Skylon

SpaceX Discussion Thread

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19 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Does SpaceX already have names for the new constellations?

What about their astrological meaning? 

Gemini: Elon is waxing and Shotwell is waning.  You need to reach out and touch someone* (preferably via outrageous tweet).

* this was an old ad slogan in the 1970s-80s by AT&T to sell more long distance calls.

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About 22 hours from now...

 

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11 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

 

only a paltry $52,000,000 per seat. -_-

Wow. That's more than double what some people paid for Soyuz seats!

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51 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Wow. That's more than double what some people paid for Soyuz seats!

Well, you are basically talking a worn-in-the-tooth, questionably produced Lada vs a brand new Space Tesla... -_-

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Just now, CatastrophicFailure said:

Well, you are basically talking a worn-in-the-tooth, questionably produced Lada vs a brand new Space Tesla... -_-

Yeah, but at the same time the Tesla was designed to be several times cheaper than the Lada. CC was all about getting crewed spaceflight distanced from the government and making it less expensive... For 52 million dollars, you could almost launch your own dedicated payload on a Falcon 9, and that's just per seat...

But who knows, maybe Bigelow is marking the price up on its end even more. If they are flying tourists, they want profits.

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13 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Yeah, but at the same time the Tesla was designed to be several times cheaper than the Lada. CC was all about getting crewed spaceflight distanced from the government and making it less expensive... For 52 million dollars, you could almost launch your own dedicated payload on a Falcon 9, and that's just per seat...

But who knows, maybe Bigelow is marking the price up on its end even more. If they are flying tourists, they want profits.

Also, you're paying for your time on the ISS itself, which runs something like $37,500 a night. Launch costs here are likely only half the cost of these seats, if that. 

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6 minutes ago, MinimumSky5 said:

Also, you're paying for your time on the ISS itself, which runs something like $37,500 a night. Launch costs here are likely only half the cost of these seats, if that. 

And astronaut training...

But still. ISS time, launch, and training were still 20-30 million for Soyuz.

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20 minutes ago, MinimumSky5 said:

Also, you're paying for your time on the ISS itself, which runs something like $37,500 a night.

Time on ISS: ($40 000/day) * 60 days = $2 400 000
Training: ($5 000/day) * 360 days = $1 800 000

It's a long road up to $50 M, even with me being generous, both with cost and time for training.

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1 minute ago, Shpaget said:

Time on ISS: ($40 000/day) * 60 days = $2 400 000
Training: ($5 000/day) * 360 days = $1 800 000

It's a long road up to $50 M, even with me being generous, both with cost and time for training.

Are we still at the point where we have to make custom spacesuits for every astronaut? That shouldn't increase the cost too much and might be included in launch cost...

Also, I can't see astronaut insurance being cheap... There may be a lot of little things like this that we aren't thinking about that add up fast.

But still, more expensive than Soyuz, which had to do all of the same things...

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26 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

And astronaut training...

But still. ISS time, launch, and training were still 20-30 million for Soyuz.

To give the whole thing some context, IIRC those early $20M-a-head tourists were restricted to the Russian side of the station, NASA was not happy to have them aboard but couldn’t really veto Russian tourists flying Russian hardware to the Russian part of the station. 

Now, as I also recall, the Russians are currently charging NASA $90M a head to fly astronauts to the station, which makes that $50M seem like a bargain, and is in line with the numbers I’ve heard thrown around for “official” Commercial Crew prices. 

So, you’ve got tourist-scientists flying to the station with NASA’s blessing, on NASA-approved ships, and will have full access to the NASA et al side. In that context, the numbers don’t seem out of line, especially this early in the whole thing. 

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17 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Also, I can't see astronaut insurance being cheap

 

8 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

tourist-scientists

Hmm, do we know who is the target audience? If it's pure tourists, then those are some serious money people. I would suspect that even the very rich folk don't spend $50M on a whim. You need to be filthy rich for this kind of a joy ride.

Speaking of insurance, I obviously can't say for sure, but i would not be a surprised Pikachu if life insurance for someone worth billions was a bit more expensive than my own.

On the other hand, if these people are "regular" people / scientists and their trip is paid by the institution they work for (BTW, I want to work for that institution), what institution has that kind of money? I can't think of many; or one.

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The NASA statement implies commercial in the sense of companies sending people to do work to me. So instead of just national programs sending their astronauts (ESA members, etc), you could see contractors send an employee. The ISS stats I have seen imply that ~5/6 of crew time is spent keeping ISS working, such that adding a single crew member literally doubles the research they can do. Temporary commercial crew members can spend 100% of their time (minus exercise) working on whatever experiments they bring, vs NASA somehow being a temp labor provider for a commercial entity to have do their experiment.

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5 minutes ago, tater said:

The NASA statement implies commercial in the sense of companies sending people to do work to me. So instead of just national programs sending their astronauts (ESA members, etc), you could see contractors send an employee. The ISS stats I have seen imply that ~5/6 of crew time is spent keeping ISS working, such that adding a single crew member literally doubles the research they can do. Temporary commercial crew members can spend 100% of their time (minus exercise) working on whatever experiments they bring, vs NASA somehow being a temp labor provider for a commercial entity to have do their experiment.

Hmm, running science experiments all day? I could do that... ;)

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1 hour ago, Shpaget said:

Hmm, do we know who is the target audience? If it's pure tourists, then those are some serious money people. I would suspect that even the very rich folk don't spend $50M on a whim. You need to be filthy rich for this kind of a joy ride.

From this article:

Quote

NASA officials did not address whether the program might allow the launch of any “space tourists” like the eight launched by the Russians between 2001 and 2009.

Also:

Quote

And not just anyone can book a flight. NASA documents say commercial and marketing activity aboard the space station must:

  • Require a microgravity environment for manufacturing, production or development of a product or service
  • Have a “connection” to NASA’s mission, that is, space exploration
  • Support development of “a sustainable low-Earth orbit economy”

NASA astronauts “will be able to conduct coordinated, scheduled and reimbursable commercial and marketing activities consistent with government ethics requirements aboard the station,” the agency said in a release.

Gerstenmaier said NASA will expect Boeing and SpaceX to handle all the arrangements for visits by commercial astronauts.

“We’re looking to the private sector to do the training, to do the transportation, to work out the accommodations, to be the interface between the individuals that want to fly the private astronauts and us,” Gerstenmaier said. “So we expect the private sector companies to do all that.”

And I could swear I read somewhere that it's specifically looking at actual scientists to do research, too. $50 mil a pop sure isn't chump change, but for a well-funded university, it's still an L of alot cheaper (and faster) than sending a guy through the whole NASA astronaut program.

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5 hours ago, Shpaget said:

 

Hmm, do we know who is the target audience? If it's pure tourists, then those are some serious money people. I would suspect that even the very rich folk don't spend $50M on a whim. You need to be filthy rich for this kind of a joy ride.

Speaking of insurance, I obviously can't say for sure, but i would not be a surprised Pikachu if life insurance for someone worth billions was a bit more expensive than my own.

On the other hand, if these people are "regular" people / scientists and their trip is paid by the institution they work for (BTW, I want to work for that institution), what institution has that kind of money? I can't think of many; or one.

I see Elon himself flying...

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About 1 hour til launch.

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Livestream is live!

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Foggy, wow!

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Ooh, they've got models on their table now!

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9 minutes ago, Delay said:

Ooh, they've got models on their table now!

That's for people who don't remember what it looks like.

You know, since we can't see the damn thing...

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Now, of all times, my internet is giving up.

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Posted (edited)

The shot of it coming out of the fog was amazing!

 

As well as dropping back into the fog, awesome!

Edited by Ignath

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Successful landing!

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