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About Nibb31

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    Flight Director
  1. The OneWeb constellation is being built by Airbus, who have had to revolutionize the way they build satellites. We don't really know how advanced the SpaceX project is, but if they were contracting another company, it would have to be one of the traditional aerospace companies (LM, NG, Boeing, Orbital, etc...). Mass production of spacecraft is a whole new industry. Since none of the traditional contractors have experience with it anyway, it makes sense that SpaceX would do it themselves.
  2. The Economics of Platinum mining

    The largest consumers of Platinum today are: 45% by Automobile manufacturers for catalytic converters 34% by Jewellery manufacturers 9% by the oil industry the rest for other industrial and medical uses Catalytic converters for automobiles are probably on the way out, as automobiles are clearly going to move away from fossil fuels. It's also being progressively replaced by palladium. This removes markets #1 and #3. The whole point of using a particular metal for jewellery is the appeal of its rarity. Make it common, and it becomes less desirable and less valuable for jewellery. And there goes market #2.
  3. Boring company

    That's seriously huge by European standards. Most average European homes are between 90-150 m2. 150 m2 amounts to something like 6 bedrooms already.
  4. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    Ships, planes, and remote locations are niche markets, which is why they are not serviced today by the big operators who are in it for the money. Servicing niche markets is not going to pay for Mars colonies. If Musk wants to make big money, he will have to go head to head against the established operators for the consumer market, in dozens of countries at the same time. Not only is that going to cost massive amounts of money to setup business woldwide with shops, support centers, local administration, etc... but you also have to assume that the established telecom industry is going to fight back legally, politically, and economically.
  5. NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    It doesn't. There is only one plant in the US that is capable of building SLS cores and only one set of tooling for building a single core at a time. The RS-25 production line doesn't exist, but the engine is not designed for mass production either. And it goes on... Aquiring the industrial capability to build more SLS cores would require a massive investment and/or a redesign of the rocket. It's not going to happen.
  6. NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    They can't launch more that 1 SLS per year. The industrial capability to build more simply doesn't exist.
  7. Arianespace launch thread

    ESA has a similar problem to NASA: they need to keep money rolling into each member state, which is the main reason that Ariane 6 is an assembly of parts from dozens of subcontractors, and is why it still uses SRBs for example. Ariane 6 will be much cheaper than Ariane 5, but will still not be competitive. It's too late to cancel the project, but they need to direct R&D funding into Prometheus and ArianeNext. Hopefully, they can keep costs low by reusing some of the infrastructure from Ariane 5 and 6, but it will have to be a whole new launcher.
  8. Automated chemical and impurity testing is not as simple as it sounds. You also have to make sure that all your analysis equipment is functional and properly calibrated and doesn't go out of wack, and nothing gets into the fuel and LOX during storage and transfer. All of this has to be highly reliable because lives will depend on the quality of the propellant, and therefore on the reliability of the test equipment as much as on the reliability of the ISRU gear and the reliability of the propellant storage transfer techniques. I don't see how you can put human lives on the line without at least TRL9 in all of these technologies, which is going to require multiple iterations of the development cycle. Falcon operations rely heavily on GPS. There is no GPS on Mars. Landing accuracy will have to rely on some sort of pre-landed beacon system, ideally with triangulation.
  9. NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Do you know how much time it takes to design a new car or a new aircraft ? Source please ?
  10. A beautiful video. From what I recognized, it starts over the south of Spain and the Detroit of Gibraltar, flies over the Sahara, then at 8:50, the Valley of the Nile. I want this as a screen saver !
  11. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    Actually, one could argue that the heritage of DC-X is New Glenn, because many of the ex-McDonnell-Douglas team who worked on Delta Clipper ended up at Blue Origin. That word "easily", it doesn't mean what you think it means. There is nothing "easy" about assembling space hardware like Lego. Ask SpaceX about FH. Ask LM about SLS.
  12. NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    Don't build a 10m payload.
  13. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    It was never to planned to enter Mars orbit. It will cross Mars' orbit, but Mars will be nowhere near when it crosses.And yes, batteries will be long dead by then. It's now in solar orbit, with an apoapsis that approaches the asteroid belt and a periapsis that is close to Earth's orbit. Unless an encounter with Earth or Mars occurs, it will linger in that solar orbit forever. It is far more likely to be recaptured by Earth one day than by Mars. It might end up coming back like J002E (the S-IVB from Apollo 12): It was an engineering test above all, so burning until exhaustion allows them to measure the total performance of the launcher and to monitor propellant starvation situations.
  14. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    Even if they lost the central core, seeing those two boosters land side by side at the exact same time was amazing. I'm just slightly disappointed that the two bottom shots in the stream were from the same booster instead of two streams from two boosters.
  15. "practical" is meaningless if it's taken out of context. In the end, it's all about meeting requirements. If your requirements are: Status symbol Maximum floorspace for minimal footprint Take advantage of low labour costs Then something like Burj Khalifa starts to make practical sense. Now what are the requirements of your space colony, and why ?