GDB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 13, 2018 8:24 am

parapente wrote:
Couple of points about economics and capability,
The Russian space agency recently stated (
Sat 2 months) that they were extracting the,selves from commercial launchers and concentration on satellite builds instead (more money and profit).Simply as they cannot commercially compete with Musk.Well if the Russians can't with their old (but reliable proton rockets then frankly who can.And it will only get worse with recoverable fairings and perhaps second stages (that's all of it).

In terms of increased capability (thrust) its worth noting that not only was this Sat enormously heavy it was also sent to the hardest place (GEO Stat orbit).Not only could the F9b5 do this it could also carry its legs there and back.With enough left over fuel to land.
There really is nothing commercial this. System can't launch these days.Has Bezos gone too large I wonder?
Of course BFR is for a different purpose. Entirely.
What the F 9 has not done is put humans into space.Thats the next ( last?) key task it has to accomplish.


Six more successful Block 5 launches and then it's certified for a manned Dragon launch, or so I have heard.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 13, 2018 10:16 am

Yup I read something similar.NASA has asked them to stop making any improvements for a while (6 flights?) so exactly the same rocket can be seen to be successfully flown each time.This would then become the ' standard' 'human rated' version.
Be interesting if NASA are happy for astronauts to fly in 'used' rockets- now at Really would be a first! I guess if they want brand new ones they can always pay a. Premium?
6 flights? I imagine there are about that left this year (or more?).That might suggest that manned flight s can start next year?
But I guess they need to do some more proving work on the manned Dragon capsule first?
Since Elon has said they are not intending to human rate FH I guess it will all be LEO work.( ie no millionaires going round the Moon!)
Mind you I am sure they would 'shell out' for a day or two in orbit around the earth instead - perhaps with a couple of e perienced crew on board.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 14, 2018 7:54 am

It might be optimistic, but there are 22 Falcon launches on the manifest for the rest of 2018. They haven't said how many will be Block 5s.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 14, 2018 8:18 am

Hate AvsB threads so would not ever want a Spacex vs Boeing except the Boeing CEO seems to want one.But no American has flown into space on anything but Russian product since the Shuttle days.I guess there will be a bit of a race coming up to be first with a fully approved manned capsule.
I think the main timing constraint will be the capsules not the rockets.BBC (no great authority) seemed to think it would be 'sometime next year' for Spacex so I imagine similar for Boeing.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 11:53 am

Oh krap!

I've just seen that several SpaceX launches have been postponed. And the next FH launch will be on October 30th, or later.

Does anybody know the reasons for that?


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 12:38 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
Oh krap!

I've just seen that several SpaceX launches have been postponed. And the next FH launch will be on October 30th, or later.

Does anybody know the reasons for that?


David


LMGTFY :-)
https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/05/16/new-target-dates-set-for-next-two-falcon-9-launches/
The launch of five commercial Iridium message relay satellites and a pair of U.S.-German orbiting geophysics probes on a Falcon 9 rocket from California has been delayed three days to May 22, and a week-long schedule slip to May 31 is expected for the next SpaceX flight from Cape Canaveral with an SES communications payload.

The delay for the Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, allows time for SpaceX to resolve an issue preparing the mission’s Falcon 9 rocket, Iridium chief executive Matt Desch said Monday.


Can't find anything on the SES-12 launch delay, so it probably isn't anything major. It's an interesting satellite though, apparently it's the largest-ish non-Russian rocket to rely solely on electric propulsion, saving a lot of mass on propellant. I tried to research how this works, but I quickly became overwhelmed and started hitting my computer with rocks and sticks. On the plus side, I believe I've discovered fire.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 12:47 pm

DarkKnight5 wrote:
Can't find anything on the SES-12 launch delay, so it probably isn't anything major. It's an interesting satellite though, apparently it's the largest-ish non-Russian rocket to rely solely on electric propulsion, saving a lot of mass on propellant. I tried to research how this works, but I quickly became overwhelmed and started hitting my computer with rocks and sticks. On the plus side, I believe I've discovered fire.


Someone on Reddit suggests the range may have downtime, so a minor delay puts the launch into the downtime, thus a larger delay. It appears the USAF 45th Space Wing, which operates the range, schedules in two two-week maintenance periods per year.

http://spacenews.com/efforts-underway-to-ease-floridas-space-coast-launch-congestion/
The Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, which operates Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Eastern Range, has been working to address that surge in launch demand. Those efforts fall under a strategy dubbed “Drive for 48,” for the ability to support 48 launches a year — an average of one a week, with two two-week maintenance periods — within five years.
 
GDB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 3:24 pm

Some well informed observers doubt we will see a second FH launch this year.
 
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SeJoWa
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 3:38 pm

I try to follow Gwynne Shotwell's talks - here's one from April of this year.

Of note, among other things, is how she got into engineering. Her mother was an artist, by the way. See:

https://www.ted.com/talks/gwynne_shotwe ... 30_minutes
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri May 18, 2018 10:16 am

Yup it does look like the FH launches have been put back.Not sure there's really much role for the FH sadly.It was conceived 10 years ago when the power of the F9 was nearly half what it is today!
They can now lob really large sat's into GEO orbit with the F9 yet still carry the heavy landing legs and the draggy grid fins -and retain enough fuel for the double burn back for a soft landing!
It would no doubt be cheaper if they needed even more 'throw weight/power' to simply use an F9 in disposable mode.
Thankfully there are 2 more flights booked for FH so we can see these spectacular launches!Elon has now said he is not bothering to make it human rated and it will be a (very useful) backup toBFR if there are any delays -which there may be-it's a huge leap he is undertaking.

The FH could be man rated to take Astronauts to deep space around the Moon if required and it could take an unmanned craft to Mars.Both would be useful if BFR is delayed.I note that the Military are talking (along with everybody else) about using smaller Sat,s in future so again the FH is going to have limited uses I fear.
That does however beg the question what New Glen is for! It's too big for normal commercial needs but too small for Moon/Mars work.I just don't get it.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat May 19, 2018 9:53 am

The FH could make sense if they developed a reusable second stage.

You'd then have a fully reusable vehicle that could easily lob most commercial and military sats in orbit for potentially less money than an F9 you recover only a part of.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
GDB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat May 19, 2018 3:17 pm

Francoflier wrote:
The FH could make sense if they developed a reusable second stage.

You'd then have a fully reusable vehicle that could easily lob most commercial and military sats in orbit for potentially less money than an F9 you recover only a part of.


Musk has alluded to that, in his own, eccentric sounding 'is he joking?' way. History of Space X shows he probably isn't.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat May 19, 2018 11:40 pm

GDB wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
The FH could make sense if they developed a reusable second stage.

You'd then have a fully reusable vehicle that could easily lob most commercial and military sats in orbit for potentially less money than an F9 you recover only a part of.


Musk has alluded to that, in his own, eccentric sounding 'is he joking?' way. History of Space X shows he probably isn't.


Pretty sure they've stated they're working on a recovery of a second stage. But with the BFR who knows if that's in active development or on the back burner. With the block 5 booster in production it appears all design resources are now on the BFR project.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 20, 2018 10:20 am

No question that Spacex is going to try and return the second stage at some point.Elon ( in his usual cryptic way) has referred to using party balloons and a bouncy castle.Some people on you tube have interpreted this as modifications of previously considered NASA marks ideas.But are only guesses.
One imagines they are trying to perfect fairing capture first.Looks like they may try some 'drop tests' with previously returned fairings.Clearly they can get them back-it's the catchers mit part that's difficult (I can imagine it is,spotlandings with paragliders are difficult -I know!).
However since second stage is coming back from orbit they could technically bring it back to land as opposed to sea if they are allowed to do that.
But it's full re entry heat/speed so it's got to be hard.
 
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SeJoWa
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 20, 2018 12:53 pm

I'm a little mystified why the fairings can't bring their "bouncy castle" along for the ride - a la Spirit Mars lander.

Of course it introduces additional risk, but car airbags were perfected long ago.

See step twelve: https://mars.nasa.gov/mer/mission/tl_entry1.html

SpaceX also engineered some nifty little rocket engines for the Dragon 2's landing pad emergency abort sequence.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Pm8ZY0XJI
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 20, 2018 3:39 pm

Bouncy castle/balloons are for stage 2 return (probably on land).Fairings 'have' to land at sea and can't get drenched in salt water hence the 'catchers Mit' boat.
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 20, 2018 4:58 pm

Good news, it appears NASA may be coming around to SpaceX's cold load fueling process:
https://www.outerplaces.com/science/ite ... ckets-nasa

parapente wrote:
But it's full re entry heat/speed so it's got to be hard.

No, it would not be. That is the idea of the advantage FH would have, it has enough extra power that the second stage can bigger with more fuel so after it inserts its cargoes into orbit or off to wherever, it can turn around and slow itself down to return more or less "normally" (as normally as the boosters return).

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue May 22, 2018 7:25 pm

Waiting for the Iridium-GRACE launch by SpaceX. Supposed to happen in 30 minutes.
Here is the youtube link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_0GgKfwCSk

Also here is a decent article on the disruption SpaceX is causing in the space biz.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/22/spacex- ... -mars.html

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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Francoflier
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 23, 2018 5:23 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx511_yqkuI

Done. Nice mission which showcases the amazing capabilities of the second stage and of the Merlin vacuum engine.

No booster recovery it seems. This was a preflown (and now obsolete) Block IV,I believe.

It was interesting to see a commercial company share a launch with a couple of science sats.

Edit: It seems they tried to recover the fairings with 'Mr. Steven', but narrowly missed them again...
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 23, 2018 9:58 am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=clhXVdjvO ... pD5smhbwjg

This is really good NBC interview with Shotwell for those interested.
I thought the most interesting part was the broadband satellite network proposal.It seems this is the key to everything they are doing with F9's.
It appears that 'standard' launches are about 18 a year and stable.And that's with a huge overall launch market share (60% I think she said).
So obviously the question is what will all these F9 block5 's do? With their capability of launching every 5 mins!The answer would appear to be launching these 4,500 mini broadband satellites.Musks company is called Starlink.But there are 2 or 3 other hopeful competitors.
But he must have a massive advantage since he owns the only (effectively) launch mechanism!He could (I guess) launch them at cost if he wanted to.Equally he can charge just about whatever he wants to everybody else - although I am sure he will stick to his brochure price list as he won't want to appear monopolistic (which of course he is).
Also an interesting point she made that the Boring company work is highly relevant to Mars as people would need to live underground there.I note the mark3 boring machine is 100% electric....
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 23, 2018 12:42 pm

Tugger wrote:
Interesting, I was watching an NBC hosted Youtube channel with the SpaceX feed for the entire Block 5 launch and late in the video just before the satellite release a bunch of "bits" suddenly appear in the field of view. I am guessing it is the final directional positioning, clearing the frozen bits that accumulate at the the thruster ports:
https://youtu.be/-X3DDJXzcxk?t=2710

Another odd thing is about 20 seconds after the time I link the video there is a bit (ice?) that passes into view then abruptly changes direction and appears to move away. It must be another directional adjustment but it sure looked weird.

Tugg


So since your post I've been paying attention to when this debris is noticeable during launches, and it always seems to occur at separation events: 1st and 2nd stage separation, spacecraft separation. When it happens inside the interstage, I'm guessing it's ice that has accumulated during Mvac chill-down. You notice the ice when the 1st stage engines cut off which drops the acceleration from a lot to zero, jarring accumulated ice loose and into the field of view.

What I can't figure out is why it happens at spacecraft separation. Perhaps it's the maneuvering thrusters blowing out ice as they activate for the first time? I know the separation itself is usually spring-loaded to bump the craft away from the second stage, but the velocity difference is very small, meaning the second stage wouldn't be able to relight to deorbit for a very long time without putting the payload at risk of being charred by exhaust.

That could also explain the seemingly weird movements of the ice in the field of view: maneuvering thrusters puff, blow out ice, reorient the stage for separation, and then we don't get to see those thrusters really start to change the second stage's orbit because the video ends. Thoughts?
 
aviationaware
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 24, 2018 11:38 am

If any on you speak German, here is a rather entertaining interview with the head of Ariane who is desperately trying to defend his yesterday's tech against the evil attacks of subsidized SpaceX. Had a good laugh reading it.

http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/tech ... 07322.html
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 24, 2018 3:29 pm

aviationaware wrote:
If any on you speak German, here is a rather entertaining interview with the head of Ariane who is desperately trying to defend his yesterday's tech against the evil attacks of subsidized SpaceX. Had a good laugh reading it.

http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/tech ... 07322.html

He did come of a bit like a chicken being chased around a yard, a lot of squawking and trying to avoid the issue.

SpaceX and the new crop of US launch companies have really done a number on the old state supported/developed companies. Europe, Russia, the USA, and I bet Japan and other Asian ones (China runs on its own clock and money).

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 24, 2018 3:53 pm

America ( military) will always want two launch platforms for safety's sake so at least for the moment ULA is safe.But Ariane?Hmmm.
They are developing a 'cheaper' rocket,but I don't imagine it can compete commercially with Spacex.Perhaps Europe will keep it alive simply to own an independent launch platform.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 24, 2018 3:56 pm

parapente wrote:
America ( military) will always want two launch platforms for safety's sake so at least for the moment ULA is safe.But Ariane?Hmmm.
They are developing a 'cheaper' rocket,but I don't imagine it can compete commercially with Spacex.Perhaps Europe will keep it alive simply to own an independent launch platform.


I believe that was the main reason for the creation of Arianespace in the first place. So I imagine that will continue.

But SpaceX has really disrupted the status quo in the launch business. And you've also got BlueOrigin chugging away with the billions Bezos keeps throwing at it.
 
aviationaware
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 24, 2018 5:44 pm

Tugger wrote:
aviationaware wrote:
If any on you speak German, here is a rather entertaining interview with the head of Ariane who is desperately trying to defend his yesterday's tech against the evil attacks of subsidized SpaceX. Had a good laugh reading it.

http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/tech ... 07322.html

He did come of a bit like a chicken being chased around a yard, a lot of squawking and trying to avoid the issue.

SpaceX and the new crop of US launch companies have really done a number on the old state supported/developed companies. Europe, Russia, the USA, and I bet Japan and other Asian ones (China runs on its own clock and money).

Tugg


The point he totally seems to miss is that, even if SpaceX's military launches are hidden subsidies, they still cost the US tax payer much less than an Ariane 5 launch does. He is a total joke.
 
GDB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 24, 2018 6:30 pm

Many on here with more than the average interest in space already know that SpaceX and NASA do not exist in isolation, what with NASA's funding of some of SpaceX's projects directly and indirectly, though it's worth checking out a video from enthusiastic but well informed commentator Everyday Astronaut on this subject, he shed light on aspects of this I did not know;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoGaSTR3wJ4


But that's OK, after all, NASA are not a launch provider, not since the Shuttle and that was hardly 'commercial' even when claimed as much in the early days. I agree that NASA as well as various DoD related entities and other US government requirements, will keep a critical mass to allow two launch providers for reasons stated. So ULA is safe, that is perhaps until Bezo's get's his birds in the air. Give it some years, some experience and hopefully success, then the US government could have a potential second launch provider.
I agree that Europe will retain Ariane for political/economic reasons. It's easy to laugh at recent plans for later Ariane 6's to have a fly back booster that looks what we in the UK call 'Heath Robinson' and in the USA, 'Rube Goldberg'.
But how many also thought the same about Musk's ideas, landing boosters on legs, on drone ships etc?
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 24, 2018 9:36 pm

aviationaware wrote:


Ouch, that hurts! He doesn't sound convincing at all. The guys and gals at SpaceX must be chuckling...


Hm, I'm curious. Is there any footage of Mr. Steven in action?


David
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aviationaware
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri May 25, 2018 5:20 am

GDB wrote:
It's easy to laugh at recent plans for later Ariane 6's to have a fly back booster that looks what we in the UK call 'Heath Robinson' and in the USA, 'Rube Goldberg'.
But how many also thought the same about Musk's ideas, landing boosters on legs, on drone ships etc?


Too true, but I think there is a huge difference: Ariane is dominated by politics. Not just majorly influenced, but totally dominated. Every technology decision is not based on what is most technologically or commercially feasible, but on which country already has the skills and knowledge to build it in order to maintain the work share between the participating countries. For example the liquid vs. solid fuel decision. That's an extremely inefficient and slow way for a high tech project to work; and it is no surprise at all that an agile private company like SpaceX is outperforming Ariane so badly because of it.

If you think about it, it's the same reason why Airbus underperforms when compared to Boeing.
Boeing (and other US defense contractors) controls the politicians by putting work share in their districts. They leverage this for tax breaks and other benefits. If those breaks expire, Boeing can move somewhere else.
Airbus on the other hand is controlled by the politicians. The work share is allocated purely to maintain the status quo between the four involved countries. Airbus gets no direct benefit out of this but, quite on the contrary, gets to suffer all the negatives that arise from this, from language based working groups (some even doing the same work at the same time just because they can't work together for language reasons) and more. Airbus is one of the least agile corporations in the world due to this, and the same applies to Ariane in extension.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri May 25, 2018 12:04 pm

An odd (even stupid) question.
Does Spacex need permission to go and land on Mars?
Obviously it's not 'owned' by anybody and certainly no one is going to allow it to be 'owned'.
But Spacex cannot launch anything (from America) without the governments permission.And there is the ROW to consider.
Anyway was just wondering.Can they do whatever they like or is there a higher American or Global authority?
At the speed they are moving I would have thought this is a real issue - but perhaps not?
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri May 25, 2018 12:37 pm

parapente wrote:
An odd (even stupid) question.
Does Spacex need permission to go and land on Mars?
Obviously it's not 'owned' by anybody and certainly no one is going to allow it to be 'owned'.
But Spacex cannot launch anything (from America) without the governments permission.And there is the ROW to consider.
Anyway was just wondering.Can they do whatever they like or is there a higher American or Global authority?
At the speed they are moving I would have thought this is a real issue - but perhaps not?


I don't think so. Anything beyond the Karmen line is done via international treaties. This will be one of those interesting areas that the global community will have to come to some understanding over. Especially if we want to avoid armed conflicts.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri May 25, 2018 4:23 pm

aviationaware wrote:
Tugger wrote:
aviationaware wrote:
If any on you speak German, here is a rather entertaining interview with the head of Ariane who is desperately trying to defend his yesterday's tech against the evil attacks of subsidized SpaceX. Had a good laugh reading it.

http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/tech ... 07322.html

He did come of a bit like a chicken being chased around a yard, a lot of squawking and trying to avoid the issue.

SpaceX and the new crop of US launch companies have really done a number on the old state supported/developed companies. Europe, Russia, the USA, and I bet Japan and other Asian ones (China runs on its own clock and money).

Tugg


The point he totally seems to miss is that, even if SpaceX's military launches are hidden subsidies, they still cost the US tax payer much less than an Ariane 5 launch does. He is a total joke.


He also doesn’t make a convincing math-based argument. Say SpaceX wasn’t getting a premium from the US government and was charging private customers say 33.333 percent more per launch, that’s $80 million and still 20% cheaper than Ariane. Also, he complains about the subsidy but essentially demands France and Germany provide it to him.

Also his argument against reusability is ludicrous: “if I reuse rockets, what am I going to do with all my workers who build new rockets?” He’s arguing against efficiency. Insanity. “We need our governments to spend billions of Euro to keep my inefficient program running inefficiently because if they don’t, my inefficient program will have to end.”
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri May 25, 2018 9:32 pm

I noted that the Russian space federation quietly stated recently that they were bowing out of the commercial satellite launch business as they simply could not compete with Spacex.And that's with the Russian military space launches and the cheap ol' proton launch system.
at least they recognise the truth!
 
GDB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri May 25, 2018 11:22 pm

aviationaware wrote:
GDB wrote:
It's easy to laugh at recent plans for later Ariane 6's to have a fly back booster that looks what we in the UK call 'Heath Robinson' and in the USA, 'Rube Goldberg'.
But how many also thought the same about Musk's ideas, landing boosters on legs, on drone ships etc?


Too true, but I think there is a huge difference: Ariane is dominated by politics. Not just majorly influenced, but totally dominated. Every technology decision is not based on what is most technologically or commercially feasible, but on which country already has the skills and knowledge to build it in order to maintain the work share between the participating countries. For example the liquid vs. solid fuel decision. That's an extremely inefficient and slow way for a high tech project to work; and it is no surprise at all that an agile private company like SpaceX is outperforming Ariane so badly because of it.

If you think about it, it's the same reason why Airbus underperforms when compared to Boeing.
Boeing (and other US defense contractors) controls the politicians by putting work share in their districts. They leverage this for tax breaks and other benefits. If those breaks expire, Boeing can move somewhere else.
Airbus on the other hand is controlled by the politicians. The work share is allocated purely to maintain the status quo between the four involved countries. Airbus gets no direct benefit out of this but, quite on the contrary, gets to suffer all the negatives that arise from this, from language based working groups (some even doing the same work at the same time just because they can't work together for language reasons) and more. Airbus is one of the least agile corporations in the world due to this, and the same applies to Ariane in extension.


I think you are better describing the Airbus of years ago, not today. They've come from nowhere to level with Boeing, within 30 years, you don't do that because of subsidies, by that logic Soviet, now Russian designed airliners should be far more common, in many more markets than they are.
Boeing are not short of friendly taxation and subsidies, some more direct than others, in more recent programs, like the 787, this includes aid from Japanese and Italian taxpayers to name two. Really, the Europeans and US go about getting the same results by some different but also some not so different methods. Oddly enough though, the Airbus companies seem to have better industrial relations, fewer strikes, than Boeing. And Airbus is HQ'd and has the hub of it's operations in France of all places!

One of Ariane 5's last launches will be the James Webb Space Telescope, presumably they had to bid for this, a high profile contract, against established US launch providers. This of course was pre Space X and other oncoming companies.
I remember seeing live Ariane 5's first ever launch, with a payload, in 1996. It blew up and seemed to be a possibly terminal blow to the program'
But they went on to become the market leader, for such a supposedly mediocre rocket, that's some achievement, the majority of the payloads were commercial. Not blowing up any more must have helped with the marketing.
But it also reminded me of all that footage of US rockets blowing up, as seen replayed so often over the years. But the US rightly carried on, these were vital to national importance after all.

If the nations that make up the builders and therefore funders of Ariane, deem it's retention to also have security benefits, whatever the economic case might be into the future, they'll carry on too.
Loose talk from the current US administration, well threats really, of trade wars and actions (against allies) for not bending to their will, is a good advert for retaining a launch capability.
Plus it's also a good idea, for space, both in commercial and scientific applications, to have as many launch options as possible, as each rocket, of any kind, is only as good as it's last successful launch. If a class of rocket gets grounded for any length of time, well look what happened with STS, then both Space X and Antares had failures in the same year IIRC.

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