SpaceX Tuesday...

SpaceX Tuesday...

Author
Discussion

JeremyH5

774 posts

101 months

Monday 10th May
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[quote=MartG
ULA are actually at something of a disadvantage - while ESA & Roscosmos are state funded, ULA have to keep the gravy rolling in for their shareholders, and R&D on a recoverable booster would eat into profits

[/quote]

I suggest that a drying up of the order book will make an even better job of eating into profits.

MartG

18,013 posts

170 months

Monday 10th May
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JeremyH5 said:
I suggest that a drying up of the order book will make an even better job of eating into profits.
hehe

But will their shareholders and accountants realise in time ?

MiniMan64

14,142 posts

156 months

Monday 10th May
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MartG said:
JeremyH5 said:
I suggest that a drying up of the order book will make an even better job of eating into profits.
hehe

But will their shareholders and accountants realise in time ?
It’s possibly a little late for that

Dog Star

12,580 posts

134 months

Monday 10th May
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MartG said:
ULA are actually at something of a disadvantage - while ESA & Roscosmos are state funded, ULA have to keep the gravy rolling in for their shareholders, and R&D on a recoverable booster would eat into profits
It'd be interesting to see where we would be in let's say 2040 if SpaceX never arrived and kicked this whole industry up the arse? I suspect we would still have the bulk of transport being done on 80 year old tech Soyuz clones, with the odd halo mission - at eye watering cost - being done on SLS (if it was finished). Compare this with a fair estimate of current advances which will see boots on Mars about 2030 (I don't think we will ever see a city there). decent sized moon base and orbiting workshops.

Beati Dogu

7,470 posts

105 months

Monday 10th May
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That sounds about right. SpaceX has certainly been a market disruptor in the previously cosy launch business. They haven't really had a shake up since Arianespace came on the scene in the 80's and dominated commercial launches. Now, even the risk averse NASA and US Air Force are allowing use of reflown rockets and capsules.

Flooble

3,089 posts

66 months

Monday 10th May
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Dog Star said:
It'd be interesting to see where we would be in let's say 2040 if SpaceX never arrived and kicked this whole industry up the arse? I suspect we would still have the bulk of transport being done on 80 year old tech Soyuz clones, with the odd halo mission - at eye watering cost - being done on SLS (if it was finished). Compare this with a fair estimate of current advances which will see boots on Mars about 2030 (I don't think we will ever see a city there). decent sized moon base and orbiting workshops.
If you read Eric Berger's liftoff book, he notes that SpaceX challenged a sole-supplier award (i.e. no bids were invited) Nasa made to Kistler aerospace in, I think, 2004 for "data". Amazingly SpaceX won the challenge and, in a somewhat convoluted way, out of the back of that win eventually came the Commercial Cargo Supply contracts.

It's not hard to imagine therefore that without SpaceX the regular suppliers would have continued churning out powerpoints and design studies. I think SLS and Orion would still be on the drawing board requiring regular infusions of extra cash to re-design something or other.

The cynic in me suspects Starliner's troubles were at least partly a result of Boeing being surprised to discover that when SpaceX said they would build a spaceship for $X, it actually built a spaceship for $X.
I can't help but feel that Boeing had planned to string Starliner out for many more years with several "unexpected challenges" requiring extra dollops of funding. Then when SpaceX flew the Dragon I can imagine Boeing realising they had better actually build something that worked and having to rush it.

frisbee

3,509 posts

76 months

Monday 10th May
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MartG said:
I suspect that behind the scenes ULA et al are a bit worried. ESA have already announced they are looking at a Falconesque launcher, as have the Russians and Chinese, while all ULA have done so far is talk about parachuting the engines of their Vulcan back for recovery.

ULA are actually at something of a disadvantage - while ESA & Roscosmos are state funded, ULA have to keep the gravy rolling in for their shareholders, and R&D on a recoverable booster would eat into profits
Just a single SpaceX booster, B1051 with 10 launches, is only 1 behind the total number of ULA launches in the same time.

Same number of flights as Challenger.

MartG

18,013 posts

170 months

Monday 10th May
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Flooble said:
The cynic in me suspects Starliner's troubles were at least partly a result of Boeing being surprised to discover that when SpaceX said they would build a spaceship for $X, it actually built a spaceship for $X.
I can't help but feel that Boeing had planned to string Starliner out for many more years with several "unexpected challenges" requiring extra dollops of funding. Then when SpaceX flew the Dragon I can imagine Boeing realising they had better actually build something that worked and having to rush it.
I tend to agree with you there

Beati Dogu

7,470 posts

105 months

Monday 10th May
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The second unmanned attempt for Starliner will be at the very end of July now. Over a year and a half after the first qualified failure.

Beati Dogu

7,470 posts

105 months

Monday 10th May
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Looks like there will be another Starlink launch this weekend. Probably using booster B1058, which will make this its 8th flight. This is Starlink-26 which comes after last Sunday’s Starlink-27 for some reason. It’ll probably have some rideshare sats onboard, which may explain why it got bumped.

Launch time is likely to be about midnight on Saturday UK time though.

Edited by Beati Dogu on Tuesday 11th May 00:06

CraigyMc

12,355 posts

202 months

Tuesday 11th May
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Does anyone know if/when SpaceX will fly from Vandenberg again? They seem to have stopped doing so for the last couple of years.

eharding

11,694 posts

250 months

Tuesday 11th May
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CraigyMc said:
Does anyone know if/when SpaceX will fly from Vandenberg again? They seem to have stopped doing so for the last couple of years.
This article suggests it might be from July this year - they have demonstrated polar orbit Starlink launches from Florida, but the payloads have to be reduced in exchange for additional fuel burn to avoid overflying populated areas on the way out - not a problem at Vandenburg, and SpaceX want to start building up the polar Starlink constellation.

Beati Dogu

7,470 posts

105 months

Tuesday 11th May
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They're having a 3rd landing ship for west coast operations converted at the moment in Louisiana. Once complete it'll be towed round to the Pacific via the Panama Canal. They're renting dock space in Long Beach, California to operate out of.

rxe

5,085 posts

69 months

Tuesday 11th May
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Beati Dogu said:
That sounds about right. SpaceX has certainly been a market disruptor in the previously cosy launch business. They haven't really had a shake up since Arianespace came on the scene in the 80's and dominated commercial launches. Now, even the risk averse NASA and US Air Force are allowing use of reflown rockets and capsules.
I think it goes further than launches.

The old model was NASA paying a contractor to build a rocket. The rocket was duly built, at vast expense, and no one had anything to show for it than a bag of moon rocks or whatever. SpaceX are still using this model, but in addition to the delivery of the contract, they are also getting, effectively for free, a cheap, reusable way of getting into space.

If they get the launches cheap enough, I suspect space tourism will explode. Even at the current price of $24m a seat, they could fill Dragon 10x over. At 2m a seat, they’ll have a waiting list, and at $500K a seat, they could launch every week. At some point, if you want to access the best people who understand human space flight, you’ll be going to SpaceX, not NASA.

They’ve already done the first stage of this with Starlink. Effectively for the price of R&D (they needed to fly the rockets anyway) they’ve built a constellation that will be an unimaginable revenue stream for them.

F20CN16

8,632 posts

164 months

Tuesday 11th May
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SN15 is being lifted back on to one of the suborbital launch pads right now.

MiniMan64

14,142 posts

156 months

Tuesday 11th May
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F20CN16 said:
SN15 is being lifted back on to one of the suborbital launch pads right now.
Absolutely, fill it up and stick it back up again, why not?

garyhun

30,872 posts

194 months

Tuesday 11th May
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MiniMan64 said:
F20CN16 said:
SN15 is being lifted back on to one of the suborbital launch pads right now.
Absolutely, fill it up and stick it back up again, why not?
And keep on doing it to failure. Gotta love SpaceX.

CraigyMc

12,355 posts

202 months

Tuesday 11th May
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garyhun said:
MiniMan64 said:
F20CN16 said:
SN15 is being lifted back on to one of the suborbital launch pads right now.
Absolutely, fill it up and stick it back up again, why not?
And keep on doing it to failure. Gotta love SpaceX.
It's what the SNs are for.

The pace they learn at is impressive, though.

Flooble

3,089 posts

66 months

Tuesday 11th May
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CraigyMc said:
It's what the SNs are for.

The pace they learn at is impressive, though.
"They are adapting Captain!"

GTO-3R

6,262 posts

179 months

Tuesday 11th May
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I thought they would take it back to the high bay first to check the welds etc before going again but that’s not the SpaceX way is it biggrin

I’m assuming there wouldn’t need to be another static fire again?