Poll

September 2027: will either, neither or both SpaceX's BFR and NASA's SLS be operational?

SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
23 (9.4%)
BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
131 (53.5%)
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.
79 (32.2%)
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
12 (4.9%)

Total Members Voted: 245

Voting closed: 10/30/2017 05:15 PM


Author Topic: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR  (Read 29074 times)

Offline Lar

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #40 on: 10/02/2017 08:56 PM »
Well that was unexpected.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
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Offline mme

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #41 on: 10/02/2017 09:47 PM »
I voted both because I expect BFR to be operational but it's HSF Mars ambitions to slip a bit. I think Congress will be able to keep SLS alive until a non-Nasa rocket safely delivers self-loading cargo to the Moon or Mars. At that point it's supposed raison d'Ítre is no more.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Online octavo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #42 on: 10/03/2017 05:01 AM »
Well that was unexpected.
I even saw a defense from Jim that the prop transfer wouldn't be that hard. I think someone hacked his account

Offline Bynaus

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #43 on: 10/03/2017 06:03 AM »
Voted BFR operational, SLS not.

Because once BFR flies its first payload - at some point in the early 2020ies - SLS will look like a giant waste of money in comparison (also to New Glenn and New Armstrong, the latter of which Bezos will certainly have announced by then). I think there is a narrow chance that SLS will get a"spruce goose" moment around 2023 or so, but by 2027 its cancellation will already be (near-forgotten) history, and instead we will all be exicted by the "commercial" Moon and Mars program the then-president has announced.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #44 on: 10/03/2017 07:48 AM »
Well that was unexpected.
So do we know if @jim participate in this poll?  :o

Online high road

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #45 on: 10/03/2017 08:14 AM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

Well, coming from you, that says a lot. Considering the sequence, that means you think SLS will be cancelled in ten years regardless of BFR?

Offline alexterrell

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #46 on: 10/03/2017 08:55 AM »

I think NASA programs will switch to using the BFR on cost grounds.

What programs?

Any programs. If there aren't any programs, then SLS is there, but not operating*. If there are programs, they'll switch to BFR, and SLS will be there, but not operating.

Whether it's "operational" is a matter of definition.

What will be the marginal cost of a BFR flight, and what will be the marginal cost of a SLS flight?
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 08:56 AM by alexterrell »

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #47 on: 10/03/2017 03:00 PM »
Well that was unexpected.
I even saw a defense from Jim that the prop transfer wouldn't be that hard. I think someone hacked his account

Always supported prop transfer

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #48 on: 10/03/2017 03:01 PM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

Well, coming from you, that says a lot. Considering the sequence, that means you think SLS will be cancelled in ten years regardless of BFR?

in less than 5 launches

Offline JDTractorGuy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #49 on: 10/03/2017 03:19 PM »
I'm sure that I'm going to get fact checked a bunch for posting this, but keep in mind this is my personal opinion being an observer/hobbyist for the past 4 years.  I put that I think SLS will be operational, BFR/BFS will not. 

I'm sorry, but I have very little faith in SpaceX.  I think that Musk puts forth extremely unreasonable dates, and that having the BFR operational by 2022 is absolutely absurd.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't we supposed to have Falcon Heavy by 2015?  2017 is here and I haven't seen a launch date yet.  I wouldn't be surprised if it slips again to next year. 
Secondly, I am not a fan of SpaceX's rapid launch pace and accident investigations.  I think it's a great idea to increase launch cadence, but I think they're moving way too fast, especially for such a new company.  Also, I don't think they ever found a root cause for the CRS failure.  And then another one blew up on the pad later that year.  And THEN Shotwell says they'll be flying again within a month???  Granted that didn't happen, but still, I think that's ridiculous and shows a lack of safety concern.  I personally wouldn't ever fly on a SpaceX rocket.

I think SLS will fly.  I think the signing of this Russia treaty finally gives it some kind of mission and puts pressure on the program to launch DSG.  I expect that they will be "competing" with Blue Origin at this point (2027).  I think SpaceX will have failed long before that, which will allow SLS to continue flying.  I also think that Blue, focusing on Lunar, will not truly compete with SLS in the deep space regions, justifying it's existence.  I wouldn't be surprised if we see SLS landing humans on Mars, not BFS.

I also wouldn't be surprised if I'm completely wrong in 10 years.  Go easy on me, I'm not an engineer.

Offline Lar

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #50 on: 10/03/2017 04:49 PM »
Almost twice as many of us think BFR will be operational (taking both poll options where it is) as think SLS will be (again, taking both poll options where it is)... the SLS Yes, BFR No is the second least popular option of all so you've staked out some interesting ground.

What makes me happy is that the option where neither is flying?  Less than 1 in 15 of us so far. Yaay for optimism.

I personally doubt that SpaceX will fail entirely in the conventional sense, they will be a going concern for some time even if BFS fails.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Firehawk153

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #51 on: 10/03/2017 07:26 PM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

Well, coming from you, that says a lot. Considering the sequence, that means you think SLS will be cancelled in ten years regardless of BFR?

in less than 5 launches


Not sure if you know this Jim but do you get the sense that those working on the vehicle itself share that assessment?  Not that I'm disagreeing with you (quite the opposite), just wonder if everyone working on SLS feels the same way.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 07:27 PM by Firehawk153 »

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #52 on: 10/03/2017 07:37 PM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

Well, coming from you, that says a lot. Considering the sequence, that means you think SLS will be cancelled in ten years regardless of BFR?

in less than 5 launches


Not sure if you know this Jim but do you get the sense that those working on the vehicle itself share that assessment?  Not that I'm disagreeing with you (quite the opposite), just wonder if everyone working on SLS feels the same way.

they are oblivious

Offline Lar

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #53 on: 10/03/2017 07:43 PM »
they are oblivious
This is really a fascinating bit of insight. Thanks Jim. 

It's almost as if they drank the SLS Kool-aid or something.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline jg

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #54 on: 10/03/2017 07:51 PM »
they are oblivious
This is really a fascinating bit of insight. Thanks Jim. 

It's almost as if they drank the SLS Kool-aid or something.

When you are working on a project, the cool aid is easiest to swallow.  If you don't swallow, you start thinking about other employment.

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #55 on: 10/03/2017 09:49 PM »
The national debt will be well above the GDP.  The industry is in a tail spin after the ISS is defunded.  Common day themes of CO2 emissions from rockets are brought to bear against the dichotomy of Elonís views with climate change. 

HSF has already been down on the boxing ring floor for too long.  New astronauts are only recommended to fly space qualified flight systems.  The costs for human rating in the us just exceed what is available due to national debt crises.

BFR and SLS are museum models, 1:50th scale.

Quite gloomy. However, BFR is a methane rocket, and SpaceX is run by the same guy that is also investing in solar power and power storage. If emissions ever do become an issue for space flight, they are in a good position to make their activities as carbon neutral as possible.

BFR doesn't need government funded missions to have a healthy number of launches (although they would obviously help), let alone crewed missions. If the US regulates its own crewed space program out of existence, which I doubt given all the hubbub about having to buy Russian launches, there are plenty of other governments willing to allow SpaceX to launch from their soil. And there are other countries that would pay to get their astronauts launched, even if it's only to earth orbit.

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #56 on: 10/04/2017 01:32 AM »
, there are plenty of other governments willing to allow SpaceX to launch from their soil.

not possible

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #57 on: 10/04/2017 06:08 AM »
The national debt will be well above the GDP.  The industry is in a tail spin after the ISS is defunded.  Common day themes of CO2 emissions from rockets are brought to bear against the dichotomy of Elonís views with climate change. 


I share the assessment that economic catastrophe has a very real probability, & can halt all progress on all ventures into space, BFR & SLS being no exception.  I think Musk is aware of that, as well as the political  optics of a Methane burning, CO2 producing rocket fleet.  With those potential pitfalls, SpaceX is doing exactly the right things.
1.  Accelerate BFR to a plan that is achievable much sooner that the 12m ITS design
2.  See Musk at the 34 minute mark to 34:40. ( IAC 2017 address)  He mentioned that the Sabatier process is needed on Mars, but can also be used on Earth to make the CH4 fuel. 

While I would not expect it to be an immediate priority for current limited resources, Musk at least shows he has thought through the potential political problem of a C02 emitting rocket.  BFR could be made carbon neutral if politics drifted that direction.  If ( when) a political battle ensues over SLS vs. BFR & maybe NG, I would not put it past Musk to play up making BFR carbon neutral vs. SLS.  He will need to pull every trick possible if it comes to that battle.

It could also benefit SpaceX to have internal expertise, or to partner closely with a company with expertise in running the Sabatier process here on Earth, so that it can be scaled and operated on Mars.  BFR can't go to Mars until ISRU equipment for CH4 production is available.   It would fit within SpaceX modus operandi of vertical integration to have a stake in fuel production.

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #58 on: 10/04/2017 09:00 AM »
, there are plenty of other governments willing to allow SpaceX to launch from their soil.

not possible

SpaceX would not exactly be an American company anymore, if that's why you say 'impossible'. Not that I can imagine the US ever making it so difficult for the leading space launch company to launch people, that it would go through the trouble of illegaly transfering all the necessary knowledge, irreplaceable assets and people towards a foreign shell company. But this was the assumption of the post I replied to. And although illegal, there are plenty of historical precedents of technology of which the export has been forbidden by government, crossing those borders regardless. And considering EM wasn't even born in America, I don't see any reason for him to be loyal to a country that stifles his dreams.

Like I said, I can't imagine this happening. The post I replied to was quite dystopian.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #59 on: 10/04/2017 09:47 AM »
considering EM wasn't even born in America, I don't see any reason for him to be loyal to a country that stifles his dreams.

That's a really terrible thing to say, man.

Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

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