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  1. This was hands down one of the best articles I’ve read, thanks for sharing. Boeing is certainly not innocent in either of these matters but considering that the first level of management Boeing Defense, Space, and Security has in common with Boeing Commercial Airplanes is David Calhoun, the CEO, I think it’s unfair to wrap the 737MAX issues into the Starliner issues.
  2. I thought this was a KSP joke so I laughed. Then I realized it probably wasn’t...
  3. I know they describe asteroids as "rubble piles" but these high res pictures with OSIRIS-REx overlaid really puts it into perspective. It's literally a pile of rocks bound by gravity.
  4. Not to worry, it’s got nothing on a Minotaur-C launch:
  5. Following the lineage of Centaur/ACES, it looks like it falls on the Lockheed Martin side of ULA. I can’t really tell what’s new about ACES besides IVF and maybe better insulation? Maybe I imagined it but I was under the impression that they were going to flight test IVF on Centaur before ACES becomes operational. I just don’t see how ACES is a new stage rather than just a new evolution of a Centaur. Then again, I still think of Vulcan as Atlas 6 in much the same way.
  6. Our typical knowledge says that the launch vehicle is the majority of the cost (although with the transparency we’ve seen lately that really isn’t the case) but seeing as how starliner and SN both launch on an Atlas V you would think that their costs would be less. Especially Sierra Nevada being a non-traditional and Boeing being traditional.
  7. This ^ Government projects are NOTORIOUS for scope creep and going over budget. Changing the plan in the planning stage is fast, cheap, and relatively painless. Changing the plan just before delivery causes delays, budget overruns, and is generally just horrible. Scope creep is the bane of engineering.
  8. Does the canadarm have a camera on it? ISS selfie-stick?
  9. I’ll have to go look for it but they had an article on why they topped the MLP with a pine tree. It was a Nordic tradition to appease the tree gods. Interesting practice to maintain that gets me in the feels.
  10. I’m not normally one to throw shade in the forums but SpaceX has much better marketing than the other companies and that’s what’s making them seem so far ahead. Is SpaceX ahead on moon hardware? Yes but it’s probably not as far ahead as it appears. Having been on the inside of start ups with good marketing teams, the marketing team can definitely make the company seem far further along than they really are or doing things they aren’t.
  11. It seems a little premature to comment on this but spot welding is on the order of 3 seconds per weld. Granted, spot welds don’t have to be as accurate as weld nuts and they require some fancy setups from an automation standpoint but at 3 seconds/weld, you’re at about 30 hours of fabrication for 1 robot. Weld nuts aren’t the only fastening method though, depending on the thickness, they could probably just thread the skin. Or, if they wanted to get really fancy, they could flow drill:
  12. He really likes his steel... I mean I do too, it's literally one of the most important materials humanity has ever developed but I wasn't expecting him to dedicate about 5 solid minutes of his presentation talking about how great steel is. ETA: ok so I decided to look up the grade of steel he said they were using and this stuff is pretty great. Strength and ductility wise, it seems to be on par with A514 which is a common high strength low alloy steal used in automotive (because it's strong and cheap). Welding doesn't seem to affect the strength much besides the fact that it will be normalized as soon as they perform their first entry maneuver.
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