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SpaceX (general discussion)

fredymac

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Your post is an object lesson for my growing loss of interest.

Example
Avoiding the point. I hammer the idea of reusability until I am blue in the face and you act like you never hear of it. When I specify the cost of a Falcon 9 launch in terms of non-reusable upper stage, it follows I am talking about the end goal of Falcon pricing:

Falcon 9 Cost = main booster/100 + upper stage ($21M) = upper stage + change.

From Spacex directly:
https://www.spacex.com/reusability-key-making-human-life-multi-planetary
"SpaceX believes a fully and rapidly reusable rocket is the pivotal breakthrough needed to substantially reduce the cost of space access. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket currently carries a list price of about $54 million. However, the cost of fuel for each flight is only around $200,000—about 0.4% of the total. The majority of the launch cost comes from building the rocket, which flies only once. Compare that to a commercial airliner. Each new plane costs about the same as Falcon 9, but can fly multiple times per day, and conduct tens of thousands of flights over its lifetime. Following the commercial model, a rapidly reusable space launch vehicle could reduce the cost of reaching Earth orbit by a hundredfold."
By the way, NASA has already purchased a Falcon 9 launch for an X ray satellite project at a price of $50.3M:
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-for-groundbreaking-astrophysics-mission

“The total cost for NASA to launch IXPE is approximately $50.3 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs.”
This is an intermediary point along the development of Falcon 9 reusability. As the 4th, 5th, 10th flight etc reused booster flies, Spacex will gain more margin in pricing to lower them further.


Example
Obfuscation. I mentioned our perspectives being polar opposites on virtually everything including the basic nature of the Chinese government (made by me to you not long ago on another thread). Nothing at all to do with Chinese launchers but we get a paragraph on them.


Example
More obfuscation. I linked a Spacenews article where Viasat Government Systems president Ken Peterman makes a point that NASA can get far more done far more quickly by accepting the role as end customer and letting private companies design and manage technical solutions on their own. This results in a paragraph about regulations. Well at least I am as uninformed as a senior aerospace president.


Example
Narrative building. When I see Spacex dump years of composite development and tooling and make a sudden switch to steel, I see Musk being Musk based on internal Spacex analysis. You create a story of Spacex being corrected and guided by more reasoned outsiders but don't provide an actual case of it. I saw a lot of criticism when this happened. Didn't seem to make any difference.


It keeps boiling down to accepting your explanations of how and why things are the way they are versus what I see with my own eyes and can deduce through my own common sense.
 

RanulfC

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Your post is an object lesson for my growing loss of interest.
Sorry actual figures and simple calculations makes your eyes glaze over, but the point of the exercise still stands.

Example
Avoiding the point. I hammer the idea of re-usability until I am blue in the face and you act like you never hear of it.
I actually understand "re usability" quite well. The main issue is while my figures are rough they at least come closest to reflecting reality. Let's be clear here:
We KNOW exactly how re-usability is reflected on the SpaceX bottom line. They explicitly state that a single "space tourist" or passenger will be charged exactly $52 million for a flight into orbit and one to two month stay on the ISS. (And in case anyone misses the totally unsubtle hint there that exact same amount of money will get you a fully dedicated payload mass on a Falcon 9 to anywhere you want to go) At the same time they state that they will put 2.2lbs (1kg) into orbit for $5,000 dollars.

This does not reconcile with the given launch cost, (LEO should be $114 million, GEO should be $41.5 million but they are both as we know, $52 million) so we should know that the 'launch costs' do not directly correlate. And that's because launch costs only partially reflect vehicle costs since they include things like operations costs, range fees and other necessities of operation.

The basic point is that re-usability has had a major effect on the amount of money needed to get 1kg/2.2lbs into space and I have agreed with that but it is ONLY one factor which should be obvious. MORE comes into play the 'further' you get from the "simple" job of delivering a payload to orbit and the costs reflect this.

Now having said all that who's calculations are close to the reality? There's a reason for that as well.

When I specify the cost of a Falcon 9 launch in terms of non-reusable upper stage, it follows I am talking about the end goal of Falcon pricing:

Falcon 9 Cost = main booster/100 + upper stage ($21M) = upper stage + change.
I have significant questions on your assumptions and the equation itself since it ignores so many factors and and essentials, (where's the fairing or Dragon cost for example) but let me make this simple. The use of "launch costs" as a basis to figure vehicle costs is always going to be wrong because the "launch costs" actually encompass a great many factors that are not directly related to the vehicle itself and some of which are pretty much 'fixed' and do not follow the vehicle flight rate or re-usability. It only directly equates to the "$-per-kg/lb-to-orbit" equation. THAT then can be used to calculate more realistic costs for other factors.

From Spacex directly:
https://www.spacex.com/reusability-key-making-human-life-multi-planetary
"SpaceX believes a fully and rapidly reusable rocket is the pivotal breakthrough needed to substantially reduce the cost of space access. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket currently carries a list price of about $54 million. However, the cost of fuel for each flight is only around $200,000—about 0.4% of the total. The majority of the launch cost comes from building the rocket, which flies only once. Compare that to a commercial airliner. Each new plane costs about the same as Falcon 9, but can fly multiple times per day, and conduct tens of thousands of flights over its lifetime. Following the commercial model, a rapidly reusable space launch vehicle could reduce the cost of reaching Earth orbit by a hundredfold."
The quote from SpaceX is actually saying nothing new in space fight since it's been known and expounded on since before anyone actually flew a successfully long range rocket. Throwing away a transport after a single use is only 'economical' in very specific and certain circumstance and in fact until recently that was actually the case for space flight. Not anymore and SpaceX is a major reason for that shift.
(Just so we're clear here's the prices for Boeing aircraft as of January 2019; https://www.statista.com/statistics/273941/prices-of-boeing-aircraft-by-type/, they run from $442 million to $89 million) It also ignores the fact that the cited transportation system, (aircraft) benefited from things like already established trade and passenger demand and destinations as well as several major conflicts which dictated a rapid progress in the technology. Currently the F9 boosters are officially supposed to have a lifetime of 10 flights while the PARTS can be utilized for a possible 100 the aerospace frame is more limited. (More specifically it is "10 flights before major maintenance" but as that would come close to a complete tear down and rebuild the reality is the same) Put in context that's about a 60 minute "lifetime" compared to an aircraft airframe life of hundreds of thousands of hours. This may sound terrible but it's not considering the circumstances since this will clearly only go up with time.

By the way, NASA has already purchased a Falcon 9 launch for an X ray satellite project at a price of $50.3M:
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-for-groundbreaking-astrophysics-mission
“The total cost for NASA to launch IXPE is approximately $50.3 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs.”
This is an intermediary point along the development of Falcon 9 reusability. As the 4th, 5th, 10th flight etc reused booster flies, Spacex will gain more margin in pricing to lower them further.
For 2021 as already noted that's pretty much the standard price anyway. As it's the "primary" payload for the mission then NASA is paying for the lion's share of the total flight cost but I hope you aren't assuming that is the total SpaceX will get out of the mission? This is a "rideshare" flight and IXPE only takes up 770lbs of the payload space. Two standard "rideshare" satellites (adding near 1000lbs and still well below the Falcon 9's capacity) and it's back up to $52 million. Probably any added riders will get a discount since it's not as customized as a standard fight but I've no doubt the actual launch money will be more than just what NASA pays. Further ALL SpaceX flights will be the 'standard' price, so first or tenth flight the cost is the same, that's kind of WHY they went with a standard price. Flight rate, lifetime extensions, and boosters available will likely play a more important role in further price reductions

Example
Obfuscation. I mentioned our perspectives being polar opposites on virtually everything including the basic nature of the Chinese government (made by me to you not long ago on another thread). Nothing at all to do with Chinese launchers but we get a paragraph on them.
It's a thread on spaceflight so that was kind of a given :) I don't see our opinions being polar opposite since I regard the Chinese government as an autocratic dictatorship with a veneer of "communism" and a slice of capitalism which has a semi-oligarchical overtone. But this isn't really all that different than how China has ALWAYS operated. (If they could get a couple of solid copper loops around Mao's body right about now they could be a net energy exporter REAL quickly :) )

Example
More obfuscation. I linked a Spacenews article where Viasat Government Systems president Ken Peterman makes a point that NASA can get far more done far more quickly by accepting the role as end customer and letting private companies design and manage technical solutions on their own. This results in a paragraph about regulations. Well at least I am as uninformed as a senior aerospace president.
Again this isn't a new idea it was in fact the initial way NASA was supposed to operate but the needs of Apollo and the Lunar goal made that unworkable. That it has taken NASA almost 50 years to get "back" to the idea is greatly due to that aberration. The "senior aerospace president" likely knows his history which is why the comment makes sense in context. Not being insulting but you ARE 'uniformed' and that's no you because the information is out there. NASA was originally going to operate more like NACA than the US Air Force but the needs of the Apollo program forced the adoption of a modified Air Force procurement and contractor system to achieve the goal. Originally NASA did some design that would then be handed to industry to produce along with solicitation of industry input and designs. But Apollo's timescale meant that to achieve the goal set before them NASA had to fully undertake and oversee design and after Apollo 1 pretty much oversee and direct construction as well. NASA has taken almost 50 years to self-adjust to finally back off this position and method of operation. Part of the pressure to NOT do so has always been the aerospace jobs creation and support aspect that reflected back on Congress (especially) and various administrations. With more and more of the 'old guard' politicians, (so long Orin!) leaving office the ability of NASA to shift gears is finally growing.

Example
Narrative building. When I see Spacex dump years of composite development and tooling and make a sudden switch to steel, I see Musk being Musk based on internal Spacex analysis. You create a story of Spacex being corrected and guided by more reasoned outsiders but don't provide an actual case of it. I saw a lot of criticism when this happened. Didn't seem to make any difference.
And I can point out that many also praised the decision because, (as many pointed out) SpaceX had moved away from the "Black Aluminium" paradigm of the idea that composites solve everything. I specifically said that Musk often does not listen to critics both inside and outside SpaceX, my main point was those critics are not always wrong and Musk himself acknowledges this fact. I should probably point out that you also seem to keep tying to "build narratives" that don't conform to reality. SpaceX isn't 'dumping' composites they just will be using them in applications other than the main structure of Starship/SH. They were pretty clear on that.

It keeps boiling down to accepting your explanations of how and why things are the way they are versus what I see with my own eyes and can deduce through my own common sense.
No and I wouldn't expect you to "accept" my explanations and opinions but rejecting them simply because YOU can't "see" them and they don't fit your assumption of "common sense" is just as bad as what you're accusing me of doing. As I said before I always learn a lot from conversation such as this because they cause me to examine and think about my own assumptions and biases. It always helps expand my knowledge and understanding.

And while I don't mean to be insulting but am going to assume it will come out that way anyway, the attitude of not "believing" it because you can't "see with my own eyes and can deduce through my own common sense" is how you get people who 'believe' the Earth is flat and the Moon landings were faked because they didn't "see" it happen and it goes against their "common sense".

I will outright admit I have a different perspective than you do because I love aerospace history and have kept myself aware of both the technical and political sides of spaceflight as well as keeping a close eye on the general public's feelings on the subject. I've had to because ever since I was a lowly grade-school Space Cadet watching Apollo land on the Moon I have struggled to understand why were are where we are compared to where we 'should' have been had things been different. We are where we are for a varied and twisted multitude of reasons with no one clear 'point-of-departure' (to use the Alternate History phrase) that could have made things different. And understanding and accepting that makes the path forward that much more clear which is what I hope to accomplish when I post to others. Needless to say that's a hit or miss thing :)

Randy
 

fredymac

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I will outright admit I have a different perspective than you do because I love aerospace history and have kept myself aware of both the technical and political sides of spaceflight as well as keeping a close eye on the general public's feelings on the subject. I've had to because ever since I was a lowly grade-school Space Cadet watching Apollo land on the Moon I have struggled to understand why were are where we are compared to where we 'should' have been had things been different. We are where we are for a varied and twisted multitude of reasons with no one clear 'point-of-departure' (to use the Alternate History phrase) that could have made things different. And understanding and accepting that makes the path forward that much more clear which is what I hope to accomplish when I post to others. Needless to say that's a hit or miss thing :)

Randy

It's not a love of aerospace that is at the root of our differences and it isn't an awareness of technical and political issues either. I too understand the geometry of Earth and basics of gravity despite what you think about empirical observation and deduction.

I see the main difference thus: I don't feel a need to denigrate the private activities of entrepreneurs spending their own money. I could support a billionaire who decides to self fund SLS. I would have my doubts about how successful that would be but I wouldn't feel the need to nitpick and critique his development. I would hope he has some understanding of the market that I lacked and wish him the best of luck.

I regard someone doing something as being better informed about what he is doing than I am. Musk is not an engineer. His education appears to be physics from comments he makes in interviews. He has been immersed in the field of rocket development for over a decade now and he probably has a command of the intricacies that no one who is not an accomplished rocket engineer could match. I would not presume to know better.

Musk is doing something that might finally bring about a future I dreamed about when I was a child. If he succeeds, I have a chance of actually seeing it with my own eyes (there I go again). On the other hand, I know damn well I will die and turn to dust long before any government run/conventionally approved space program ever achieves a similar result. If I can ruffle a few bureaucrat feathers to help, I'm more than willing.
 

RanulfC

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It's not a love of aerospace that is at the root of our differences and it isn't an awareness of technical and political issues either.
I'd agree with the former but not really with the latter but it's likely not going to change so ... :)

I too understand the geometry of Earth and basics of gravity despite what you think about empirical observation and deduction.
Thank you for not taking that as badly as I was afraid you might :) I think empirical observation and deduction are the greatest tools TO START WITH that man every came across, but it is only the start and understanding and clarity will always be better if you move beyond just those humble beginnings.

I see the main difference thus: I don't feel a need to denigrate the private activities of entrepreneurs spending their own money.
Questioning the planning and systems is not denigrating someone it and most GOOD criticism is an attempt to understand the process that lead to those decisions and can even be coupled with counter proposals and alternatives to explore how those might change the concept and understand why they were not used. BAD criticism is just naysaying and nitpicking without suggestion or worse just because it is a particular person, concept or idea. Since I don't do the latter and have tried to stick as much to the former as possible I'm not seeing a 'difference' in that respect.

I could support a billionaire who decides to self-fund SLS. I would have my doubts about how successful that would be but I wouldn't feel the need to nitpick and critique his development. I would hope he has some understanding of the market that I lacked and wish him the best of luck.
Well I'd have to question that you wouldn't at least have some serious questions given your feelings for NASA but in general I can see your point :) And THAT is a major difference between us since I WOULD question understanding of the market and his "development" plans BECAUSE I would wish to understand what he sees so different from the rest of the world. I'd still wish him the best of luck and cheer his victories but I'd feel that I had a valid reason to question and critique even though I would have very little expectation that I would get a direct answer or explanation.

And that does seem to be the main difference between us in that when I lack understanding or do not see how a particular conclusion came about I will try and resolve that lack by questions and critics, suggest alternatives and explore other possible answers rather than just accept something that doesn't make sense to me. I support Vulcan because I understand the operational planning and how the reuse criteria fit into it. I still question and critique some of the choices and options but I do so to further my understanding. The same with Paul Allen's ROC air launch system, Blue Origins LV's and just about everything else. (I will always question and frankly disparage the SLS NOT because or about NASA since they had almost no choice in the matter but because it is a useless design that could have been vastly better, cheaper, and more effective and will not fly often enough to be a factor in future space travel. But I also know WHO to criticize over it which makes a huge difference :) )

I regard someone doing something as being better informed about what he is doing than I am.
My experience in life has taught me that making such an assumption is a mixed bag because while that's most often true, it's almost as often not so. And it is pretty much always not true that everyone knows everything even if they are an actual "expert" on the subject. I read, a lot. Part of this has to do with my AD(NoH)D which means I get bored easily and thanks to the internet and an ability to at least semi-plausibly multi-task I very often will find interesting things that I am unsurprised to find that people don't know about. As well I often think of alternatives and options that I don't see considered so I will bring them up and seek answers. I do not see this as harmful. If I am wrong or misinformed I will be corrected and thereby gain understanding and knowledge

Musk is not an engineer. His education appears to be physics from comments he makes in interviews. He has been immersed in the field of rocket development for over a decade now and he probably has a command of the intricacies that no one who is not an accomplished rocket engineer could match. I would not presume to know better.
Essentially correct but Musk admits he isn't an equal to the actual rocket engineers he employs nor is his knowledge as deep as he'd like it to be. This is the entire reason he has people to follow behind him when he speaks to tone down, correct and/or explain how what he says translates into what is actually going on :) He's admitted he has more enthusiasm than real knowledge but that's why he hires people WITH the knowledge. And like all people they aren't perfect or always right and can make mistakes and proceed from false assumptions. I would not presume to think that I know 'better' than any of them but I DO happen to know that chances are very good I may know something they might not have thought of or hadn't known before. And there's no harm in making suggestions and offering alternatives since something I say may end up sparking an idea or solving a problem. I may never know if I actually was any help, maybe they already know, maybe not but if I don't ask I won't know.

Musk is doing something that might finally bring about a future I dreamed about when I was a child. If he succeeds, I have a chance of actually seeing it with my own eyes (there I go again). On the other hand, I know damn well I will die and turn to dust long before any government run/conventionally approved space program ever achieves a similar result. If I can ruffle a few bureaucrat feathers to help, I'm more than willing.
I don't disagree with this for the most part, though Musk is far from alone in the effort. I have some minor nits with the idea that the 'government run/conventionally approved' space program isn't helping and supporting the effort because it quite obviously is. I think our major difference here is that you feel betrayed by that "'government run/conventionally approved space program" for not having the future you dreamed of as a child, while I feel betrayed by the government and public that cut short the same bright future I also dreamed of as a child. While having said that I've also gotten over it because I've looked into it (with my own eyes and the eyes and knowledge of others with far more access and information than I will every have over the whole almost 100 year history) enough to understand WHY that didn't happen. Disappointing but it's the past and the future today looks much more bright because things have changed and matured enough so that the disruptive things that Musk and SpaceX have done are making waves that can no longer be stopped.

Bringing it all around and back on subject, the dreams we had as children were the visions that were fed and nurtured by people who were considered experts and knowledgeable by those around them yet in the main they were also naive and short-sighted as any human can be. They based their visions of the future on biases and assumptions they made about government and public support, economics and technology that were in hind-sight far less clear cut than they suggested. And for the most part they KNEW their ideas were out of step and had nowhere near the support they were suggesting. This in and of itself would not be a bad thing as such visionary work had been done prior to the first working rocket launch when support was even thinner but the problem here is several people ignored the reality of the situation and demanded that the vision be supported despite it all.

It didn't work and we've been living (and fixing) the aftermath ever since. SpaceX and the others have re-ignited that dream but we all still have to live in the real world with real people. That means that we have to keep in mind that the highly optimistic and very often wrong ideas of what space exploration and travel mean to the general public is a "best case" assessment and not a base line from which to plan from. Space is not like any other transportation or "living" volume we have on Earth and planning must always reflect this. At the same time we need to keep up the enthusiasm that progress does generate. It's a fine line and I for one am thankful that MY concerns are being addressed as I makes it easier to believe that one day I'll see my dreams come true.

Randy
 

fredymac

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A fundamentally different ethos and the maxim of don't offer advice to those who aren't asking for it.
 

RanulfC

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A fundamentally different ethos
"Different" but likely not fundamentally so or we both wouldn't be here at all :) Less passive but then again I'm lazy :) so not enough to go out and earn billions to do it my way.

and the maxim of don't offer advice to those who aren't asking for it.
I'd argue the idea that is technically a "maxim" as it's more a rule-of-thumb and a personnal etiquette question. As I noted life has taught me the maxim that not everyone knows everything and someone who needs advice may often not know they need it, so do not know to ask. Even experts in their field may have missing knowledge or information and be surprised by things they didn't know they didn't know.
But a more accurate analogy is that if you don't want comment or critisim, (or advice) from the public don't include them in the process.

Blue Origin vis-a-vis SpaceX.

The 'joke' used to be that Blue Origin was making extra money on the side teaching the CIA and NSA security and counter-espionage techniques, Meanwhile SpaceX and Elon Musk would hold regular informational and update sessions and kept up a high social media profile. The former invites more speculation than comment or criissm but equally lacks any obviouls signs of progress and advancment. The latter is more open to comment and critisim but dynamically shows progress and advancment. Both work.

In that thead I am making my opinions, suggestions and critisism known rather than sitting back and assuming everything will go all right because SpaceX and Musk are 'smarter and more knowledgable' than I am. (They are but again they don't know everything and I may have a though or two they can use. Whether they do or not is immaterial to the effort of doing so)

My background has always been one of non-passive advocacy. I was an early member of the L5 society (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L5_Society) who's 'core' group were not going to sit back and wait on NASA to get us into space, nor on getting there before many fundamental and very important questions were anwered on what and how we'd live up there. Rather a given since that same group would later go on to become a huge part of the modern "New" homesteading, self-sufficiency, and eco-tech cultures. I was a member of The Millennial Project/Living Universe Foundation, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Millennial_Project) which again did not attract the more 'passive' space advocates and for similar reasons. In both cases most members didn't shie away from offering and critizing concepts and idea and questioning 'assumed' knowledge, assumptions, and biases. Their own as well as others.

Randy
 

fredymac

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A fundamentally different ethos
"Different" but likely not fundamentally so or we both wouldn't be here at all :) Less passive but then again I'm lazy :) so not enough to go out and earn billions to do it my way.

and the maxim of don't offer advice to those who aren't asking for it.
I'd argue the idea that is technically a "maxim" as it's more a rule-of-thumb and a personnal etiquette question. As I noted life has taught me the maxim that not everyone knows everything and someone who needs advice may often not know they need it, so do not know to ask. Even experts in their field may have missing knowledge or information and be surprised by things they didn't know they didn't know.
But a more accurate analogy is that if you don't want comment or critisim, (or advice) from the public don't include them in the process.

Blue Origin vis-a-vis SpaceX.

The 'joke' used to be that Blue Origin was making extra money on the side teaching the CIA and NSA security and counter-espionage techniques, Meanwhile SpaceX and Elon Musk would hold regular informational and update sessions and kept up a high social media profile. The former invites more speculation than comment or criissm but equally lacks any obviouls signs of progress and advancment. The latter is more open to comment and critisim but dynamically shows progress and advancment. Both work.

In that thead I am making my opinions, suggestions and critisism known rather than sitting back and assuming everything will go all right because SpaceX and Musk are 'smarter and more knowledgable' than I am. (They are but again they don't know everything and I may have a though or two they can use. Whether they do or not is immaterial to the effort of doing so)

My background has always been one of non-passive advocacy. I was an early member of the L5 society (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L5_Society) who's 'core' group were not going to sit back and wait on NASA to get us into space, nor on getting there before many fundamental and very important questions were anwered on what and how we'd live up there. Rather a given since that same group would later go on to become a huge part of the modern "New" homesteading, self-sufficiency, and eco-tech cultures. I was a member of The Millennial Project/Living Universe Foundation, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Millennial_Project) which again did not attract the more 'passive' space advocates and for similar reasons. In both cases most members didn't shie away from offering and critizing concepts and idea and questioning 'assumed' knowledge, assumptions, and biases. Their own as well as others.

Randy

If Musk responded to "advice" the way you respond to mine, his Twitter feed would consume half the internet.
 

RanulfC

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If Musk responded to "advice" the way you respond to mine, his Twitter feed would consume half the internet.
Yes the fact I have a rather unhealthy relationship with verbosity has been noted on occasion. :)

Randy
 

Archibald

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If Musk responded to "advice" the way you respond to mine, his Twitter feed would consume half the internet.
Yes the fact I have a rather unhealthy relationship with verbosity has been noted on occasion. :)

Randy
ROTFL

And it is pretty much always not true that everyone knows everything even if they are an actual "expert" on the subject. I read, a lot. Part of this has to do with my AD(NoH)D which means I get bored easily and thanks to the internet and an ability to at least semi-plausibly multi-task I very often will find interesting things that I am unsurprised to find that people don't know about.
Welcome to my world !! This describes my little self pretty well. Feel the same.

As for the Internet... When in 2002, aged 20, I got regular access to the Internet and saw all the space stuff I could get my hands on, my life changed.

I remember when I first found Marcus Lindroos website about the Shuttle early history - I spent the next six months frantically exploring it. I filled a dozen of floppy disks with it. Later USB drive made downloading easier. Nowadays I have a library of 5000 space related documents.
 
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RanulfC

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If Musk responded to "advice" the way you respond to mine, his Twitter feed would consume half the internet.
Yes the fact I have a rather unhealthy relationship with verbosity has been noted on occasion. :)

Randy
ROTFL
At this point I would not be surprised if most forums I post on, (and other places I 'grace' with my wisdom ;) ) have developed a macro for "You really need to get a blog/life" for ease of use.

And it is pretty much always not true that everyone knows everything even if they are an actual "expert" on the subject. I read, a lot. Part of this has to do with my AD(NoH)D which means I get bored easily and thanks to the internet and an ability to at least semi-plausibly multi-task I very often will find interesting things that I am unsurprised to find that people don't know about.
Welcome to my world !! This describes my little self pretty well. Feel the same.

As for the Internet... When in 2002, aged 20, I got regular access to the Internet and saw all the space stuff I could get my hands on, my life changed.

I remember when I first found Marcus Lindroos website about the Shuttle early history - I spent the next six months frantically exploring it. I filled a dozen of floppy disks with it. Later USB drive made downloading easier. Nowadays I have a library of 5000 space related documents.
Why yes, I DO appreciate you making me feel my age ya jerk :) I recall discovering the AOL message boards and all that but yes the internet is a blessing and a curse. Oddly what really sticks in my mind is that I still vividly recall pretty much doing the same thing, (posting if you will) way back in the late 70s through magazine "letters" sections. I still recall one issue (of "Future Life" IIRC) with a three page letter section because I and several others were 'debating' some points on space colonization and exploitation that while the staff literally wrote us asking us to cut down on wordage to NOT stop the conversation because it was of interest to the reader base. Oh and those heady days of the BBS message threads and the HUGE list of 'linked' subjects headers...

But yes the internet has very much expanded human ability to interact and access information. The truly sad part though, (and this is NOT directed at anyone here, I'll just note that my youtube "suggestion" feed is littered with Flat Earth proof videos and anti-vax suggestions, ugh) how readily and easily that same access and interconnection have proliferated ignorance and willful denial of reality.

Randy
 

merriman

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sferrin

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I remember when I first found Marcus Lindroos website about the Shuttle early history - I spent the next six months frantically exploring it.
I tried downloading his entire site at one point, with mixed results.
 

Archibald

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I remember when I first found Marcus Lindroos website about the Shuttle early history - I spent the next six months frantically exploring it.
I tried downloading his entire site at one point, with mixed results.
LMAO it was not very user-friendly, I probably lost some percentage of eyesight with that green text on a black background. I still have the pages I downloaded one floppy disk at the time, a decade later I transfered them on a better support.
 

RanulfC

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I remember when I first found Marcus Lindroos website about the Shuttle early history - I spent the next six months frantically exploring it.
I tried downloading his entire site at one point, with mixed results.
LMAO it was not very user-friendly, I probably lost some percentage of eyesight with that green text on a black background. I still have the pages I downloaded one floppy disk at the time, a decade later I transfered them on a better support.
You kids have NO idea... We have a work computer, (pretty important one no less) with white text on a light gray background and that's programmed IN to the system :(

No wonder I need new glasses every couple of years...

Randy :)
 

RanulfC

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First 4th launch of Falcon 9. Eventual goal is 10 flights before engine refurbishment and 100 flights of booster "airframe".

https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/10/11/spacexs-next-launch-to-mark-another-incremental-step-in-rocket-reusability/
Er, didn't see that as he only said "Currently we use our boosters 10 times, they’re designed for 10 times,” though as I noted previouslly Musk said the booster components were designed to be salvaged and used up to 100 times the boosters are only designed for 10 flights before they are 'retired' unless there's more there I didn't see?

Randy
 

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First 4th launch of Falcon 9. Eventual goal is 10 flights before engine refurbishment and 100 flights of booster "airframe".

https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/10/11/spacexs-next-launch-to-mark-another-incremental-step-in-rocket-reusability/
Er, didn't see that as he only said "Currently we use our boosters 10 times, they’re designed for 10 times,” though as I noted previouslly Musk said the booster components were designed to be salvaged and used up to 100 times the boosters are only designed for 10 flights before they are 'retired' unless there's more there I didn't see?

Randy

You would have spent less time doing a simple search.

Even that achievement would just be scratching the surface of the rocket's reuse potential. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has said that the first stage of the current iteration of the Falcon 9, known as the Block 5, should be able to fly at least 10 times with only inspections between flights, and 100 times with some refurbishment involved.
https://www.space.com/spacex-fly-falcon-9-five-times-2019.html

And Blue Origin is aiming at 25 flights for New Glenn right at the start. Unclear if that requires engine refurbs at an earlier level. Again. Very easy to find. If you wanted to know.
 

RanulfC

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You would have spent less time doing a simple search.

Even that achievement would just be scratching the surface of the rocket's reuse potential. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has said that the first stage of the current iteration of the Falcon 9, known as the Block 5, should be able to fly at least 10 times with only inspections between flights, and 100 times with some refurbishment involved.
https://www.space.com/spacex-fly-falcon-9-five-times-2019.html
Didn't do a "simple" search as the statement was:
"First 4th launch of Falcon 9. Eventual goal is 10 flights before engine refurbishment and 100 flights of booster "airframe"." which I then thought was in THAT article, Now the cited article makes it clear the boosters will ONLY fly 10 times, not inspection periods it is their design lifetime as stated:
"Currently we use our boosters 10 times, they’re designed for 10 times,” Musk, (and he's the one who keeps saying "100 flights" not the company) can say what he wants of course but the boosters are designed to fly only 10 times.

And Blue Origin is aiming at 25 flights for New Glenn right at the start. Unclear if that requires engine refurbs at an earlier level. Again. Very easy to find. If you wanted to know.
Wouldn't surprise me since they know what works and what doesn't thanks to SpaceX :)

Randy
 

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Didn't do a "simple" search......

Randy
I wasn't even looking for a recent statement. Musk has talked about 100 flight re-use for a long time (including 24 hour relaunch). I knew it because I had seen it so often. That's why I find it hard to understand why you wouldn't also.

From April 2017
https://www.space.com/36412-spacex-completely-reusable-rocket-elon-musk.html
During the March 30 teleconference, Musk said each Falcon 9 first stage is designed to fly 10 times with no hardware changes, and at least 100 times with only moderate refurbishment.
 

RanulfC

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Didn't do a "simple" search......

Randy
I wasn't even looking for a recent statement. Musk has talked about 100 flight re-use for a long time (including 24 hour relaunch). I knew it because I had seen it so often. That's why I find it hard to understand why you wouldn't also.

From April 2017
https://www.space.com/36412-spacex-completely-reusable-rocket-elon-musk.html
During the March 30 teleconference, Musk said each Falcon 9 first stage is designed to fly 10 times with no hardware changes, and at least 100 times with only moderate refurbishment.
Just because Musk said it doesn't make it so and it's not how the stage has been designed or built. There's a reason the company official policy and statements do NOT mention 100 flights.

Randy
 

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Musk is founder, CEO and CTO of Spacex. When he specifies a Spacex goal, I will take that as confirmation that Spacex resources and manpower are being expended towards it. As CEO, for Musk to make claims, he subjects himself to legal actions for making false statements.

You claim to know that the Falcon 9 first stage has not been designed or built to accommodate 100 launches. I would like to see the document showing this.
 

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I'm going to park this video series here since it pertains to the whole issue of what happens when space access gets really affordable.

In the not-too-distant future, entirely new industries will be developed in space. These are the stories about the entrepreneurs and visionaries who are taking that next Giant Leap. Launching Oct. 22, 2019
Preview
 

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From dawn to dusk, the SpaceX Boca Chica crews are relentlessly hard at work. Preparing StarShip Mk1 for the upcoming 20km flight, in the multiple photos down below. You can see crews working on piping and wiring along the shaft of the vehicle, and on the tank bulkhead.

The SpaceX crews continue into the cover of darkness, relentless to have a completed StarShip ready for testing.

Better angle on both wing placement stands.
 
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Michel Van

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On the Mars Society Convention 2019
MS Founding member and engineer at SpaceX, Paul Woosters
he gave deep look on Starship concept and new info
like new Cargo doors
more in this video
 

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RanulfC

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Musk is founder, CEO and CTO of Spacex. When he specifies a Spacex goal, I will take that as confirmation that Spacex resources and manpower are being expended towards it. As CEO, for Musk to make claims, he subjects himself to legal actions for making false statements.
Musk suggests goals and his people work towards them and he does and will continue to modify his statements as reality sets in. No he's not 'legally liable' for his statements even in his capactiy as CEO unless he makes an offical statement of work or capability. Tossing off statements and making press releases doesn't count.

You claim to know that the Falcon 9 first stage has not been designed or built to accommodate 100 launches. I would like to see the document showing this.
You did as you posted the article. SpaceX has officially stated that the first stage is build to fly 10 times. Considering how much of a leap that is it's not something to complain about.

Something to keep in mind is that component lifetime, (or more usually "Mean-Time-Between-Failures" or average operation before a large scale failure occures) CAN easily exceed 'hundreds' of flights since that's only an average of around 1,000 minutes or a 16 hour life time. The body frame which is the most stressed structure having a planned 'lifetime' of only around 100 minutes is quite reasonable.

Randy
 

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Paul Woosters entire discourse about Starship development.

 

fredymac

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Musk suggests goals and his people work towards them and he does and will continue to modify his statements as reality sets in. No he's not 'legally liable' for his statements even in his capactiy as CEO unless he makes an offical statement of work or capability. Tossing off statements and making press releases doesn't count.

You did as you posted the article. SpaceX has officially stated that the first stage is build to fly 10 times. Considering how much of a leap that is it's not something to complain about.

Something to keep in mind is that component lifetime, (or more usually "Mean-Time-Between-Failures" or average operation before a large scale failure occures) CAN easily exceed 'hundreds' of flights since that's only an average of around 1,000 minutes or a 16 hour life time. The body frame which is the most stressed structure having a planned 'lifetime' of only around 100 minutes is quite reasonable.

Randy

So a CEO “suggests”? Musk tends to fire senior execs when they don’t follow his “suggestions”. From my observations, a CEO picks his management team and defines the mission and objective. He delegates authority but removes anyone who defies him. He makes the final decisions. Musk is the voice of Spacex. Not his subordinates (not even Koenigsmann who is the source of the 10 flight quote).

I've said it before but even our understanding of engineering is incompatible. Falcon 9 is about to fly it's fourth time. According to you both engine and airframe will hit their limit at 10. In my world, the rocket engine with its bearings, seals and thermal/mechanical stresses wear out fastest. The airframe lasts much longer.
Starship/Superheavy is a significant engineering leap beyond Falcon 9 in both size and complexity. And yet I am going to bet it will also fly a lot more than 10 times. And it will do so based on the engineering margins incorporated into Falcon 9.

These are all observations and surmises I make for myself. They fit into my understanding of what I see. If Starship progresses faster than expected and Falcon 9 is retired early, then my expectation will not be tested. Otherwise, I am comfortable with the prospect of an 11th, 12th, and 99th Falcon flight should Starship be delayed.
 

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As CEO, for Musk to make claims, he subjects himself to legal actions for making false statements.
No he's not 'legally liable' for his statements even in his capactiy as CEO unless he makes an offical statement of work or capability. Tossing off statements and making press releases doesn't count.
Note that whether he is making official statements is not the dividing line between illegal and legal. The line is that he is not allowed to knowingly make false statements to investors. He can lie all he wants to random people on the internet without it being a legal problem. For CEOs of public companies, making false statements to investors is pretty much equal to making false statements to anyone at all, which is why he got in such trouble for the Tesla "funding secured" tweet. However, SpaceX is a private company, not a public one, and so long as he keeps the stockholders of it well informed through some private channel he can publicly say pretty much whatever he wants about SpaceX without it being a problem.
 
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