Skylon

SpaceX Discussion Thread

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as all seats would be “coach” & no toilets, pilot area or food galley needed.

Also no bar. They should distribute alcohol drinks before the flight instead of during.
For everybody, right on boarding. A stewardess with a bottle should stay in airlock and pour 100 ml into everyone coming.

Also, these things will return. Because zero-G lasts longer.

Spoiler

Lunch-bag-on-white-background-1016926008

Spoiler

A lifehack: if release the hygiene zero-G and let it float to the end of passenger cabin, on aerobraking it will splash against a random seat with its normal weight multiplied by 3..4.

 

14 hours ago, RCgothic said:

If a flight is only 20 minutes and it involves anything close to a full g or greater, there won't be any bathrooms.

+1
They can just douse the whole cabin from fire hose.

9 hours ago, tater said:

If there is a hold, then people can exit to the bathroom as required.

Not necessary. They will anyway need to have a bath after the flight, so why get wet twice?

8 hours ago, Cunjo Carl said:

I wonder if the diverting away from crashing into the barge mode is something new?

Normally they are just trying to splash. But sometimes occsionally a barge happens on its way, then it lands.

8 hours ago, StrandedonEarth said:

I just don’t see how they could get 1000 customers per flight for that beast.

A lottery. 1 of 1000 gains 10 flights for free.

4 hours ago, mikegarrison said:
  • How do you make connecting flights to smaller destinations? Or to trains?
  • How do they evacuate those 1000 people in under 90 seconds with half the exits blocked (the current rule for airliners)?
  • How much of a price premium do they think people will actually pay for this?
  • Do they expect to get some kind of an exemption to the anti-trust rules that currently prohibit airplane manufacturers from also being airlines? If not, who will be operating these rockets?
  • Space-X has zero experience in the maze of international treaties and regulations that govern flying airplanes from one country to another. Do they think that will not apply to them?

They should just find a way to stop the air traffic. Why fly with air if can without.
Also they have an underground train. A boring network can cover the land.
If make the boring tunnel wider, they can combine the boring train with the starship. So, the Boring Space Rocket will replace everything.

1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

You are going to make every spaceport 200 miles off the coast?

And it also swim float go on the water, so the obsolete sea transport has no chance, too.

1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

Wait, you think people will allow Musk to own not only the rocket factory, but also to own the rockets, to fly the rockets, and to own and operate the transit that connects the spaceport to the city?

Yes, that's a normal plan of the world domination. He should just find a way to land all planes.

1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

I have one word for you: "anti-trust".

So, they get a slogan: "Screw the trust. Get the thrust! "

4 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

How do they evacuate those 1000 people in under 90 seconds with half the exits blocked (the current rule for airliners)?

Load the pax into a metal pipe one-by-one. A pax-line. Place several radially.
Beneath the rearmost set place a protective cap and a powder charge beneath.
On the evacuation:
1. Jettison the emergency doors on top of every pax-line.
2. Expand an inflatable soft escape pipe on top of every pax-line.
3. Ignite the powder charges under every pipe-line.
4. Catch the pax flying up with the exit cone and redirect them to the inflatable pipes.
5. Let them slide down.
6. Catch them on ground like normally on planes.

A bonus. If equip every seat with a chute and make the inflatable pipes jettisonnable, this works in mid-air.

 

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1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

I didn't mean airspace. I'm talking about rules like cabotage. Typically countries aren't terribly keen on giving carriers from other countries access to their country unless the other country also allows reciprocal access. In other words, why expect China would allow an American country to have an exclusive monopoly on sub-orbital flights between the US and China? Especially if that then eats into the traffic that would otherwise be flying on Chinese airlines?

Excellent point.

I suppose you'd negotiate with small countries that would like to become hubs. Their Podunk airport becomes a hub because of proximity to an antipodal site?

1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

1) There is no way this will cost "somewhere between business and premium economy". Elon's been smoking too much weed.

That was Shotwell. She said it was pointless unless they could do it for those sorts of prices, or no one would bother. She suggested that they could fly more than once a day to the other side of the world with 1 vehicle. Note that when she said that they were talking 2-stage, they've since said P2P would be 1 stage.

 

1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

(And I noticed you skipped over my question about just how you evacuate 1000 people from a burning, smoke-filled Starship in under 90 seconds.)

Yeah, I would suppose the gantry has multiple entry points (it's 1 per floor, and several floors), and has to deal with that---assuming it falls under any regulation of "aircraft." What's the legal definition of aircraft?

1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

I have one word for you: "anti-trust".

Yeah, assuming the law was written in a broad enough way that this counts as an airline, this is a huge issue, and in fact a showstopper.

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1 hour ago, mikegarrison said:

A 747 flying from LAX to Sydney probably has about $500,000 of ticket revenue. So let's say $1M revenue for a Starship that holds roughly twice as many people. Is the cost of a Starship flight less than $1M?

Assume the 1000 passengers (can you find that many to travel at once?). Call it $2500 a ticket (more than Premium Econ, though Business class that far is several grand, right?) So it's 2.5 million.

If it can fly 1000 times, the vehicle and fuel costs would be below that (call it a couple hundred million/veh, and several hundred thousand to load and fly it).

I'm not saying it's likely, mind you. But it's not impossible. FWIW, Shotwell said "within 10 years" as her (not Elon's) timeline.

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5 minutes ago, tater said:

Assume the 1000 passengers (can you find that many to travel at once?). Call it $2500 a ticket (more than Premium Econ, though Business class that far is several grand, right?) So it's 2.5 million.

If it can fly 1000 times, the vehicle and fuel costs would be below that (call it a couple hundred million/veh, and several hundred thousand to load and fly it).

I'm not saying it's likely, mind you. But it's not impossible. FWIW, Shotwell said "within 10 years" as her (not Elon's) timeline.

If a Starship can fly 1000 times, I'll be really, really surprised. What's the record for the number of flights of a falcon booster? 3 so far? Something like that.

I guess we'll see what happens.

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17 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

If a Starship can fly 1000 times, I'll be really, really surprised. What's the record for the number of flights of a falcon booster? 3 so far? Something like that.

I guess we'll see what happens.

Yeah, 1000 times is what would be required to have anything like airline type operations. That's a couple flights a week for a decade, basically.

If the prices are in the range they suggest (and they sort of have to be to fill such a contraption), you have to find 1000 people who think it's safe enough. If every other problem was not an issue... that's still the biggest issue. The perception of safety will take many, many thousands of guinea pigs to establish, and failure is not much of an option, any such loss becomes the largest air disaster ever.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, tater said:

1000 times

9 minutes ago, tater said:

you have to find 1000 people who think it's safe enough

1000 * 1000 = 1 million people who think so

Though, they can follow the Titanic practice: fill the empty space below the comfortable cabin with low-class pax.

(Also, this simplifies the abort systems, they don't need lifeboats for everybody)

Edited by kerbiloid

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

1000 * 1000 = 1 million people who think so...

A lot of those people might make return flights to their point of origin, making a certain percentage of people count for 2 flights. Also you aren’t assuming that the same people will make multiple trips over the rocket’s lifespan. If it takes a decade or 2 for the rocket to retire then you have to assume some of those people will fly many times in those 10-20 years. Also the 1000 flights estimate might be variable dependant on the destinations and referring to the Raptors I believe, not the spaceframe.  

Anyhoo, the point is that the customer base could be deceptively small and that could be fine. (Not to mention they could provide a courier service for ultra-high priority international packages.)

Edited by Dale Christopher

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Dale Christopher said:

Not to mention they could provide a courier service for ultra-high priority international packages.)

A pizza delivery.
Or a restaurant where rich customers take their seats in Seattle, while the cook is cooking in Tokyo.
When they finish aperitifs, the fish dish has landed and is being carried.

P.S.
They should develop a kitchen module for ISS.
Maybe the zero-G allows to cook some exotic meals. Then they can do this in suborbital flight. A shuttling diner.

Edited by kerbiloid

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Google says there are more than 2500 billionaires in the world. (I assume that's in terms of $US.) Obviously they won't be enough to support a fleet of ships that fly 1000 people a time.

However, there are probably some subset of them that could afford (and might actually want) a suborbital private rocket ship. But for that to work, it would have to be able to land and take off from arbitrary locations rather than a few fixed specific spaceports.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

rather than a few fixed specific spaceports.

Just select a proper route.

Spoiler

Suborbital shuttle Baltimore-Bogota-Bagram-Benghazi-Bologna-and back.

 

Edited by kerbiloid

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7 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Bagram

LOL.

MIHP-190500-SOVIETS-06.jpg

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Posted (edited)
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3 minutes ago, DDE said:

 

MIHP-190500-SOVIETS-06.jpg

Yes, he will be on guard, to keep the sky clear and the schedule stable.

Edited by kerbiloid

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1 hour ago, Dale Christopher said:

A lot of those people might make return flights to their point of origin, making a certain percentage of people count for 2 flights. Also you aren’t assuming that the same people will make multiple trips over the rocket’s lifespan. If it takes a decade or 2 for the rocket to retire then you have to assume some of those people will fly many times in those 10-20 years. Also the 1000 flights estimate might be variable dependant on the destinations and referring to the Raptors I believe, not the spaceframe.  

Anyhoo, the point is that the customer base could be deceptively small and that could be fine. (Not to mention they could provide a courier service for ultra-high priority international packages.)

The way I figure it, if they're charging ±business-class fare, the potential customer base is basically anyone who's bought a Tesla up until about now. For... obvious reasons. <_<

1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

A pizza delivery.
Or a restaurant where rich customers take their seats in Seattle, while the cook is cooking in Tokyo.
When they finish aperitifs, the fish dish has landed and is being carried.

Nah, LA maybe... as far as an incoming ICBM is concerned, Seattle is a good hundred miles inland.:sticktongue:

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

The way I figure it, if they're charging ±business-class fare, the potential customer base is basically anyone who's bought a Tesla up until about now. For... obvious reasons. <_<

Well, not everyone who wants to drive an electric car will want or need to be shot to the other side of the world on a rocket. So I don’t follow your reasoning, but also I think you misinterpreted what I was saying. I was saying that the customer base need not be large for the idea to be viable, it could be relatively small and SpaceX should still be able to fill flights fine. Not that it will likely be small, just that it would be fine if it was.

Edited by Dale Christopher

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My brother and his family just moved from the UK to Australia. There's a good chance I'd be willing to pay to turn days of travel into 20 minutes even at a one in a thousand failure (instant death) rate.

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2 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

1000 * 1000 = 1 million people who think so

As a reality check, the Number of passengers per year between NYC and London is ~3 Million.

As is London - Dubai.

Like I said, I don't think this is likely soon, and I think safety is by far the critical factor. You can sell joy rides to space that include substantial risk, but regular transportation services needs to feel safe. The funny thing is that many people feel nervous about modern air travel vs getting in their own cars, when the former is very much safer than the latter.

 

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50 minutes ago, tater said:

The funny thing is that many people feel nervous about modern air travel vs getting in their own cars, when the former is very much safer than the latter.

I think it’s because there’s a far higher chance to survive a car crash than a plane crash.

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Posted (edited)

Now that I think about it, I’m a bit sceptical about this plan ever happening tbh. 

I think people can accept that going on a trip to Mars is a high risk activity and if a rocket suffered some kind of failure on one of those trips it would be a huge setback but ultimately there ain’t that many ways to get to Mars so as long as Starship is the only show in town, SpaceX will pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get back to work sending people there (after a period of trying to identify and address the issues that caused it etc...) but ultimately that kind of thing is a possibility when you are boldly going where no one has gone before, so the demand for a way to travel to Mars will continue even after an accident I’m sure.

However, if you toss the flaming corpses of 1000 of your earthly customers across the sky like a huge, tragic firecracker... that kind of thing is going to be bad for business >_<... 

Edited by Dale Christopher

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2 hours ago, sh1pman said:

I think it’s because there’s a far higher chance to survive a car crash than a plane crash.

There's some survivorship bias in people's understanding of airline incidents. They remember all the massive crashes, and tend to forget the others.

We all know what we think of as a "crash," but airline crashes are quite rare, and we also forget all the "not airline crashes" that could have been fatal accidents, but were not, and even forget the crashes that we'd remember had everyone died, but don't since no one did. Last year 8 of 13 worldwide airline incidents resulted in small (or no) loss of life. Of the remaining 5, all people were killed in 3, and most in the other 2.

Clearly any P2P rocket crash is likely to be a complete loss of life, but I suppose there is some possibility of one tipping over on landing or something (after reaching the ground) and not killing everyone. Still, any such failure would be very, very hard to overcome from a business standpoint.

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8 hours ago, Dale Christopher said:

Well, not everyone who wants to drive an electric car will want or need to be shot to the other side of the world on a rocket. So I don’t follow your reasoning, but also I think you misinterpreted what I was saying. I was saying that the customer base need not be large for the idea to be viable, it could be relatively small and SpaceX should still be able to fill flights fine. Not that it will likely be small, just that it would be fine if it was.

What I meant was, as a starting point, such are the people who are most likely to, A: have the monetary means to do so, and B: are more willing to trade risk for something potentially awesome and experience-improving, especially if it’s from Musk. 

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46 minutes ago, Dale Christopher said:

 

However, if you toss the flaming corpses of 1000 of your earthly customers across the sky like huge, tragic firecracker. 

They would more likely be splattered across the ground from a landing failure 

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

What I meant was, as a starting point, such are the people who are most likely to, A: have the monetary means to do so, and B: are more willing to trade risk for something potentially awesome and experience-improving, especially if it’s from Musk. 

Yeah, this isn't a thing.

I know a bunch of people with Teslas (I'm considering letting the kids use my SUV (it's a tank) and getting one), and exactly 0% of them would trade increased risk of their lives or their family's for the sake of liking Musk, even factoring in the spaceflight experience. In fact, the Model 3 apparently crash tested spectacularly well, so they buy the cars in part because they are safer.

Safety is pretty much everything in the passenger travel space. Airline flights that have a fatality are about 0.3 per million flights. So getting to a 1:270 LOC standard is non-trivial for a space capsule as of---right now---but somehow in a few years they will get to a 1:3,000,000 LOC level?

Edited by tater

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Posted (edited)
Quote

“We have future hops coming up later this year,” he said. “The goal is to get orbital as quickly as possible, potentially even this year, with the full stack operational by the end of next year and then customers in early 2021.”

 

3 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Crew Dragon exploded just once.

Only 3,000,000 more perfect flights to get to the right LOC level!

 

Edited by tater

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