Author Topic: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread  (Read 22437 times)

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #40 on: 02/09/2014 06:13 am »
The line of reasoning that goes "we've invested in all these vehicles, so we should find a way to use them all" is a form of the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost_fallacy#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy

Both safety and cost of a particular vehicle improve with each additional flight.  Eventually, you get diminishing returns to the point where additional flights don't improve things much.  But the foreseeable flight rates of these vehicles are very far from reaching the point of diminishing returns.  Hence splitting the limited number of flights among more vehicles means overall costs are much higher and safety much lower.

It isn't necessarily a waste to invest in several development programs even knowing you're going to cancel some of them.  That's because you don't know which of the development programs will do best.  By investing in several and then choosing one, you can potentially get a better expected outcome per dollar spent than with any other way of spending those dollars.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #41 on: 02/09/2014 12:33 pm »
Atlas 5's 43 launch flight record makes it possible to predict with high confidence that it should have a better than 96% reliability rate - ranking only behind Soyuz and Delta 2.  Falcon 9 v1.1's 3-launch record only makes it possible to say with confidence that it should do better than 80%.  Falcon 9 v1.1 would have to score 20 consecutive initial successes to get to a proven high-confidence 95% reliability.  Atlas 5 has a big head start in this regard. 

 - Ed Kyle
Yes, but SpaceX's rocket certainly has the /potential/ of equal or even better reliability. Atlas V relies on booster rockets for larger payloads (i.e. CST-100 and the like) which don't have engine-out capability, neither do the two upper stage engines. Falcon 9 has engine-out capability on the multi-engine first stage and the fewest feasible number of stages (2) and just a single upper stage engine....

And what about the other key element here: the crew capsule?   Dragon already has more flight heritage than CST-100 and is likely to accumulate heritage faster than CST-100.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #42 on: 02/09/2014 12:37 pm »
The line of reasoning that goes "we've invested in all these vehicles, so we should find a way to use them all" is a form of the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost_fallacy#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy

Both safety and cost of a particular vehicle improve with each additional flight.  Eventually, you get diminishing returns to the point where additional flights don't improve things much.  But the foreseeable flight rates of these vehicles are very far from reaching the point of diminishing returns.  Hence splitting the limited number of flights among more vehicles means overall costs are much higher and safety much lower.

It isn't necessarily a waste to invest in several development programs even knowing you're going to cancel some of them.  That's because you don't know which of the development programs will do best.  By investing in several and then choosing one, you can potentially get a better expected outcome per dollar spent than with any other way of spending those dollars.
Sunk Cost is an old tune that we’ve been singing for years on this site so we know it well as a result of NASA’s old way of doing business where we usually ended up with “plywood mock-ups and pretty power-points”.  For a relatively low expenditure two of these vehicles are operational for cargo and any of these vehicles may go onto to service some future orbital platform, depot or station such as Bigelow. Crew Vehicles are in the atmospheric and close to abort test phases, so what why not allow them to become part of the U.S. spacecraft inventory upon full orbital operation? If they fail due to poor business decisions or another circumstance then is on them... As I said when I started this thread it is an “Alternate Universe” where we didn’t spend twenty plus Billion to sell the scrapper for pennies on the million...
« Last Edit: 02/09/2014 01:01 pm by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #43 on: 02/09/2014 01:14 pm »
I'm just wondering what happens to these companies in the non-alternate universe, that have invested a lot of resources in crew transport when the ISS gets de-orbited in the mid 2020's or so.

Without a robust manned program in place by then, such as a replacement station or such (seems unlikely) how will four, or three or even one of these companies be able to afford to maintain the infrastructure to produce crew-carrying spacecraft.

Space-X and Orbital, yes.  they have the satellite launch market angle but CST-100 or (in particular) DreamChaser...once the ISS is gone won't those companies have a tough, if not impossible, time maintaining those capabilities with a greatly reduced need for crew transport missions?

Even though the Russians or especially the Chinese will/could likely maintain a continuous manned presence in space they're not going to contract private American firms for crew launch.  Likewies ESA or JAXA...nowhere to send crews to.
This a like the early days of aviation where the airplane was thought of as an interesting toy...
The Wright brothers couldn’t sell the idea of their airplane to their own US government, so they went to Europe instead...

When it comes to developing commercial space allow me to quote John F. Kennedy:

“If not us, who? If not now, when?”
« Last Edit: 02/09/2014 01:21 pm by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Falcon H

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #44 on: 02/09/2014 05:06 pm »
I'm just wondering what happens to these companies in the non-alternate universe, that have invested a lot of resources in crew transport when the ISS gets de-orbited in the mid 2020's or so.

Without a robust manned program in place by then, such as a replacement station or such (seems unlikely) how will four, or three or even one of these companies be able to afford to maintain the infrastructure to produce crew-carrying spacecraft.

Space-X and Orbital, yes.  they have the satellite launch market angle but CST-100 or (in particular) DreamChaser...once the ISS is gone won't those companies have a tough, if not impossible, time maintaining those capabilities with a greatly reduced need for crew transport missions?

Even though the Russians or especially the Chinese will/could likely maintain a continuous manned presence in space they're not going to contract private American firms for crew launch.  Likewies ESA or JAXA...nowhere to send crews to.
What about private space stations? Bigelow is collaborating with Boeing to develop the CST-100, and two years ago they announced a partnership with SpaceX.

"What Bigelow offers Boeing, SpaceX, and other vehicle developers is the promise of a sustained, large market for space transportation services."
"Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond our little blue mud ball--or go extinct" Elon Musk

Offline Krevsin

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #45 on: 02/22/2014 06:31 am »
I'm just wondering what happens to these companies in the non-alternate universe, that have invested a lot of resources in crew transport when the ISS gets de-orbited in the mid 2020's or so.

Without a robust manned program in place by then, such as a replacement station or such (seems unlikely) how will four, or three or even one of these companies be able to afford to maintain the infrastructure to produce crew-carrying spacecraft.

Space-X and Orbital, yes.  they have the satellite launch market angle but CST-100 or (in particular) DreamChaser...once the ISS is gone won't those companies have a tough, if not impossible, time maintaining those capabilities with a greatly reduced need for crew transport missions?

Even though the Russians or especially the Chinese will/could likely maintain a continuous manned presence in space they're not going to contract private American firms for crew launch.  Likewies ESA or JAXA...nowhere to send crews to.
What about private space stations? Bigelow is collaborating with Boeing to develop the CST-100, and two years ago they announced a partnership with SpaceX.

"What Bigelow offers Boeing, SpaceX, and other vehicle developers is the promise of a sustained, large market for space transportation services."
Thanks for pointing that out. The only reason why Bigelow hasn't sent a prototype space station into space is (according to them  :P) the lack of affordable crew transportation for larger crews.

Even after the ISS is deorbited in 2020, there will be a market for US launch vehicles, most likely in the form of private space stations.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #46 on: 02/22/2014 12:40 pm »
Won't be deorbited until 2024 at the earliest, most likely 2028 or later.
« Last Edit: 02/22/2014 02:58 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 Krevsin

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #47 on: 02/22/2014 01:32 pm »
Also, i wouldn't be surprised if ISS's lifespan were elongiated for a couple more years.  :P

Offline chalz

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #48 on: 02/28/2014 08:51 pm »
The line of reasoning that goes "we've invested in all these vehicles, so we should find a way to use them all" is a form of the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost_fallacy#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy

Both safety and cost of a particular vehicle improve with each additional flight.  Eventually, you get diminishing returns to the point where additional flights don't improve things much.  But the foreseeable flight rates of these vehicles are very far from reaching the point of diminishing returns.  Hence splitting the limited number of flights among more vehicles means overall costs are much higher and safety much lower.

It isn't necessarily a waste to invest in several development programs even knowing you're going to cancel some of them.  That's because you don't know which of the development programs will do best.  By investing in several and then choosing one, you can potentially get a better expected outcome per dollar spent than with any other way of spending those dollars.
...so what why not allow them to become part of the U.S. spacecraft inventory upon full orbital operation? If they fail due to poor business decisions or another circumstance then is on them... As I said when I started this thread it is an “Alternate Universe” where we didn’t spend twenty plus Billion to sell the scrapper for pennies on the million...

The ideal universe result you actually need is to have one or maybe two winners on ISS missions and all other entrants go on to thrive in their own market segments with new customers. Conflating US spacecraft with government spacecraft is confusing. Dream Chaser is investigating options towards this goal I believe.

As a layman I thought the goal of the program always was to leverage NASA experience and knowledge into stimulating a self perpetuating industry that it could then go back to when required.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Commercial Crew Alternate Universe Thread
« Reply #49 on: 02/28/2014 09:07 pm »
The line of reasoning that goes "we've invested in all these vehicles, so we should find a way to use them all" is a form of the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost_fallacy#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy

Both safety and cost of a particular vehicle improve with each additional flight.  Eventually, you get diminishing returns to the point where additional flights don't improve things much.  But the foreseeable flight rates of these vehicles are very far from reaching the point of diminishing returns.  Hence splitting the limited number of flights among more vehicles means overall costs are much higher and safety much lower.

It isn't necessarily a waste to invest in several development programs even knowing you're going to cancel some of them.  That's because you don't know which of the development programs will do best.  By investing in several and then choosing one, you can potentially get a better expected outcome per dollar spent than with any other way of spending those dollars.
...so what why not allow them to become part of the U.S. spacecraft inventory upon full orbital operation? If they fail due to poor business decisions or another circumstance then is on them... As I said when I started this thread it is an “Alternate Universe” where we didn’t spend twenty plus Billion to sell the scrapper for pennies on the million...

The ideal universe result you actually need is to have one or maybe two winners on ISS missions and all other entrants go on to thrive in their own market segments with new customers. Conflating US spacecraft with government spacecraft is confusing. Dream Chaser is investigating options towards this goal I believe.

As a layman I thought the goal of the program always was to leverage NASA experience and knowledge into stimulating a self perpetuating industry that it could then go back to when required.
Go one page back you will see that I said these vehicles could serve future stations and platforms and if they make it or break it’s upon them. On any given day here on the ground we have a mix of private and government assets working together without confusion...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

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