Jump to content

SpaceX Discussion Thread


Skylon
 Share

Recommended Posts

8 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

IIRC the only way to get injunctive relief from a non-compete would be if there was substantial trade secret overlap and you could make the argument that there would be irreparable harm, incalculable in damages, if your former employee and the competitor company were permitted to work together. And even then the law would favor monetary damages if there was any possibility that the trade secrets could remain protected.

Not to mention, it depends on the state. E.g. in California they are unenforceable no matter what

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

No, but they have to charge Starlink the same that they charge Kuiper. And if they don't, one of the possible remedies is that the government separates SpaceX from Starlink.

It's definitely possible that the government could split Starlink off of SpaceX, but it's a fairly high standard. And in this particular case, SpaceX/Starlink would argue convincingly that the service being provided to Starlink by SpaceX has inherent restrictions (rideshare, flat-pack, proprietary payload dispensing, internal payload integration, etc.) which prevent it from being readily compared to other payload+launch vehicle pairings. 

In other words, "No, we're not monopolizing the market by excluding other entrants! In fact, we launch other communications satellites all the time! They are willing to pay a fair market price, so it's not a monopoly."

Just now, Beccab said:
9 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

IIRC the only way to get injunctive relief from a non-compete would be if there was substantial trade secret overlap and you could make the argument that there would be irreparable harm, incalculable in damages, if your former employee and the competitor company were permitted to work together. And even then the law would favor monetary damages if there was any possibility that the trade secrets could remain protected.

Not to mention, it depends on the state. E.g. in California they are unenforceable no matter what

Also depends on the industry. Legal non-competes are 100% unenforceable, and even entering into one is an ethical violation.

You can, of course, disqualify an attorney from working on a case using the courts, but that's via application of ethics rules, not through a non-compete agreement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/13/2021 at 12:11 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

@sevenperforce - that 'cage' thing (the frame that moves up and down) is kind of what I thought would happen - except they've got it all pinned to one corner.  I would think they'd want more flexibility.

So why pin to a corner and not build something around that lifting part that can rotate around the cage/frame - and give them access to all 4 sides of the tower?

Back to the topic at hand....

I think they simply don't need quite as much back-and-forth skew as we might have expected. Having everything pivot around a single point really simplifies the lifting mechanism because you only need to lift on that single axis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks like we have updated imagery which disproves my prior contention about the rail carriage.

2053235.jpg

The black arms are definitely the catching arms. Those hinges make it obvious.

We still don't know how those arms will be attached to the tower or how the forces will be handled. We don't know whether the arm we're currently seeing on the ground is in its right-side-up or upside-down configuration relative to how it will be placed on the tower.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, sevenperforce said:

It's definitely possible that the government could split Starlink off of SpaceX, but it's a fairly high standard. And in this particular case, SpaceX/Starlink would argue convincingly that the service being provided to Starlink by SpaceX has inherent restrictions (rideshare, flat-pack, proprietary payload dispensing, internal payload integration, etc.) which prevent it from being readily compared to other payload+launch vehicle pairings. 

In other words, "No, we're not monopolizing the market by excluding other entrants! In fact, we launch other communications satellites all the time! They are willing to pay a fair market price, so it's not a monopoly."

I hope you understand, I was mainly reacting to @tater's posts that basically claimed SpaceX had an absolute right to favor Starlink any way they wanted to. I am not a lawyer, but I do realize that anti-trust law is complicated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

I hope you understand, I was mainly reacting to @tater's posts that basically claimed SpaceX had an absolute right to favor Starlink any way they wanted to. I am not a lawyer, but I do realize that anti-trust law is complicated.

No. I replied to a claim that LEO could be filled with sat internet companies launching using Starship at some handful of dollars per kg.

Since that would not be in the interest of SpaceX, and there is zero competition on the horizon with the hope of even $100/kg (or $1000), much less $10-50, there is no reason for SpaceX to reduce costs so some fast follower can do Starlink, but with cheaper launch costs. SpaceX need only charge a competitive rate to win the market, but it's still on par with ULA, etc. Once they get Starlink fully in place... then I suppose they can drop costs for all launches if they want to start a new market, then split off Starlink, and the follow ons can try to be bing/duckduckgo to Starlink's google.

Any attempt to claim monopoly needs to happen now, because their principle benefit is the ability to self-launch.

I wonder if the fact that they use relaunch leaders for Starlink partially immunizes them? Ie: Their cost is really low, but it's an experimental, beta product vs what they offer paying customers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

I hope you understand, I was mainly reacting to @tater's posts that basically claimed SpaceX had an absolute right to favor Starlink any way they wanted to. I am not a lawyer, but I do realize that anti-trust law is complicated.

I think you are over thinking it. 

Tater is correct.  A truck manufacturer/ long haul company does not need to charge itself anything for hauling its own stuff.  Even if it offers the service to others at a fee. 

Arguably you could say SX is a launch service provider.  It is not currently an ISP

It is hauling Starlink satellites to space - which is legal.  Starlink - if it is not already a separate company - will be when they start selling internet services. Even if a wholly owned company - it is still legally a separate entity. Starlink might rent time on SX satellites or buy/have transferred to it the ownership of the satellites.  Nothing so far has triggered any anticompetitive laws. 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Idk if Starlink+SpaceX is that much of an issue in terms of "anti-trust" laws.

 

I'm writing this on a site I found through Google, that is using Google client-side libraries, probably hosted on some Google powered server, running on Google engineered tech, in a Google powered data center, inter connected by Google laid fiber, connected to my Google powered browser, that is being ran on a Google operating system on a Google built laptop. 

I think we like the idea that Starlink+SpaceX would be such a "monopoly" no other competitor has a chance, but there are serious other fish to fry in the realm of anti-trust before we get anywhere near Spacex. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/16/2021 at 4:31 AM, wumpus said:

Musk has thrown around $1 billion in R&D to add reusability to Falcon 9.  Most other swags appear to agree with this number.  Total Falcon 9 booster reuse is standing at 66 (my quick count on the infallible wiki, 54 block 5, 12 full thrust).  That comes to around $15 million for each booster they haven't needed to manufacture, and it would be hard to claim that they can make them for less.  I'd put the break even point somewhere around 20-30 recovered boosters.  It isn't 10, and it certainly isn't 240 (they've made 24 block 5 boosters).

Granted, this also implies that it is worth >$15 million + an expended upper stage + launch costs for every starlink launch, but I suspect that this is true.  I won't claim they really want to cover the full $60 million they charge customers.

Falcon has had a single event in 124 launches that would require an abort mode (the other destruction of cargo could be avoided by loading fuel before crew).  The Shuttle had 135 missions and lost two orbiters.  While abort modes are a good idea, I strongly suspect that the rentry and especially landing is where spacex will lose the majority of Starships (there's no reason to avoid riding a Dragon.  You really wouldn't want to bet your life on a safe Falcon 9 booster landing).  Also note that the issues with the first failure (and presumably the fueling LOEverything) were fixed going from Falcon 1.1 to FT to Block 5 (there were a few fixes in the tiles in post Columbia shuttles, but not much other improvements).

I'd be fairly surprised if the first crewed Starship didn't have a separate capsule with ascent aborts and either parachutes or pressure fed retro-rockets.  What we are seeing is likely the "minimum viable Starship", not the end product (which may well end up in only 2 parts.  But I don't think they will get there in a single step).

I suspect the $1 billion include some accounting trickery like including all the first stages they tried to land but failed as loss of future launches who it was but they was not really expecting to reuse them anyway. 
You want to inflate your expenses  as long as you are not taking out an profit.  

But your estimate sounds decent enough. They will obviously not charge themselves $60M, they are also doing stuff like using used fairings and well used first stages. 
The upper stage who blew up would been death in SS without an LES. The dragon survived it was just not set up to release parachute outside of landing, you do not want the parachute to deploy during flight who is common in KSP :) 

Think a lot here is how much Musk is chasing human spaceflight money, this is everything from NASA and others to tourism and stuff like shooting movies in zero g.  
And how optimistic he is, but at the pace and money to burn they are progressing branching makes sense. 

The Manhattan project knew it was two ways to make an nuclear bomb, enriched uranium and plutonium, so they did both. 
So you plan for an LES in case its needed, now they don't tell us all their plans either. 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

A truck manufacturer/ long haul company does not need to charge itself anything for hauling its own stuff. 

There are many truck manufacturers. Actually, it's easier to count who is not a truck manufacturer. No monopoly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, MKI said:

I think we like the idea that Starlink+SpaceX would be such a "monopoly" no other competitor has a chance, but there are serious other fish to fry in the realm of anti-trust before we get anywhere near Spacex.

Sure, but no reason not to fry a few at once. Just cause there are bigger problems doesn't mean we shouldn't work on the others if there's no restriction on doing both.

I don't think SpaceX qualifies as a monopoly on anything just yet, though.

4 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:
Quote

In 2018, Musk said about the area, "We've got a lot of land with nobody around, so if it blows up, it's cool."

The launch site does border the Boca Chica National Wildlife Refuge though, home to many vulnerable species. When a test flight on March 30 blew up, it sent debris into the refuge and it took over three months to clean up.

Wait til these guys find out about the Meritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. They're gonna have a fit.

(Also, I replaced the link with a non-AMP one, in case anyone decides to click it.)

Edited by RyanRising
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, RyanRising said:

Wait til these guys find out about the Meritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. They're gonna have a fit.

(Also, I replaced the link with a non-AMP one, in case anyone decides to click it.)

Yes remember seeing an bald eagle then I was at Cape Kennedy. And an alligator in an dam next to pad 39B.
They have to use fences who bend outward on top around pads and other places as alligators can climb wire fences. 
On the other side they are unpaid security guards :) 

It makes sense to make the security zone an wildlife refuge. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

alligator in an dam

We saw several alligator corpses during our tour of Kennedy - all in the exhaust diversion trenches. 

I don't think the issue would be point impacts - like what happens right around the launch areas - but rather the health of the whole area.  A very likely sticking point is going to be how SX handles run-off, erosion and sediment control. 

Also - with all the vehicular traffic, they will have to demonstrate a robust spill management routine. 

(This observation based on the amount of environmental mitigation required on military bases (many of which are also sanctuaries of one sort or another).  You might think that military training takes priority - but one FRH spill can shut down a whole training evolution. 

Point being - don't scoff at the environmental review!) 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

We saw several alligator corpses during our tour of Kennedy - all in the exhaust diversion trenches. 

I don't think the issue would be point impacts - like what happens right around the launch areas - but rather the health of the whole area.  A very likely sticking point is going to be how SX handles run-off, erosion and sediment control. 

Also - with all the vehicular traffic, they will have to demonstrate a robust spill management routine. 

(This observation based on the amount of environmental mitigation required on military bases (many of which are also sanctuaries of one sort or another).  You might think that military training takes priority - but one FRH spill can shut down a whole training evolution. 

Point being - don't scoff at the environmental review!) 

Well, I think it'll certainly help they're using methane instead of RP-1.  Even a giant spill of that will just evaporate quickly instead of running off and spreading into the environment.  I mean, sure, there's still the explosion risk, and the whole greenhouse effect of a large plume of methane, but it won't stay in the water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, zolotiyeruki said:

whole greenhouse effec

Sierra Club wants to force SX to predict the amount of sea-level rise expected from the choice to use methane as part of the environmental review. 

 

Just saying. 

Edit - rational minds understand what you are saying... But Climate Change has grabbed some people by the emotional short hairs. 

Think about how many people you have heard saying that hurricanes are more frequent because of CC... Without any data to back that up - yet it's a fervently held article of faith. 

 

BTW- https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sciencenews.org/article/hurricanes-frequency-danger-climate-change-atlantic/amp

Edit again - if anyone wants to critique my thoughts on CC - please reply in the Sea Levels thread (happy to engage with you there!) 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

We saw several alligator corpses during our tour of Kennedy - all in the exhaust diversion trenches. 

I don't think the issue would be point impacts - like what happens right around the launch areas - but rather the health of the whole area.  A very likely sticking point is going to be how SX handles run-off, erosion and sediment control. 

Also - with all the vehicular traffic, they will have to demonstrate a robust spill management routine. 

(This observation based on the amount of environmental mitigation required on military bases (many of which are also sanctuaries of one sort or another).  You might think that military training takes priority - but one FRH spill can shut down a whole training evolution. 

Point being - don't scoff at the environmental review!) 

Would assume the trenches would be inside the fenced off area, they need to be inspected after all. 
Was told you have to drive cars or buses to the pads and other outlaying facilities because of the alligators no jogging or biking not even motorcycles was allowed. 
On the other hand you have an free and very brutal security force :) 

And as @zolotiyeruki wrote methane is much better here than RP1, yes its much more flammable but it don't generate oil spills. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were in a guided tour bus - and the swamps are right there with big old fat gators waiting for... Anything. 

 

The one pad I saw looked like a Zoo's pile-worth of gators got cooked at the same time - - and yet there were plenty more in every puddle.  Interestingly it was the pad where I saw my first SX Falcon launch.  (My kids did not yet know what a big nerd their dad was and were frustrated that I was excitedly pointing to the fire in the sky when all they wanted was a Mickey Bar). 

Again - I really don't think the fuel choice is going to be the big issue... It is more the mundane stuff, beach closures, road closure (and whether they are following the rules), erosion and wetland preservation, concrete spillage, etc. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

My kids did not yet know what a big nerd their dad was and were frustrated that I was excitedly pointing to the fire in the sky when all they wanted was a Mickey Bar

I can imagine the excitement and joy in seeing something fly to space in real life and the utter annoyance of not getting an ice cream in the Florida heat as a kid.

 

8 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

We were in a guided tour bus - and the swamps are right there with big old fat gators waiting for... Anything. 

The amount of alligators in Florida everywhere is the single most surprising thing I found when vacationing there. Like... what do all those guys eat! Puddles on the side of the road had eyes sticking out of them for heaven sakes!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Sierra Club wants to force SX to predict the amount of sea-level rise expected from the choice to use methane as part of the environmental review. 

Just saying. 

Edit - rational minds understand what you are saying... But Climate Change has grabbed some people by the emotional short hairs. 

Think about how many people you have heard saying that hurricanes are more frequent because of CC... Without any data to back that up - yet it's a fervently held article of faith. 

BTW- https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sciencenews.org/article/hurricanes-frequency-danger-climate-change-atlantic/amp

Well spaceX could use nuclear engines instead :) 
<rant>
That is an joke but seriously if you think global warming is an existential threat you drop most red tape on nuclear reactors and eat the accidents because they are not an existential threat but just money lost and people getting cancer. Chernobyl is an wildlife refuge as game is to radioactive to eat but radiation is less of an danger to animals than hunting. 
Also if you ask for your own position to be shelled I know you are serious and not just an spoiled brat. 
</rant>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...