Author Topic: Billionaires space race......lame!  (Read 2508 times)

tooqk4u22

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2636
Billionaires space race......lame!
« on: July 26, 2021, 10:33:08 PM »
Watching Apollo 13 tonight and I just find it comical that some or many are celebrating these crackpot visionaries for barely (if at all) getting past earth's orbit.   I love the pursuit but for fucks sake the US put people on the moon in1969....

It would be like suggesting seatbelts for safety today....not really novel.   

Yup. I am being completely dismissive of all the risks, math, science, and whatever that goes into traveling to space....but again for fuck sake you can't even replicate something from 50+ years ago...no smart phones, no apps for that, no internet, no processors that fit on a pin head that back then were a room......not like technology has advanced at least in that time, sur not at all.  I wasn't around.sonhow would I know, it was all made up!

Is it fun, sure.   Is it purposeful, sure.  Is it an accomplishment, not in the least.   Rich people and their toys....talk to me when we have a ticket.that isn't $28 million and ther is a colony or hotel to visit!

F'in billionaires and their egos.....aim low and the rest will follow.   

shuffler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2021, 01:41:57 AM »
Hot take.  :^|

for fuck sake you can't even replicate something from 50+ years ago
Vintage NASA was so cool.  They'd take a deep drag on their rocket cigarette and flick it into the ocean when they were done with it.
Reusable rockets.  Pfft.  They're like the vape pens of spaceflight.

YttriumNitrate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1523
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2021, 06:21:39 AM »
People are now getting into space (depending on how you define it) in rockets they built via their own companies. That's amazing as it's the start of truly commercial space travel, something that will have a lot more impact on the lives of people than going to a rock in space and not returning for 50+ years.

PDXTabs

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4536
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Portland, OR, USA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2021, 06:31:36 AM »
F'in billionaires and their egos.....aim low and the rest will follow.

I love the moral outrage that successful businessmen would reinvest their profits into future ventures.

Meanwhile no one even knows about Astra, Momentus, or Rocket Lab. SpaceX and Blue Origin are working on the heaviest lift rockets, but they certainly aren't the only ones working on putting payloads into orbit.

Virgin Galactic... well. That's a different ballgame.

Rdy2Fire

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 438
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2021, 07:45:28 AM »
Well I totally get how everyone looks at the narcissism but overall I think it's pretty amazing. I don't mean their narcissism or even that they are just billionaires trying to beat each other in the space game but the idea of commercial space travel getting large payloads into orbit, thinking about space tourism (hotels etc). I mean once we completely fk up this planet maybe future generations can go wreck other planets too :)

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 20019
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2021, 07:53:21 AM »
I like that people are getting interested in space again.  Hopefully private industry will be able to catch back up to late 60s government at some point.

MissNancyPryor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 463
  • The Stewardess is Flying the Plane!
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2021, 09:00:40 AM »
Self driving cars are cool.  Then one crashes and they become panic porn for the press, never mind how many fully piloted vehicles crashed that same day.

Segways are awesome.  Then people die on them, including a company owner, and they lose their status as the game changer they could have been and become a novelty.  Never mind how many pedestrians died in crosswalks last year. 

Public-rentable scooters are totes cool.  Then someone gets smashed by a garbage truck and what is good becomes evil.  Doesn't matter that people on private bikes and scooters get taken out on the daily around the country. 

Rockets are incredible and the idea regular people could take a space ride is mind blowing.  Well, regular people as in the ultra rich (or as they say in Jurassic Park, maybe they will have a coupon day). 

Eventually there is going to be a very high profile mass death in one of those space craft and the 24 hour news coverage will hype that up.  There will be oh so very smart commentators on all the channels fanning public outrage at the folly of this and experts chiming in on how it wastes so much energy and the very clever pundits looking to blame someone for why "we" are coddling the rich.  Hey, whatever happened to the Concorde?  Anyone?  /sarc

I don't care if billionaires spend their money this way.  Go for it.  Have fun.  And when there is a disaster that will be very sad but not unexpected and my hope is that everyone affected made a choice to be there rather than innocents harmed.  As long as public money is not spent in the pursuits I have no issue and like to see private enterprise churn along and invent new and wonderful things as a side effect. 

Just be prepared for the whiplash from the media who are sucking off the billionaires today and will be lighting them on fire at the stake tomorrow.  Too bad we can't come up with our own thoughts about this stuff but instead are forever manipulated by the snake media, looking for clicks and eyeballs.       

Samuel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 679
  • Location: the slippery slope
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2021, 09:18:36 AM »
F'in billionaires and their egos.....aim low and the rest will follow.

I love the moral outrage that successful businessmen would reinvest their profits into future ventures.

Meanwhile no one even knows about Astra, Momentus, or Rocket Lab. SpaceX and Blue Origin are working on the heaviest lift rockets, but they certainly aren't the only ones working on putting payloads into orbit.

Virgin Galactic... well. That's a different ballgame.

Yeah, the billionaire space race angle is marketing for legitimate business ventures. They wouldn't get investors if they were just pure vanity projects.

Adjusted for inflation the Apollo program cost 390 million per seat. The Space Shuttle 170 million. SpaceX is already doing it for 55 million, and on track to reduce that even more. SpaceX is also about to fly it's 22nd resupply mission to the ISS.

Virgin Galactic opens up the potential for high altitude hypersonic transportation. San Francisco to London in less than 2 hours type of transportation.

These companies are chasing real markets.

GodlessCommie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 944
  • Location: NoVA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2021, 09:42:22 AM »
Reusable rockets are genuinely a new word in space exploration. Competition is healthy. I can't get over the fact that legacy aerospace companies have been telling Congress for decades that developing a new rocket engine is too damn hard and expensive, and the best we can do is to use Russian ones. And then a "f'ing billionaire" waltzes in, builds one - only *way* better - and starts gobbling up contacts. 

I'm less excited about Blue Origin. They haven't made as much progress, plain and simple. Going high isn't the point. That's not how you get to orbit - you need to go fast. So yeah, that looks like a toy and fits the definition of lame, but maybe something good will come out of it. If nothing else, it's a place for young aerospace engineers to apply themselves to something that doesn't kill people (at least not on purpose).
« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 07:38:46 AM by GodlessCommie »

gooki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2794
  • Location: NZ
    • My FIRE journal
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2021, 02:04:15 AM »
Reusable rockets are genuinely a new word in space exploration. Competition is healthy. I can't get over the fact that legacy aerospace companies have been telling Congress for decades that developing a new rocket engine is too damn hard and expensive, and the best we can do is to use Russian ones. And then a "f'ing billionaire" waltzes in, build one - only *way* better - and starts gobbling up contacts. 

To be fair Elon only had a few hundred million when he jumped into the space race.

As for the topic at hand. I'd rather the billionaires be spending their money or giving it away than hoarding it.

GodlessCommie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 944
  • Location: NoVA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2021, 07:49:12 AM »
Another aspect of it all: SpaceX and Blue Origin are easy targets because they have very prominent, very visible leaders. It's easy to concentrate the outrage on individuals, even extremely wealthy. In the meantime, there are Boeings, Northrop Grummans, Lockheed Martins, and Raytheons of the world who have been milking taxpayers for decades delivering rather sub-par results (given the $$$ spent) and being always behind schedule and over budget. But they are faceless, and none of them draw even 10% of social media scorn than the newcomers do.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 10:15:27 AM by GodlessCommie »

lemonlyman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 248
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2021, 08:27:55 AM »
It's awesome and has potential to create markets we can't imagine existing yet. One we do: SpaceX is going to offer broadband to the world in areas where infrastructure cost is completely prohibitive. WV, you got it. Chile, no problem. Arctic Circle, sure.  Complete game changer for people who through the dice throw of birth don't have access right now.

The US government can print trillions on demand and we're complaining about rich people investing in the work to advance humanity? If these guys investing in space gave away their money, would that capital be allocated in a long-term beneficial way? I'm skeptical.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 08:32:09 AM by lemonlyman »

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5290
  • Age: 68
  • Location: In the middle somewhere....
  • Always learning.
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2021, 10:23:15 AM »
What is the environmental consequences of all these rocket trips? I know very little about what comes out of the fiery end of a rocket. Does one rocket, one launch completely negate all the gasoline saving choices a hundred people make for five or  years?

PDXTabs

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4536
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Portland, OR, USA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2021, 11:35:35 AM »
What is the environmental consequences of all these rocket trips? I know very little about what comes out of the fiery end of a rocket. Does one rocket, one launch completely negate all the gasoline saving choices a hundred people make for five or  years?

The SpaceX rockets use RP-1, which is a kerosene based hydrocarbon fuel. According to some internet maths it is something like 823,292 kg of carbon dioxide produced per launch for a Falcon Heavy. Of note: some rockets use Hydrazine which produces zero co2, but the RP-1 is arguably more stable.

BDWW

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
  • Location: MT
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2021, 11:40:31 AM »
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3691
  • Location: France
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2021, 11:54:05 AM »
Personally I couldn't give a shit what billionaires do... if they pay their taxes first, follow the law, don't obstruct the law for their own financial gain.

That's all I want - a reasonable level of tax. When we say Bezos 'has' $X, Musk 'has' $X, they really don't - if they tried to sell a significant chunk it would tank the share price. Still - I don't care about that.

Wealth tax? Eh. Maybe when you are *so* wealthy. Like, $20 million+, you pay tax - and get any reductions withdrawn - and also a wealth tax. Don't care - it should be decided by intelligent, impartial people taking all the facts on board. Not me, I don't know anything. But not the rich, either.

Paid your taxes? Want to go to the moon? Cool. Make your employees piss in bottles? Should go to prison because you're a horrible human being. I get it - you only get to the top by being cut-throat. But you're at the top. Let it go. Go to the moon. But don't be a shit.

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5731
  • Age: 14
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2021, 11:55:07 AM »
Who gives a shit what their motivations are. This is real, important work that's shaking things up in the industry.

BDWW

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
  • Location: MT
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2021, 02:44:02 PM »
Personally I couldn't give a shit what billionaires do... if they pay their taxes first, ...

The irony being that - in this limited particular case - not paying taxes is far more efficient than Elon paying taxes.  The nearest competitor to SpaceX is ULA, a hugely taxpayer-subsidized consortium of old-guard (Lockheed and Boeing) companies. Their equivalent cost per launch is IIRC ~$135M compared to ~$65M for SpaceX.  And SpaceX's pricing is still based on their rockets being expended. Estimates of their actual cost for re-usable launches put it nearer to $15-10M. A full order of magnitude cheaper.

The government has grifted Boeing and others $10B+ for SLS, for an archaic system that will cost ~$2-4B per launch. 

Meanwhile SpaceX's Falcon Heavy has already supplanted a large portion of its mission parameters and SuperHeavy/Starship will cover the rest. All for a fraction -  < $1B development, Estimates of ~$50M per launch - of the costs.

Allowing Elon* to keep and spend is billions has provided a far better return on investment than taxing it would have.


*The other billionaires probably not so much.

scottish

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2344
  • Location: Ottawa
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2021, 03:18:20 PM »
What is the environmental consequences of all these rocket trips? I know very little about what comes out of the fiery end of a rocket. Does one rocket, one launch completely negate all the gasoline saving choices a hundred people make for five or  years?

The SpaceX rockets use RP-1, which is a kerosene based hydrocarbon fuel. According to some internet maths it is something like 823,292 kg of carbon dioxide produced per launch for a Falcon Heavy. Of note: some rockets use Hydrazine which produces zero co2, but the RP-1 is arguably more stable.

Their new rockets are using liquid methane and oxygen.   The early ones used kerosene.   

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3691
  • Location: France
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2021, 03:32:56 PM »
Personally I couldn't give a shit what billionaires do... if they pay their taxes first, ...

The irony being that - in this limited particular case - not paying taxes is far more efficient than Elon paying taxes.  The nearest competitor to SpaceX is ULA, a hugely taxpayer-subsidized consortium of old-guard (Lockheed and Boeing) companies. Their equivalent cost per launch is IIRC ~$135M compared to ~$65M for SpaceX.  And SpaceX's pricing is still based on their rockets being expended. Estimates of their actual cost for re-usable launches put it nearer to $15-10M. A full order of magnitude cheaper.

The government has grifted Boeing and others $10B+ for SLS, for an archaic system that will cost ~$2-4B per launch. 

Meanwhile SpaceX's Falcon Heavy has already supplanted a large portion of its mission parameters and SuperHeavy/Starship will cover the rest. All for a fraction -  < $1B development, Estimates of ~$50M per launch - of the costs.

Allowing Elon* to keep and spend is billions has provided a far better return on investment than taxing it would have.


*The other billionaires probably not so much.

Dunno how much of his own money's gone into it, but let's be honest this is a different issue - that the entrenched players benefit too much from the exact same lobbying nonsense and old boys' network. Again, you need impartial adjudicators to wipe away this cronyism... Alas.

BDWW

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
  • Location: MT
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2021, 03:38:58 PM »

Dunno how much of his own money's gone into it, but let's be honest this is a different issue - that the entrenched players benefit too much from the exact same lobbying nonsense and old boys' network. Again, you need impartial adjudicators to wipe away this cronyism... Alas.

It's well documented that Musk poured every penny into SpaceX and Tesla.

https://www.wmfe.org/the-rocket-company-that-almost-wasnt-liftoff-chronicles-the-early-desperate-days-of-spacex-review/175415

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/04/tech/elon-musk-tesla-once-got-near-bankruptcy/index.html
« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 03:40:40 PM by BDWW »

trollwithamustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2021, 04:00:51 PM »
NASA was a dead end that was not even capable of getting astronauts to the space station.  The USA was not a space capable nation when left in NASA's hands, we had to use a lift contract with Russia.

If it takes an egomaniac to get things rolling again, so be it.

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1363
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2021, 07:21:04 PM »
Most of them are glory hounds riding the coat tails of the vast armies of scientists & engineers that figured out how to get rockets into orbit (and beyond) using slide rules and lots of brain power. Some are entrepreneurs standing on the shoulders of those giants (who themselves stand on the shoulders of other giants.. all the way down).

Private industry is stepping in where it works best: refining raw inventions in ways to maximize profit. Sure it sounds like they are doing things vastly cheaper than government,  but only because of the massive investment in fundamental R&D that government has funded.

Without NASA (end JAXA and ESA and the Soviet space program) literally inventing new materials and fundamentally novel technologies these companies would not be able to accomplish what they are doing. Not at the price they are doing it and likely not at all given the very low short to medium term ROI on fundamental R&D

And, of course not just the various space programs but government investment in computers and other fundamental research.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 10:23:50 PM by MilesTeg »

six-car-habit

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2021, 10:19:35 PM »
What is the environmental consequences of all these rocket trips? I know very little about what comes out of the fiery end of a rocket. Does one rocket, one launch completely negate all the gasoline saving choices a hundred people make for five or  years?

The SpaceX rockets use RP-1, which is a kerosene based hydrocarbon fuel. According to some internet maths it is something like 823,292 kg of carbon dioxide produced per launch for a Falcon Heavy. Of note: some rockets use Hydrazine which produces zero co2, but the RP-1 is arguably more stable.

  Different counties / states / countries sometimes require environmental offsets when allowing building projects or industrial process permits to go foward. It would be nice to see the private space companies be held to a similar standard.  If your space travel company is polluting everyones air to the tune of 800 tonnes Co2 each flight, an upfront "fee" tacked onto a $100,000 ticket doesn't seem egregious.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15999
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2021, 10:43:55 PM »
What is the environmental consequences of all these rocket trips? I know very little about what comes out of the fiery end of a rocket. Does one rocket, one launch completely negate all the gasoline saving choices a hundred people make for five or  years?

The SpaceX rockets use RP-1, which is a kerosene based hydrocarbon fuel. According to some internet maths it is something like 823,292 kg of carbon dioxide produced per launch for a Falcon Heavy. Of note: some rockets use Hydrazine which produces zero co2, but the RP-1 is arguably more stable.

  Different counties / states / countries sometimes require environmental offsets when allowing building projects or industrial process permits to go foward. It would be nice to see the private space companies be held to a similar standard.  If your space travel company is polluting everyones air to the tune of 800 tonnes Co2 each flight, an upfront "fee" tacked onto a $100,000 ticket doesn't seem egregious.

I can’t read people’s concerns about the carbon footprint of rocket launches (which is indeed substantial) and not point out that the US Military dwarfs all other entities in their burning of fossil fuels to move things (people, equipment, bombs) from one place to another, - over 11.3 million gallons EACH DAY. That doesn’t even count their electricity use.

gooki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2794
  • Location: NZ
    • My FIRE journal
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2021, 05:51:35 AM »
Space X's long term goal is to make carbon neutral rocket fuel, both on Mars and Earth.

Quote
Raptor engines are a new kind of rocket engine developed and manufactured by SpaceX. Unlike any other rocket engines used today, Raptors are powered by a combination of liquid methane and liquid oxygen in a full flow staged combustion cycle. As cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen (LOX) react, in turn, water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are released upon combustion reaction. - Here's the plot twist - Musk said that SpaceX "is already developing high efficiency CO2 capture with H2O to form liquid CH4 (methane) & O2." So basically, the plan is to recycle carbon emissions by capturing them to utilize in fuel production. This would make Starship carbon neutral and rocket launches would become more environmentally-friendly flights!

MudPuppy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2021, 06:17:25 AM »
I can’t read people’s concerns about the carbon footprint of rocket launches (which is indeed substantial) and not point out that the US Military dwarfs all other entities in their burning of fossil fuels to move things (people, equipment, bombs) from one place to another, - over 11.3 million gallons EACH DAY. That doesn’t even count their electricity use.

Hey, I’m concerned about both.


The billionaire “space race” is distasteful to me. I don’t care about “advancing the industry” or whatever when they pay no taxes, largely do no offer good working conditions, and pay their employees 29k a year (Amazon’s median).

GodlessCommie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 944
  • Location: NoVA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2021, 09:23:25 AM »
Without NASA (end JAXA and ESA and the Soviet space program) literally inventing new materials and fundamentally novel technologies these companies would not be able to accomplish what they are doing.

In turn, NASA, ESA, and Soviets would not be able to do anything without Nazi rocket program. Oops, where do we go from here?

It's really strange to praise some actors for the incremental progress they made, but not others. And really, even Greeks did not invent most of the stuff traditionally ascribed to them.

On a more serious note, no one is trying to take away anything from NASA. They helped SpaceX a lot, and without that help nothing would have happened. Having said that, the same exact help was available to the legacy aerospace companies, and all they managed to do was to bolt Russian engines onto their rockets. NASA doesn't have it's own production capacity, it *always* relied on the private sector to build stuff. SpaceX is a better partner to NASA than anyone else, plain and simple. It's not SpaceX vs NASA, it's SpaceX vs ULA+Roskosmos.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 09:53:27 AM by GodlessCommie »

GodlessCommie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 944
  • Location: NoVA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2021, 09:27:38 AM »
The billionaire “space race” is distasteful to me.

Funny enough, it was NASA initiative, under Obama Administration, to switch from buying rockets to paying for delivery service. That's what paved the way for SpaceX. So, at least one billionaire did exactly what our duly elected government wanted him to do. And it's working great for the US taxpayers - we are saving a ton of money on delivering stuff to ISS, and we regained the ability to send people to space.

Also, while it is framed as a space race, there is nothing resembling a race. There's SpaceX, which is miles ahead of every "space billionaire", and ahead of every state space agency in what it does. Then there's Blue Origin that builds rocket-shaped entertainment vehicles, and Virgin Galactic that builds plane-shaped entertainment vehicles. That's it for billionaires. There are also smaller players, like RocketLab, but they don't have billionaire mascots, and people who write about "billionaire space race" pay no attention to them.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 09:48:56 AM by GodlessCommie »

MudPuppy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1478
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2021, 09:45:19 AM »
I don’t care why it started

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1363
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2021, 11:29:21 AM »
Without NASA (end JAXA and ESA and the Soviet space program) literally inventing new materials and fundamentally novel technologies these companies would not be able to accomplish what they are doing.

In turn, NASA, ESA, and Soviets would not be able to do anything without Nazi rocket program. Oops, where do we go from here?

It's really strange to praise some actors for the incremental progress they made, but not others. And really, even Greeks did not invent most of the stuff traditionally ascribed to them.

On a more serious note, no one is trying to take away anything from NASA. They helped SpaceX a lot, and without that help nothing would have happened. Having said that, the same exact help was available to the legacy aerospace companies, and all they managed to do was to bolt Russian engines onto their rockets. NASA doesn't have it's own production capacity, it *always* relied on the private sector to build stuff. SpaceX is a better partner to NASA than anyone else, plain and simple. It's not SpaceX vs NASA, it's SpaceX vs ULA+Roskosmos.

That's precisely why I said "(who themselves [those nasa, etc. engineers] stand on the shoulders of other giants.. all the way down)".

Moreover, I'm not trying to praise those NASA folks and discredit the folks at SpaceX. I'm simply pointing out they are participating in the arena of space exploration in two different ways.

NASA (et al.) participates by doing a shit-ton of fundamental research to accomplish tasks which never had/have no hope of commercial success in any timeframe that would sustain a private company. It's only an exceptionally rare situation where fundamental research has anything but long to very long term ROI. The fact that "private companies" did the production is irrelevant, it was NASA funding that made it possible.

SpaceX (et al.) participates by taking the results of that fundamental research and building a commercial enterprise out of it. They may be doing some limited amount of fundamental R&D, but 99.9% of what they are doing is refining existing technology to make something accomplished by others more efficient. This is highly valuable, but not the same as what NASA does.

Importantly, these two things are complementary, not exclusionary. NASA shouldn't be in the business of routine space flight tasks like putting satellites in orbit or making a delivery to the ISS; government is inefficient at that kind of thing. Likewise, a private company like SpaceX that needs to make a profit is really, really bad at fundamental R&D but far superior to government at commercializing technologies.

This is a pretty typical scenario, especially in arenas of bleeding edge tech. NASA does a ton of fundamental research on terrestrial aviation which eventually makes its way into commercialized product at Boeing, etc.

It remains to be seen if the Bezos's or Branson's of the world will participate in any meaningful way or if they were remain side shows.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 02:45:11 PM by MilesTeg »

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5731
  • Age: 14
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2021, 11:41:29 AM »
The billionaire “space race” is distasteful to me.

Funny enough, it was NASA initiative, under Obama Administration, to switch from buying rockets to paying for delivery service. That's what paved the way for SpaceX. So, at least one billionaire did exactly what our duly elected government wanted him to do. And it's working great for the US taxpayers - we are saving a ton of money on delivering stuff to ISS, and we regained the ability to send people to space.

Also, while it is framed as a space race, there is nothing resembling a race. There's SpaceX, which is miles ahead of every "space billionaire", and ahead of every state space agency in what it does. Then there's Blue Origin that builds rocket-shaped entertainment vehicles, and Virgin Galactic that builds plane-shaped entertainment vehicles. That's it for billionaires. There are also smaller players, like RocketLab, but they don't have billionaire mascots, and people who write about "billionaire space race" pay no attention to them.
Blue Origin's end goal isn't space tourism. It happens to be a natural stepping stone to test their launch vehicle that happens to get a ton of eyeballs.

GodlessCommie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 944
  • Location: NoVA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2021, 11:52:08 AM »
Blue Origin's end goal isn't space tourism. It happens to be a natural stepping stone to test their launch vehicle that happens to get a ton of eyeballs.

That may be so, but it is still not a race when one participant is counting medals, and the other is learning to tie the shoelaces.

Just Joe

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5290
  • Age: 68
  • Location: In the middle somewhere....
  • Always learning.
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2021, 12:34:55 PM »
What is the environmental consequences of all these rocket trips? I know very little about what comes out of the fiery end of a rocket. Does one rocket, one launch completely negate all the gasoline saving choices a hundred people make for five or  years?

The SpaceX rockets use RP-1, which is a kerosene based hydrocarbon fuel. According to some internet maths it is something like 823,292 kg of carbon dioxide produced per launch for a Falcon Heavy. Of note: some rockets use Hydrazine which produces zero co2, but the RP-1 is arguably more stable.

Okay so a Honda V6 SUV emits 8 tons of C02 per year, math says each rocket launch is equal to about ~115 years of driving that SUV. Or a couple million miles of driving said SUV.

PDXTabs

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4536
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Portland, OR, USA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2021, 12:46:06 PM »
What is the environmental consequences of all these rocket trips? I know very little about what comes out of the fiery end of a rocket. Does one rocket, one launch completely negate all the gasoline saving choices a hundred people make for five or  years?

The SpaceX rockets use RP-1, which is a kerosene based hydrocarbon fuel. According to some internet maths it is something like 823,292 kg of carbon dioxide produced per launch for a Falcon Heavy. Of note: some rockets use Hydrazine which produces zero co2, but the RP-1 is arguably more stable.

Okay so a Honda V6 SUV emits 8 tons of C02 per year, math says each rocket launch is equal to about ~115 years of driving that SUV. Or a couple million miles of driving said SUV.

To look at it another way this article just came out today from The Guardian. It says that "for every 4,434 metric tons of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere beyond the 2020 rate of emissions, one person globally will die prematurely from the increased temperature." It links to this analysis in Nature.

Their analysis says that the lifetime emissions of an American is 1,267,000kg. So, one SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch, if you are only county rocket fuel, is less than the lifetime emissions of one America.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 12:50:43 PM by PDXTabs »

FireLane

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 946
  • Age: 40
  • Location: NYC
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2021, 04:44:13 PM »
Most of them are glory hounds riding the coat tails of the vast armies of scientists & engineers that figured out how to get rockets into orbit (and beyond) using slide rules and lots of brain power. Some are entrepreneurs standing on the shoulders of those giants (who themselves stand on the shoulders of other giants.. all the way down).

Private industry is stepping in where it works best: refining raw inventions in ways to maximize profit. Sure it sounds like they are doing things vastly cheaper than government,  but only because of the massive investment in fundamental R&D that government has funded.

Without NASA (end JAXA and ESA and the Soviet space program) literally inventing new materials and fundamentally novel technologies these companies would not be able to accomplish what they are doing. Not at the price they are doing it and likely not at all given the very low short to medium term ROI on fundamental R&D

And, of course not just the various space programs but government investment in computers and other fundamental research.

And to emphasize this point, NASA is still developing groundbreaking new technologies. It's just that they're mostly in deep-space travel and robotic exploration, instead of flinging canned apes into orbit.

Think of the skycrane maneuver that debuted on the Curiosity rover, or the tech advances that were built into Perseverance:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/technology/

Quote
The MOXIE instrument, located inside the body of the rover, will test technology that converts carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into oxygen. Using local resources found on the planet will be important for future human missions to Mars.

Quote
Stowed beneath the rover is the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter: a small, autonomous rotorcraft designed to test — for the first time — powered flight in the thin Martian atmosphere.

Quote
Terrain-Relative Navigation lets the rover make much more accurate estimates of its position relative to the ground during descent. In prior missions, the spacecraft carrying the rover estimated its location relative to the ground before entering the Martian atmosphere, as well as during entry, based on an initial guess from radiometric data provided through the Deep Space Network. That technique had an estimation error of about 0.6 - 1.2 miles (about 1-2 kilometers), which grows to about (2 - 3 kilometers) during entry.

Using Terrain-Relative Navigation, the Perseverance rover can estimate its location while descending through the Martian atmosphere on its parachute. That allows the rover to determine its position relative to the ground with an accuracy of about 130 feet (40 meters) or better.

Once travel to Mars becomes routine, I don't doubt that corporations will spring up to extend and refine these technologies. But it's almost always government R&D that gets them to the point of viability, which is well before the point of profit.

lemonlyman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 248
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2021, 05:16:21 PM »
When did NASA create a reusable rocket or catch a payload fairing driving down the cost of every launch? Thinking SpaceX is really bad a R&D is…an  interesting opinion.

PDXTabs

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4536
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Portland, OR, USA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2021, 05:36:27 PM »
And to emphasize this point, NASA is still developing groundbreaking new technologies. It's just that they're mostly in deep-space travel and robotic exploration, instead of flinging canned apes into orbit.

Think of the skycrane maneuver that debuted on the Curiosity rover, or the tech advances that were built into Perseverance:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/technology/

We can do both, right?

Let NASA continue to develop cutting edge tech.

Let the private sector drive down launch prices.

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5731
  • Age: 14
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2021, 05:37:57 PM »
Yes. More space for errrrrrybody. Government, private, or even just making toy rockets with little Tommy in the desert. Do it.

scottish

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2344
  • Location: Ottawa
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2021, 06:09:42 PM »
Most of them are glory hounds riding the coat tails of the vast armies of scientists & engineers that figured out how to get rockets into orbit (and beyond) using slide rules and lots of brain power. Some are entrepreneurs standing on the shoulders of those giants (who themselves stand on the shoulders of other giants.. all the way down).

Private industry is stepping in where it works best: refining raw inventions in ways to maximize profit. Sure it sounds like they are doing things vastly cheaper than government,  but only because of the massive investment in fundamental R&D that government has funded.

Without NASA (end JAXA and ESA and the Soviet space program) literally inventing new materials and fundamentally novel technologies these companies would not be able to accomplish what they are doing. Not at the price they are doing it and likely not at all given the very low short to medium term ROI on fundamental R&D

And, of course not just the various space programs but government investment in computers and other fundamental research.

And to emphasize this point, NASA is still developing groundbreaking new technologies. It's just that they're mostly in deep-space travel and robotic exploration, instead of flinging canned apes into orbit.

Think of the skycrane maneuver that debuted on the Curiosity rover, or the tech advances that were built into Perseverance:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/technology/

Quote
The MOXIE instrument, located inside the body of the rover, will test technology that converts carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into oxygen. Using local resources found on the planet will be important for future human missions to Mars.

Quote
Stowed beneath the rover is the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter: a small, autonomous rotorcraft designed to test — for the first time — powered flight in the thin Martian atmosphere.

Quote
Terrain-Relative Navigation lets the rover make much more accurate estimates of its position relative to the ground during descent. In prior missions, the spacecraft carrying the rover estimated its location relative to the ground before entering the Martian atmosphere, as well as during entry, based on an initial guess from radiometric data provided through the Deep Space Network. That technique had an estimation error of about 0.6 - 1.2 miles (about 1-2 kilometers), which grows to about (2 - 3 kilometers) during entry.

Using Terrain-Relative Navigation, the Perseverance rover can estimate its location while descending through the Martian atmosphere on its parachute. That allows the rover to determine its position relative to the ground with an accuracy of about 130 feet (40 meters) or better.

Once travel to Mars becomes routine, I don't doubt that corporations will spring up to extend and refine these technologies. But it's almost always government R&D that gets them to the point of viability, which is well before the point of profit.

When do you all think travel to Mars will become routine?   This is Musk's raison d'etre, but I haven't seen a clear timeline.

Will his spaceships rotate about their long axis to provide centripedal acceleration in lieu of gravity?    Will there be an on-board greenhouse for fresh produce en route?

This is an exciting time.

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1363
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2021, 06:59:01 PM »
When did NASA create a reusable rocket or catch a payload fairing driving down the cost of every launch? Thinking SpaceX is really bad a R&D is…an  interesting opinion.

There's a big difference between the kind of R&D SpaceX is doing and fundamental R&D. SpaceX is figuring out how to cheaply make reusable rocket parts out with materials and processes that will enable that and figuring out how to make a computer able to land a rocket.

NASA invented those materials, processes and computers necessary to solve those problems.

That's the real gift of spaceflight so far, the amazing amount of fundamental research done in everything from new alloys to computing systems to medical imaging technologies and beyond. Bonus: Tang! Lol

Also, NASA was making and using entire spacecraft that were reusable decades before SpaceX was even a company. I'm not sure why anyone thinks SpaceX somehow did that first.

lemonlyman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 248
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2021, 12:00:46 AM »

Also, NASA was making and using entire spacecraft that were reusable decades before SpaceX was even a company. I'm not sure why anyone thinks SpaceX somehow did that first.

Entirely reusable, eh? They also landed boosters too? Incredible. NASA invested computers?! Wow. Shut SpaceX down. Simpsons (NASA) already did it. SpaceX is clearly bad at R&D. SpaceX will never accomplish any feat NASA didn’t do 30 years ago.

Except SpaceX does do metallurgy and invented new alloys. (Where would NASA be metallurgically without US Steel?) They designed the engine. They use Linux and computer parts not designed by NASA. NASA is awesome and has results from over a trillion spent adjusted for inflation. But the argument that a private company is inherently bad a “fundamental” research is flawed. What Google is doing with Deepmind will probably change humanity more than NASA ever did.

Herbert Derp

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 766
  • Age: 31
  • Location: United States
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2021, 12:12:18 AM »
Also, NASA was making and using entire spacecraft that were reusable decades before SpaceX was even a company. I'm not sure why anyone thinks SpaceX somehow did that first.

NASA's Space Shuttle can hardly be described as reusable compared to SpaceX's technology. Refurbishable at an extremely high cost is more like it. The Space Shuttle was an economic failure that cost $1.5 BILLION to launch 27,500 kg to orbit. Every heat tile on the orbiter had to be painstakingly inspected after every flight. The solid rocket boosters had to be fished out of the ocean and disassembled. Each piece had to be cleaned, inspected, and then reassembled. They may as well have just manufactured new boosters!

In comparison, SpaceX's Falcon 9 requires minimal refurbishment and costs $50 million to launch 15,400 kg to orbit. That's about 17 times cheaper per kg!

Furthermore, SpaceX's Starship rocket is designed to be inspected like an airplane and will require almost zero refurbishment. As a result, it will launch almost ten times the payload of the Falcon 9, but actually cost less than the Falcon 9 per launch. That makes it well over 150 times as efficient as the Space Shuttle. What SpaceX has done and continues to do is truly incredible. Sure much of what they have done is to refine existing technology, but we are talking two orders of magnitude of improvement in terms of economic efficiency! That's an amazing feat of innovation!

By the way, the Soviet Union copied the Space Shuttle, and their version was actually technically superior. But they realized how inefficient and wasteful the design was and cancelled it. They simply could not afford it!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 01:00:35 AM by Herbert Derp »

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1363
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2021, 12:46:56 AM »

Also, NASA was making and using entire spacecraft that were reusable decades before SpaceX was even a company. I'm not sure why anyone thinks SpaceX somehow did that first.

Entirely reusable, eh? They also landed boosters too? Incredible. NASA invested computers?! Wow. Shut SpaceX down. Simpsons (NASA) already did it. SpaceX is clearly bad at R&D. SpaceX will never accomplish any feat NASA didn’t do 30 years ago.

Except SpaceX does do metallurgy and invented new alloys. (Where would NASA be metallurgically without US Steel?) They designed the engine. They use Linux and computer parts not designed by NASA. NASA is awesome and has results from over a trillion spent adjusted for inflation. But the argument that a private company is inherently bad a “fundamental” research is flawed. What Google is doing with Deepmind will probably change humanity more than NASA ever did.

I've already explained thoroughly that the kind things NASA (et al.) do and the kind of things SpaceX does form a symbiotic relationship.

I will go further and talk about how U.S. Steel, Boeing, etc. are involved. They perform some of the work (often large parts of it), but would not and could not do that in a commercially viable way. They function based on government dollars dolled out for government projects. SpaceX is getting into that game too, above and beyond their commercial rocket program. They are getting funded by the NASA to produce products (for example, the proposed moon lander) just like Boeing, etc.

Private companies are indeed poor at fundamental research. The ones that are successful are almost always backed by government dollars. It's not because the people in private companies aren't smart or some silly bullshit like that. It's because private companies have to make a profit to survive, and fundamental research rarely provides a profitable revenue stream on a timeline that is conducive to keeping a private venture alive. Does that mean private companies never successful do fundamental R&D? No, it just means they aren't the organizations that do it best. Just like government is pretty terrible at commercialization but occasionally accomplishes that.

It's actually great that you mention that SpaceX uses Linux. It's a perfect exemplar of what I am talking about. When NASA was putting people on the moon, they didn't have the luxury of using off the shelf computers and operating systems. They had to design and construct their own custom computers (hardware and software) from scratch! The the R&D they did to accomplish that is a building block of modern computers.

SpaceX hasn't done any fundamentally novel thing. VTVL rockets have been developed going back into the 60s. Hell, we have functioning VTVL aircraft today. SpaceX is just doing it better and with bigger rockets (mostly because they have access to a lot better computers these days and have the benefit of knowledge produced by others). I don't mean to diminish that, but it's not novel like, say, figuring out how to get a man to the moon and back without anyone ever having done anything even remotely similar.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 01:24:38 AM by MilesTeg »

MilesTeg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1363
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2021, 01:01:31 AM »
Also, NASA was making and using entire spacecraft that were reusable decades before SpaceX was even a company. I'm not sure why anyone thinks SpaceX somehow did that first.

NASA's Space Shuttle can hardly be described as reusable compared to SpaceX's technology. Refurbishable at an extremely high cost is more like it. The Space Shuttle was an economic failure that cost $1.5 BILLION to launch 27,500 kg to orbit. In comparison, SpaceX's Falcon 9 requires minimal refurbishment and costs $50 million to launch 15,400 kg to orbit. That's about 17 times cheaper per kg!

Furthermore, SpaceX's Starship rocket is designed to be inspected like an airplane and will require almost zero refurbishment. As a result, it will launch almost ten times the payload of the Falcon 9, but actually cost less than the Falcon 9 per launch. That makes it well over 150 times as efficient as the Space Shuttle. What SpaceX has done and continues to do is truly incredible. Sure much of what they have done is to refine existing technology, but we are talking two orders of magnitude of improvement in terms of economic efficiency! That's insane!

By the way, the Soviet Union copied the Space Shuttle, and their version was actually technically superior. But they realized how inefficient and wasteful the design was and cancelled it. They simply could not afford it!

Apples to oranges. Falcon9 (and even the proposed Starship) only has a tiny fraction of the overall designed capability that the Shuttle had. The root of the shuttle's failures were political, not technological. It was asked to do too much. The Falcon9 is asked to do just a couple things so of course it can do those things far more efficiently. No one is building a craft like with the requirements of the shuttle without it being an expensive boondoggle (just like, as you mentioned, the Soviets and the Buran).

And also, I really hope SpaceX can follow through with their grand plan of a 100% rusable rocket, but they have not yet actually succeeded in that feat.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 01:03:18 AM by MilesTeg »

Herbert Derp

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 766
  • Age: 31
  • Location: United States
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #45 on: July 30, 2021, 01:30:02 AM »
SpaceX hasn't done any fundamentally novel thing. VTVL rockets have been developed going back into the 60s. Hell, we have functioning VTVL aircraft today. SpaceX is just doing it better and with bigger rockets (mostly because they have access to a lot better computers these days and have the benefit of knowledge produced by others). I don't mean to diminish that, but it's not novel like, say, figuring out how to get a man to the moon and back without anyone ever having done anything even remotely similar.

Everyone else said propulsively landed rockets large rockets were impossible before SpaceX came along. SpaceX did it first, and it was a huge innovation. SpaceX was the first to land their rockets on platforms in the ocean. Also a significant innovation. The Starship is the first rocket ever to "skydive" down to Earth using fins. It does not glide and land on a runway like the X-15, Space Shuttle, and X-37B. That's pretty novel! NASA is helping to fund SpaceX to develop the first in-orbit propellant transfer technology. That's novel. Finally, SpaceX wants to catch the Starship Super Heavy booster with some sort of giant robotic arm! If that isn't novel, I don't know what is. I wouldn't have even considered it to be a feasible idea.

Now, one might say that what Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites have achieved with the SpaceShipTwo is no more novel than what NACA and North American Aviation achieved with the X-15 over sixty years ago. Carried to a high altitude by a larger aircraft? Check. Flown by a human pilot? Check. Has a rocket engine and flies to 50 miles above the Earth? Check. Glides back to Earth and lands on a runway? Check. Yeah, Virgin Galactic is practically in the 1950s! But look at all these firsts that SpaceX has done!

That being said, I totally get and respect what you are saying about NASA spending government money to develop novel technologies at a high cost, and then passing these along to industry. SpaceX has absolutely benefitted from prior NASA R&D, the heat tiles on the Starship are a great example of that. But I think that SpaceX is going above and beyond anything that NASA has done before.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 01:53:02 AM by Herbert Derp »

GodlessCommie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 944
  • Location: NoVA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #46 on: July 30, 2021, 07:46:24 AM »
Again, it's not SpaceX vs NASA, it's SpaceX vs ULA+Roskosmos.

You cannot call it a race when one participant is actively helping and funding the other, as NASA has done with SpaceX.

Having said that, SpaceX has absolutely made impressive and important contributions outside of the areas where it received NASA's help. Private business does have an advantage of being able to move with fewer constraints, and Musk uses that advantage to the full. Just imagine the reaction in Congress and in the press if it was under NASA supervision that many heavy rocket prototypes would have crashed and burned. Steel rockets would have long be declared a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 07:52:08 AM by GodlessCommie »

YttriumNitrate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1523
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #47 on: July 30, 2021, 07:55:39 AM »
When NASA was putting people on the moon, they didn't have the luxury of using off the shelf computers and operating systems. They had to design and construct their own custom computers (hardware and software) from scratch! The the R&D they did to accomplish that is a building block of modern computers.

By "design and construct their own custom computers" do you mean hire IBM to design and construct custom computers?
https://history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch8-2.html

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 20019
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #48 on: July 30, 2021, 09:55:09 AM »
It just takes one disaster scattering billions of little chunks of fast moving metal around the Earth to permentantly close off space to the human race.  I'm not entirely sure that I trust any private corporation to be careful enough, given the environmental history of our world.

PDXTabs

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4536
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Portland, OR, USA
Re: Billionaires space race......lame!
« Reply #49 on: July 30, 2021, 10:03:25 AM »
The root of the shuttle's failures were political, not technological. It was asked to do too much.

So what can we do to get the politics out of space? I'm just spit-balling here, but maybe we could let private companies develop their own launch vehicles as a good first step.