Author Topic: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started  (Read 99790 times)

Offline speedevil

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #360 on: 08/08/2018 04:03 pm »
A small on board nuclear power plant can provide enough electricity to manufacture methane and lox for at least a short hop to LEO. 
No, it really, really, really can't.

In order to refly in one day with a full fuel load (you'll pretty much need that to lift the reactor), you need a 150MW reactor.
This can't use mass reduction techniques used for space based reactors which rely on never having the reactor hot when people are near it and omitting nearly all of the shielding.
NASA is sort-of-working actively on reactors that may hit a few tens of kilowatts tops.

It can't be as robust as a RTG, as it's orders of magnitudes heavier.
Never mind the regulatory and safety concerns.

Offline kraisee

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #361 on: 08/08/2018 06:10 pm »
But on a vehicle carrying 100? You need a whole different philosophy of safety, more airline, less ELV.

Yes, and no :)

For true passenger ops, you definitely need a system more dependable than any so far ever built.  Achieving airliner levels of reliability is going to be a major challenge (lets not forget that the environment the vessels operate in, and the pressures and temperatures their engine tech depends on are both orders of magnitude harsher than any airliner will ever experience) but I think SpX has the best chance of anyone achieving such a lofty goal.

The main issue for me, isn't the technology itself, but how the law works in the event of a tragedy.

When - not if - there is a failure and lots of passengers die, the law first and foremost puts the onus on the company to PROVE that they DID EVERYTHING REASONABLE TO PREVENT THE LOSS OF LIFE.

If they cannot prove that, then they will be subject to significant government penalties, which will immediately be followed by 100+ civil lawsuits from each of the estates of the deceased (and probably all the companies they represented too).  And you can bet that each of those estates will be backed by the best, most expensive lawyers, because almost all passengers on BFR P2P flights are going to be 'highly cash rich' individuals.

I cannot see any way for SpX to prove that they did everything possible to save human life if they are not using an abort system.

Any lawyer worth his/her salt would be able to make a convincing argument that "you made one for Dragon-2, so why did you delete such an obvious safety system for BFS?"

That's a horrid legal position to be in.

What can you possibly say to defend against that?


The immediate follow-up point that the prosecution lawyers will make in court, is that the company chose to delete the most obvious safety system that rockets have successfully used to protect other crews, for no other reason that to increase performance and thus improve the system's economics - that they chose not to offer the ultimate protection to passengers because they put profits ahead of safety.

Ouch.  The press would have a field-day at SpX's expense.


Regardless of whether you're a fan of SpX, or whether you like that argument or not, if you're honest wih yourself, everyone here KNOWS that's what the lawyers will ask in such a situation.

SpX would have a b*tch of a time defending against that and if they can't win, the financial penalties would be vast.  Probably as bad - if not worse - as Pan-Am's after Lockerbie, and those costs definitely helped to put a nail in that company's coffin.  I personally do not want SpX to ever be in that situation.  And that's why I will always say they still need to include a LAS in BFS, even if it does use-up 15-20 tons of the vehicle's LEO performance.  To me its a no-brainer worthwhile trade to make, to protect against such an obvious existential threat to the whole company's future.

Do any of the Executives really want to be sitting there a decade from now asking themselves the foolish question "why didn't we just include a LAS?  The whole Mars program is in ashes now" :(

I'd recommend going and talking with the folk who designed and operated Shuttle - with the benefit of hindsight, ask them if they'd make the same choice on whether they should have pursued a completely different design that included a LAS or not.

Maybe, once they successfully fly the thing 1,000 or perhaps 100,000 times without any failures, then they could maybe consider removing the LAS.  But I sure wouldn't risk the company's existence until establishing such a long-term record of safety first.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2018 06:30 pm by kraisee »
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Offline jded

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #362 on: 08/08/2018 06:47 pm »
But on a vehicle carrying 100? You need a whole different philosophy of safety, more airline, less ELV.

Yes, and no :)

For true passenger ops, you definitely need a system more dependable than any so far ever built.  Achieving airliner levels of reliability is going to be a major challenge (lets not forget that the environment the vessels operate in, and the pressures and temperatures their engine tech depends on are both orders of magnitude harsher than any airliner will ever experience) but I think SpX has the best chance of anyone achieving such a lofty goal.

The main issue for me, isn't the technology itself, but how the law works in the event of a tragedy.

When - not if - there is a failure and lots of passengers die, the law first and foremost puts the onus on the company to PROVE that they DID EVERYTHING REASONABLE TO PREVENT THE LOSS OF LIFE.

If they cannot prove that, then they will be subject to significant government penalties, which will immediately be followed by 100+ civil lawsuits from each of the estates of the deceased (and probably all the companies they represented too).  And you can bet that each of those estates will be backed by the best, most expensive lawyers, because almost all passengers on BFR P2P flights are going to be 'highly cash rich' individuals.

I cannot see any way for SpX to prove that they did everything possible to save human life if they are not using an abort system.

Any lawyer worth his/her salt would be able to make a convincing argument that "you made one for Dragon-2, so why did you delete such an obvious safety system for BFS?"

That's a horrid legal position to be in.

What can you possibly say to defend against that?


A. That analyses have shown that it wouldn't improve survival chances statistically (and for most probable crash scenarios, that it would do nothing in this particular case, too), ergo it is not an "obvious safety system" on a mature vehicle design.

B. Whatever airlines are currently saying when asked about individual passenger parachutes/ejection seats (probably more or less same as A).

Offline envy887

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #363 on: 08/08/2018 07:19 pm »
But on a vehicle carrying 100? You need a whole different philosophy of safety, more airline, less ELV.

Yes, and no :)

For true passenger ops, you definitely need a system more dependable than any so far ever built.  Achieving airliner levels of reliability is going to be a major challenge (lets not forget that the environment the vessels operate in, and the pressures and temperatures their engine tech depends on are both orders of magnitude harsher than any airliner will ever experience) but I think SpX has the best chance of anyone achieving such a lofty goal.

The main issue for me, isn't the technology itself, but how the law works in the event of a tragedy.

When - not if - there is a failure and lots of passengers die, the law first and foremost puts the onus on the company to PROVE that they DID EVERYTHING REASONABLE TO PREVENT THE LOSS OF LIFE.

If they cannot prove that, then they will be subject to significant government penalties, which will immediately be followed by 100+ civil lawsuits from each of the estates of the deceased (and probably all the companies they represented too).  And you can bet that each of those estates will be backed by the best, most expensive lawyers, because almost all passengers on BFR P2P flights are going to be 'highly cash rich' individuals.

I cannot see any way for SpX to prove that they did everything possible to save human life if they are not using an abort system.

Any lawyer worth his/her salt would be able to make a convincing argument that "you made one for Dragon-2, so why did you delete such an obvious safety system for BFS?"

That's a horrid legal position to be in.

What can you possibly say to defend against that?


The immediate follow-up point that the prosecution lawyers will make in court, is that the company chose to delete the most obvious safety system that rockets have successfully used to protect other crews, for no other reason that to increase performance and thus improve the system's economics - that they chose not to offer the ultimate protection to passengers because they put profits ahead of safety.

Ouch.  The press would have a field-day at SpX's expense.


Regardless of whether you're a fan of SpX, or whether you like that argument or not, if you're honest wih yourself, everyone here KNOWS that's what the lawyers will ask in such a situation.

SpX would have a b*tch of a time defending against that and if they can't win, the financial penalties would be vast.  Probably as bad - if not worse - as Pan-Am's after Lockerbie, and those costs definitely helped to put a nail in that company's coffin.  I personally do not want SpX to ever be in that situation.  And that's why I will always say they still need to include a LAS in BFS, even if it does use-up 15-20 tons of the vehicle's LEO performance.  To me its a no-brainer worthwhile trade to make, to protect against such an obvious existential threat to the whole company's future.

Do any of the Executives really want to be sitting there a decade from now asking themselves the foolish question "why didn't we just include a LAS?  The whole Mars program is in ashes now" :(

I'd recommend going and talking with the folk who designed and operated Shuttle - with the benefit of hindsight, ask them if they'd make the same choice on whether they should have pursued a completely different design that included a LAS or not.

Maybe, once they successfully fly the thing 1,000 or perhaps 100,000 times without any failures, then they could maybe consider removing the LAS.  But I sure wouldn't risk the company's existence until establishing such a long-term record of safety first.

Ross.

BFS does have a launch escape system, its own propulsion. You can say that doesn't protect against every contingency, and you would be right. But neither does any other launch escape system, and all of them add some risk even when they aren't used, simply by being present and activated.

SpaceX would simply have to show the actual safety record and the probabilistic analysis proving that adding a separate LES would actually reduce safety to prove they were not negligent.

Offline LMT

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #364 on: 08/08/2018 07:32 pm »
the law first and foremost puts the onus on the company to PROVE that they DID EVERYTHING REASONABLE TO PREVENT THE LOSS OF LIFE.

Demonstration of airliner-style operations might meet that standard of proof, giving SpaceX protection of airliner legal precedent - waiver for LAS or other exceptional methods.  It's debatable, but a case could be made.

There's also passenger training to consider.  What training meets requirement for reasonable effort to prepare passengers for emergencies?  On aircraft, requirement is met in a safety procedure announcement, with aircraft orientation and instructions for passenger use of safety devices.  Likewise for SpaceX Earth-to-Earth?  Conceivably.  You'd add procedures and devices for low g emergency, but the rest might mirror airline practice.

And in LEO?

With the partial-g Marsliner tourism idea, safety requirement has similarities with Earth-to-Earth.  Differences?  Practice maneuvering through an airlock in low g, practice station evacuation in Mars g, maybe some methods to prevent centrifuge discomfort.  Also I suppose tourists would need to complete VR station orientation and safety test at home, beforehand.  What else, to meet safety requirement, and perhaps legal requirement, for the Marsliner?

It's speculative of course, but Marsliner training seems at first glance to compare very favorably against low-g tourist training.  For example, Axiom requires 15 weeks of training for ISS tourists.  15 weeks, with most of that time spent at Johnson Space Center:  so much is required, to meet the standard of "everything reasonable" in low g.  Partial-g tourist training could be much quicker, easier and cheaper.


Offline su27k

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #365 on: 08/09/2018 01:34 am »
I'd recommend going and talking with the folk who designed and operated Shuttle - with the benefit of hindsight, ask them if they'd make the same choice on whether they should have pursued a completely different design that included a LAS or not.

Maybe, once they successfully fly the thing 1,000 or perhaps 100,000 times without any failures, then they could maybe consider removing the LAS.  But I sure wouldn't risk the company's existence until establishing such a long-term record of safety first.

They'll probably need 1,000 test flights just to get FAA certification (Boeing 787: 1,707 test flights), so by your own logic this would remove the need for LAS.

Also I'm not sure the Shuttle example supports your point, after Challenger there were discussions about adding launch escape pods, but ultimately they decided not to do it.

Offline tyrred

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #366 on: 08/09/2018 11:58 am »
If you have the money and want the ride, you will sign the waiver.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #367 on: 08/09/2018 12:15 pm »
Yeah.

“I don’t care about Russian experience” = “I lost the argument.”

There’s not enough spaceflight history to think we can restrict our experience to ONLY the US when it comes to safety.

I didnt say "only the US" but I did specifically put Russian experience on the "useless" level

the Russians have 1) poor quality control, which is the source of most of their problems with internal stuff, 2) near zero use of modern methods to "log" safety events and track safety systems and 3) mostly have no use for those methods

the one area where this is not true now is Aeroflot...Sometime ago Mr. Putin made a decision that Aeroflot was going to compete internationally...mainly to bring in hard currency...and he and Aeroflot hired away from Boeing in particular, but also Continental airlines some of the best CRM, Safety and training people in the business.. 

they found what they expected, the safety systems a virtual joke...but they have turned that around...and Aeroflot is now a serious place of flight safety and I would add service.  the joke of the drunk Aeroflot pilot is  joke no more. 

on the other hand that change was isolated.  The Russian submarine force still is the butt of endless safety "dont does" at safety meetings around the world.  on par with NASA. 


Offline envy887

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #368 on: 08/09/2018 02:50 pm »
I'd recommend going and talking with the folk who designed and operated Shuttle - with the benefit of hindsight, ask them if they'd make the same choice on whether they should have pursued a completely different design that included a LAS or not.

Maybe, once they successfully fly the thing 1,000 or perhaps 100,000 times without any failures, then they could maybe consider removing the LAS.  But I sure wouldn't risk the company's existence until establishing such a long-term record of safety first.

They'll probably need 1,000 test flights just to get FAA certification (Boeing 787: 1,707 test flights), so by your own logic this would remove the need for LAS.

Also I'm not sure the Shuttle example supports your point, after Challenger there were discussions about adding launch escape pods, but ultimately they decided not to do it.

1000+ test flights is in theory possible in a reasonably short time span with BFR. With the Shuttle (or any other existing launch system) it is not, because flight rate is limited by production of new expended components.

There's also the processing flow time considerations. A single BFR could in theory fly 100+ times in the time it took to roll out a Shuttle, launch it, roll back the MLP, and stack a new one. They would need to cycle several upper stages though, but even with several Shuttles in the mix (and an unlimited supply of ET/SRB) that simply wasn't possible with STS due to processing constraints.

Offline philw1776

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #369 on: 08/09/2018 02:54 pm »
Not a lawyer, but perhaps SpaceX could incorporate a different, independent P2P service company that leased BFRs from SpaceX.  No SpaceX management, board people.  If SpaceTran were to be sued into oblivion, SpaceX would not be affected financially.  Image & reputation a different matter.

I regard the above as moot because I do not see P2P happening for decades, if ever, because of reliability, time & # of flights needed to prove that BFR 5.0 or whatever really IS commercial passenger worthy, facilities costs (includes landing/takeoff ports), whatever.

FULL SEND!!!!

Offline RonM

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #370 on: 08/09/2018 03:34 pm »
Not a lawyer, but perhaps SpaceX could incorporate a different, independent P2P service company that leased BFRs from SpaceX.  No SpaceX management, board people.  If SpaceTran were to be sued into oblivion, SpaceX would not be affected financially.  Image & reputation a different matter.

I regard the above as moot because I do not see P2P happening for decades, if ever, because of reliability, time & # of flights needed to prove that BFR 5.0 or whatever really IS commercial passenger worthy, facilities costs (includes landing/takeoff ports), whatever.

If the cause of loss of life was determined to be a design defect, such as lack of LAS, then the manufacturer SpaceX will be sued. Many countries have reasonable limits to lawsuits, but you can sue over almost anything in the USA.

There's a big issue with liability for self-driving cars. If a self-driving car crashes, who's legally responsible? The owner, manufacturer, programmers, etc. The government, courts, and lawyers will sort this out. P2P rockets will go through a similar process before becoming operational.

Will regulations require LAS because it's a rocket or will the flight record allow aircraft safety rules? We'll have to wait and see how that sorts out.

Offline speedevil

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #371 on: 08/09/2018 04:44 pm »
If the cause of loss of life was determined to be a design defect, such as lack of LAS, then the manufacturer SpaceX will be sued. Many countries have reasonable limits to lawsuits, but you can sue over almost anything in the USA.
Four million dollars was the average payout of recent US airline deaths.
This would - with reasonable P2P 'economy flight' assumptions take you to somewhere near requiring one crash per 30000 flights to not affect the bottom line too much.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #372 on: 08/09/2018 05:51 pm »
Not a lawyer, but perhaps SpaceX could incorporate a different, independent P2P service company that leased BFRs from SpaceX.  No SpaceX management, board people.  If SpaceTran were to be sued into oblivion, SpaceX would not be affected financially.  Image & reputation a different matter.

I regard the above as moot because I do not see P2P happening for decades, if ever, because of reliability, time & # of flights needed to prove that BFR 5.0 or whatever really IS commercial passenger worthy, facilities costs (includes landing/takeoff ports), whatever.

If the cause of loss of life was determined to be a design defect, such as lack of LAS, then the manufacturer SpaceX will be sued. Many countries have reasonable limits to lawsuits, but you can sue over almost anything in the USA.


I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV, but my father is and has recovered a reasonable amount of cash for people who were injured in aviation accident or their relatives when their the person was killed.  He has also defended aircraft manufacturers successfully when sued by relatives.

I've also testified as an expert both government and industry in some lawsuits (but none that my father was involved in)

in my opinion it would be hard to argue that not having an LAS was a defect in the design

what will happen if this ever gets going (and as you can tell by my comments here I am true skeptic :) is that at some point the FAA (most likely) will be legislated to regulate this in some fashion.  The FAA will then sit down to write some kind of performance and certification criteria for the "vehicles" and their operation; much as it has done (as either the FAA or the CAA) for airplanes for a very long period of time

this will not be an easy task.  Aviation regulations governing the transport of passengers for hire have taken over 70 years to get to where we are today.  what was allowed in commercial aviation say in the 20's would not be allowed today.  the CAA then and the FAA now, were very careful to strike a balance between regulation for the public good and not "stifling" the industry by regulations which were technically and technologically impossible to achieve

it assumes as a foundation that the public is willing to tolerate the risk and "death" involved in that balance.

sometimes they are sometimes they are not  when Rockne's plane crashed...as the accident was investigated it became clear that "more" federal involvement was needed in certification of planes and overseeing their maintenance and the Congress moved very swiftly to do just that.

on the other hand during the 50's crashes which would not be tolerated today...were because there was no better technology. 

today the FAA is on the verge of yet another extension of the ETOPS rules ie lengthening the distance...but this is after millions of hours of ETOPS operation

one example of "how" this might change things..is that as it stands now SpaceX or any other rocket company determines how "reusable" a rocket is...ie what must be inspected, etc.  I suspect that would be one of the first things to change

the certification of design "might" talk about an LAS...but I suspect not. 

after that any legal case would turn on 1) how well the manufacturer followed federal guidelines and 2) if there was any major defect in the airplane that the manufacture or any "error" in its operation

without a doubt had the shuttles been under some form of federal regulation, the "FAA" or whoever was doing it, would have taken NASA MOD apart for how the two shuttle accidents happened...AND any law suit would have been a near slam dunk.

I would be very interested to read what Virgin G attorneys have come up with.

 
« Last Edit: 08/09/2018 05:52 pm by TripleSeven »

Offline envy887

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #373 on: 08/09/2018 06:12 pm »
I would be very interested to read what Virgin G attorneys have come up with.

Informed consent and an ironclad waiver giving up any rights for anyone to sue the company or anyone related to it for anything, no doubt. If you don't want to accept the risks, then you don't fly.

That's fine for thrill rides on an experimental craft. It won't work for passenger transport for hire.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #374 on: 08/09/2018 06:23 pm »
I would be very interested to read what Virgin G attorneys have come up with.

Informed consent and an ironclad waiver giving up any rights for anyone to sue the company or anyone related to it for anything, no doubt. If you don't want to accept the risks, then you don't fly.

That's fine for thrill rides on an experimental craft. It won't work for passenger transport for hire.

My father is a private pilot, it runs in the family even before him...and I have talked to him about Virgin Galatic...

Dad's theory in short is that there is no "wavier" that can be written which "out of hand" will push a motion of dismissal based on the signing of the waiver itself.  Or one "tough enough" to make a motion of summary judgment successful based on the signing of the waiver

HE Points to the Virgin Galactic accident as something that would have "pierced" any "waiver" or "informed consent" signing.  The failure of one of the flight crew to have followed established procedure would have made the company "severely" liable for negligence in the performance of duties by one of its employees and negligence in the design and operation of the vehicle.

his explanation of this to a layman (me) was that it didnt matter that the airplane/whatever was experimental or the company had said "you could die" just by riding this...the negligence (or lack of ordinary care) in the performance of the duty...was the cause of the accident, and no one can get that waived.


I agree completely with your last sentence


Offline Kansan52

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #375 on: 08/09/2018 06:38 pm »
Dad's theory in short is that there is no "wavier" that can be written which "out of hand" will push a motion of dismissal based on the signing of the waiver itself.

Based on articles about accidents at various parks with the extreme rides and roller coasters, that is exactly the legal positions, as I understand it.

Offline envy887

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #376 on: 08/09/2018 07:12 pm »
I would be very interested to read what Virgin G attorneys have come up with.

Informed consent and an ironclad waiver giving up any rights for anyone to sue the company or anyone related to it for anything, no doubt. If you don't want to accept the risks, then you don't fly.

That's fine for thrill rides on an experimental craft. It won't work for passenger transport for hire.

My father is a private pilot, it runs in the family even before him...and I have talked to him about Virgin Galatic...

Dad's theory in short is that there is no "wavier" that can be written which "out of hand" will push a motion of dismissal based on the signing of the waiver itself.  Or one "tough enough" to make a motion of summary judgment successful based on the signing of the waiver

HE Points to the Virgin Galactic accident as something that would have "pierced" any "waiver" or "informed consent" signing.  The failure of one of the flight crew to have followed established procedure would have made the company "severely" liable for negligence in the performance of duties by one of its employees and negligence in the design and operation of the vehicle.

his explanation of this to a layman (me) was that it didnt matter that the airplane/whatever was experimental or the company had said "you could die" just by riding this...the negligence (or lack of ordinary care) in the performance of the duty...was the cause of the accident, and no one can get that waived.


I agree completely with your last sentence

I'm sure Virgin is well prepared for any legal battles that might occur, and is not too worried about getting a case dismissed out of hand.

IANAL, but my understanding is that a well-constructed waiver (with appropriate and clear descriptions of the risks) will stand up against suits for simple negligence. They would not for gross negligence, but that is generally much more difficult to prove, depending on the state. I haven't seen any definition of gross negligence that fits the SS2 accident. The pilot made a mistake, and the design wasn't proofed against that particular mistake. But that doesn't include things like "and act or omission with extreme risk" or "conscious indifference" which are generally required for gross negligence.
« Last Edit: 08/09/2018 07:21 pm by envy887 »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #377 on: 08/09/2018 09:07 pm »

what will happen if this ever gets going (and as you can tell by my comments here I am true skeptic :) is that at some point the FAA (most likely) will be legislated to regulate this in some fashion.  The FAA will then sit down to write some kind of performance and certification criteria for the "vehicles" and their operation; much as it has done (as either the FAA or the CAA) for airplanes for a very long period of time
You're a bit behind the curve.

There already is a division of the FAA which deals with "commercial" spaceflight.

They're the people who coined the term "spaceflight participants" instead of astronaughts.

They've been working on the rules under which VG will operate for at least a decade.
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022 TBC. T&C apply. Trust nothing. Run your own #s "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap SCramjet proposed 1956. First +ve thrust 2004. US R&D spend to date > $10Bn. #deployed designs. Zero.

Offline DigitalMan

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #378 on: 08/09/2018 09:19 pm »
I would be very interested to read what Virgin G attorneys have come up with.

Informed consent and an ironclad waiver giving up any rights for anyone to sue the company or anyone related to it for anything, no doubt. If you don't want to accept the risks, then you don't fly.

That's fine for thrill rides on an experimental craft. It won't work for passenger transport for hire.

My father is a private pilot, it runs in the family even before him...and I have talked to him about Virgin Galatic...

Dad's theory in short is that there is no "wavier" that can be written which "out of hand" will push a motion of dismissal based on the signing of the waiver itself.  Or one "tough enough" to make a motion of summary judgment successful based on the signing of the waiver

HE Points to the Virgin Galactic accident as something that would have "pierced" any "waiver" or "informed consent" signing.  The failure of one of the flight crew to have followed established procedure would have made the company "severely" liable for negligence in the performance of duties by one of its employees and negligence in the design and operation of the vehicle.

his explanation of this to a layman (me) was that it didnt matter that the airplane/whatever was experimental or the company had said "you could die" just by riding this...the negligence (or lack of ordinary care) in the performance of the duty...was the cause of the accident, and no one can get that waived.


I agree completely with your last sentence



Reflecting on what you said and the evolution of the BFR/BFS concept from Mars to Mars and P2P, I think there is a distinct difference between a craft going to Mars, where the initial launch is a small percentage of the overall risk factor and P2P, where launch is a much higher percentage of the overall risk factor.

I agree completely about the potential for risk SpaceX is taking by using the same exact spacecraft as a P2P vehicle.  Perhaps P2P will inevitably be a thing that takes much longer to roll out.  Given the likelihood that iterations will occur by then, perhaps they will rethink those plans and make changes.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #379 on: 08/09/2018 09:20 pm »
I would be very interested to read what Virgin G attorneys have come up with.


My father is a private pilot, it runs in the family even before him...and I have talked to him about Virgin Galatic...

Dad's theory in short is that there is no "wavier" that can be written which "out of hand" will push a motion of dismissal based on the signing of the waiver itself.  Or one "tough enough" to make a motion of summary judgment successful based on the signing of the waiver

HE Points to the Virgin Galactic accident as something that would have "pierced" any "waiver" or "informed consent" signing.  The failure of one of the flight crew to have followed established procedure would have made the company "severely" liable for negligence in the performance of duties by one of its employees and negligence in the design and operation of the vehicle.

his explanation of this to a layman (me) was that it didnt matter that the airplane/whatever was experimental or the company had said "you could die" just by riding this...the negligence (or lack of ordinary care) in the performance of the duty...was the cause of the accident, and no one can get that waived.


I agree completely with your last sentence

I'm sure Virgin is well prepared for any legal battles that might occur, and is not too worried about getting a case dismissed out of hand.

IANAL, but my understanding is that a well-constructed waiver (with appropriate and clear descriptions of the risks) will stand up against suits for simple negligence. They would not for gross negligence, but that is generally much more difficult to prove, depending on the state. I haven't seen any definition of gross negligence that fits the SS2 accident. The pilot made a mistake, and the design wasn't proofed against that particular mistake. But that doesn't include things like "and act or omission with extreme risk" or "conscious indifference" which are generally required for gross negligence.

my father would love to go up against that argument I suspect.

" The pilot made a mistake, and the design wasn't proofed against that particular mistake."

you have in my view and I suspect my fathers described gross negligence.  VG I bet has simulator and procedures training "runs" where that has happened in training, I bet the actual "pilot" did it before, and the company knew it was a problem and did nothing about it

end of ride

I have taken your  "name" out of it, but I have sent this to him.  I will be curious what he says...but I think from our past, and watching him int he courtroom.  I know the answer

fly safe


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