Author Topic: Starship!  (Read 10457 times)

Offline Obviousman

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #45 on: December 14, 2020, 03:14:48 PM »
Did you see the latest crock from the program? That it's going to take a year (!) to replace a failed power component in Orion? I nearly coughed a lung up laughing.
I didn't hear about this (though I am not following the programme closely at all). Can you post a link to what happened, or explain it yourself?

Thanks in advance!

Offline cjameshuff

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2020, 03:53:12 PM »
Did you see the latest crock from the program? That it's going to take a year (!) to replace a failed power component in Orion? I nearly coughed a lung up laughing.
I didn't hear about this (though I am not following the programme closely at all). Can you post a link to what happened, or explain it yourself?

Thanks in advance!

They've managed to bury parts of the power system so deeply and inaccessibly in the vehicle that it'll take 9 months to disassemble it, replace a part, and put everything back together, and 3 more to re-test everything: https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/30/21726753/nasa-orion-crew-capsule-power-unit-failure-artemis-i

They have a possible shortcut, but it's not clear if it'll work.

Offline jfb

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #47 on: December 14, 2020, 04:02:07 PM »
Did you see the latest crock from the program? That it's going to take a year (!) to replace a failed power component in Orion? I nearly coughed a lung up laughing.
I didn't hear about this (though I am not following the programme closely at all). Can you post a link to what happened, or explain it yourself?

Thanks in advance!

They've managed to bury parts of the power system so deeply and inaccessibly in the vehicle that it'll take 9 months to disassemble it, replace a part, and put everything back together, and 3 more to re-test everything: https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/30/21726753/nasa-orion-crew-capsule-power-unit-failure-artemis-i

They have a possible shortcut, but it's not clear if it'll work.

The part itself isn't critical - they can fly without repairing it - but it does mean a loss of redundancy in a power and data unit, and that ups the risk factor. 

Between the low launch cadence and cost of the booster though, I don't think they have a choice - they can't afford to risk a mission failure over something this relatively minor.  As much as it will increase delay and cost, having to repeat the mission with a new booster and spacecraft will be significantly worse. 

Offline Glom

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #48 on: December 14, 2020, 06:36:51 PM »
Musk has yet to be #MeTooed or similar things and hasn't tried to steal an election. That makes him a saint by the standards of famous people these days.

I also rather like his PayPal.

Offline molesworth

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2020, 06:43:30 PM »
Guys, gals, and non-binary pals, can we hakuna our matatas?
There's several things to dislike about Elon Musk as a person, all too often he's an arrogant, selfish and downright petty prick, and, yes, things are taking longer than originally stated, but this is new territory here in several fronts, this is not surprising?
Right now, I just want to wish the fine people at SpaceX working on this project through this very difficult time the best of my hopes. They are creating innovation and bending iron around a dream. Whatever we may or may not feel about Elon Musk, there's no denying they're doing some very novel work here, and working out the bugs and technical issues is going to take time and effort, often longer than Mr. Musk tends to originally state. Regardless, however long it takes, it's still work worth doing, I say.
This ^   100%

We should all be celebrating the fact that we seem to be heading into a new age of spaceflight and exploration, with both government-funded and commercial launchers, multiple countries involved in developments and research, and lots of interesting prospects for the future.

I'm hoping that 2021 will be even more exciting for space-nerds like me than the past couple of years have been...  ;D
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Offline jfb

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #50 on: December 15, 2020, 10:32:53 AM »
Yeah, Elon is a garbage human being that I wouldn't touch with three barge poles nailed together.  That enmity is reserved for Elon as a person, though, not for his companies (to the extent they aren't behaving badly wrt labor and environmental practices, anyway). 

Starship is a genuinely exciting development in spaceflight, and if it took a narcissistic asshole to bring it to fruition, well, sometimes that's the price of progress (It's not like Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs were ever candidates for Humanitarian of the Year). 

Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #51 on: December 15, 2020, 11:54:53 AM »
Yeah, Elon Musk has proven himself to be somewhat of a bad person, but I don't understand the hate for SpaceX (or Tesla) or how anyone could see SN8 as a failure. After all, Wernher von Braun was a Nazi, but I can still appreciate NASA and recognize the major accomplishment of landing astronauts on the moon despite his involvement. ::)

SpaceX is iterating at a fast pace, at least as far as space programs are concerned, and SN8 accomplished everything they needed it to. It wasn't intended to fly again, and it wasn't going into a museum. It would have been scrapped even if it landed... all of the important data was obtained. The timelines they give aren't always achieved, but they are goals not promises. They don't owe anyone anything, so I don't know why anyone would be personally offended if a date isn't met.
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Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #52 on: December 15, 2020, 03:32:07 PM »

Considering the recent tone of this thread, I thought that this is a timely article from Eric Berger:
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/six-years-after-orions-first-spaceflight-america-still-waits-for-an-encore/

"So over its lifetime, and for $23.7 billion, the Orion program has produced:

    Development of Orion spacecraft
    Exploration Flight Test-1 basic vehicle
    The Orion capsule to be used for another test flight
    Work on capsules for subsequent missions"

Compared to:
"Over its history, we can reliably estimate that SpaceX has expended a total of $16 billion to $20 billion on all of its spaceflight endeavors. Consider what that money has bought:

    Development of Falcon 1, Falcon 9, and Falcon Heavy rockets
    Development of Cargo Dragon, Crew Dragon, and Cargo Dragon 2 spacecraft
    Development of Merlin, Kestrel, and Raptor rocket engines
    Build-out of launch sites at Vandenberg (twice), Kwajalein Atoll, Cape Canaveral, and Kennedy Space Center
    105 successful launches to orbit
    20 missions to supply International Space Station, two crewed flights
    Development of vertical take off, vertical landing, rapid reuse for first stages
    Starship and Super Heavy rocket development program
    Starlink Internet program (with 955 satellites on orbit, SpaceX is largest satellite operator in the world)

To sum up, SpaceX delivered all of that for billions of dollars less than what NASA has spent on the Orion program since its inception."

Says it all really.  Love or hate Musk but you cannot argue that he and his company delivers outstanding value for money.  He gets stuff done.
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Offline smartcooky

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #53 on: December 16, 2020, 04:49:00 AM »

Considering the recent tone of this thread, I thought that this is a timely article from Eric Berger:
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/six-years-after-orions-first-spaceflight-america-still-waits-for-an-encore/

"The take-home message for policymakers is pretty simple, Garver said. Public-private partnerships and fixed-price contracts like those for commercial crew have been shown to work—and expensive, slow, cost-plus programs like Orion and the SLS are to be avoided in the future if at all possible."

Telling!

The problem with US government funded space projects is that they are government funded. That means the funding is subject to the whims and ambitions of 535 politicians whose primary goal is to get themselves re-elected every two to six years. It is for this reason, I believe that ultimately, the task of launching payloads and people into space, and the subsequent development of a long-term human presence in space beyond LEO will fall to private enterprise. Companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing, RocketLab etc are the future of spaceflight. They are immune to the whims of politicians, unaffected by pork barreling, and largely self funded or funded by contract.

As Jim Bridenstein said on the eve of the SpaceX Crew Demo 2 mission earlier this year.... "The entire world is going to see us launching again, to the International Space Station...and this time, when we do it, it's different. In fact, NASA is a customer, and as a customer, we become one of many that will be using this crew vehicle, if all goes according to plan. We'll have a robust commercial marketplace for spaceflight, and that commercial marketplace could be sovereign countries, it could be individuals that want to go, maybe, on vacation to space. Which I know sounds crazy, but I'll tell you, and you know this, those folks are out there, and there are a lot of folks that are ready to do it."
« Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 04:50:31 AM by smartcooky »
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #54 on: December 16, 2020, 01:14:20 PM »
As you can imagine, these conversations are hard for me to participate in, not because I don't have opinions but because I have sympathy for interests on both sides of the question.

No, I don't care for Elon Musk as a person.  But he has the ability to attract talent and motivate them to do good things.  Yes, SpaceX is able to move faster on development for a number of reasons; comparing them to the established aerospace community is apples and oranges.  Yes, SLS is a hopeless mess, for the reasons already apparent.

In addition to the aerospace establishment being far more beholden to political whims than SpaceX (or any of the other privately held companies, for that matter), there are additional uncertainties that make progress difficult.  I have a long standing contract that is now on its fourth acquisition.  That is, the company we originally signed the contract with has been acquired three additional times in less than 20 years.  Now it's Northrop Grumman, in case you're wondering.  But each new acquisition brings a whole lot of disorganization and delay.

Nor is Boeing even remotely the same company I started contracting with more than 20 years ago.  That's all I should probably say about that.

Yes, I've been courted by SpaceX, but I don't want to work for Elon Musk.  And so far I haven't been courted into a role I think I would like.  Yes, we all cheer when SpaceX achieves another first, or when they deliver another payload to orbit.  Or I do, anyway.  This is because my attitude is the same as molesworth's.  Today's space operations require many different participants that operate on different footing, and we all have a part to play.  Just because I have to work really hard -- along with my colleagues -- to deliver my little piece of SLS despite all the challenges doesn't mean I'm not excited when SpaceX succeeds, or when the Falcon 9 Heavy takes flight.  Or even when one of the smaller, less prominent companies achieves a first for them.  This really is becoming the second Golden Age of aerospace, and I'm just happy to be here for it.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline jfb

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2020, 10:11:27 AM »
In addition to the aerospace establishment being far more beholden to political whims than SpaceX (or any of the other privately held companies, for that matter), there are additional uncertainties that make progress difficult.  I have a long standing contract that is now on its fourth acquisition.  That is, the company we originally signed the contract with has been acquired three additional times in less than 20 years.  Now it's Northrop Grumman, in case you're wondering.  But each new acquisition brings a whole lot of disorganization and delay.

Ugh.  Been through the merger and acquisition process multiple times both within and without the military industrial complex.  In my case it rarely impacted anything (just changed who I ultimately reported to), but with one exception I never worked on anything "important" so it rarely affected schedule. 

Ironically, the one exception caused the schedule to be accelerated, because the acquiring company thought we were within a month of release, when the truth was we were closer to 6 to 8 months out.  Our project manager had a nasty habit of lying in his progress reports, claiming we were further ahead than we really were.  The new boss was not pleased, and we went into overdrive to get something released.

Offline 12oh2alarm

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2020, 03:49:29 PM »
Say what you like about Musk, but the dude gets things done.

Some things. Others never. The Hyperloop is an engineering nightmare that will never fly commercially. He should have been honest about it before selling it.

He also tells people with a straight face that flying cars will use cold gas thrusters for the final few meters finding a parking spot. He's either stupid, or not really the prodigy everybody thinks he is. Physics is certainly not where he shines. Making money and impressing people, I give him that. And landing stages upright. He's da man.

Offline raven

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #57 on: December 19, 2020, 04:34:18 PM »
He's good at bringing people together and getting folks excited about things, getting things funded that others might have thought laughable. Sometimes for good reasons, and others, like the Falcon 1st stage, not so much. At  his best, he's a Moist von Lipwig. At his worst, he's a Reacher Gilt, to reference Going Postal by the late, great, Sir Terry Pratchett.

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #58 on: December 20, 2020, 06:27:14 AM »
Say what you like about Musk, but the dude gets things done.

Some things. Others never. The Hyperloop is an engineering nightmare that will never fly commercially. He should have been honest about it before selling it.


Can you please show where Musk sold Hyperloop? Here's a hint....the concept is explicitly open-source. Heck, the concept was first proposed in 1904 by Robert Goddard. How come no hate for him?

You would think that on a science-based forum people would make an effort to do a modicum of research before forming biased opinions, wouldn't you?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 06:29:14 AM by Zakalwe »
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Offline cjameshuff

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #59 on: December 20, 2020, 11:52:24 AM »
Say what you like about Musk, but the dude gets things done.

Some things. Others never. The Hyperloop is an engineering nightmare that will never fly commercially. He should have been honest about it before selling it.


Can you please show where Musk sold Hyperloop? Here's a hint....the concept is explicitly open-source. Heck, the concept was first proposed in 1904 by Robert Goddard. How come no hate for him?

You would think that on a science-based forum people would make an effort to do a modicum of research before forming biased opinions, wouldn't you?

And apparently launching payloads to orbit and landing the first stages for reuse afterward is all about what a smooth talker you are, having nothing to do with physics. ::)

Musk frequently discusses low-level technological details of his projects, demonstrating a depth of knowledge that company executives rarely show interest in acquiring, but some people seem desperate to reduce him to a smooth-talking money man...which is comical if you've actually seen him speak publicly.