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(Bloomberg)   While Elon Musk was busy touting SpaceX, Orbital Sciences went and did some science-y stuff in orbit   (bloomberg.com) divider line 17
    More: Cool, Orbital Sciences, Elon Musk, Orbital, SpaceX, Goldilocks, ATK, Dulles, Wallops Flight Facility  
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3709 clicks; posted to Business » on 30 Apr 2014 at 10:48 AM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-30 03:00:15 PM  
2 votes:
way south:

The secret of Elons success seems to be in mass production.  For this to work he needs payloads. Doesn't matter where they go or how big they are as his boosters can restart and deliver multiple sats per shot. He can also stack boosters for more power than anything else on the market.
Hence the complaining when ULA got a bunch of launches with no competition. SpaceX might be able to do it cheaper and better but never got a chance to make a pitch. The government was more interested in preserving capability with companies that have a long standing history in it (a corrupt sweetheart deal for Lockheed and Boeing).


1) size and destination absolutely matter, and SpaceX has only a single configuration to offer (no solid rocket boosters, no 'heavy' version, no light version anymore for that matter) and only a few flights so far that barely scratch the surface of possible missions they'd have to fly.

2) the boosters can restart but this has nothing to do with multiple payloads, which has already be done by the way

3) yeah he can "stack" boosters by strapping them together like the Delta IV heavy, but this is not trivial and has not been built or flight tested

4) cheaper but not necessarily better. you get what you pay for

that said, I support what SpaceX is trying to do, but there's a lot more to space missions than just cargo trips to the ISS, no amount of whining will change that
2014-04-30 02:04:12 PM  
2 votes:

GleeUnit: way south: this more sounds like the big threes plan to hobble Spacex.

Explain?



The secret of Elons success seems to be in mass production.  For this to work he needs payloads. Doesn't matter where they go or how big they are as his boosters can restart and deliver multiple sats per shot. He can also stack boosters for more power than anything else on the market.
Hence the complaining when ULA got a bunch of launches with no competition. SpaceX might be able to do it cheaper and better but never got a chance to make a pitch. The government was more interested in preserving capability with companies that have a long standing history in it (a corrupt sweetheart deal for Lockheed and Boeing).

Lockheed Boeing and ATKwere the final three involved with launching the shuttles, and ATK in particular was left out in the cold when both the shuttle and constellation were cancelled. Alliant made a play for CCDEV but failed (SpaceX won in the second round). They also made a pitch for COTS and failed (Orbital and SpaceX won).

So as it stands we have SpaceX with the most versatile cargo delivery vehicle (two way trips, more cargo than progress and Cygnus) and also with the most adaptable and soon to be least expensive booster.
With Russia being an ass, SpaceX will be the go-to company for manned launches with Dragon 2.0.
Orbitals system needs Russian parts and that stock is now frozen. If Dragon becomes a cheap and reliable launcher of men and equipment then the future of SLS is in serious question.

SpaceX wins everything. Elon and his white cat retire to an evil villain's lair on mars.

[Conspiracy theory follows]

So here comes ATK to the rescue in Orbitals engine debacle. Focusing on smaller payloads they front themselves as having another capability that must be preserved by the fed.  With ULA taking the big launches and ATK/Orbital taking the small ones, its food out of Elons mouth and he can't hit the necessary production goals on falcon.

SpaceX's growth is stumped by lack of payloads (payloads redirected by corruption) until SLS goes live, and (as the official shuttle replacement) becomes an unkillable rocket to nowhere.  We go on another thirty year trip to orbit and occasionally blow up some astronauts for moon rocket prices.

SpaceX loses while billions continue to pour into Lockheed, Boeing and ATK.
All without the risk of having to develop new ships or hit specific goals.

/its the circle of LIIIIIIIIFE.
/We now return you to what has surely become a KSP thread while I was typing this.
2014-04-30 11:30:59 AM  
2 votes:
Um, no, submitter.  Yes they launched Cygnus to the station, but SpaceX has sent Dragon to the station 3 times now and they just conducted the first controlled soft-landing of a liquid first stage.

SpaceX is still way out in front in this race.
2014-04-30 11:09:11 AM  
2 votes:
Merging with atk...
img.fark.net

/I guess liberty rocket is a go...
/although this more sounds like the big threes plan to hobble Spacex.
/ Elon don't care, he just announced dragon 2.
2014-04-30 07:39:10 PM  
1 votes:

IntertubeUser: ^ Old and busted.

New hotness ...


They damn well better name it the Farscape-1
2014-04-30 03:51:40 PM  
1 votes:

way south: Orbitals system needs Russian parts and that stock is now frozen.


If I did my math right Aerojet has enough NK-33s remaining to launch another 14 Antares rockets, so they're good for a while.

As soon as SpaceX relaunches it's first booster, the whole playing field is going to shift. It won't matter what the big three do after that because they won't be able to compete on price unless they innovate. That's something they haven't done for a while in the rocket industry. ULA doesn't even make an attempt to compete on price now. It'll be interesting to see what they do when they start getting hungry.
2014-04-30 03:25:41 PM  
1 votes:
stevensrmiller.com
2014-04-30 02:51:29 PM  
1 votes:
I was trying to explain the awesomeness that is Elon Musk the other day to my wife. She listened attentively, nodded when appropriate and then said, "That's all great, but he needs a new farking name. That name is ridiculous."
2014-04-30 02:10:20 PM  
1 votes:
My favorite thing about OSC is that they apparently got the right to name the street their headquarters is located on just off Rt 28 in Ashburn, which means when I drive that road i am confronted with a giant Green Highway  exit sign that reads "Warp Drive"

and every time I say "aye Aye Keptain" which annoys my wife to no end
2014-04-30 01:30:55 PM  
1 votes:

The Bestest: *re-reads article twice*

could someone help me correlate the headline to the article? I'm having difficulty


You have to look externally for the answer at the stock price jump due to the merger announcement.  It wasn't really called out in the article.

$27 to $33 is a sizeable jump.  Although since the announcement, it has faded down to $30.

Hardly soaring.
2014-04-30 01:20:23 PM  
1 votes:

szyska: Get it so we don't need the Russians for rides to the ISS and I'll be happy... for a little while. Then I'll want warp drive.


You mean you want the Alcubierre drive?

/star trek is science fiction.
//the reality is MUCH MORE fun.
2014-04-30 01:11:57 PM  
1 votes:
Get it so we don't need the Russians for rides to the ISS and I'll be happy... for a little while. Then I'll want warp drive.
2014-04-30 01:09:15 PM  
1 votes:

way south: this more sounds like the big threes plan to hobble Spacex.


Explain?
2014-04-30 12:56:20 PM  
1 votes:
Girls, Girls Girls!  You're both pretty.  Now get back to work and get us off this rock.
2014-04-30 11:37:47 AM  
1 votes:
I read through that whole article trying to find supporting facts for the headline's claim "soars out of Musk's shadow" but found nothing.  Other than they decided to be content at the little rocket's table.

Perhaps this could have been better worded thusly "Orbital Sciences gives up trying to make it on their own and makes plans to merge with Alliant Techsystem.  Investors are happy the company may not go belly up after all."
2014-04-30 11:31:41 AM  
1 votes:
Competition is great for spaceflight. That said, calling Orbital competition for SpaceX is like saying Bekins is competition for Greyhound.
2014-04-30 10:45:14 AM  
1 votes:
Orbital is fine, but I wouldn't call merging with ATK "sciency stuff in orbit".
 
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