Author Topic: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?  (Read 3472 times)

Offline Caleb Cattuzzo

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SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« on: 12/01/2017 08:35 PM »
I was wondering what is the your opinions on who will be the first to Mars and beyond?This is my personal opinion but I think that NASA will probably be first to reach Mars (landing is a completely different subject) with SpaceX following close behind taking over operations while NASA continues on.Like we are seeing with LEO operations currently.The trend I see with these 2 space 'competitors' (doesn't seem like the right word for them but I can't think of a better one) is that SpaceX keeps advancing there operations and Congress then pushes NASA to stay ahead pushing them forward like the NASA authorization act of 2010 with SLS (at least that's how I see it).So I predict that NASA will pave the way while SpaceX follows close behind.What are your thoughts?
There is no strife,no prejudice,no national conflict in space as yet.Its hazards are hostile to us all.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #1 on: 12/01/2017 08:56 PM »
The utilization of Cislunar space - including the Moon - may be NASA's last chance for greatness and relevance, as far as manned spaceflight goes. It saddens me to think/know that NASA will never be given the many tens of billions of dollars needed (hundreds of billions?!) to mount a campaign to develop a manned Mars infrastructure. But with only a 'little' more funding than they have now, plus continuing to utilize the talents and assets of their international partners; a small Lunar Outpost could be within their reach.

Elon Musk and his SpaceX team will continue to do quite well, I believe and may even achieve all or at least most of their Martian aspirations. But they have many, many obstacles still to overcome and they are going to need a lot of luck and hard work - and money - to achieve them all. They may get there, but we have to be patient, pragmatic and realistic; knowing that it may take a lot longer to achieve their goals than they or we want them to.
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Offline ncb1397

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #2 on: 12/01/2017 09:04 PM »
Space activity will probably look more like naval or air operations as time goes on which, as far as scale goes, looks like the following...

1.)commercial/private
2.)military
3.)civilian government

BTW, Exxon and NYK isn't competing with NOAA for ship-counts or ship man hours or whatever.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #3 on: 12/01/2017 09:05 PM »
I was wondering what is the your opinions on who will be the first to Mars and beyond?This is my personal opinion but I think that NASA will probably be first to reach Mars (landing is a completely different subject) with SpaceX following close behind taking over operations while NASA continues on.

The President (whoever that may be at the time) runs NASA, so what NASA wants to do is a reflection of what the current President wants to do. And the current President has no interest in going to Mars.

Elon Musk is completely focused on Mars, and he has a plan to get there, with a revenue stream to support him.

Based on all of that, SpaceX will get to Mars first. Who knows when, but it won't even be a race.

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Like we are seeing with LEO operations currently.The trend I see with these 2 space 'competitors' (doesn't seem like the right word for them but I can't think of a better one) is that SpaceX keeps advancing there operations and Congress then pushes NASA to stay ahead pushing them forward like the NASA authorization act of 2010 with SLS (at least that's how I see it).

That is thin evidence, and it doesn't reflect reality. Back in 2010 Congress was not concerned with SpaceX going anywhere beyond LEO before NASA. So no, Congress could care less what SpaceX does.

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So I predict that NASA will pave the way while SpaceX follows close behind.What are your thoughts?

I don't see how you can support your conclusions, and so far you haven't.

My $0.02
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline ncb1397

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #4 on: 12/01/2017 09:14 PM »
I was wondering what is the your opinions on who will be the first to Mars and beyond?This is my personal opinion but I think that NASA will probably be first to reach Mars (landing is a completely different subject) with SpaceX following close behind taking over operations while NASA continues on.

The President (whoever that may be at the time) runs NASA, so what NASA wants to do is a reflection of what the current President wants to do. And the current President has no interest in going to Mars.

Quote
In a dramatic call from the White House with a pair of astronauts at the International Space Station, Trump urged NASA to speed up its exploration timeline to get humans on Mars "at worst, during my second term."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/04/24/trump-says-he-hopes-humans-set-foot-on-mars-during-my-second-term/?utm_term=.4da86ad184de

Quote
“We will return NASA astronauts to the Moon — not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation, we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond,”
https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/5/16429598/nasa-vice-president-national-space-council-moon-mars

Quote
(Sec. 412) The key U.S. objectives for human expansion into space shall include achieving human exploration of Mars and beyond through the prioritization of those technologies and capabilities best suited for such a mission in accordance with the stepping stone approach to exploration specified in federal law.

(Sec. 413) NASA shall manage human space flight programs, including the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, to enable humans to explore Mars and other space destinations.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/442

The NASA authorization Act of 2017 was signed by the President in March of this year.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2017 09:20 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline Kansan52

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #5 on: 12/01/2017 09:37 PM »
It's all about the money.

Congress hasn't provided any money to support a fast track a trip to Mars. Plus, the mission changes as Presidents change so each Mars mission eats some money and dead ends. So it will always be 10 years or more away.

Space X is a different story in that it has a clear goal that doesn't change. How may change. If they can earn and raise the money they will be are on Mars first.

Offline Negan

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #6 on: 12/01/2017 09:46 PM »
I see SpaceX getting to Mars first because they are planning to build a system that has so much capacity that a mission for a small crew could easily be done. Also they're building a spaceship and lander in one so no long development to build the lander later.

Edit: The willingness to accept a higher level of risk than NASA ever would also makes me feel that SpaceX will get there first.
« Last Edit: 12/03/2017 11:25 PM by Negan »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #7 on: 12/01/2017 10:56 PM »
Quote
“We will return NASA astronauts to the Moon — not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation, we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond,”

You just bolstered my argument - the President wants to go to our Moon first, not to Mars.

Quote
Quote
(Sec. 412) The key U.S. objectives for human expansion into space shall include achieving human exploration of Mars and beyond through the prioritization of those technologies and capabilities best suited for such a mission in accordance with the stepping stone approach to exploration specified in federal law.

(Sec. 413) NASA shall manage human space flight programs, including the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, to enable humans to explore Mars and other space destinations.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/442

The NASA authorization Act of 2017 was signed by the President in March of this year.

As we all know, such statements are not necessarily related to reality. Especially when no money has yet to be committed.

So even if NASA gets tasked with going to our Moon, SpaceX will be driving directly for Mars. Which again bolsters my argument that SpaceX will get to Mars well before NASA - unless NASA buys a ticket on a BFS...  ;)
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Caleb Cattuzzo

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #8 on: 12/03/2017 02:10 AM »
All of my statements on here are observations and conclusions that I make and I thought the Senate voted to give the SLS program extra funding to fast track the program since EM-1 will more than likely lift off in 2019
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Online high road

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #9 on: 12/03/2017 07:06 AM »
If SpaceX succeeds in earning enough for a few demonstration missions to (and back?) from Mars, congress might be cajoled into funding NASA to buy a ride.

I see no other scenario where NASA reaches Mars.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #10 on: 12/03/2017 04:00 PM »
To the question "who (SpaceX or NASA) will be the first to Mars"? 

The answer is NASA, of course!  It reached the surface of Mars in 1975.  The Agency is still there, and has been there continuously for more than a decade with its JPL rovers.

The Soviet Union beat everyone, with the first man-made object to reach Mars surface on November 27, 1971 and the first soft landing on December 2, 1971.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 12/03/2017 04:03 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline ncb1397

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #11 on: 12/03/2017 07:07 PM »
Quote
“We will return NASA astronauts to the Moon — not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation, we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond,”

You just bolstered my argument - the President wants to go to our Moon first, not to Mars.

Quote
Quote
(Sec. 412) The key U.S. objectives for human expansion into space shall include achieving human exploration of Mars and beyond through the prioritization of those technologies and capabilities best suited for such a mission in accordance with the stepping stone approach to exploration specified in federal law.

(Sec. 413) NASA shall manage human space flight programs, including the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, to enable humans to explore Mars and other space destinations.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/442

The NASA authorization Act of 2017 was signed by the President in March of this year.

As we all know, such statements are not necessarily related to reality. Especially when no money has yet to be committed.

So even if NASA gets tasked with going to our Moon, SpaceX will be driving directly for Mars. Which again bolsters my argument that SpaceX will get to Mars well before NASA - unless NASA buys a ticket on a BFS...  ;)

They aren't going strait to mars. The next mission on their manifest is LEO cargo.

Online hop

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #12 on: 12/03/2017 07:18 PM »
If you look at the major developments SpaceX has actually done up to now, they've generally had an anchor customer (e.g. F9 and Dragon development got serious when there was NASA commitment.) Ideas that don't attract such a customer (hello Red Dragon, Dragon lab...) tend to get discarded or indefinitely postponed.

I predict this pattern will continue.

Offline ncb1397

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #13 on: 12/03/2017 07:27 PM »
If you look at the major developments SpaceX has actually done up to now, they've generally had an anchor customer (e.g. F9 and Dragon development got serious when there was NASA commitment.) Ideas that don't attract such a customer (hello Red Dragon, Dragon lab...) tend to get discarded or indefinitely postponed.

I predict this pattern will continue.

And it is obvious why. The U.S. government is on the hook to put something like $10 billion into SpaceX(past and on contract). With that ~$10 billion, they will have done maybe ~10 satellite flights, put ~60 mT of cargo into LEO and transported a couple of dozen astronauts into LEO. That is half of Elon's net worth and they aren't anywhere close to Mars with that amount of cash infusion. Elon can't fund it himself(yet).
« Last Edit: 12/03/2017 07:32 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #14 on: 12/03/2017 07:35 PM »
The irony is; if Musk and Bezos joined forces, they could probably do it.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #15 on: 12/03/2017 08:04 PM »
They aren't going strait to mars. The next mission on their manifest is LEO cargo.

NASA's not going straight to Mars or our Moon either, as the ISS is the their current destination, and the proposed DSG only gets to lunar orbit.

Looking at the level of interest for doing something, and the ability to pursue that interest, it's clear that SpaceX currently has the most momentum. They have a defined goal, they have defined a transportation infrastructure to get there, they are already working on that transportation infrastructure, and they have a funding stream to support their current efforts.

NASA does not yet have the ability to pursue any goals beyond the ISS, and does not have any momentum for post-ISS destinations. They have an interim goal to get to the region of our Moon, and they do have transportation infrastructure being developed, but they don't have a funding stream to support their future efforts.

The thread title is a little nebulous, so it's easy to make just about any argument. I'd break it out this way:

Q: Who will lead the way back to our Moon, SpaceX or NASA?
A: I'd say NASA, but who knows when they will get there.

Q: Who will lead the way to Mars, SpaceX or NASA?
A: I'd say SpaceX, but again who knows when they will get there.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #16 on: 12/03/2017 08:09 PM »
If you look at the major developments SpaceX has actually done up to now, they've generally had an anchor customer (e.g. F9 and Dragon development got serious when there was NASA commitment.) Ideas that don't attract such a customer (hello Red Dragon, Dragon lab...) tend to get discarded or indefinitely postponed.

I predict this pattern will continue.

And it is obvious why. The U.S. government is on the hook to put something like $10 billion into SpaceX(past and on contract). With that ~$10 billion, they will have done maybe ~10 satellite flights, put ~60 mT of cargo into LEO and transported a couple of dozen astronauts into LEO. That is half of Elon's net worth and they aren't anywhere close to Mars with that amount of cash infusion. Elon can't fund it himself(yet).
I generally hate making these kind of comparisons- but how much has the government paid ULA over a comparable timeframe, and what innovation have they made in that span of time? Yes, they’ve had a very strong track record for mission success, and yes, that’s definitely priority one - but please, it should be more than that. Status quo shouldn’t be good enough...
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Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #17 on: 12/03/2017 10:47 PM »
Personally I believe NASA and SpaceX will "get to Mars" with humans at the same time because they will be partners in that endeavor. How that partnership will unfold and how much will be contributed from either group is unknowable at this point.

It grinds my gears a bit to see all the "NASA vs. SpaceX" videos and similar material floating around the internet. They aren't competing against each other, they're partners. Neither would benefit from the other's disappearance.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
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Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #18 on: 12/04/2017 02:06 AM »
And it is obvious why. The U.S. government is on the hook to put something like $10 billion into SpaceX(past and on contract). With that ~$10 billion, they will have done maybe ~10 satellite flights, put ~60 mT of cargo into LEO and transported a couple of dozen astronauts into LEO.

They will have done much much more than that, landing and reuse a first stage is just for starters, a significant amount of the money will also go to BFR.

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That is half of Elon's net worth and they aren't anywhere close to Mars with that amount of cash infusion. Elon can't fund it himself(yet).

Actually they got pretty close to a robotic mission that can land 1t of useful payload on Mars. As it is, they still have a rocket that can push 16t through TMI, I wouldn't call that "nowhere close to Mars".
« Last Edit: 12/04/2017 02:08 AM by su27k »

Offline ncb1397

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Re: SpaceX or NASA?Who will lead the way?
« Reply #19 on: 12/05/2017 11:29 PM »
And it is obvious why. The U.S. government is on the hook to put something like $10 billion into SpaceX(past and on contract). With that ~$10 billion, they will have done maybe ~10 satellite flights, put ~60 mT of cargo into LEO and transported a couple of dozen astronauts into LEO.

They will have done much much more than that, landing and reuse a first stage is just for starters, a significant amount of the money will also go to BFR.

Quote
That is half of Elon's net worth and they aren't anywhere close to Mars with that amount of cash infusion. Elon can't fund it himself(yet).

Actually they got pretty close to a robotic mission that can land 1t of useful payload on Mars. As it is, they still have a rocket that can push 16t through TMI, I wouldn't call that "nowhere close to Mars".

This thread assumed "get to Mars" meant with humans. It doesn't make sense any other way. If it meant with a robotic lander, NASA would have to slip Mars Insight 4 years and Mars 2020 2 years (not to mention they were on the surface in the 70s) . I was just following the convention of this discussion.

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