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[...] being the sole provider of methalox in cislunar is a pretty big deal, likely with [...] extremely good profit margins

Being the customer of a monopoly provider involves some pretty extreme tolerance to price distortions. The "market price" of a commodity tends to be just above the cost level of the second most efficient provider....

If the monopoly provider can gouge pretty hard and still be 5-10x cheaper than any other alternative, that's still a pretty good deal.
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Targeted for launch aboard a @SpaceX Falcon 9 no earlier than Dec. 11, at 2:38 a.m. EST, our tiny Lunar Flashlight satellite will head to an orbit around the Moon where it will use lasers to light up dark craters to hunt for hidden water ice.

https://twitter.com/NASA_Technology/status/1601308866268258304
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#SWOTmission is one step closer to launch!

Teams have completed the Flight Readiness Review at @SLDelta30. The satellite will study climate change by #TrackingWorldWater!

Launch is targeted for Thursday, Dec 15 at 3:46am PST on a @SpaceX Falcon 9.

https://twitter.com/NASA_LSP/status/1601335640653635590
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ISS Section / Re: Expedition 68 Thread
« Last post by Rondaz on Today at 10:05 pm »
The #ISS operates 24/7, 365 days a year, planning tasks for the people supporting the ISS on the ground while the astronauts sleep. Various things happen every day in space, so the schedule is always changing, but we will support everyone involved in the ISS so that their wishes can come true!

https://twitter.com/JAXA_Kiboriyo/status/1601017718471172096
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Some of the December/January SpaceX manifest
<snip >
What about ViaSat-3?
And Starlink 5-1, O3b mPower 3-4
I have made further edits to my post!
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There are abort options using e.g. a capsule's service module on-board motors to escape a stage that gracefully fails (e.g. contained engine failure), but if the stage RUDs then you don't have a backup abort option. We accept that making the stage sufficiently reliable is an acceptable alternative. We do not demand adding abort-abort motors in the event of an abort motor failure, we just accept that abort motors can be made sufficient reliable.

Actually, the main reason why there were non-LES abort modes for Apollo is that the probability of an explosion generating an overpressure event that could damage the CM/SM dropped dramatically after max-q.  There is a horrible document that lays out the analysis in detail.  I assume that the same analysis, adapted for the size and explosiveness of various platforms, motivated the design of the abort modes for CCP systems.

Quote
The common theme is that if a system or component can be deemed to be sufficiently reliable, we are happy to accept that there is no abort mode.

This is not in dispute.  What's in dispute is the definition of "sufficiently reliable", and the determination of that reliability.  This is especially true when you have completely novel flight modes for the entirety of EDL.

Quote
Starship is not under that deadline: it can wait to fly enough to demonstrate reliability before launching or landing humans...

Two problems here:

1) There's a non-trivial probability that Starship simply can't be made reliable enough.  Flip-and-burn failures at a rate of 1/50 would be perfectly acceptable for Starship to be a fine cargo platform with excellent economics, but it would never get crew-certified.  Same thing with catch failures.  Same thing with rare hypersonic entry stability problems.

Before you scoff that SpaceX would be easily able to overcome a flip-and-burn failure rate of 1/50, remember that F9's current recovery failure rate is considerably larger than that.  We're in uncharted territory.

2) SpaceX doesn't have infinite time.  They can't retire F9/D2 until Starship is fully crew-certified.  They can't shame NASA into using Starship for end-to-end crew missions until it's crew-certified, which has the knock-on political effect of keeping SLS/Orion alive, which will likely kill Artemis.  All the buzz they get when they can demonstrate an end-to-end mission like DearMoon will eventually fade away if they can't deliver, which is a pretty good way of disabling what could otherwise be a lucrative tourist market.  And of course Elon wants lots of people on Mars before he dies.

So, given that, which is the better course of action?  Keep banging your head against the wall, hoping that everything'll work out OK, or planning to mitigate the obvious danger spots in the conops with escape?
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Sorry to break the conversation.... but.... does anyone know what is happening with the development of the landing barge for New Glenn?
Jacklyn was scrapped in favor of SpaceX-like droneship due to high cost




Thank you, but yeah, that is known... what is not known is the progress on the replacement of the former Stena Freighter, Jacklyn with a landing barge/droneship..

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1537099932926152704?s=20&t=ZDVQUpK3JQLNRneyYyHnRg

What is weird about this contract, is LAD Services, Amelia, Louisiana make no mention of New Glenn, and Blue Origin on their website...
https://ladcompanies.com/projects/


PS: I do not think that the  cost of Jacklyn was the problem, I think this issue was one of safety... having this large vehicle landing on a crewed ship, while still containing fuel that could be close to an explosive fuel/air mixture ...
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ISS Section / Re: Expedition 68 Thread
« Last post by Rondaz on Today at 09:46 pm »
A multigenerational plant experiment, a study evaluating a treatment for biofilms, an investigation measuring microgravity’s effect on bacteria, and more were on this week’s @Space_Station science agenda.

https://twitter.com/ISS_Research/status/1601323461661450241
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ISS Section / Re: Expedition 68 Thread
« Last post by Rondaz on Today at 09:42 pm »
Students in Charlevoix, Michigan, will hear from @NASA_Astronauts @astro_josh during a space-to-Earth call that will air live at 10:15am ET on Monday, Dec. 12, on NASA TV.

https://twitter.com/Space_Station/status/1601323876033892352
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ISS Section / Re: Expedition 68 Thread
« Last post by Rondaz on Today at 09:40 pm »
Russian cosmonauts’ spacewalk scheduled for December 15.

On November 17, 2021, TASS and Roscosmos signed a memorandum of cooperation, according to which the agency's office was opened on the ISS. Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin became the first special correspondent for TASS. His flight lasted 12 days.

9 DEC, 09:18

ISS, December 9. /TASS/. The International Space Station’s Russian crew members are scheduled to perform a spacewalk on December 15, TASS special correspondent, Roscosmos cosmonaut Dmitry Petelin reported on Friday.

Earlier, he said that together with his colleague Sergey Prokopyev he replaced the cooling system pumps in the Orlan-ISS spacesuits.

On December 25, the press service of Roscosmos said that cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin had canceled preparations for a spacewalk due to malfunctioning of the cooling system’s pumps.

The CEO of the Zvezda research and production enterprise, Sergey Pozdnyakov, explained to TASS that the pumps’ operation was not stable enough. The company's specialists looked into the problem.

On November 17, 2021, TASS and Roscosmos signed a memorandum of cooperation, according to which the agency's office was opened on the ISS. Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin became the first special correspondent for TASS. His flight lasted 12 days. Oleg Artemyev took over as the agency’s second special correspondent. The current contributor to the TASS news feed from the orbital outpost is Dmitry Petelin.

https://tass.com/science/1548741
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