Duski

Would you say SpaceX is doing better than NASA?

SpaceX vs NASA  

70 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think SpaceX is doing better than NASA with planetary exploration?

    • Yes
      26
    • No
      44


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As title says, would you say SpaceX is doing better than NASA? Like in terms of planetary exploration and quite possibly how they do things different which makes them better.

At the moment, my candidate is SpaceX. Musk seems to be making ambitious plans that really seem to be working out and with recycling boosters, they're probably better off with finances IMO.

Now what's your opinion?

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NASA is responsible for most of SpaceX's funding, so no.

Also, SpaceX hasn't sent a probe to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and comets. Let alone interstellar space...

SpaceX also hasn't landed on the Moon.

Even so, they're different things entirely. One is a contractor with ambitions, the other a government agency with a long history. NASA has never built its own rockets. Design, yes. 

Edited by Bill Phil

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You shouldn't have added "planetary exploration". Because, right now, SpaceX is nothing more than a taxi service, and hasn't actually done any planetary exploration. Even India is ahead of SpaceX.

Also, they have not achieved reusability. Word is the landed Falcon stages are too banged-up to ever fly again.

Edited by DDE

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12 minutes ago, DDE said:

You shouldn't have added "planetary exploration". Because, right now, SpaceX is nothing more than a taxi service, and hasn't actually done any planetary exploration. Even India is ahead of SpaceX.

Also, they have not achieved reusability. Word is the landed Falcon stages are too banged-up to ever fly again.

I'll believe the 'too banged up' story when I hear it from Musk himself, because when he messes up he doesn't bother weasel-wording it and just says it and gives exactly how he's going to fix it. We know two aren't going to fly again for various reasons that have nothing to do with being banged up. We know one WILL fly for certain again and is being checked out slowly and carefully so as to ensure that they absolutely make sure there isn't any issues with it, and we don't the state of the last one, though it would be reasonable to assume it might be at the edge of reuse due to coming in so fast that it crushed its landing legs like Jeb landing on Tylo. In short, there is no real evidence or word that the rockets are beyond servicability yet, and there are plenty of reasons not to fly half of them again for reasons completely unrelated to 'will they blow up'.

 

Oh, and getting their 'taxi service' as cheap as they have so far is kind of a big deal, since NASA never came close to it despite trying. It's rather hard to go planetary exploring without having something to explore with. A situation in which NASA is sorely lacking at the moment, while SpaceX is making a plan to go to Mars with a spacecraft for giggles and bragging. (Which would put them even with India). NASA's not really going to be doing any further planetary exploration without SpaceX, honestly, while SpaceX is gearing up to do planetary exploration without NASA just to test out the capabilities of their spacecraft.  One is kind of doing better than the other at the moment, just saying.

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Just now, CptRichardson said:

I'll believe the 'too banged up' story when I hear it from Musk himself, because when he messes up he doesn't bother weasel-wording it and just says it and gives exactly how he's going to fix it. We know two aren't going to fly again for various reasons that have nothing to do with being banged up. We know one WILL fly for certain again and is being checked out slowly and carefully so as to ensure that they absolutely make sure there isn't any issues with it, and we don't the state of the last one, though it would be reasonable to assume it might be at the edge of reuse due to coming in so fast that it crushed its landing legs like Jeb landing on Tylo. In short, there is no real evidence or word that the rockets are beyond servicability yet, and there are plenty of reasons not to fly half of them again for reasons completely unrelated to 'will they blow up'.

 

Oh, and getting their 'taxi service' as cheap as they have so far is kind of a big deal, since NASA never came close to it despite trying. It's rather hard to go planetary exploring without having something to explore with. A situation in which NASA is sorely lacking at the moment, while SpaceX is making a plan to go to Mars with a spacecraft for giggles and bragging. (Which would put them even with India). NASA's not really going to be doing any further planetary exploration without SpaceX, honestly, while SpaceX is gearing up to do planetary exploration without NASA just to test out the capabilities of their spacecraft.  One is kind of doing better than the other at the moment, just saying.

A) I find your excess of trust in Musk disturbing. He has a lot of incentive to be less than perfectly honest while maintaining a façade of being perfectly honest.

B) If it's being checked out, than it's not a certainty that it will fly. If it will be reusable as the Space Shuttle Orbiter (20-30% of ship replaced between each flight), it will be a failure.

C) Because they haven' achieved reusability, they have not yet dropped the cost per kg to orbit.

D) NASA's doing just fine, thank you. They're about to put Juno into Jupiter orbit, they're fixing Discovery Mission 12 (InSight), busy picking Mission 13, pushing ahead with two Flagship missions, and have at least three craft in Mars orbit alone. SpaceX have gone further than any commercial program ever, but it's nothing compared to state-backed ones when it comes to exploration:

33 minutes ago, Bill Phil said:

SpaceX hasn't sent a probe to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and comets. Let alone interstellar space...

SpaceX also hasn't landed on the Moon.

You're falling to the hype.

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SpaceX has focus and a goal and NASA doesn't, they need to be given a goal and a lasting budget like they did in the 60's otherwise they just meander around doing nothing. If they where given a goal to achieve they would probably achieve it trouble is NASA is dictated to by Government departments and we all know how useless they are with high levels of bureaucracy and focus changes.

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10 minutes ago, Virtualgenius said:

SpaceX has focus and a goal and NASA doesn't, they need to be given a goal and a lasting budget like they did in the 60's otherwise they just meander around doing nothing. If they where given a goal to achieve they would probably achieve it trouble is NASA is dictated to by Government departments and we all know how useless they are with high levels of bureaucracy and focus changes.

Yeah, but it remains to be seen if someone with a façade of an idealistic billionaire can do better than that. While "meandering around doing nothing" NASA has managed to explore much of the Solar System. Sure, planting flags and collecting moon rocks by hand is cool, but the cost-benefit ratio is way too unfavourable for manned missions.

Edited by DDE

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1 hour ago, Virtualgenius said:

SpaceX has focus and a goal and NASA doesn't, they need to be given a goal and a lasting budget like they did in the 60's otherwise they just meander around doing nothing. If they where given a goal to achieve they would probably achieve it trouble is NASA is dictated to by Government departments and we all know how useless they are with high levels of bureaucracy and focus changes.

IMO I really would say that they are pretty much sitting around aswell.

 

1 hour ago, Bill Phil said:

NASA is responsible for most of SpaceX's funding, so no.

Also, SpaceX hasn't sent a probe to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and comets. Let alone interstellar space...

SpaceX also hasn't landed on the Moon.

Even so, they're different things entirely. One is a contractor with ambitions, the other a government agency with a long history. NASA has never built its own rockets. Design, yes. 

But even if these ambitious plans of Musk's go through, would you say they'd be on par?

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1 hour ago, DDE said:

A) I find your excess of trust in Musk disturbing. He has a lot of incentive to be less than perfectly honest while maintaining a façade of being perfectly honest.

B) If it's being checked out, than it's not a certainty that it will fly. If it will be reusable as the Space Shuttle Orbiter (20-30% of ship replaced between each flight), it will be a failure.

C) Because they haven' achieved reusability, they have not yet dropped the cost per kg to orbit.

D) NASA's doing just fine, thank you. They're about to put Juno into Jupiter orbit, they're fixing Discovery Mission 12 (InSight), busy picking Mission 13, pushing ahead with two Flagship missions, and have at least three craft in Mars orbit alone. SpaceX have gone further than any commercial program ever, but it's nothing compared to state-backed ones when it comes to exploration:

I disagree with A). I have no idea what Mr Musk is actually like as a CEO (compared to his public persona) but he's got every incentive to be honest. If I was a paying customer, strapping a multimillion dollar satellite to the top of a SpaceX rocket, I'd expect nothing less than total transparency and go elsewhere if I didn't get it. Neither would I care too much about the cheap launch costs - that's nice but as others have pointed out on this thread, launch costs are only a small part of the operational costs of building and running that satellite.

With regards to B) I don't follow the logic. The fact that SpaceX are 'checking out' the booster tells us precisely nothing about how reusable it is. Whether it ends up being reusable or not, I'd expect the first few recovered boosters to be extensively checked over and compared to see how different re-entry regimes affects their flightworthiness. Once you've gathered enough data to be confident in the basic design then it should be possible (I would think - I aint an engineer) to dial back the extensive checking and develop a workable inspection regime.

C)  I'm pretty sure they have, although not as far as they were hoping and not as far as they expect to with a reusable booster.

D) Agreed. My answer to OP's question is 'both' Both NASA and SpaceX are doing just fine in their respective areas. Hopefully we'll see more overlap between them in future so that they can both do even greater things.

Edited by KSK

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Kerbal Space Program is better, they have explored the whole solar system, silly noobs SpaceX and Nasa

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3 hours ago, Duski said:

As title says, would you say SpaceX is doing better than NASA? Like in terms of planetary exploration and quite possibly how they do things different which makes them better.

There is no competition between SpaceX and NASA.

  • NASA is a government-funded science and research agency that subsidizes development by purchasing products and services from the aerospace industry, including Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, SpaceX, and many others.
  • SpaceX is a launch provider that fulfills contracts for customers, including NASA, USAF, and private satellite operators.

 

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5 minutes ago, Nibb31 said:

There is no competition between SpaceX and NASA.

  • NASA is a government-funded science and research agency that subsidizes development by purchasing products and services from the aerospace industry, including Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, SpaceX, and many others.
  • SpaceX is a launch provider that fulfills contracts for customers, including NASA, USAF, and private satellite operators.

 

Yes, but it's as if the OP thinks - judging by how the poll question is formulated - that the Red Dragon project equals NASA's more than five decades of actual work.

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33 minutes ago, RenegadeRad said:

Kerbal Space Program is better, they have explored the whole solar system, silly noobs SpaceX and Nasa

Yea, NASA and SpaceX are just wasting their time XD

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1 minute ago, Duski said:

Yea, NASA and SpaceX are just wasting their time

...also playing KSP.

Edited by DDE

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6 minutes ago, DDE said:

Yes, but it's as if the OP thinks - judging by how the poll question is formulated - that the Red Dragon project equals NASA's more than five decades of actual work.

Well yes pretty much what I'm saying here. That the Dragon 2 / Red Dragon and other plans like the MCT (Mars Colonial Transporter) equals NASA's work. If they were to succeed that is. Wish I could have these spacecraft in KSP, too bad LazarusLuan's SpaceX pack is outdated. Could anyone tell me if you know any that contain the Dragon 2?

1 minute ago, DDE said:

...also playing KSP.

^^^^^

Edited by Duski

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Yeah, but the MCT is just a plan, with no metal behind it. They'll spend half a decade just developing the engines.

There's a massive chasm between the concepts and an actual spacecraft. Imagine if everything that was in design stage in the 60s made it to the launch pad.

Sorry, but I can't value someone's plans.

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7 minutes ago, DDE said:

Yeah, but the MCT is just a plan, with no metal behind it. They'll spend half a decade just developing the engines.

There's a massive chasm between the concepts and an actual spacecraft. Imagine if everything that was in design stage in the 60s made it to the launch pad.

Sorry, but I can't value someone's plans.

I guess you're right, because some of the NASA SSTO designs look like they wouldn't even get two feet off the runway.

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Nasa is doing well in the probe department.

NASA is not doing well in the manned spaceflight department. Even if SLS/Orion avoids cancellation they have far too few missions planned. This area currently feels anaemic and weak.

SpaceX has done a fine job recovering 4 boosters and have designed a damn fine kerolox engine in the Merlin 1D.

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29 minutes ago, Duski said:

Well yes pretty much what I'm saying here. That the Dragon 2 / Red Dragon and other plans like the MCT (Mars Colonial Transporter) equals NASA's work.

Powerpoint rockets are always better than real rockets.

MCT isn't even powerpoint at this stage.

15 minutes ago, Duski said:

I guess you're right, because some of the NASA SSTO designs look like they wouldn't even get two feet off the runway.

NASA doesn't have any SSTO plans. Who cares about SSTO anyway ?

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3 minutes ago, Nibb31 said:

Powerpoint rockets are always better than real rockets.

MCT isn't even powerpoint at this stage.

NASA doesn't have any SSTO plans. Who cares about SSTO anyway ?

I mean concepts. my bad.

 

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2 minutes ago, Duski said:

I mean concepts. my bad.

They don't have any current SSTO concepts either. SSTO is a dead-end. I don't even understand why you're bringing it up. You sound utterly confused.

Edited by Nibb31

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5 minutes ago, Nibb31 said:

They don't have any current SSTO concepts either. SSTO is a dead-end. I don't even understand why you're bringing it up. You sound utterly confused.

My apologies, I'm not in the best frame of mind at the moment :(

16 minutes ago, RCgothic said:

Nasa is doing well in the probe department.

NASA is not doing well in the manned spaceflight department. Even if SLS/Orion avoids cancellation they have far too few missions planned. This area currently feels anaemic and weak.

SpaceX has done a fine job recovering 4 boosters and have designed a damn fine kerolox engine in the Merlin 1D.

I think the SLS will get cancelled anyway because of cost overruns.

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Nibb31 Likes rockets. Nothing else.

 

Which, is logical.

For the topic, you see that they both have their own goals, Comparing Nasa and SpaceX is unfair. Nasa is like all round and SpaceX is doing what America could not achieve but the Russians did - Rockets. But still you know, Elon Musk is pulling numbers out of his ass, If Nasa was not in the problem of funding and bureaucracy, we would be extremely "advanced" right now... 

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9 minutes ago, RenegadeRad said:

Nibb31 Likes rockets. Nothing else.

 

Which, is logical.

For the topic, you see that they both have their own goals, Comparing Nasa and SpaceX is unfair. Nasa is like all round and SpaceX is doing what America could not achieve but the Russians did - Rockets. But still you know, Elon Musk is pulling numbers out of his ass, If Nasa was not in the problem of funding and bureaucracy, we would be extremely "advanced" right now... 

Well now that you say, I can agree. NASA is all around like looking for marine life deaths after a space shuttle launch. But unlike NASA, SpaceX as said above, have set a goal to start a Mars colony of some sort. Whereas NASA, from Juno to James Webb they're all over the shop. I guess you could say NASA is in it for the research and science, and SpaceX is in it for the exploration and colonization of terrestrial planets.

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True, but still SpaceX has a 12 year old space enthusiasist like goals whereas Nasa is more adult :P or not?

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