Author Topic: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon  (Read 708365 times)

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2550 on: 02/12/2009 12:56 PM »
Ahhh....but the question is will Iran's capsule come standard with a bomb jacket, or the ability to launch  'space mines'?

It will be a one way trip and lack a heat shield, the irrationalnaut will be a martyr ;)

We are seriously off topic...
Are trampolines safe?

Offline William Barton

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2551 on: 02/12/2009 01:01 PM »
Great video of Falcon 9/Dragon.  Elon Musk is right, America can not only save money and close the gap by funding COTS D, but it can create American jobs and a back-up system to whatever rocket system NASA goes with. 

That is just plain silly.  Falcon 9 is not a given.  Cargo Dragon is not a given. 

Again, this is like expecting an expansion NFL franchise to win a Super Bowl their first year in the league

What is a given? EELV? Launching what? Orion is not a "given" either.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2552 on: 02/12/2009 05:09 PM »
Great video of Falcon 9/Dragon.  Elon Musk is right, America can not only save money and close the gap by funding COTS D, but it can create American jobs and a back-up system to whatever rocket system NASA goes with. 

That is just plain silly.  Falcon 9 is not a given.  Cargo Dragon is not a given. 

Again, this is like expecting an expansion NFL franchise to win a Super Bowl their first year in the league

What is a given? EELV? Launching what? Orion is not a "given" either.

I agree the Russians have pursued designs farther then Orion has gotten so far such as MAKS,Zarya and Buran only to decide not to pursue it any farther.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/zarya.htm
Though they were suffering from a financial crisis that makes the one the US is going though look like small potatoes.

If the Obama administration decides to do more stuff in LEO and forget about a return to the moon then expect Orion to get dumped for a space plane or RLV or even privately developed vehicles.

Dragon is more of a given then Orion because more real hardware for it exists.
Real hardware beats power points ,CAD files and mockups.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2553 on: 02/12/2009 05:14 PM »
I think it's great, can't wait for the day that Iran, China, India, the US, the EU, Russia, and Japan all have independent means to get to space.  Completion is good.
Ahhh....but the question is will Iran's capsule come standard with a bomb jacket, or the ability to launch  'space mines'?

A manned reentry capsule would make a very poor MRV shell because it looses too much velocity at high altitude.
By the time it's at the altitude nuclear devices usually explode it's going slow enough you probably can chase it down with a fighter let alone being an easy target for an anti ICBM weapon.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2554 on: 02/12/2009 07:46 PM »
Orion is in some sense dangling by a political thread. Constellation can be cancelled by the stroke of a pen, and I suspect any serious malf on Ares I-X would trigger just that. Dragon has at least limited ability to survive anything other than Musk going bankrupt. I suspect without COTS-D funding, manned Dragon will never materialize, and cargo Dragon would probably stop if the US withdrew from ISS, since it has nowhere else to go. I don't think we'll quit ISS before 2016, but you never know.

Offline DaveJ576

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2555 on: 02/12/2009 08:03 PM »
Dragon has at least limited ability to survive anything other than Musk going bankrupt.

Is there any potential technical reason that F9/Dragon won't work?

Short of something that I have missed in all this discussion, I don't see any reason why it won't. Sure, Elon might loose one or two of them initially, but eventually he will be successful. So, despite Jim's protests to the contrary, isn't it safe to assume that from a purely technical standpoint F9/Dragon is a given?

Now, SpaceX actually making money with them and being financially viable is a whole other story that I heartily agree bears some level of skepticism.

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Offline Patchouli

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2556 on: 02/12/2009 08:13 PM »
Orion is in some sense dangling by a political thread. Constellation can be cancelled by the stroke of a pen, and I suspect any serious malf on Ares I-X would trigger just that. Dragon has at least limited ability to survive anything other than Musk going bankrupt. I suspect without COTS-D funding, manned Dragon will never materialize, and cargo Dragon would probably stop if the US withdrew from ISS, since it has nowhere else to go. I don't think we'll quit ISS before 2016, but you never know.

There will be a manned spaceflight program no matter what.
Not having one would be too large a blow to national prestige and leadership in science.

I could not imagine this administration would be dumb enough to leave us with no space program at all.
If Constellation were canceled they would immediately replace it with a different program.

Instead they could decide to keep STS and Boeing gets an order for a new batch of orbiters but with considerable upgrades.
Not everything in STS it's self is fundamentally flawed but the system does have several flaws that probably can be fixed.
Or they could contract the new spacecraft from companies like Boeing, LM, Spacex, and Orbital as the air force does fighters vs having NASA design the vehicles in house.

Personally I think LEO can be left for private companies to handle since they can do this cheaper and better while NASA needs to concentrate on advanced concepts.
NTR rockets and space reactors for example are still far outside of the reach of private companies while a space capsule is something they can easily develop.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2009 08:13 PM by Patchouli »

Offline William Barton

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2557 on: 02/12/2009 08:34 PM »
Nobody ever lost a bet by underestimating the stupidity and short-sightedness of American politicians.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2558 on: 02/12/2009 08:40 PM »
Dragon has at least limited ability to survive anything other than Musk going bankrupt.

Is there any potential technical reason that F9/Dragon won't work?

Short of something that I have missed in all this discussion, I don't see any reason why it won't. Sure, Elon might loose one or two of them initially, but eventually he will be successful. So, despite Jim's protests to the contrary, isn't it safe to assume that from a purely technical standpoint F9/Dragon is a given?

Now, SpaceX actually making money with them and being financially viable is a whole other story that I heartily agree bears some level of skepticism.



As far as I know, $$$ is the only big stumbling block for eventual SpaceX success. It's a big one though, because Elon Musk isn't Bill Gates, and he can't afford to put too many Falcon 9s in the drink. Humanity could stand for somebody with a much bigger bank account to get in the game. Unfortunately, we don't know what Bernie Madoff did with the $50bln he clipped. 8-)

Offline nomadd22

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2559 on: 02/12/2009 08:43 PM »
Nobody ever lost a bet by underestimating the stupidity and short-sightedness of American politicians.

Wouldn't that be the other way around?

Offline gospacex

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2560 on: 02/12/2009 09:08 PM »
Nobody ever lost a bet by underestimating the stupidity and short-sightedness of American politicians.

Wouldn't that be the other way around?

And BTW, politicians of any other country are no better.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2561 on: 02/12/2009 09:36 PM »
Nobody ever lost a bet by underestimating the stupidity and short-sightedness of American politicians.

Wouldn't that be the other way around?

And BTW, politicians of any other country are no better.

I'm sure you're right, I just don't know any non-US politicians personally. As for that stupidity, I doubt if anybody ever lost a bet overestimating it, either. I actually think the only reason STS lived to fly is because Carter was an engineer, and it's survived from that day to this by simple inertia. Does anyone really believe if the US manned space program had been canceled, our national pride would have been stung into action by endless renditions of Salyut circling in LEO? If the Soviets had beat us to the Moon, we'd've gone to Mars. But they didn't, and here we are today.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2562 on: 02/12/2009 10:38 PM »
SpaceX are claiming COTS-D will take 2 years, slip that to 3 years plus start in the new financial year in September.  We then end up in a presidential election year.  Interesting. 

Can any one think of a new manned LEO mission that Obama may wish to claim credit for?  (I.E. fund via NASA.)

Offline mlorrey

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2563 on: 02/12/2009 10:56 PM »
SpaceX are claiming COTS-D will take 2 years, slip that to 3 years plus start in the new financial year in September.  We then end up in a presidential election year.  Interesting. 

Can any one think of a new manned LEO mission that Obama may wish to claim credit for?  (I.E. fund via NASA.)

Good question. Judd Gregg just rejected the Commerce Secty slot for various reasons, not sure if commercial space flight was one of them
« Last Edit: 02/15/2009 04:58 PM by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline mlorrey

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Re: Elon Musk Q&A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
« Reply #2564 on: 02/12/2009 11:32 PM »
Orion is in some sense dangling by a political thread. Constellation can be cancelled by the stroke of a pen, and I suspect any serious malf on Ares I-X would trigger just that. Dragon has at least limited ability to survive anything other than Musk going bankrupt. I suspect without COTS-D funding, manned Dragon will never materialize, and cargo Dragon would probably stop if the US withdrew from ISS, since it has nowhere else to go. I don't think we'll quit ISS before 2016, but you never know.

Musk is not hinging on NASA funding as the be all end all of the SpaceX program. Its good business to have, and Dragon will be a far more affordable option for ISS development than Orion OR Shuttle. If Obama extends shuttle more, you can bet the GOP is going to skewer him over it when there is Dragon available.

Provided Bigelow puts up Sundancer, there will be more traffic going there for Dragon than ISS. Tourist astronauts will not be prepared for long duration stays, so there would be a lot more short duration trips.

BTW: Has anybody else gotten an email this week from spacex requesting help lobbying congress on COTS-D?
« Last Edit: 02/12/2009 11:33 PM by mlorrey »

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