat, 07 Apr 2018 10:16:13 -0700, Dan Tilque
Post by Dan Tilque
On Sat, 07 Apr 2018 04:18:28 -0700, Dan Tilque
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling
rockets. And eventually for orbiting space colonies,
but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is
United Launch Alliance which wants to buy engines for
the rockets they sell. When they are actually putting
payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital
flights. They've already sent up one such unmanned
test. The rocket even landed back on the pad. They may
send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going
into orbit, so I expect the number of customers will
not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored
rich people, they're selling a service to businesses and
governments. The "tourism" model is pretty much a
nonstarter unless they can get the price down to a level
that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is trying to do
that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit,
but I don't know when they figure it'll be ready.
They're not exactly forthcoming with future plans, but
since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with
SpaceXs _third_ generation. They don't really seem to
have a plan or the kind of motivation SpaceX has.
SpaceX exists because the entire rocket industry pissed
off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's
determined to undercut them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the Giant-Killer.
Technologically he's not doing anything that wasn't within
the means of NASA 50 years ago. What's different is that
he's not in thrall to the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who
have a vested interest in selling throwaway rockets.
He's landed reusable boosters. NASA hasn't managed that.
Other than the reusable solid ones used on the shuttle,
everything else has been throwaway. That's one technological
advance.
NASA also relanded, and reflew, the Shuttles, far more times
than Musk has reflown boosters.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that they
were powered. The Shuttle glided in. That was a tremendous
feat of engineering, but as we know, fraught with peril for live
crew.
That was well within the *technical* ability of NASA (and the Air
Force) 50 years ago. It wasn't withing the *budget*. The X-15
nearly duplicated Alan Shephard's flight (a little bit lower, a
little bit slower, but very close) a couple of weeks later, and
would have done it first if the big engine hadn't been delayed in a
panic respponse to the Soviets putting Gagarin into space first.
("The Russkies did it with Big Dumb Rockets, we have to use Big
Dumb Rockets too!") Given the success of the X-15 project, had the
X-20 not been cancelled due to aforementioned panic, it would have
been operational by about 1965 or so. The X-20 would have been
orbit capable, and landed under power (at least in some proposed
designs). Other than neglibable cargo capacity by comparison, it
would have been a fully operational space shuttle in the mid-60s.

And, for that matter, the Space Shuttle itself was originally
supposed to land on jet power. The reason this was dropped were
budgetary, not technical.

Musk has accomplished a lot, and done it faster and more
efficiently than anybody else in the private sector, but his
technical achievements have been refinement of existing technology,
not revolutionary advances. His real acehivements have been in the
business end of the company.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Kevrob
2018-04-09 22:10:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha
Post by Kevrob
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that they
were powered. The Shuttle glided in. That was a tremendous
feat of engineering, but as we know, fraught with peril for live
crew.
That was well within the *technical* ability of NASA (and the Air
Force) 50 years ago. It wasn't withing the *budget*. The X-15
nearly duplicated Alan Shephard's flight (a little bit lower, a
little bit slower, but very close) a couple of weeks later, and
would have done it first if the big engine hadn't been delayed in a
panic respponse to the Soviets putting Gagarin into space first.
("The Russkies did it with Big Dumb Rockets, we have to use Big
Dumb Rockets too!") Given the success of the X-15 project, had the
X-20 not been cancelled due to aforementioned panic, it would have
been operational by about 1965 or so. The X-20 would have been
orbit capable, and landed under power (at least in some proposed
designs). Other than neglibable cargo capacity by comparison, it
would have been a fully operational space shuttle in the mid-60s.
And, for that matter, the Space Shuttle itself was originally
supposed to land on jet power. The reason this was dropped were
budgetary, not technical.
Musk has accomplished a lot, and done it faster and more
efficiently than anybody else in the private sector, but his
technical achievements have been refinement of existing technology,
not revolutionary advances. His real acehivements have been in the
business end of the company.
--
What you write is plausible, and Space Ship One showed it was
doable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipOne

Space Ship Two hasn't been as successful:

Michael Alsbury lost his life in a test flight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VSS_Enterprise_crash

If we restrict ourselves to unmanned vehicles, the Air Force's
X-37 seems like it did what it was designed to do.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37

Kevin R
Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha
2018-04-09 22:27:54 UTC
Permalink
On Monday, April 9, 2018 at 4:36:20 PM UTC-4, Jibini Kula
Post by Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha
Post by Kevrob
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that
they were powered. The Shuttle glided in. That was a
tremendous feat of engineering, but as we know, fraught with
peril for live crew.
That was well within the *technical* ability of NASA (and the
Air Force) 50 years ago. It wasn't withing the *budget*. The
X-15 nearly duplicated Alan Shephard's flight (a little bit
lower, a little bit slower, but very close) a couple of weeks
later, and would have done it first if the big engine hadn't
been delayed in a panic respponse to the Soviets putting
Gagarin into space first. ("The Russkies did it with Big Dumb
Rockets, we have to use Big Dumb Rockets too!") Given the
success of the X-15 project, had the X-20 not been cancelled
due to aforementioned panic, it would have been operational by
about 1965 or so. The X-20 would have been orbit capable, and
landed under power (at least in some proposed designs). Other
than neglibable cargo capacity by comparison, it would have
been a fully operational space shuttle in the mid-60s.
And, for that matter, the Space Shuttle itself was originally
supposed to land on jet power. The reason this was dropped were
budgetary, not technical.
Musk has accomplished a lot, and done it faster and more
efficiently than anybody else in the private sector, but his
technical achievements have been refinement of existing
technology, not revolutionary advances. His real acehivements
have been in the business end of the company.
--
What you write is plausible, and Space Ship One showed it was
doable.
I have no idea where you got the idea that anything to do with
SpaceShipOne was in any way connected to the X-20. The X-20 was
designed to achieve orbit. SpaceShipOne was not, and used
technology that *could* not, ever.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipOne
SpaceShipTwo was also not intend to be (or capable of) orbital.

Allen and Rutan were never more than dilettantes anyway, with
rockets that only have about 1/10th the amount of delta vee needed
to achieve orbit, and no possibility of using the technology to do
so. Rich boys and expensive toys.
If we restrict ourselves to unmanned vehicles, the Air Force's
X-37 seems like it did what it was designed to do.
More than once. And it's really the ultimate child of the X-20 type
of program.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
J. Clarke
2018-04-10 03:19:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha
Post by Kevrob
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that they
were powered. The Shuttle glided in. That was a tremendous
feat of engineering, but as we know, fraught with peril for live
crew.
That was well within the *technical* ability of NASA (and the Air
Force) 50 years ago. It wasn't withing the *budget*. The X-15
nearly duplicated Alan Shephard's flight (a little bit lower, a
little bit slower, but very close) a couple of weeks later, and
would have done it first if the big engine hadn't been delayed in a
panic respponse to the Soviets putting Gagarin into space first.
("The Russkies did it with Big Dumb Rockets, we have to use Big
Dumb Rockets too!") Given the success of the X-15 project, had the
X-20 not been cancelled due to aforementioned panic, it would have
been operational by about 1965 or so. The X-20 would have been
orbit capable, and landed under power (at least in some proposed
designs). Other than neglibable cargo capacity by comparison, it
would have been a fully operational space shuttle in the mid-60s.
And, for that matter, the Space Shuttle itself was originally
supposed to land on jet power. The reason this was dropped were
budgetary, not technical.
Musk has accomplished a lot, and done it faster and more
efficiently than anybody else in the private sector, but his
technical achievements have been refinement of existing technology,
not revolutionary advances. His real acehivements have been in the
business end of the company.
--
What you write is plausible, and Space Ship One showed it was
doable.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipOne
Showed that what was doable? SpaceShipOne was just an imitation
X-15. It didn't do anything that X-15 hadn't already done 40 years
previously.
Post by Kevrob
Michael Alsbury lost his life in a test flight.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VSS_Enterprise_crash
If we restrict ourselves to unmanned vehicles, the Air Force's
X-37 seems like it did what it was designed to do.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37
Which is pretty much what X20 would have done 50 years ago if Congress
hadn't pulled the plug on the Air Force space program.
Scott Lurndal
2018-04-10 13:15:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Kevrob
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipOne
Showed that what was doable? SpaceShipOne was just an imitation
X-15. It didn't do anything that X-15 hadn't already done 40 years
previously.
Except burn rubber...
J. Clarke
2018-04-10 03:12:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the Giant-Killer.
Technologically he's not doing anything that wasn't within the means
of NASA 50 years ago. What's different is that he's not in thrall to
the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who have a vested interest in selling
throwaway rockets.
He's landed reusable boosters. NASA hasn't managed that. Other
than the reusable solid ones used on the shuttle, everything else
has been throwaway. That's one technological advance.
NASA also relanded, and reflew, the Shuttles, far more times than Musk has
reflown boosters.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that they
were powered. The Shuttle glided in. That was a tremendous feat
of engineering, but as we know, fraught with peril for live crew.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that SpaceX
recognizes that the boosters are expensive and the payload is supposed
to stay in space anyway so there is no point in trying to recover it.
NASA made the payload recoverable and threw away the boosters--I know
that in theory they were reused--in practice fixing them wasn't much
of a cost saving over building new.
Post by Kevrob
Post by Peter Trei
Problem was, the refurbishment was so complex and expensive, it betrayed all
the promises that re-use would quick and cheaper than throwaways.
Indeed.
Kevin R
Robert Carnegie
2018-04-10 21:33:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Kevrob
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the Giant-Killer.
Technologically he's not doing anything that wasn't within the means
of NASA 50 years ago. What's different is that he's not in thrall to
the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who have a vested interest in selling
throwaway rockets.
He's landed reusable boosters. NASA hasn't managed that. Other
than the reusable solid ones used on the shuttle, everything else
has been throwaway. That's one technological advance.
NASA also relanded, and reflew, the Shuttles, far more times than Musk has
reflown boosters.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that they
were powered. The Shuttle glided in. That was a tremendous feat
of engineering, but as we know, fraught with peril for live crew.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that SpaceX
recognizes that the boosters are expensive and the payload is supposed
to stay in space anyway so there is no point in trying to recover it.
NASA made the payload recoverable and threw away the boosters--I know
that in theory they were reused--in practice fixing them wasn't much
of a cost saving over building new.
I may be embarrassing myself, but if you're referring to
recovering a satellite from a mislaunch instead of dropping it
in the sea - if it's for science, what's on top of the rocket
is liable to be very expensive and to take a long time to make
or remake. Otherwise I guess after the Hubble telescope
problem they'd have just sent another Hubble up, and then
a few more since you can never have enough Hubble telescopes.
Instead of building a miniature optician's workshop to bolt
on to the one that was already up.
J. Clarke
2018-04-11 01:41:57 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:33:02 -0700 (PDT), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Kevrob
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the Giant-Killer.
Technologically he's not doing anything that wasn't within the means
of NASA 50 years ago. What's different is that he's not in thrall to
the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who have a vested interest in selling
throwaway rockets.
He's landed reusable boosters. NASA hasn't managed that. Other
than the reusable solid ones used on the shuttle, everything else
has been throwaway. That's one technological advance.
NASA also relanded, and reflew, the Shuttles, far more times than Musk has
reflown boosters.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that they
were powered. The Shuttle glided in. That was a tremendous feat
of engineering, but as we know, fraught with peril for live crew.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that SpaceX
recognizes that the boosters are expensive and the payload is supposed
to stay in space anyway so there is no point in trying to recover it.
NASA made the payload recoverable and threw away the boosters--I know
that in theory they were reused--in practice fixing them wasn't much
of a cost saving over building new.
I may be embarrassing myself, but if you're referring to
recovering a satellite from a mislaunch instead of dropping it
in the sea - if it's for science, what's on top of the rocket
is liable to be very expensive and to take a long time to make
or remake. Otherwise I guess after the Hubble telescope
problem they'd have just sent another Hubble up, and then
a few more since you can never have enough Hubble telescopes.
Instead of building a miniature optician's workshop to bolt
on to the one that was already up.
The space shuttle never once "recovered from a mislaunch". The two
times that the thing had a problem on launch, it ended up crashing and
burning with everybody aboard dead.

The Space Shuttle put 100,000 pounds of unreliable fragile expensive
orbiter in orbit every time it put a 60,000 pound or less satellite in
orbit. And it cost over a billion bucks a shot to do that, every time
(total program cost, 196 billion, number of flights, 135, you do the
math). In effect the Shuttle _was_ the payload and whatever was
actually being orbited was incidental.

As for the Hubble, the _right_ fix would have been to not screw it up
in the first place. Hubble cost 1.5 billion dollars on orbit, half a
billion of which was the bill for launching it. Then there was
another half a billion to fix it. So those two flights pretty much
paid for a second Hubble.

As for fixing it, the Space Shuttle was not needed to fix it, any
spacecraft that could carry the crew and parts could have done so.

If you want to argue that a robust manned spaceflight capability is
beneficial you will get no argument from me. But if 196 billion had
not been wasted on that miserable piece of crap and had instead been
spent on building a reliable reusable launch system we would _have_
that capability.
Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha
2018-04-11 04:28:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:33:02 -0700 (PDT), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
On Mon, 9 Apr 2018 12:48:34 -0700 (PDT), Kevrob
On Monday, April 9, 2018 at 9:08:07 AM UTC-4, Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei
On Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 6:15:56 PM UTC-4, J. Clarke
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 8 Apr 2018 17:03:22 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
On Sat, 07 Apr 2018 10:16:13 -0700, Dan Tilque
Post by Dan Tilque
On Sat, 07 Apr 2018 04:18:28 -0700, Dan Tilque
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not
selling rockets. And eventually for orbiting
space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is
United Launch Alliance which wants to buy engines
for the rockets they sell. When they are actually
putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware
get back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be
suborbital flights. They've already sent up one
such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as
going into orbit, so I expect the number of
customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to
bored rich people, they're selling a service to
businesses and governments. The "tourism" model is
pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can
afford. SpaceX is trying to do that, the others are
trying to fleece a few bored billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into
orbit, but I don't know when they figure it'll be
ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single
investor, they don't have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing
with SpaceXs _third_ generation. They don't really
seem to have a plan or the kind of motivation SpaceX
has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell
him a launch. So he's already undercutting their
prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
Perhaps. Right now he's more like Jack the
Giant-Killer. Technologically he's not doing anything
that wasn't within the means of NASA 50 years ago.
What's different is that he's not in thrall to
the lobbyists of Big Aerospace who have a vested
interest in selling throwaway rockets.
He's landed reusable boosters. NASA hasn't managed that.
Other than the reusable solid ones used on the shuttle,
everything else has been throwaway. That's one
technological advance.
NASA also relanded, and reflew, the Shuttles, far more
times than Musk has reflown boosters.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that
they were powered. The Shuttle glided in. That was a
tremendous feat of engineering, but as we know, fraught with
peril for live crew.
The significant difference with the Musk landings is that
SpaceX recognizes that the boosters are expensive and the
payload is supposed to stay in space anyway so there is no
point in trying to recover it. NASA made the payload
recoverable and threw away the boosters--I know that in theory
they were reused--in practice fixing them wasn't much of a
cost saving over building new.
I may be embarrassing myself, but if you're referring to
recovering a satellite from a mislaunch instead of dropping it
in the sea - if it's for science, what's on top of the rocket
is liable to be very expensive and to take a long time to make
or remake. Otherwise I guess after the Hubble telescope
problem they'd have just sent another Hubble up, and then
a few more since you can never have enough Hubble telescopes.
Instead of building a miniature optician's workshop to bolt
on to the one that was already up.
The space shuttle never once "recovered from a mislaunch". The
two times that the thing had a problem on launch, it ended up
crashing and burning with everybody aboard dead.
He was referring to the shuttle launching a satellite (which would
be on a booster, since the shuttle normally didn't go very high)
and the booster failing. That happened more than once, and in
theory, the shuttle could recover it and bring it back for a second
try. I believe at least one defunt satellite was actually
recovered, and there were a couple of repairs in situ (one was the
Hubble).
Post by J. Clarke
The Space Shuttle put 100,000 pounds of unreliable fragile
expensive orbiter in orbit every time it put a 60,000 pound or
less satellite in orbit. And it cost over a billion bucks a
shot to do that, every time (total program cost, 196 billion,
number of flights, 135, you do the math). In effect the Shuttle
_was_ the payload and whatever was actually being orbited was
incidental.
As for the Hubble, the _right_ fix would have been to not screw
it up in the first place. Hubble cost 1.5 billion dollars on
orbit, half a billion of which was the bill for launching it.
Then there was another half a billion to fix it. So those two
flights pretty much paid for a second Hubble.
If you plan is to never, ever make a mistake, you're an idiot.
Post by J. Clarke
As for fixing it, the Space Shuttle was not needed to fix it,
any spacecraft that could carry the crew and parts could have
done so.
At the time, the shuttle was 100% of all US owned spacecraft rated
to carry people. I am skeptical as to how well a Russian launch
would have handled it.
Post by J. Clarke
If you want to argue that a robust manned spaceflight capability
is beneficial you will get no argument from me. But if 196
billion had not been wasted on that miserable piece of crap and
had instead been spent on building a reliable reusable launch
system we would _have_ that capability.
The shuttles are decades old. No matter how well it was designed in
the first place, they would all be worn out after that many years
of service. And when it's time to replace an aging fleet, you don't
build more of the same thing, you build a new fleet with updated
technology. Hell, even the replacement shuttle that was built was
significally upgraded.

(And the poor design wasn't entirely NASA's fault. They wanted a
much more reliable and versatile design, but Congress wouldn't pay
for it.)
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Greg Goss
2018-04-11 13:52:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
if it's for science, what's on top of the rocket
is liable to be very expensive and to take a long time to make
or remake.
This is why the payload for the Falcon Heavy first launch was a flight
of whimsey rather than something useful.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Peter Trei
2018-04-11 15:43:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg Goss
Post by Robert Carnegie
if it's for science, what's on top of the rocket
is liable to be very expensive and to take a long time to make
or remake.
This is why the payload for the Falcon Heavy first launch was a flight
of whimsey rather than something useful.
Exactly. Not having a particular destination also meant that they could
burn the engine till they ran out of fuel, thus getting an upper limit to how
far they could go. In this case, with this payload, Ceres.

pt

Joe Pfeiffer
2018-04-09 03:34:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
Post by Dan Tilque
They are
working on a larger rocket that should go into orbit, but I don't know
when they figure it'll be ready. They're not exactly forthcoming with
future plans, but since they only have a single investor, they don't
have to be.
Whenever it's ready, it's likely to be competing with SpaceXs _third_
generation. They don't really seem to have a plan or the kind of
motivation SpaceX has. SpaceX exists because the entire rocket
industry pissed off Elon Musk by refusing to sell him a launch. So
he's already undercutting their prices and he's determined to undercut
them by a lot more.
Elon Musk - the Walmart of the skies.
I don't like buying from Walmart, but I buy a lot there. Cheap, and the
same quality I can get elsewhere.
Joe Pfeiffer
2018-04-09 03:33:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Dan Tilque
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
That's their story. So far their only customer is United Launch
Alliance which wants to buy engines for the rockets they sell. When
they are actually putting payloads in orbit on their own hardware get
back to me.
Their initial tourism product is going to be suborbital flights. They've
already sent up one such unmanned test. The rocket even landed back on
the pad. They may send up a manned flight later on this year.
A glorified amusement park ride. No competition.
Post by Dan Tilque
Suborbital flights aren't nearly as exciting as going into orbit, so I
expect the number of customers will not be terribly high.
"Exciting"? SpaceX isn't selling excitement to bored rich people,
they're selling a service to businesses and governments. The
"tourism" model is pretty much a nonstarter unless they can get the
price down to a level that ordinary people can afford. SpaceX is
trying to do that, the others are trying to fleece a few bored
billionaires.
To agree with you, suborbital not only isn't as exciting, it isn't
nearly as hard. The leap from "suborbital" to "orbiting space colonies"
is hugely greater than the leap from Alan Shepard to the ISS. If Blue
Origin comes up with an engine ULA actually uses, that'll be a roaring
success.
Cryptoengineer
2018-04-08 15:42:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
SpaceX is using a different business model from the competition. The
competition's business model is based on selling rockets. SpaceX's
business model is selling launches.
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
Virgin Galactic is also going for tourism, so they're in competition
with Blue Origin. And there was a recent announcement that someone is
planning a space hotel. No doubt they'll be trying to get both VG and
BO to be able to dock. It may be interesting to see how that works
out.
I wonder how the pool of 'people willing to pay for, and go through
the training for, a space vacation' increases as the price goes down.

At the moment, with the cost of the ticket in the high 7 to low 8
digits, and requiring months of training, its damn few. If they can
get it down to, say, $100,000, theres a *lot* of people who'd be
tempted.

Mush thinks he can get a million people to pay 2-300,000 for a one
way trip to Mars.

pt
Ninapenda Jibini
2018-04-08 17:09:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cryptoengineer
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
SpaceX is using a different business model from the
competition. The competition's business model is based on
selling rockets. SpaceX's business model is selling launches.
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets.
And eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further
out.
Virgin Galactic is also going for tourism, so they're in
competition with Blue Origin. And there was a recent
announcement that someone is planning a space hotel. No doubt
they'll be trying to get both VG and BO to be able to dock. It
may be interesting to see how that works out.
I wonder how the pool of 'people willing to pay for, and go
through the training for, a space vacation' increases as the
price goes down.
At the moment, with the cost of the ticket in the high 7 to low
8 digits, and requiring months of training, its damn few. If
they can get it down to, say, $100,000, theres a *lot* of people
who'd be tempted.
Mush thinks he can get a million people to pay 2-300,000 for a
one way trip to Mars.
Or, at least, he thinks he can make a lot of (probably taxpayer
subsidized) money telling people that.
--
Terry Austin

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
J. Clarke
2018-04-08 17:20:04 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 08 Apr 2018 10:42:21 -0500, Cryptoengineer
Post by Cryptoengineer
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
SpaceX is using a different business model from the competition. The
competition's business model is based on selling rockets. SpaceX's
business model is selling launches.
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
Virgin Galactic is also going for tourism, so they're in competition
with Blue Origin. And there was a recent announcement that someone is
planning a space hotel. No doubt they'll be trying to get both VG and
BO to be able to dock. It may be interesting to see how that works
out.
I wonder how the pool of 'people willing to pay for, and go through
the training for, a space vacation' increases as the price goes down.
At the moment, with the cost of the ticket in the high 7 to low 8
digits, and requiring months of training, its damn few. If they can
get it down to, say, $100,000, theres a *lot* of people who'd be
tempted.
Mush thinks he can get a million people to pay 2-300,000 for a one
way trip to Mars.
BFR is supposed to be configurable to have the same passenger capacity
as an Airbus 380. That gets the per seat price down to under
$10,000.. And why would some kind of special training be needed to
sit in a seat?

He's talking New York to Tokyo in under an hour.

Note that that would not be the capacity going to Mars--you can't
expect people to sit in the same seat for months at a time.
Cryptoengineer
2018-04-09 01:09:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 08 Apr 2018 10:42:21 -0500, Cryptoengineer
Post by Cryptoengineer
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by J. Clarke
SpaceX is using a different business model from the competition.
The competition's business model is based on selling rockets.
SpaceX's business model is selling launches.
Blue Origin is going for space tourism, not selling rockets. And
eventually for orbiting space colonies, but that's further out.
Virgin Galactic is also going for tourism, so they're in competition
with Blue Origin. And there was a recent announcement that someone
is planning a space hotel. No doubt they'll be trying to get both VG
and BO to be able to dock. It may be interesting to see how that
works out.
I wonder how the pool of 'people willing to pay for, and go through
the training for, a space vacation' increases as the price goes down.
At the moment, with the cost of the ticket in the high 7 to low 8
digits, and requiring months of training, its damn few. If they can
get it down to, say, $100,000, theres a *lot* of people who'd be
tempted.
Mush thinks he can get a million people to pay 2-300,000 for a one way
trip to Mars.
BFR is supposed to be configurable to have the same passenger capacity
as an Airbus 380. That gets the per seat price down to under
$10,000.. And why would some kind of special training be needed to
sit in a seat?
He's talking New York to Tokyo in under an hour.
With inflation, that's quite a bit cheaper than a trans-atlantic
Concord ticket used to be.

pt
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