Author Topic: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison  (Read 89252 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #320 on: 06/16/2023 08:11 pm »
Well, a flight of any kind, on any rocket. I think it has a high likelihood of being successful, and reliable, but it hasn't flown yet.

Right, but they're actually the end with the powering of Vulcan on an orbital flight the only thing left to do. Blue developed, pre-qual tested, and formal qual tested the engine successfully. They've also delivered flight engines which were successfully ATPed and FRFed. No one, not you, not Meekgee, not no one no how should be questioning any of that. That is a huge success for Blue.

OK, but it hasn't flown yet. Next you'll tell me how many people have touched the engine, and how many seconds of firing time it has had. None of that matters. If you can't get over the finish line, then none of that matters, and the finish line is a successful launch.

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Ironically, what you describe is how SpaceX is with Raptor development. First Raptor 1 was the greatest bestest engine in the whole wide world, then garbage and scrapped. Then it was Raptor 2, but it's getting tossed, and now it's Raptor 3 that'll be better than sliced bread. Hundreds of engines supposedly built but then scrapped.

The difference being that SpaceX is their own customer, and they have been building Raptor engines for a purely test need. They are OK with failure during test flights. And the Raptor engine is still in development too, but because of the scale of their test program we can all see the progression of the design in public.

The Blue Origin BE-4 will have its first flight on the rocket of a customer. COMPLETELY different situation, because the customer (i.e. ULA) will NOT be tolerant of the type of failures that SpaceX would tolerant of. And Blue Origin may have gone through the same iteration process with BE-4 that SpaceX did with Raptor, but we just didn't see it in the public. But now Blue Origin has to lock down the design so that "Qualification" means ULA can assume each engine will be the same as the previous one.

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This is the thread to make a detailed comparison between SpaceX and Blue Origin though.

Fine. I'm all for it so long as people actually give Blue its proper due instead of clinging to... fantasies... or moving the goals when something is pointed out and receipts have been shown with real evidence.

Just keep in mind here that the goal is not how much work Blue Origin has done, but how "stuff" they launch to space. Because all of the work they have done is meaningless UNLESS they launch something. Hopefully many somethings.

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So to date, regarding orbital launch, this is what I see both have accomplished:
...
Blue Origin - First orbital launch planned for 2024.

Of Blue's own rocket...

Unless they plan to rely on ULA to accomplish their goal of millions of people in space, then them selling rocket components to other companies doesn't really matter. All that matters is what they do with their OWN rockets.
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 whitelancer64

Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #321 on: 06/16/2023 08:49 pm »
*snip*
The bottom line remains.  23 years after starting out, 13 after F9, 8 after F9 recovery, 5 after starhopper, 3 after manned flight - where's the beef?  Where's any form of an orbital rocket?


REEE REEE REEE 23 yeeeeeaaaaarrs

Wake up and learn Blue Origin's history. They haven't been working on an orbital rocket for 23 years.

Yes they made the choice of starting with a suborbital rocket as a first step. How does that change anything?

Read the thread. Blue Origin hasn't been throwing its full weight into making an orbital rocket for its entire existence like SpaceX has. That's the whole point and it's what your mindless screeching comments choose to ignore.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline whitelancer64

Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #322 on: 06/16/2023 08:56 pm »
Wake up and learn Blue Origin's history. They haven't been working on an orbital rocket for 23 years.
That's not exactly something to boast about

Plus, the 2009 Source Selection Statement for CCDev1 mentioned under Blue Origin's proposal that launch vehicle development had "already started". Commercial Crew started being circulated for proposals (into what would eventually become CCDev1) in 2007, so that puts Blue Origin at at least 16 years of orbital vehicle development.

Keeping in mind, Blue Origin didn't have more than 250 employees until 2013. It had around 400 employees in mid 2015 and 500 employees by the end of 2015, and had over 1,000 employees in 2017, when work on their Florida launch and manufacturing complexes started. It exceeded 2,000 employees in 2019.

In contrast, SpaceX had about 400 employees in 2007, 500 employees in 2008, and reached 1,000 employees in 2010. It exceeded 3,000 employees in 2013.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #323 on: 06/16/2023 08:59 pm »
*snip*
The bottom line remains.  23 years after starting out, 13 after F9, 8 after F9 recovery, 5 after starhopper, 3 after manned flight - where's the beef?  Where's any form of an orbital rocket?


REEE REEE REEE 23 yeeeeeaaaaarrs

Wake up and learn Blue Origin's history. They haven't been working on an orbital rocket for 23 years.

Yes they made the choice of starting with a suborbital rocket as a first step. How does that change anything?

Read the thread. Blue Origin hasn't been throwing its full weight into making an orbital rocket for its entire existence like SpaceX has. That's the whole point and it's what your mindless screeching comments choose to ignore.
Well thatís the rub, isnít it?

Blue had the right technical approach: vertical landing, reusable rockets.
They hired a lot of great engineers.
They had a ton of basically no-strings-attached funding. And then they justÖ did barely anything with it over 20 years compared to what other companies like SpaceX and RocketLab have done with far less funding and in less time.

Blue had all this potential and then just chose to accomplish very little with it, and at a slow pace. Itís incredibly puzzling, although it is perhaps beCAUSE of the no-strings-attached funding.
« Last Edit: 06/16/2023 08:59 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline whitelancer64

Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #324 on: 06/16/2023 09:04 pm »
*snip*
The bottom line remains.  23 years after starting out, 13 after F9, 8 after F9 recovery, 5 after starhopper, 3 after manned flight - where's the beef?  Where's any form of an orbital rocket?


REEE REEE REEE 23 yeeeeeaaaaarrs

Wake up and learn Blue Origin's history. They haven't been working on an orbital rocket for 23 years.

Yes they made the choice of starting with a suborbital rocket as a first step. How does that change anything?

Read the thread. Blue Origin hasn't been throwing its full weight into making an orbital rocket for its entire existence like SpaceX has. That's the whole point and it's what your mindless screeching comments choose to ignore.
Well thatís the rub, isnít it?

Blue had the right technical approach: vertical landing, reusable rockets.
They hired a lot of great engineers.
They had a ton of basically no-strings-attached funding. And then they justÖ did barely anything with it over 20 years compared to what other companies like SpaceX and RocketLab have done with far less funding and in less time.

Blue had all this potential and then just chose to accomplish very little with it, and at a slow pace. Itís incredibly puzzling, although it is perhaps beCAUSE of the no-strings-attached funding.

This is grossly untrue. From 2000-2014, Bezos spent about $500 million on Blue Origin. That's not unlimited funding, it averages out to $35 million per year. That total is on par for what SpaceX spent on development of the Falcon 9, spread out over 14 years. The ~$1 billion per year funding started after that, starting about 2017, specifically to build the BE-4, launch complex, and manufacturing chain for New Glenn. Even that won't last. Blue Origin will need to be a self-sustaining, profitable company.
« Last Edit: 06/16/2023 09:13 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #325 on: 06/16/2023 09:13 pm »
Except that money spaceX spent on Falcon 9 included money from actual paying customers. Elon didnít put nearly that much money into SpaceX, he wasnít even a billionaire when he started.

This is my whole point. Bezos put an order of magnitude more money into Blue than Elon did into SpaceX. Actually, it might be 2 orders of magnitude now due to that $1B/yr for about a decade. SpaceX had to satisfy paying customers and outside investors, and that probably helped keep them focused on actual productive business.

So itís NOT grossly untrue, not in the least. And you confirmed my argument.
« Last Edit: 06/16/2023 09:15 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline whitelancer64

Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #326 on: 06/16/2023 09:19 pm »
Except that money spaceX spent on Falcon 9 included money from actual paying customers. Elon didnít put nearly that much money into SpaceX, he wasnít even a billionaire when he started.

This is my whole point. Bezos put an order of magnitude more money into Blue than Elon did into SpaceX. Actually, it might be 2 orders of magnitude now due to that $1B/yr for about a decade. SpaceX had to satisfy paying customers and outside investors, and that probably helped keep them focused on actual productive business.

So itís NOT grossly untrue, not in the least. And you confirmed my argument.

NO, REALLY?

What is it you think Blue Origin has been doing, competing for NASA contracts, entering into the NSSL competitions, and signing up commercial customers? They want outside money. Jeff Bezos isn't going to keep funding them forever.

2023-2017 = 6 years.

Your statement that Blue Origin has had basically unlimited funding is FALSE. It is misinformation at best, an outright lie at worst.
« Last Edit: 06/16/2023 09:19 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Online Chris Bergin

Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #327 on: 06/16/2023 09:24 pm »
Let's take it down a notch here. A bit of "I'm getting angry on the internet" in recent pages.
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Offline spacenut

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Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #328 on: 06/16/2023 09:28 pm »
I wasn't a SpaceX fan boy at first, but they have gotten a lot of things done and done very well.  I have been on here since 2007 and haven't seen the urgency of getting to orbit, and getting a reusable rocket or the urgency to build a large rocket to get to Mars from Blue Origin at all.  Face it, facts are facts.  SpaceX is orbiting satellites, people, and supplies.  Blue is not.  Blue is taking their time and seems to be afraid of failure and thus works at a snails pace.  Very similar to NASA using old space contractors on a cost+ basis instead of a bid basis. 

If Bezos wants to see 1,000's of people living and working in space within his lifetime, he doesn't seem motivated to get it done.  Bezos is 59, older than Musk, at the pace Blue is working, he may not live to see a space station, or moon mining base.  He has to get a rocket to orbit first, before he can do anything in space. 

Offline trimeta

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Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #329 on: 06/16/2023 09:31 pm »
Here's the thing: there are basically two Blue Origins. The one that existed for the first decade or so with the same scale and ambition of Masten, and the one that actually decided to build an orbital rocket. When looking at their current-day ambitions, the work done by that first Blue Origin mostly doesn't matter: other than giving engineers some real-world experience, nothing from that era was ultimately important. So when we say that Blue Origin was doing "nothing of significance" for their first decade of existence, that's what we mean: they were puttering around with projects that went nowhere. It might as well have been a totally separate company.

Now, in fairness, Blue Origin isn't the only company with a history like this: Rocket Lab's first seven years or so were similarly spent on projects which didn't ultimately have much bearing on their subsequent products. Perhaps it's SpaceX that's the outlier here, where their first project (Falcon 1) had direct application to what became their workhorse, with proving out the Merlin engine.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #330 on: 06/16/2023 09:31 pm »
Except that money spaceX spent on Falcon 9 included money from actual paying customers. Elon didnít put nearly that much money into SpaceX, he wasnít even a billionaire when he started.

This is my whole point. Bezos put an order of magnitude more money into Blue than Elon did into SpaceX. Actually, it might be 2 orders of magnitude now due to that $1B/yr for about a decade. SpaceX had to satisfy paying customers and outside investors, and that probably helped keep them focused on actual productive business.

So itís NOT grossly untrue, not in the least. And you confirmed my argument.

NO, REALLY?

What is it you think Blue Origin has been doing, competing for NASA contracts, entering into the NSSL competitions, and signing up commercial customers? They want outside money. Jeff Bezos isn't going to keep funding them forever.

2023-2017 = 6 years.

Your statement that Blue Origin has had basically unlimited funding is FALSE. It is misinformation at best, an outright lie at worst.
A minimum of $500 million through early 2014, maybe $500m more from 2015-2016 (estimated by space news) plus a billion per year starting at latest in 2017, so about $6.5-7.5B vs $90-100 million (and Elon has less stock of the company now, so has effectively dipped into thatÖ)? Iíd say thatís a stupendous amount of funding from the founder. Nearly two orders of magnitude greater. If you want to quibble with ďeffectively unlimited,Ē then be my guest, but thereís just an enormous discrepancy in how much founder money that SpaceX got vs Blue.

You can disagree, but please donít shoot accusations at me.

I think Blue will do better going forward, because as you say, Bezos wants Blue to be a self-sustaining company going forward, and they now have a ton of folks depending on them to deliver, especially ULA.
« Last Edit: 06/16/2023 09:33 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Starshipdown

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Re: SpaceX vs Blue Origin - A detailed comparison
« Reply #331 on: 06/16/2023 09:39 pm »
OK, but it hasn't flown yet. Next you'll tell me how many people have touched the engine, and how many seconds of firing time it has had. None of that matters. If you can't get over the finish line, then none of that matters, and the finish line is a successful launch.

I've not told you anything of the sort, but you are putting this qualifier in of it must fly. Sure, it must. But that's now no longer on Blue anymore, is it? At least in the near future. They've done what they're supposed to do up to this point, and it's overall been successful.

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The difference being that SpaceX is their own customer, and they have been building Raptor engines for a purely test need. They are OK with failure during test flights. And the Raptor engine is still in development too, but because of the scale of their test program we can all see the progression of the design in public.

The Blue Origin BE-4 will have its first flight on the rocket of a customer. COMPLETELY different situation, because the customer (i.e. ULA) will NOT be tolerant of the type of failures that SpaceX would tolerant of. And Blue Origin may have gone through the same iteration process with BE-4 that SpaceX did with Raptor, but we just didn't see it in the public. But now Blue Origin has to lock down the design so that "Qualification" means ULA can assume each engine will be the same as the previous one.

That is a fair point, but it is important to note that therein lies the rub: SpaceX seems to be now caught up in forever iterating Raptor, rather radically, but they chose that path. One of the upsides of a customer dictating things is that it does force that lockdown, at least for a time and then forces that design to meet the specs. ULA's specs as customer is why BE-4 changed so radically from a 450-500 kbf engine to a 550 kbf one, and why in large part why it took so long to get to where it is now. But in the end, once both ULA and Blue agreed on the design, that lockdown actually forced Blue to make this into something that works and apparently according to Tory, works better than anticipated in terms of ISP and thrust.

SpaceX also went down a similar situation with NASA (The Customer) with Crew Dragon years ago and with Falcon 9 since NASA needed Dragon and F9 to be locked down in design to ensure those vehicles could be matured. As a result, I'd argue strongly that relationship is what helped make F9 and Dragon the powerhouses they are since SpaceX was forced to stick with a design, work out the bugs and deliver the darn things for Commercial Crew. So Elon and SpaceX had to drop things like vertical landing for Dragon at end of mission, which they'd have solved eventually, but it would've just cost too much time and money to bring to fruition, especially with the fickle and Legacy Space-loving Congress holding the purse strings.

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Just keep in mind here that the goal is not how much work Blue Origin has done, but how "stuff" they launch to space. Because all of the work they have done is meaningless UNLESS they launch something. Hopefully many somethings.

Oh, but they will. I think we can both agree that come hell or high water, that's going to happen. But they're in an interesting position since they can see how their engine will work on an orbital launch before their own rocket is ready.

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Unless they plan to rely on ULA to accomplish their goal of millions of people in space, then them selling rocket components to other companies doesn't really matter. All that matters is what they do with their OWN rockets.

Blue does seem to be much more amenable to partnerships than SpaceX does. SpaceX seems to love appearing to "go it alone", although they too have to rely on investors, like Google or other billionaires like Yusaku Maezawa to get the funding they need, along with NASA and other government customer $$$. I'm going to be interested when Maezawa and NASA, among others put their proverbial foot down and firmly request Starship Super Heavy's design gets locked down and matured, if it hasn't happened already behind closed doors.

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