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(CNN)   SpaceX finds a bottle of blue pills, finally gets it up   (cnn.com) divider line 113
    More: Cool, SpaceX, Russian Space Agency, private company, space capsules, Dragon capsule, space stations, International Space Station  
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5317 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 May 2012 at 8:21 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-22 08:24:43 AM  
How doth the hero, strong and brave, a celestial path to the heavens paved!

/go spacex go
 
2012-05-22 08:25:09 AM  
penis!
 
2012-05-22 08:26:48 AM  
A little late on the green light eh mods?

Way to go SpaceX!
 
2012-05-22 08:28:12 AM  
FTA: "At 180 feet tall and 12 feet around, the Falcon 9 rocket..."
That's some sciencey writing there, Lou.
So the rocket has a diameter of 3.8 feet?

/Girthy joke here.
 
2012-05-22 08:28:27 AM  
Suck it North Korea.

www.nytsyn.com
What a Best Korea Rocket launch may look like.
 
2012-05-22 08:30:23 AM  
Bye Bye Scotty, we miss you!
 
2012-05-22 08:32:38 AM  

Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: A little late on the green light eh mods?

Way to go SpaceX!


It's less than 5 hours after the fact, that's not by Fark standards.
 
2012-05-22 08:34:40 AM  
I feel better now, knowing that the raping I get from Paypal furthers our nations independence from the Russians.
 
2012-05-22 08:35:26 AM  
It is not my intent to temper what is worthwhile enthusiasm, I just wish to add some understanding:

NASA paid for this. NASA, as the paying customer, also had a fantastic amount of input.

SpaceX is a company that has to make money in order to exist. It must be a profitable endeavor for them. They launched this rocket because NASA started the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program years ago. NASA's goal has long been to outsource as much of the standard lifting capability as possible (NASA has employed Lockheed and Boeing rockets to do as much for decades) so that they can concentrate on the stuff that doesn't make money; the science for the sake of science; the exploration for the sake of exploration.

So when I read comments like, "[SpaceX] will replace NASA and become the new space leader." I have to wonder how people can possibly think that. As fun as it is to think about things like asteroid mining companies, that is so far off that no company is going to take on the risk to develop the technology when the investment is astronomical, the risks enormous and the probability of success so low (and yes, I'm aware of James Cameron & Google discussion on this topic). There's also no monetary benefit to planetary rovers or deep-space probes, so industry has no incentive to do it. The same can be said of Hubble, Chandra and dozens of other things that NASA does.

Let SpaceX be the UPS of rockets and let NASA focus on this science. That's the whole point!
 
2012-05-22 08:37:16 AM  
Very exciting....

Can anyone (I have no doubt that someone can) explain the logic of using 9 engines instead of 2 or 3 larger ones? Is it a redundancy thing like being able to get to orbit on 7 or 8 after a certain amount of time post launch? Seems like a LOT of additional places for things to go wrong.

The Falcon Heavy would have 27 Merlin engines all firing at the same time....
 
2012-05-22 08:44:58 AM  

Fizpez: Very exciting....

Can anyone (I have no doubt that someone can) explain the logic of using 9 engines instead of 2 or 3 larger ones? Is it a redundancy thing like being able to get to orbit on 7 or 8 after a certain amount of time post launch? Seems like a LOT of additional places for things to go wrong.

The Falcon Heavy would have 27 Merlin engines all firing at the same time....


It is partially for redundancy. They can lose one engine and still have enough thrust to reach orbit without a problem. Not sure about losing two though.
 
2012-05-22 08:45:16 AM  

Fizpez: Very exciting....

Can anyone (I have no doubt that someone can) explain the logic of using 9 engines instead of 2 or 3 larger ones? Is it a redundancy thing like being able to get to orbit on 7 or 8 after a certain amount of time post launch? Seems like a LOT of additional places for things to go wrong.

The Falcon Heavy would have 27 Merlin engines all firing at the same time....


I'm guessing because they don't have the ability/money to build 2-3 powerful rockets, so they went with a bunch of smaller, less expensive ones.

I think the Russians do it for the same reason.
 
2012-05-22 08:46:09 AM  

Fizpez: Very exciting....

Can anyone (I have no doubt that someone can) explain the logic of using 9 engines instead of 2 or 3 larger ones? Is it a redundancy thing like being able to get to orbit on 7 or 8 after a certain amount of time post launch? Seems like a LOT of additional places for things to go wrong.

The Falcon Heavy would have 27 Merlin engines all firing at the same time....


economies of scale. SpaceX only has to develop one engine instead of many for different types of rocket bodies.
 
2012-05-22 08:47:09 AM  

Fizpez: Very exciting....

Can anyone (I have no doubt that someone can) explain the logic of using 9 engines instead of 2 or 3 larger ones? Is it a redundancy thing like being able to get to orbit on 7 or 8 after a certain amount of time post launch? Seems like a LOT of additional places for things to go wrong.

The Falcon Heavy would have 27 Merlin engines all firing at the same time....


Yep, it's about safety, and also about economics (easier to manufacture a smaller part to tight tollerences and if a part fails inspection it's a smaller loss). The Russians have been using clusters of engines pretty much since the begining and haven't really had any higher failure rate.
 
2012-05-22 08:47:22 AM  

exyankee: Not sure about losing two though.


pass MaxQ, I think they can abort to orbit with two engines down.
 
2012-05-22 08:47:29 AM  
 
2012-05-22 08:47:37 AM  
12' isn't a big circumference...

I'm glad this is working out. big fan of the spacex project and rutan seems like a great guy with passion for it. not just a fatass moneyman..
 
2012-05-22 08:47:41 AM  

drivinwest: It is not my intent to temper what is worthwhile enthusiasm, I just wish to add some understanding:

NASA paid for this. NASA, as the paying customer, also had a fantastic amount of input.

SpaceX is a company that has to make money in order to exist. It must be a profitable endeavor for them. They launched this rocket because NASA started the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program years ago. NASA's goal has long been to outsource as much of the standard lifting capability as possible (NASA has employed Lockheed and Boeing rockets to do as much for decades) so that they can concentrate on the stuff that doesn't make money; the science for the sake of science; the exploration for the sake of exploration.

So when I read comments like, "[SpaceX] will replace NASA and become the new space leader." I have to wonder how people can possibly think that. As fun as it is to think about things like asteroid mining companies, that is so far off that no company is going to take on the risk to develop the technology when the investment is astronomical, the risks enormous and the probability of success so low (and yes, I'm aware of James Cameron & Google discussion on this topic). There's also no monetary benefit to planetary rovers or deep-space probes, so industry has no incentive to do it. The same can be said of Hubble, Chandra and dozens of other things that NASA does.

Let SpaceX be the UPS of rockets and let NASA focus on this science. That's the whole point!


But I think you're missing the obvious. Yes Lockheed and Boeing did build rockets to supply the ISS with cargo but there exists a need to get People back and forth.
 
2012-05-22 08:49:46 AM  

Icetech3: rutan


lol...eh?
 
2012-05-22 08:51:02 AM  
I celebrated by using PayPal for the first time to buy car parts from Latvia. SpaceX are go!
 
2012-05-22 08:51:10 AM  

exyankee: Fizpez: Very exciting....

Can anyone (I have no doubt that someone can) explain the logic of using 9 engines instead of 2 or 3 larger ones? Is it a redundancy thing like being able to get to orbit on 7 or 8 after a certain amount of time post launch? Seems like a LOT of additional places for things to go wrong.

The Falcon Heavy would have 27 Merlin engines all firing at the same time....

It is partially for redundancy. They can lose one engine and still have enough thrust to reach orbit without a problem. Not sure about losing two though.


I read in an article about the previous aborted attempt that they need all of them to get off the ground, but after a certain point they can lose up to two engines and still make orbit.
 
2012-05-22 08:51:38 AM  

melkson: I feel better now, knowing that the raping I get from Paypal furthers our nations independence from the Russians.


It's a private company that happens to do business in the USA. This has nothing to do with nationalist fervor. Also, it's called the INTERNATIONAL space station for a reason.
 
2012-05-22 08:52:48 AM  

Neondistraction: I read in an article about the previous aborted attempt that they need all of them to get off the ground, but after a certain point they can lose up to two engines and still make orbit.


Or lose up to two erections and still provide her with an orgasm.
 
2012-05-22 08:56:43 AM  

Icetech3: I'm glad this is working out. big fan of the spacex project and rutan seems like a great guy with passion for it. not just a fatass moneyman..


Elon Musk, not Rutan

melkson: I feel better now, knowing that the raping I get from Paypal furthers our nations independence from the Russians.


mark12A: I celebrated by using PayPal for the first time to buy car parts from Latvia. SpaceX are go!


He sold Paypal many years ago to Ebay for huge $$$.
 
2012-05-22 08:58:29 AM  
Longer ago than I remember... sold in 2002 for 1.5 billion.
 
2012-05-22 09:07:33 AM  
NASA paid for this.

Er, no. NASA put in a non-trivial amount (about $350 million), but Elon Musk threw in about $500-$600 million of his own. SpaceX and their investors have done the bulk of the funding (and could have flown the rocket with no money from NASA at all).

I don't get this knee-jerk impulse on the part of many people to downplay what SpaceX has done here. It's a huge, huge deal -- if America is to have a future in space, it isn't going to be under the aegis of a sclerotic, dysfunctional, bureaucratic dinosaur like NASA. NASA hasn't done anything interesting in (manned) spaceflight since the 1970's. They've sucked up hundreds of billions of dollars spinning around in LEO in a dangerous government-funded boondoggle (the Shuttle) on the way to another boondoggle (the space station). Most of the "glories of the space age" in the post-Apollo era belong to the unmanned planetary probes, and you can thank JPL for that more than you can NASA.

If you think this is too harsh, ask yourself: what has NASA really done to advance the state of space-technology art since the 1970's? I mean, Christ, we can't even launch people into space any more now that the Shuttle is retired! The James Webb Telescope fiasco is a good example of NASA's inability to execute on large projects (and people tend to forget what a botch the Hubble was when it first launched, too -- it had a malformed main mirror that cost hundreds of millions to "fix" in orbit).

I'm not saying that NASA should be completely shut down, but it needs to shrink down to about 1/10th of its current size and return to its NACA roots as a pure R&D and policy center.

SpaceX and the other private-sector firms are still years (maybe decades) away from building the kind of infrastructure we're going to need both as a nation and a civilization to extend our reach out into the solar system, but this is an essential -- and exiting! -- step.
 
2012-05-22 09:14:59 AM  

bluesbox: I'm not saying that NASA should be completely shut down, but it needs to shrink down to about 1/10th of its current size and return to its NACA roots as a pure R&D and policy center.


And yet their yearly budget is less than the cost of a new aircraft carrier. I have no problem throwing money at them.

/a new aircraft carrier on the other hand? we simply don't need it
 
2012-05-22 09:16:18 AM  
drsmith:

The Russians have been using clusters of engines pretty much since the begining and haven't really had any higher failure rate.

Wrong. Read about the Russian N-1 project, their equivalent to Apollo. It was plagued with problems related to using 30 rocket engines in the first stage. When rocket engines blow, they tend to do so catastrophically. By using many, you're compounding the failure potential many, many times over.

Using 9 rather than 3 is more about cost cutting than anything else. Redundancy is only relevant if you have a non-catastrophic engine shutdown.
 
2012-05-22 09:20:22 AM  
Obligatory post about it just being low earth orbit and not space.
 
2012-05-22 09:22:06 AM  

Marine1: [i48.tinypic.com image 640x489]

/really wants to see the Falcon Heavy go up


"Elon Musk (born June 28, 1971) is a South African born inventor, engineer and entrepreneur best known for co-founding SpaceX, Tesla Motors and X.com, which later became Paypal"

/USofA is still a land of opportunity for many of us, immigrants, though. Can't discount that.
 
2012-05-22 09:23:02 AM  

bluesbox: NASA paid for this.

Er, no. NASA put in a non-trivial amount (about $350 million), but Elon Musk threw in about $500-$600 million of his own. SpaceX and their investors have done the bulk of the funding (and could have flown the rocket with no money from NASA at all).

I don't get this knee-jerk impulse on the part of many people to downplay what SpaceX has done here. It's a huge, huge deal -- if America is to have a future in space, it isn't going to be under the aegis of a sclerotic, dysfunctional, bureaucratic dinosaur like NASA. NASA hasn't done anything interesting in (manned) spaceflight since the 1970's. They've sucked up hundreds of billions of dollars spinning around in LEO in a dangerous government-funded boondoggle (the Shuttle) on the way to another boondoggle (the space station). Most of the "glories of the space age" in the post-Apollo era belong to the unmanned planetary probes, and you can thank JPL for that more than you can NASA.

If you think this is too harsh, ask yourself: what has NASA really done to advance the state of space-technology art since the 1970's? I mean, Christ, we can't even launch people into space any more now that the Shuttle is retired! The James Webb Telescope fiasco is a good example of NASA's inability to execute on large projects (and people tend to forget what a botch the Hubble was when it first launched, too -- it had a malformed main mirror that cost hundreds of millions to "fix" in orbit).

I'm not saying that NASA should be completely shut down, but it needs to shrink down to about 1/10th of its current size and return to its NACA roots as a pure R&D and policy center.

SpaceX and the other private-sector firms are still years (maybe decades) away from building the kind of infrastructure we're going to need both as a nation and a civilization to extend our reach out into the solar system, but this is an essential -- and exiting! -- step.


NASA will eventually be scaled down when we move from space exploration to space settlement. Although I doubt it will be to the same ratio as terrestrial analogues because space is just massive.
The bulk of the money will be in setting up for business. With the money there, the development of new vehicle won't need to be government sponsored.

...Of course the timeline for that could be decades.
 
2012-05-22 09:23:33 AM  

gingerjet: bluesbox: I'm not saying that NASA should be completely shut down, but it needs to shrink down to about 1/10th of its current size and return to its NACA roots as a pure R&D and policy center.

And yet their yearly budget is less than the cost of a new aircraft carrier. I have no problem throwing money at them.

/a new aircraft carrier on the other hand? we simply don't need it


gingerjet: bluesbox: I'm not saying that NASA should be completely shut down, but it needs to shrink down to about 1/10th of its current size and return to its NACA roots as a pure R&D and policy center.

And yet their yearly budget is less than the cost of a new aircraft carrier. I have no problem throwing money at them.

/a new aircraft carrier on the other hand? we simply don't need it


NASA gets about $14B per year from the taxpayers. What do we get for our money? You tell me: what have they done in the past twenty years that's worth the trillion-plus dollars we've spent on them? I'm in favor of the planetary robotic missions, so that's fine...but if it cost us a trillion dollars to do just that, we wuz robbed. We got people all the way to the moon and back for substantially less money than that, and with technology that is hilariously ancient by today's standards.

NASA is a colossal waste of money. I'd love it if we had an actual space agency, and I'd be completely willing to spend billions to support such an agency, but NASA hasn't been about actual space exploration since...well, ever, really.
 
2012-05-22 09:25:39 AM  
I just checked: NASA's budget for fiscal 2013 is $17.7 Billion. What are we getting for that money?
 
2012-05-22 09:27:20 AM  
Live long and prosper, SpaceX.
 
2012-05-22 09:34:12 AM  
bluesbox: We got people all the way to the moon and back for substantially less money than that, and with technology that is hilariously ancient by today's standards.

Careful about those cost figures; be sure you're accounting for inflation. That $20-30 billion back then might seem like a relative bargain, but with inflation we're probably in the $100-150 billion in today's money.
 
2012-05-22 09:36:45 AM  

bluesbox: gingerjet: bluesbox: I'm not saying that NASA should be completely shut down, but it needs to shrink down to about 1/10th of its current size and return to its NACA roots as a pure R&D and policy center.

And yet their yearly budget is less than the cost of a new aircraft carrier. I have no problem throwing money at them.

/a new aircraft carrier on the other hand? we simply don't need it

gingerjet: bluesbox: I'm not saying that NASA should be completely shut down, but it needs to shrink down to about 1/10th of its current size and return to its NACA roots as a pure R&D and policy center.

And yet their yearly budget is less than the cost of a new aircraft carrier. I have no problem throwing money at them.

/a new aircraft carrier on the other hand? we simply don't need it

NASA gets about $14B per year from the taxpayers. What do we get for our money? You tell me: what have they done in the past twenty years that's worth the trillion-plus dollars we've spent on them? I'm in favor of the planetary robotic missions, so that's fine...but if it cost us a trillion dollars to do just that, we wuz robbed. We got people all the way to the moon and back for substantially less money than that, and with technology that is hilariously ancient by today's standards.

NASA is a colossal waste of money. I'd love it if we had an actual space agency, and I'd be completely willing to spend billions to support such an agency, but NASA hasn't been about actual space exploration since...well, ever, really.


Your math sucks. NASA has received less than a quarter your 'more than a trillion" comment.
 
2012-05-22 09:46:42 AM  

miss diminutive: How doth the hero, strong and brave, a celestial path to the heavens paved!

/go spacex go


This!
 
2012-05-22 09:47:16 AM  
NASA in itself isn't the problem, it's political grandstanding that is the problem. I'm sure if you told NASA to dream big and gave them a reasonable budget, not a meagre $17b they could do something trully amazing. But they're constrained by politics. Get rid of the politicians who think that launching a plant into space is a waste of money.

Or give NASA someone with enough brains, charm and wit to argue back against those politicians and get the ignorant public on their side.
 
2012-05-22 09:48:31 AM  

drsmith: but there exists a need to get People back and forth.


No there doesn't. Considering we don't even have Concorde anymore where there ARE people and actual DESTINATIONS involved, this space wankery is nothing more than a religion. All this delusional twaddle about outer space when this firecracker barely goes beyond our atmosphere, and this crackpottery about colonizing Mars and mining asteroids is a sign of our bad educational system.

Funny how no one ever thinks they're the ones lacking education.
 
2012-05-22 09:49:46 AM  

drivinwest: Let SpaceX be the UPS of rockets and let NASA focus on this science.


Extremely well said.

/GO SPACEX GO!
//Might get that on a bumper sticker or Tshirt.
 
2012-05-22 09:50:40 AM  
Your math sucks. NASA has received less than a quarter your 'more than a trillion" comment.

The space station all by itself cost about $100 billion in current dollars (some paid by Russia, Japan, etc. but most borne directly or indirectly by NASA). The Shuttle program over its lifetime ran $200 billion at least (probably more).

If you use inflation-adjusted dollars for all of NASA's other activities since 1980, it's easily a trillion-plus.
 
2012-05-22 09:50:42 AM  

Fizpez: Very exciting....

Can anyone (I have no doubt that someone can) explain the logic of using 9 engines instead of 2 or 3 larger ones? Is it a redundancy thing like being able to get to orbit on 7 or 8 after a certain amount of time post launch? Seems like a LOT of additional places for things to go wrong.

The Falcon Heavy would have 27 Merlin engines all firing at the same time....


As others have mentioned, redundancy and cost savings. However, SpaceX does have plans for the Merlin2 engine, which would have thrust greater than the F-1 Saturn V engine. Musk estimates development costs would be a billion dollars for the engine though, along with the costs to develop the FalconX booster series it would power, so I don't think there's a ton of active development going on right now. FalconX would lift about a 1/3rd of the Saturn 5, the Heavy variant would be able to outlift it.
 
2012-05-22 09:50:53 AM  

bluesbox: NASA is a colossal waste of money. I'd love it if we had an actual space agency, and I'd be completely willing to spend billions to support such an agency, but NASA hasn't been about actual space exploration since...well, ever, really.


The military, on the other hand...

upload.wikimedia.org

I'm glad that I'm not a US taxpayer. If I were I'd be absolutely furious that my taxes were being wasted on a military budget that's probably as large as the combined budgets of the next 25 biggest spending countries.
 
2012-05-22 09:50:57 AM  

miss diminutive: How doth the hero, strong and brave, a celestial path to the heavens paved!

/go spacex go


Oh, is it Space Nutter Tuesday already? Ummm, Amen?

bluesbox: I just checked: NASA's budget for fiscal 2013 is $17.7 Billion. What are we getting for that money?


Tons of like science and discoveries, none of which were possible without firecrackers and Heroes (tm) strapping themselves to said firecrackers, so they can watch their bodies fall apart in free fall.

To the stars!

/lunatics
 
2012-05-22 09:52:42 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: No there doesn't. Considering we don't even have Concorde anymore where there ARE people and actual DESTINATIONS involved, this space wankery is nothing more than a religion. All this delusional twaddle about outer space when this firecracker barely goes beyond our atmosphere, and this crackpottery about colonizing Mars and mining asteroids is a sign of our bad educational system.



As always, Babylon 5 has the relevant quote.

Mary Ann Cramer: Is it worth it? Should we just pull back? Forget the whole thing as a bad idea, and take care of our own problems, at home.

Sinclair: No. We have to stay here. And there's a simple reason why. Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics, and you'll get ten different answers, but there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe, and Lao-Tzu, and Einstein, and Morobuto, and Buddy Holly, and Aristophanes...[and] all of this...all of this...was for nothing. Unless we go to the stars.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-05-22 09:52:55 AM  

bluesbox: NASA paid for this.

Er, no. NASA put in a non-trivial amount (about $350 million), but Elon Musk threw in about $500-$600 million of his own. SpaceX and their investors have done the bulk of the funding (and could have flown the rocket with no money from NASA at all).

I don't get this knee-jerk impulse on the part of many people to downplay what SpaceX has done here. It's a huge, huge deal -- if America is to have a future in space, it isn't going to be under the aegis of a sclerotic, dysfunctional, bureaucratic dinosaur like NASA. NASA hasn't done anything interesting in (manned) spaceflight since the 1970's. They've sucked up hundreds of billions of dollars spinning around in LEO in a dangerous government-funded boondoggle (the Shuttle) on the way to another boondoggle (the space station). Most of the "glories of the space age" in the post-Apollo era belong to the unmanned planetary probes, and you can thank JPL for that more than you can NASA.

If you think this is too harsh, ask yourself: what has NASA really done to advance the state of space-technology art since the 1970's? I mean, Christ, we can't even launch people into space any more now that the Shuttle is retired! The James Webb Telescope fiasco is a good example of NASA's inability to execute on large projects (and people tend to forget what a botch the Hubble was when it first launched, too -- it had a malformed main mirror that cost hundreds of millions to "fix" in orbit).

I'm not saying that NASA should be completely shut down, but it needs to shrink down to about 1/10th of its current size and return to its NACA roots as a pure R&D and policy center.

SpaceX and the other private-sector firms are still years (maybe decades) away from building the kind of infrastructure we're going to need both as a nation and a civilization to extend our reach out into the solar system, but this is an essential -- and exiting! -- step.


SpaceX isn't a space agency, it is just a contractor. It isn't going to replace NASA any more than Boeing is. Given the way politics works and the political clout of the Aerospace industry, I wouldn't be surprised to see SpaceX stop getting contracts when Boeing gets it CS-100 into production.
 
2012-05-22 09:53:42 AM  

bluesbox: NASA hasn't done anything interesting in (manned) spaceflight since the 1970's. They've sucked up hundreds of billions of dollars spinning around in LEO in a dangerous government-funded boondoggle (the Shuttle) on the way to another boondoggle (the space station). Most of the "glories of the space age" in the post-Apollo era belong to the unmanned planetary probes, and you can thank JPL for that more than you can NASA.


To be fair, that's because NASA sucks. NASA sucks because Congress sucks. If NASA wants to do something cool, they not only have to work out all the details on how to do it without killing anybody, but also convince 270 or so politicians that what they want to do is worth doing. So, too often, the way that they convinced a significant portion of those 270 is by building expensive crap in the backyards of those guys, so those guys can justify spending the money. Hence the boondoggles like the Shuttle and the ISS (which started out as an awesome project til the porkbarrel idiots got hold of it)

The cool thing about the way the SpaceX thing is working, compared to the old way with Boeing/Lockheed/Hughes/whoever is the way the project is run. Instead of NASA engineers designing everything, then shipping blueprints to the contractors for construction, NASA just said "give us a rocket that can do this for $XX" and left SpaceX to it. Now, that's not to say that the SpaceX guys didn't pick up the phone when they had some questions, but it's not the top-down way that things used to be done. So, instead of NASA footing the bill for cost overruns or whatever, they just have a line item in their budget that says "ISS Resupply - $135M per launch" and Congress just signs off on it. There's none of the politicking about which components have to be built by which contractors, or in which states, or any of that bullcrap.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-05-22 09:55:32 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: drsmith: but there exists a need to get People back and forth.

No there doesn't. Considering we don't even have Concorde anymore where there ARE people and actual DESTINATIONS involved, this space wankery is nothing more than a religion. All this delusional twaddle about outer space when this firecracker barely goes beyond our atmosphere, and this crackpottery about colonizing Mars and mining asteroids is a sign of our bad educational system.

Funny how no one ever thinks they're the ones lacking education.


Very funny!
 
2012-05-22 10:02:00 AM  

bluesbox: Your math sucks. NASA has received less than a quarter your 'more than a trillion" comment.

The space station all by itself cost about $100 billion in current dollars (some paid by Russia, Japan, etc. but most borne directly or indirectly by NASA). The Shuttle program over its lifetime ran $200 billion at least (probably more).

If you use inflation-adjusted dollars for all of NASA's other activities since 1980, it's easily a trillion-plus.


According to this, the entire operating budget of NASA since its creation is less than $800B in inflation-adjusted dollars.
 
2012-05-22 10:02:41 AM  
SpaceX isn't a space agency, it is just a contractor.

That was my point about turning NASA back into NACA. We don't need NASA building hardware. They're not good at it, and they waste a shiat-ton of money at it. Let contractors do that job. A private market for space-launch will emerge if the costs go low enough -- mining, tourism, exploration, even settlement some decades hence. (Which will require property-rights protection and rule of law, but that's a long discussion I don't want to get into right now.)

I think the need for a national "space agency" is kind of notional anyway. NASA hasn't proven to be particularly good at the "big idea" stuff, in case you haven't noticed. NASA is far too bureaucracy-bound and risk-averse to be good at the "big idea" stuff, and they can't do the "small idea" stuff in a cost-effective way. (Remember back when the Shuttle was going to launch once or twice a week, and reduce payload-to-orbit costs to $1000/lb? Instead, we got a fabulously exxpensive and dangerous contraption that cost a billion dollars every time we sent it up, and never got payload costs below $10,000/lb.)

I've said before, I'm all in favor of a national space agency with a mandate to do space exploration. The problem is, NASA is not that agency.
 
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  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

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