ZooNamedGames

[New] Space Launch System / Orion Discussion Thread

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, ArkaelDren said:

pure speed

You do realise, that FH, which is supposedly extremely simple, has taken 2 years longer than SLS will to get to its first flight. A delay of 2012 (Or even 2010, as originally stated on their website), to 2018, is 6 (or 8) years, while SLS has been delayed from 2017, to early 2021, which is 4 years, half the time FH took, for a far more capable, and frankly, better rocket, with the capacity to take humans once again to the Moon.

And another thing: Speed isn't a good thing if it means you cut corners, and blow up a crew capsule.

56 minutes ago, ArkaelDren said:

almost "EVERYTHING"

Propulsive landing of D2, Red Dragon, Grey Dragon, F9 s2 recovery, parachute recovery of F9/1 s1s, Carbon Fibre BFR, ITS, 24 hour F9 Reuse, transpiration cooling... That's not "almost EVERYTHING".

56 minutes ago, ArkaelDren said:

STS-41-D

STS-41-D was successful. No one died on that mission.

Edited by Barzon Kerman

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:41 PM, tater said:

The tanks are completely different now

I was wondering actually. Like, I think the original ET wasn't designed to bear the full load, sort of what you see in single-stack. It's not entirely balloon tank as in the original Atlas or Centaur, but it's no Thor EELT either.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ArkaelDren said:

I know this is a thread primarily about the SLS program, but I couldn't help after reading many of  ZooNamedGames comments.

After reading this entire thread, I am amazed at some of the "flame" sent Musks way as well as some super natural way of ignoring what SpaceX has achieved.  I come no way near the understanding or knowledge base of the material at hand, but maybe someone with a bit more vision (Yep Vision) could define the achievements made by SpaceX over the last decade.  What I have seen from Elon Musk, is a bit of an over zealous time schedule, but almost "EVERYTHING" that man has claimed they will do, they have.  You can take every technical spec, data sheet, test results based on real time testing, or virtual, and what I see is people forgetting the Human factor.  The desire to be inspirational exc. I love Nasa, and watched 2 shuttle launches, was sitting in my science teachers class during the loss of STS-41-D.  I believed getting rid of the shuttle was a mistake, due to the fact, we at least had an incredible functioning flight system getting people to and from the ISS.  Now I can easily profess to be a complete SpaceX/Tesla fan boy, and I don't think saying so is a bad thing.  Maybe this is because, no one company has done as much to disrupt and place a positive outlook on its field as much as "Tesla" or "SpaceX".  Just happens to be run by the same visionary.....  yeah both companies.  So maybe, the next time you think of slamming SpaceX, you might want to consider how much they have done for the advancement of the industry.  Again, I love Nasa, but if you go by SpaceX's track record alone, for their pure speed and performance record, the simple Human drive to change the world, then my money is on SpaceX.

Just 2 cents given here. I really don't care what people think of my comments, because at the end of the day,  my opinion means about as much as yours. Hell, in my case, yours probably has quite a bit more technical relevance.  But it has been a complete Joy watching a good guy win again for a change.  Side note, my favorite parts packs are with out a doubt, SLS variants. I used Bobcats for a couple years.

I had a long rant but I want to keep this succinct and direct as possible so I'll put this in a 10 point format so I can keep things on point to answer your question as to why I'm not pro-SpaceX-

  1. SpaceX is a brand new company that has only 20 years of existence. This means they have little economic experience keeping their business and their budgets stable and functional in turbulent economies (2010-2020 has been a rather calm year since we just recovered from the 2000s recession).
  2. SpaceX has only one major achievement- landing rocket boosters after deploying payloads. That's it- landing rockets was done in the 1990s and the 2000s through the use of the DC-X rocket. An achievement that will soon fall to Blue Origin once they deploy commercial payloads with New Glenn.
  3. SpaceX only has 1.5 actively functional vehicles (3 if you include the only other rocket they built that actually flew payloads, Falcon 1). Those rockets being Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy Core booster- the external two are regular Falcon 9s- so they aren't a new design. However the core is a modification of the Falcon 9 B5- which very much goes against your point of all plans being built which leads to Point 4-
  4. SpaceX has made many design promises they've failed to meet- much like NASA. As @Barzon Kerman listed, there's a whole laundry list of things he's said and had knocked down because it doesn't work in reality.
  5. The promises made by Musk affect the whole industry. If he makes promises, the public (ie the taxpayers) expect us to meet them. When reality kicks him off his high horse and suddenly we fail to go to Mars as he plans- it makes everyone in the industry look back. Not just SpaceX. It paints us as "too far behind" and "not ready yet" which leads to cuts in budgets for organizations and agencies like NASA which in turns means they no longer have the funds to operate their own space programs or fund new developing companies- like SpaceX once was- which leads to point 6-
  6. SpaceX was literally built by NASA. Saying that SpaceX has made all of their achievements on their own through their successes is a massive inaccuracy. SpaceX has only flown because of NASA investments into the development of Falcon 9 reusable rockets. As NASA say the potential for a quick 24h turn-around rocket (which is as impossible as it was with the Shuttle) for cheap- but SpaceX has failed both points and specifically pointing out the flaw with cost leads to problem 7-
  7. SpaceX hasn't proven reusable rockets as economical, nor any more efficient than standard expendable rockets. Current pricing of launching on the F9 has not dropped and announcements that those prices are fixed. You could claim they're simply maximizing budget margins- but if that was the case, why would Musk be in such a hurry to develop another rocket system to replace the Falcon 9 rocket family (BFR isn't just for BEO flight- it's intended to completely antiquate the Falcon rocket family). Clearly the Falcon 9 is not cost-efficient and can't even meet a reasonable turn around time.
  8. SpaceX does not have guarenteed funding by NASA. So any failures, mistakes or missteps in development means that the entire companies momentum is broken. Falling to entirely rely on the Falcon 9 which as we established isn't economical anyway. Which doesn't help them when (not if) the economy gets into another upset. Which- speaking of funding-
  9. SpaceX's founder- Elon Musk has proven that he has trouble keeping some of his ventures afloat with constant faults and issues with another company of his- Tesla.
  10. SpaceX is a great company. Their fanboys are not. Constantly claiming on every NASA YouTube video and online thread posting how NASA is "antiquated", "too slow" and "inefficient"- basically stating that only SpaceX and Elon are the means to the future and by extension- destinations like the Moon and Mars. Despite many ignoring and overlooking point 6 and that NASA made SpaceX and SpaceX only gets contract money by doing what they need- and what they need is SpaceX in LEO- not BEO despite that being Musk's current ambition of the week.

That's enough for now, I can make more if you want em.

 

Edited by ZooNamedGames

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Barzon Kerman said:

You do realise, that FH, which is supposedly extremely simple, has taken 2 years longer than SLS will to get to its first flight. A delay of 2012 (Or even 2010, as originally stated on their website), to 2018, is 6 (or 8) years, while SLS has been delayed from 2017, to early 2021, which is 4 years, half the time FH took, for a far more capable, and frankly, better rocket, with the capacity to take humans once again to the Moon.

SLS was required (by law) to have flown in 2016, actually. So 5 years. Also, and this is critical, SLS costs an additional 2 billion dollars to me, the taxpayer, every year it is delayed. I have skin in the SLS game, I don't care how long it took FH---not because I am a Musk sycophant, but because his timelines don't cost me ANYTHING. If FH had been given a billion a year from NASA or the AF I would have been every bit as POed about that as I am about SLS. (and the mismanagement of the program is not my opinion, it's the official opinion of the US government (OIG).

I'll add that SLS doesn't have the capability to do anything useful at all. It can send a spacecraft (Orion, also grossly over budget) sorta near the Moon. That's not "to the Moon." If it ever transports people there who then sortie to the surface, FH probably brought the lander (none of the other possibilities even exist yet (Vulcan Heavy and NG)).

 

2 hours ago, ZooNamedGames said:

I had a long rant but I want to keep this succinct and direct as possible so I'll put this in a 10 point format so I can keep things on point to answer your question as to why I'm not pro-SpaceX-

  1. SpaceX is a brand new company that has only 20 years of existence. This means they have little economic experience keeping their business and their budgets stable and functional in turbulent economies (2010-2020 has been a rather calm year since we just recovered from the 2000s recession).

In short, they haven't learned to only take cost-plus contracts so that they can milk the US taxpayer for some multiple of what a project should have cost. True.

 

Quote
  1. SpaceX has only one major achievement- landing rocket boosters after deploying payloads. That's it- landing rockets was done in the 1990s and the 2000s through the use of the DC-X rocket. An achievement that will soon fall to

DC-X was about like Grasshopper. It never did anything remotely as difficult as what F9 boosters do every flight with a landing. DC-X would have gotten there first---had McDonnell Douglas  just funded it themselves, instead of quitting if they weren't getting pork from Uncle Sam.

 

Quote
  1. SpaceX only has 1.5 actively functional vehicles (3 if you include the only other rocket they built that actually flew payloads, Falcon 1). Those rockets being Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy Core booster- the external two are regular Falcon 9s- so they aren't a new design. However the core is a modification of the Falcon 9 B5- which very much goes against your point of all plans being built which leads to Point 4-

So?

Quote
  1. SpaceX has made many design promises they've failed to meet- much like NASA. As @Barzon Kerman listed, there's a whole laundry list of things he's said and had knocked down because it doesn't work in reality.

This is... I want to say things here that violate the code of conduct, frankly.

"Promises" by SpaceX are no skin off anyone's teeth. They are not charging us, the taxpayers, for their experiments. FH being delayed doesn't matter in the least to anyone, as it cost no one any money except SpaceX. If I tell you I'm going to remodel my master bathroom before Christmas, and come New Years you ask about it, and I haven't started, are you annoyed that I violated a "promise?" If not, why not? Would you be if I conned you out of money to pay for the remodel first?

 

Quote
  1. The promises made by Musk affect the whole industry. If he makes promises, the public (ie the taxpayers) expect us to meet them. When reality kicks him off his high horse and suddenly we fail to go to Mars as he plans- it makes everyone in the industry look back. Not just SpaceX. It paints us as "too far behind" and "not ready yet" which leads to cuts in budgets for organizations and agencies like NASA which in turns means they no longer have the funds to operate their own space programs or fund new developing companies- like SpaceX once was- which leads to point 6-

This is similarly... less than intelligent. See above. NASA's budget has not been cut, his promises cost the taxpayer nothing at all, and indeed since SpaceX launch costs have DECREASED for the taxpayer. ULA held a monopoly (it was forced into existence because Boeing and LockMart were pretending to compete, and were in collusion) of taxpayer funded launches before SpaceX. According to the GAO, the average cost to the US government for a ULA launch is <400 M$. The first SpaceX launch for the gov was 82 M$. Many are now lower. Since these cuts in cost, ULA has dropped the cost of Atlas V by about 1/3 to compete with SpaceX. So SpaceX is cheaper, and now so is ULA, those savings alone in a single year likely pay off the entire NASA investment of 360M$ in SpaceX.

 

Quote
  1. SpaceX was literally built by NASA. Saying that SpaceX has made all of their achievements on their own through their successes is a massive inaccuracy. SpaceX has only flown because of NASA investments into the development of Falcon 9 reusable rockets. As NASA say the potential for a quick 24h turn-around rocket (which is as impossible as it was with the Shuttle) for cheap- but SpaceX has failed both points and specifically pointing out the flaw with cost leads to problem 7-

Yes, SpaceX claims as much, NASA saved their bacon. It was an incredible payback for NASA, however, as they earned back the F9 money (360 M$) after just a couple flights that were under the ULA typical cost to the government of 400 M$. Literally if you amortize that cost over maybe 3 USAF or NASA (not COTS) missions, the taxpayer comes out ahead including dev costs vs the same 3 launches from ULA.

 

Quote
  1. SpaceX hasn't proven reusable rockets as economical, nor any more efficient than standard expendable rockets. Current pricing of launching on the F9 has not dropped and announcements that those prices are fixed. You could claim they're simply maximizing budget margins- but if that was the case, why would Musk be in such a hurry to develop another rocket system to replace the Falcon 9 rocket family (BFR isn't just for BEO flight- it's intended to completely antiquate the Falcon rocket family). Clearly the Falcon 9 is not cost-efficient and can't even meet a reasonable turn around time.

This is flatly false. Costs have absolutely dropped, they are launching some payloads now for 50 M$, and the 62M$ price was a reduction from expendable. They keep doing it, so it must be saving them money (or not costing them more vs mfg, anyway), or they'd stop.

They are hurrying to make SS/SH because they need a next gen LV before BO hits the market. NG is bigger, and many good payloads are bigger (volume).

"Clearly" nothing. If you make a positive claim---reuse is a loss for SpaceX---then you must demonstrate it is true. Show their internal costs you dug out of their trash can, or say "we don't know how much they save, but they keep doing it."

The simple answer is that they have no reason at all to reduce cost to the customer sans competition. That's called "leaving money on the table." They reduce cost a little to throw the customer a bone, and pocket the difference to fund development.

 

Quote
  1. SpaceX does not have guarenteed funding by NASA. So any failures, mistakes or missteps in development means that the entire companies momentum is broken. Falling to entirely rely on the Falcon 9 which as we established isn't economical anyway. Which doesn't help them when (not if) the economy gets into another upset. Which- speaking of funding-

Got it, they are not a pork project. As an actual taxpayer, that's a good thing. All the launch providers should be similarly hungry.

Quote
  1. SpaceX's founder- Elon Musk has proven that he has trouble keeping some of his ventures afloat with constant faults and issues with another company of his- Tesla.

Tesla seems to be OK, and who cares? When BO is eating SLS or ULA's lunch, will you simply delete this bullet point in whatever screed you post about how "NG really isn't as good as SLS, and it was delayed for Y years (at no cost to the taxpayer), and Jeff Bezos is clearly a carnival barker, etc, ad nauseum?"

Quote
  1. SpaceX is a great company. Their fanboys are not. Constantly claiming on every NASA YouTube video and online thread posting how NASA is "antiquated", "too slow" and "inefficient"- basically stating that only SpaceX and Elon are the means to the future and by extension- destinations like the Moon and Mars. Despite many ignoring and overlooking point 6 and that NASA made SpaceX and SpaceX only gets contract money by doing what they need- and what they need is SpaceX in LEO- not BEO despite that being Musk's current ambition of the week.

That's enough for now, I can make more if you want em.

 

I don't care in the least what some random person on Youtube says about anything. The only space things I watch on YouTube are actual rocket launches, as covered by the channel of the launch provider in most cases. Don't need, or care aboiut seeing some "youtuber" talk about anything.

SpaceX and BO are the future for a reason, they have similar goals, reducing the cost to orbit by orders of magnitude. Those cost reductions will not happen without competition, because there is no reason to reduce costs to $200/kg when the nearest competition is charging $X-thousand/kg (whatever). Reduce to 0.8X/kg (still a great value vs competition), and pocket the difference.

BLEO for SpaceX has been their ambition since before their inception. Their timelines shift as reality hits, but they still move fast, and they have hit most of their goals over time.

People are fans of SpaceX primarily because their model is to make a decision, build the thing, test it, all up, then iterate. They are also incredibly transparent. That makes them exciting to watch. If BO didn't act like the Soviets in the 60s, they'd have more BO fanbois, but they are opaque, so they have few if any fans. ULA has no fans to speak of because they do the same thing they have been doing since before they were forced into existence, and indeed with the same LVs. Minus SpaceX, a cheap launch is a couple hundred million dollars.

SLS is a trainwreck of a project. That is not my opinion, that's the opinion of government regulators examining the project in far more detail than any of us have. It has been grossly mismanaged, and the end product is too expensive to be very useful. It is what it is, a jobs program. That's fine, that's what a government project like this is for. I see it as the liekly the last such project NASA works on for launch vehicles, ever. NASA uses aircraft operationally, they don't design bespoke airliners, or trainers, they buy existing ones. Soon this will be true for all their launch needs, then the pork projects can go to spacecraft that will be assembled in orbit, perhaps (parts made in as many districts as possible, then flown to space from FL, and the mission controllers in Houston will wiork to have the astronauts assemble the parts). That's where things are headed, SLS is a dinosaur.

Edited by tater

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17 minutes ago, tater said:

That makes them exciting to watch. If BO didn't act like the Soviets in the 60s, they'd have more BO fanbois

haha! nice one

19 minutes ago, tater said:

SLS is a trainwreck of a project. That is not my opinion, that's the opinion of government regulators examining the project in far more detail than any of us have. It has been grossly mismanaged, and the end product is too expensive to be very useful. It is what it is, a jobs program. That's fine, that's what a government project like this is for. I see it as the liekly the last such project NASA works on for launch vehicles, ever. NASA uses aircraft operationally, they don't design bespoke airliners, or trainers, they buy existing ones. Soon this will be true for all their launch needs, then the pork projects can go to spacecraft that will be assembled in orbit, perhaps (parts made in as many districts as possible, then flown to space from FL, and the mission controllers in Houston will wiork to have the astronauts assemble the parts). That's where things are headed, SLS is a dinosaur.

Not even that it is a fossil. I do not think SpaceX or BO are "the future" but neither is nasa. I think NASA should be give more money for probes and orion, artemis etc. But the actual launching of vehicles should be left to private companies. NASA has its place, and it is not private companies. These companies should have 5-10 year fixed priced contracts to prevent price gouging if something goes wrong on a NASA mission

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Cheif Operations Director said:

Not even that it is a fossil. I do not think SpaceX or BO are "the future" but neither is nasa. I think NASA should be give more money for probes and orion, artemis etc. But the actual launching of vehicles should be left to private companies. NASA has its place, and it is not private companies. These companies should have 5-10 year fixed priced contracts to prevent price gouging if something goes wrong on a NASA mission

I should say that their model is the future. "Cost plus" is asking the contractor to pick your pocket, NASA knows this, as do the contractors.

I want NASA to make the things that no one else can or will make. I'd rather see the entire SLS/Orion budget go to NTP, for example (and that even keeps the cash in Huntsville).

Not gonna happen, the SLS porkfest will continue until it's obviated.

Edited by tater

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42 minutes ago, tater said:

I should say that their model is the future. "Cost plus" is asking the contractor to pick your pocket, NASA knows this, as do the contractors.

I want NASA to make the things that no one else can or will make. I'd rather see the entire SLS/Orion budget go to NTP, for example (and that even keeps the cash in Huntsville).

Not gonna happen, the SLS porkfest will continue until it's obviated.

Sorry NTP?

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Cheif Operations Director said:

Sorry NTP?

Nuclear Thermal Propulsion.

 

 

Edited by tater

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1 hour ago, tater said:

ULA has no fans to speak of

Would you consider a Musk fan a SpX fan? If so, there are at least 16000 fans of ULA.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Barzon Kerman said:

Would you consider a Musk fan a SpX fan? If so, there are at least 16000 fans of ULA.

Not necessarily. I'm a fan in that sense of loads of launch providers and their founders (who I also follow).

I follow ULA on social media (alon with 160k other people on twitter), and I actually really like Tory Bruno (who I also follow). I wish ULA well, they are at least trying to be competitive now to the extent they can.

Being a fan of new space (which right now pretty much means SpaceX, and to a lesser extent RocketLab until BO starts, well, doing anything) is entirely because they are transparent, and innovate in real time, warts and all. Watching them learning to land was probably what got them their fandom, plus live cameras showing the trip to orbit in real time.

That said, expendable launches just are not that interesting to watch any more (a shocking turn of events, frankly). Recovery is exciting precisely because it seems likely to fail, watching a Grand Prix race where the cars are limited to a speed where danger is literally impossible would be boring :) .

Edited by tater

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@tater, iirc, you only pay .002 cents towards SLS annually.

12 minutes ago, tater said:

new space

what do you consider new space. Anything after 2005?

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3 minutes ago, Barzon Kerman said:

@tater, iirc, you only pay .002 cents towards SLS annually.

There are only ~100,000,000 taxpayers, equally divided that's $25/person. Taxes are not equally divided, however. only the top tier of taxpayers pays any meaningful amount of tax (top 20% pay some, real numbers only in the top 10%). My guess is that SLS costs me about $100 year. Not a meaningful amount of money, really, and better than what most goes to. Regardless, as it is public money, I have a right to care at all in a way I have no right to complain about anything SpaceX does with their own money.

3 minutes ago, Barzon Kerman said:

what do you consider new space. Anything after 2005?

I think I tend to use methodology, not timing.

New Space... entrepreneurial companies that use large amounts of private funds to develop technologies, without requiring a government contract to do it.

LockMart has a powerpoint lander, for example, that is really cool. If they were to act like "new space," they would just build it. Bigelow plans to fly B330 (at some point) to test in LEO---that's "new space." Bigelow and ULA posting that video showing B330 as a lunar station is really cool---they should just DO IT, then ask for NASA to participate, not end the video with "If you throw 2.5 B$ our way, this can be yours." (that's old space)

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Spoiler
18 minutes ago, Barzon Kerman said:

what do you consider new space.

Von Braun's projects still remaining not implemented.

15268032573_43b3799ff4_b.jpg

 

 

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More on-topic, there was some discussion of co-manifested cargo once EUS exists (someday). The additional 10-11 tons to TLI might be better spent to allow Orion to go directly to LLO. Don't send any lander stages with it at all. Send the lander ahead to (frozen) LLO. Use the 10t of cargo to fly a small orbital module hab (adds to crew comfort)---really not that small, it's a volume that starts at 8.4m, and drops to 5m---, and the required propellant to do LOI. They could eliminate any need for Gateway.

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2 hours ago, tater said:

Clearly" nothing. If you make a positive claim---reuse is a loss for SpaceX---then you must demonstrate it is true. Show their internal costs you dug out of their trash can, or say "we don't know how much they save, but they keep doing it."

I’ll add to this that SpaceX/Musk/Shotwell have repeatedly shown that they are not afraid to abandon a project that has already soaked up some :funds: if it turns out to not be viable. They come up with an idea that appears workable at first, and then iterate until it succeeds or proves unworkable or too difficult (read: expensive) at which point it gets abandoned or shelved. 

So if recovering and reusing boosters was not being cost-effective, it would have been abandoned by now. 

As an aside, who bought up McDonnell-Douglas? Had they developed DC-X with their own funds, they probably would have been the ones gobbling up the smaller fish, instead of being bait themselves. Oh, right, probably Lockmart or Boeing, to bury the DC-X IP. 

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1 minute ago, StrandedonEarth said:

So if recovering and reusing boosters was not being cost-effective, it would have been abandoned by now. 

I think this is likely true for the reasons you state. All I can say is that they are a business, and reuse must have some positive aspect for the business, or they would not continue doing it. If that benefit is financial, or securing data (anticipating better capability later with ore data), or whatever, it has some benefit to them, or they'd stop. What the specifics are? Who knows, I cannot make a definitive statement (nor can anyone else).

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Posted (edited)

@ZooNamedGames I'm not going to bother re-quoting your post but here are my replies to your points, in order.

1.   You're drawing some awfully big conclusions from very little data here. A couple of points in reply. 1. Are you sure you want to start throwing shade at anyone's budgetary competence in an SLS/Orion thread?  2.  Personally, I would regard a start-up company that's been going for 17 years - and has managed to break into a very conservative market with very high barriers to entry - as a success. 

2.  Ahh - the vapourware argument. Product X is totally going to be outclassed by Product Y, despite the fact that we know almost nothing about Product Y. Not convincing. Personal opinion - you're taking a very selective view of what constitutes an achievement here.

Counterview. I look at SpaceX and I see a success for the reasons pointed out above. I see a company that's managed to turn a very conservative industry's opinions around on the topic of reusable launch vehicles. I see a company that's developed four distinct rocket engines of varying sizes and capability (Draco, SuperDraco, Kestrel and Merlin), three complete launch vehicles (F1, F9 and FH), and two spaceworthy capsules, plus all the support and manufacturing infrastructure that goes with them. Not to mention the fact that their workhorse launch vehicle has been through a steady program of continuous upgrades since inception, such that the current version has double the payload capacity to LEO of the first version. #

Granted, rockets and capsules are not new. But just because they're a solved problem in many respects, that doesn't make them an easy problem. 

3.  If you want to count them like that sure. But those 1.5 active vehicles are the end product of several generations of, now-deprecated, vehicles.

4.  Don't see your point here. Regardless of any arguments over what constitutes a promise, I don't see how you can use promise breaking as a criticism of one party whilst admitting that it's something the other party has done as well.

5.  I'm sorry but this is hysterical, irrational twaddle based on nothing more than a personal dislike. 

6.  No, it literally wasn't. No question that NASA took the risk in funding SpaceX and took another risk by awarding them the COTS contract (a risk that was mitigated to some extent by not being a cost-plus contract and being very milestone dependent). No question either that NASA have been a hugely significant and prestigious partner and customer for SpaceX. 

But NASA did not found the company, grow the company,  go out and find all the many other customers that SpaceX have served, design the hardware, build the hardware, deliver on NASA's milestones etc. A technology startup doesn't tend to get very far without investment but all the investment in the world won't make a blind bit of difference if that company can't deliver on its business model. 

7.  Well one reason is the one that @tater pointed out. There is a real risk (so far as SpaceX are concerned) that sooner or later, Falcon 9 will face serious competition from the likes of New Glenn. So SpaceX could simply be responding to that perceived risk. The other reason is that SpaceX ain't going to Mars on a Falcon 9. Starship is a means to an end - but to make that means affordable, there has to be at least a somewhat possible business case for it. And the only reasonable business case is that it's going to be better than Falcon 9, for whatever definition of 'better' fits into their strategy.

8.  Well for openers we haven't established any such thing (about reusability) You believe it to be true but haven't produced any facts or figures to back up that belief. For seconds, SpaceX has made a number of missteps and has had a number of failures. Neither of which appear to have broken its momentum. Finally, even assuming that Starship is a complete fairy tale and never gets off the ground (commercially speaking), they (SpaceX) will have to compete using Falcon 9 which, on current form, is hardly a disaster. And if New Glenn starts flying, makes Falcon completely obsolete, and puts SpaceX out of business - well that's life for any company that can't rely on a steady infusion of tax dollars.

9.  Until those other ventures cease to be afloat, this is a non argument. Newsflash - companies aren't guaranteed to be successful or stay successful. Business leaders aren't guaranteed to make perfect decisions either. Besides - Tesla and SpaceX are in completely different markets and an inability (real or otherwise) to make a success on one says very little about an ability to make a success of the other.

10.  Agreed. To be honest I don't have much time for the idiots at either end of that argument, either the ones that you complain about, or the ones that continually play down SpaceX's achievements and insist that they'd be nothing without NASA.

Edited by KSK

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56 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:
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Von Braun's projects still remaining not implemented.

15268032573_43b3799ff4_b.jpg

 

 

seriously it is ridiculous how little  funding space gets it should be about $40 Billion a year 

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5 minutes ago, KSK said:

I see a company that's developed four distinct rocket engines of varying sizes and capability (Draco, SuperDraco, Kestrel and Merlin),

Certainly 5 (Raptor),  now, arguably 6 (Merlin 1D is well beyond a tweak from their first Merlin).

Maybe 7 if the vacuum Merlin counts, actually, I think it's pretty different at this point from the SL engine.

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10 minutes ago, tater said:

Certainly 5 (Raptor),  now, arguably 6 (Merlin 1D is well beyond a tweak from their first Merlin).

Maybe 7 if the vacuum Merlin counts, actually, I think it's pretty different at this point from the SL engine.

*facepalm* I forgot to include Raptor. Which is only one of the most advanced rocket engines ever built and the only complete US full-flow staged combustion engine to have been fired. 

There's an achievement right there I believe, whether you subscribe to my view of an achievement or Zoo's. Assuming that Starhopper makes its 200m hop and that  Starship v1 makes its intended flight, then Raptor becomes the only full flow staged combustion engine to get off the test stand. I'll not get into any disputes as to whether the first Starhopper hop counts as 'getting off the test stand' - I suspect reasonable opinions may differ there.

And yeah, you could certainly make the argument for the different iterations of Merlin to be different engines. If nothing else, Merlin 1a was ablatively cooled if I recall rightly, which would set it apart from the regeneratively cooled 1c.

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11 minutes ago, KSK said:

I'll not get into any disputes as to whether the first Starhopper hop counts as 'getting off the test stand' - I suspect reasonable opinions may differ there.

Absolutely.

Sometimes you look at Hopper and think, "Meh, it's just a flying test stand."

Then you think, "Wow, it's a flying test stand!"

 

On topic, what payloads dedicated for SLS are funded that are not Orion?

I'll wait.

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13 minutes ago, tater said:

what payloads dedicated for SLS are funded that are not Orion?

 

All US Gateway modules except PPE and MHM. 

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15 minutes ago, tater said:

Absolutely.

Sometimes you look at Hopper and think, "Meh, it's just a flying test stand."

Then you think, "Wow, it's a flying test stand!"

 

On topic, what payloads dedicated for SLS are funded that are not Orion?

I'll wait.

Europa Clipper.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Barzon Kerman said:

All US Gateway modules except PPE and MHM. 

None of those are funded (except the 2 that are not SLS launches).

The 2 you mentioned are literally the only ones funded right now, neither fly on SLS.

2 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Europa Clipper.

Not a certain SLS launch.

Edited by tater

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