Author Topic: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.  (Read 85791 times)

Online llanitedave

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #120 on: 09/05/2016 08:17 pm »
Precisely.  I read a lot of how SpaceX underpays/overworks it's employees, and the only reason they have a line of applicants halfway to the Moon is because their vision inspires young people who want to work for them in spite of the less than ideal benefits.  If this is true, then the Mars vision IS one of the benefits of working for SpaceX, and for Elon to back away from that vision could be taken by thousands of employees as a personal betrayal of their own hard work and sacrifices.

In many ways, Musk is now as much a slave to the Mars ambitions as he is a driver for them. He has no choice, if he wants SpaceX to continue to succeed and progress.  His workers will hold his feet to the fire and demand that he push forward. 

The speech will go on -- Churchill, Kennedy and King.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #121 on: 09/06/2016 01:05 am »
Of course, the Mars vision is also the only reason SpaceX was founded, so there's no problem with SpaceX being tied to it from Musk's perspective. In fact, if it ever became equally yoked with some other goal, it'd put the Mars vision in jeopardy, so you can think of everything SpaceX does as either directly contributing to Mars or as a way to build the resources necessary to do Mars.
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #122 on: 09/06/2016 01:30 am »
If SpaceX cancels this presentation, I'm pretty certain it will be for good.

Doug, I agree with a lot of what you post, but this time I have to disagree 100%.  I don't know if the presentation will be cancelled or scaled back, but we can all be very certain that if the presentation is cancelled now, it will not be for good.  If it doesn't happen now, it will be because Musk is choosing a better time for it.

Musk has already waited a very long time to do this presentation.  They've been working on this Mars plan for years.  He was going to do the presentation now because the timing was good.  They had a lot of momentum.  They've been recovering stage after stage, they had a series of successful missions for clients, and commercial crew was coming along.  They had put CRS-7 well behind them.

Now, the situation has unexpectedly changed.  There would be nothing wrong with Musk deciding to delay the big announcement until they had put this latest issue to rest and returned to flight.  Nothing wrong with that at all.

This announcement is all about publicity, and timing matters for publicity.  Musk has been patient.  SpaceX will bounce back from this.  There will be a better time for it.

Like I said, I have no idea whether they will delay the big reveal or not.  But I'm quite certain that if they do cancel giving the big presentation now, it's not for good.  The timing is bad right now.  Later it will be better.  SpaceX is in no hurry, and there's no way in which waiting a few months or a year to announce the details of their Mars architecture will have any negative effect.

Offline Terra Incognita

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #123 on: 09/06/2016 09:10 am »
I'm not sure what MusK will do and I'm not a PR expert.

But you can argue that now is either a good, or a bad time to make the announcement depending on your perspective.

Who was this announcement intended for?

Musks Ego?
SpaceX Workers?
NSF members?
Industry?
Governments?
SpaceX shareholders?
The public?

The only fickle group in there is The Public. The only important group in there is SpaceX's investors. The rest will shrug off the Amos failure with the reassurance that SpaceX will learn and have a better rocket / launch facility/ procedures after this.

If the BFR/MCT Mars architecture big announcement was intended for the first part of this list it will probably go ahead. if it was intended for the wider Public it may still go ahead. If it's PR you want? In the words of a fellow Irish man:

Quote from: Oscar Wilde
There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.


Online meekGee

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #124 on: 09/06/2016 11:51 am »
I read Tod's post as "Musk shouldn't let this accident affect longer range plans or this presentation".

And I agree.

This is not the last failure.

Looking forward to IAC.
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Offline Jdeshetler

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #125 on: 09/06/2016 01:48 pm »
Who was this announcement intended for?

Musks Ego?
SpaceX Workers?
NSF members?
Industry?
Governments?
SpaceX shareholders?
The public?

The Humanity

Online meekGee

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #126 on: 09/06/2016 02:16 pm »
I'm not sure what MusK will do and I'm not a PR expert.

But you can argue that now is either a good, or a bad time to make the announcement depending on your perspective.

Who was this announcement intended for?

Musks Ego?
SpaceX Workers?
NSF members?
Industry?
Governments?
SpaceX shareholders?
The public?

The only fickle group in there is The Public. The only important group in there is SpaceX's investors. The rest will shrug off the Amos failure with the reassurance that SpaceX will learn and have a better rocket / launch facility/ procedures after this.

If the BFR/MCT Mars architecture big announcement was intended for the first part of this list it will probably go ahead. if it was intended for the wider Public it may still go ahead. If it's PR you want? In the words of a fellow Irish man:

Quote from: Oscar Wilde
There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

I think the most important audience is industry.  Large players who are potential partners, beyond the immediate sphere that I'm sure is already involved to some degree.

For example, IF Musk is considering nuclear power, I am sure the relevant partners are already working with SpaceX.

But how about CAT or Volvo for heavy equipment?  Too soon?  Too late?  Just right?  What about Alcoa?  Saint-Gobain?  Dow chemicals?  Dupont?

ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline Ludus

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #127 on: 09/06/2016 03:03 pm »
The conference is in about 3 weeks. If the RTF issues are resolved by then with the cause understood and not an impediment to the regular launch schedule but from 39a, then making the presentation would fit with the stance of bold optimism. If it's not resolved at that time and the future of launch operations is an unknown it gives a different impression.

There's no reason investors, relevant people in government and industry or employees wouldn't already know most of the details of the presentation. NSF is pretty confident about most of them. There could be more off the record leaks for interested people and it wouldn't matter. This is about a formal public commitment.

Offline bstrong

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #128 on: 09/06/2016 04:06 pm »
Who was this announcement intended for?

My theory has been that they are about to start a public search for a BFR launch site, and that means that a) they will have to share at least some details about the launch system, and b) they will want to get the public excited enough that state/local governments will roll out the red carpet for them.

Announcing the largest rocket ever built right built right after a fiery pad failure is probably not the best strategy to get local governments excited about hosting your launch site, IMO. On the other hand, the clock is ticking for selecting a launch site if they are to have any hope of meeting Elon's timeline, and it will probably be a while before they regain the aura of success they had a couple of weeks ago, so maybe he'll just go ahead anyway.

Offline envy887

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #129 on: 09/06/2016 04:40 pm »
Everyone knows a fiery pad failure is possible with rockets. Anywhere that's a showstopper was never going to be viable as a launch site. And regular launch noise is a bigger issue.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #130 on: 09/06/2016 04:46 pm »
Everyone knows a fiery pad failure is possible with rockets. Anywhere that's a showstopper was never going to be viable as a launch site. And regular launch noise is a bigger issue.

That's not the way human brains tend to work.  They're not computers, logically analyzing all data.  People are influenced by what has happened recently.  Timing matters.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #131 on: 09/06/2016 05:38 pm »
What I was looking at when I said that canceling this presentation would be tantamount to killing SpaceX's Mars plans is based on what I was perceiving as the reason for this presentation in the first place.

That is that SpaceX was announcing its Mars architecture as the beginning of its push to get all of the partners it will need to pull off an actual colonization effort involved in the process.  The main message will be, if I'm not mistaken, "Hey everyone, not only are we talking about going to Mars, here is how we can do it, and here is how we will do it.  And now, here is what we need from all of you to make this toehold into the seed of a true multi-planetary civilization."

If SpaceX pulls back from this kind of presentation because of an accident that puts them back a few months in their current operations, the PR value of the cancellation is, well -- horrible.  It states "Well, we were going to tell you how we think we can go to Mars, but heck, we just had a rocket blow up, so we're not so sure any more.  We'll just wait and see how we feel about it once we get past the short-term concerns of keeping up with our current manifest."

This is a PR statement that SpaceX, right now, only exists to fly their current manifest and to keep adding customers and business.  It denies what many people here have properly noted -- that SpaceX wasn't started to fly a commercial manifest, it was started to place a colony seed on Mars.

It says getting back to launching comsats is far more important right now than exploring the vision that was the reason the company was founded.  It says we're putting the vision on the back-burner while we deal with a hiccup (no matter how flagrant) in the engineering.

It says that, even after the kind of presentation that was planned prior to the pad incident, any setback will cause us to pull away from the vision, at least for a while.

It says "Maybe you should not think about partnering with us for a while, until we figure out our problems."

Once you establish that kind of position, you lose a majority of the people you need to get buy-in from if you're going to make your vision become reality.  You lose their desire to buy in, because it makes it look like you suddenly don't believe in your vision any more.  Regardless of how much work continues in the background towards Red Dragon, BFR/BFS, etc., without revealing what they will be, when they will be built, where they will be launched from, etc., you just don't have anything for people to buy into.

And besides, this is the time in the SpaceX timeline to Mars when the big push for public and private partners has to begin, if it's going to succeed.  The Ron Howard miniseries "Mars" seems to be a well-placed, if not contracted-for, piece of the puzzle that is a welcome part of a larger plan to achieve the support needed to achieve the vision, as well.  Does anyone think Elon Musk should go to Ron Howard and suggest maybe it would be better to postpone the miniseries project until next year?  I don't think so.

Finally, to my mind, it is a far more stirring and courageous thing to announce great plans amidst the ashes of adversity.  It makes people believe that you are certain of your vision, and that you are determined to work through the inevitable roadblocks to achieve it.

This accident is not a reason to cancel the SpaceX presentation about their Mars plans -- it is a very good reason to push on.  It will be more stirring, more convincing, and get more buy-in, if SpaceX shows a determination to achieve their vision even through adversity, than it will if they delay.

At least, that's how I see it.  I hope that's how SpaceX ends up seeing it, as well.
« Last Edit: 09/06/2016 05:40 pm by the_other_Doug »
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Hauerg

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #132 on: 09/06/2016 06:05 pm »
Yes, like in F1, when you crash during qualifying on Saturday: You rebuild the car during the night, maybe on Sunday you have to start from the last row on the grid or even from pit lane. But now you bring a new storyline to the race.
(Of course it's better not to crash again come race day.)

Offline mikelepage

Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #133 on: 09/07/2016 05:55 am »
It <delaying> says getting back to launching comsats is far more important right now than exploring the vision that was the reason the company was founded.  It says we're putting the vision on the back-burner while we deal with a hiccup (no matter how flagrant) in the engineering.

It says that, even after the kind of presentation that was planned prior to the pad incident, any setback will cause us to pull away from the vision, at least for a while.

It says "Maybe you should not think about partnering with us for a while, until we figure out our problems."

This: I absolutely agree.  With one caveat.

SpaceX are the first to attempt true reusability for orbital class boosters, therefore, they would be the first to discover any problems that meant rockets become much less safe with each reuse, in a way that was unanticipated, like say, that repeated cryo cycles causing loss-of-mission faults from the COPVs.  Maybe they need to do a complete redesign, with an entirely new cryo-tolerant composite material that doesn't exist yet...

We know reusability is an absolute requirement for the Mars plan, so if it turns out that "success is not one of the possible outcomes" with the current rocket design rationale, it would be foolhardy to push ahead until they know they have the ability to solve the problem.

EDIT: in any case, I'm sure it will depend on the RTF investigation on the day Elon is to give the speech.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2016 05:59 am by mikelepage »

Offline Helodriver

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #134 on: 09/07/2016 06:07 am »
My hope, and expectation, is the presentation goes on. I will be at the IAC regardless. What I see and learn you will too.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #135 on: 09/08/2016 04:01 pm »
For those interested in the trailer for the "Mars" miniseries. http://www.popsci.com/watch-trailer-for-ron-howards-mars

Did the trailer show a BFS landing on Mars? And did SpaceX provide the basic info for the vehicle animations and internal constructs?

If the big reveal does not happen soon it will happen by itself without SpaceX doing an announcement because the info packet will exist and such info will be difficult to keep it from leaking out.

Musk needs to do the reveal as scheduled otherwise it will seep out the SpaceX pours anyway. The employees are holding it in for now but after IAC a flood of info is likely to come out from multiple sources.

Offline rakaydos

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #136 on: 09/08/2016 04:55 pm »
If that is a BFS spoiler, we're looking at 4-5 landing engines, with twice as many available for liftoff.

Not much of a heatshield for aerobreaking, though. Are they relying on thrust assisted drag? According to a paper I saw osted, they really need outward angled engines for that to gain more drag then they lose to aerospike-like drag reduction.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #137 on: 09/08/2016 06:54 pm »
For further discussion and for what has been discussed before about the linkages to Musk's plans in the Mars miniseries see this thread http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40823.msg1564882#msg1564882

The key for this thread is that the "Big Reveal" should occur before the miniseries release so that the miniseries is compared to Musk's reveal and not Musk's plans compared to the miniseries.


Online launchwatcher

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #138 on: 09/08/2016 07:19 pm »
For those interested in the trailer for the "Mars" miniseries. http://www.popsci.com/watch-trailer-for-ron-howards-mars

Did the trailer show a BFS landing on Mars? And did SpaceX provide the basic info for the vehicle animations and internal constructs?
Hmm.   The engines look "wrong" - proportioned more like a nuclear-thermal rocket (NERVA, etc.) than a conventional rocket engine.


Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NSF at IAC Mexico for the SpaceX Mars Announcement.
« Reply #139 on: 09/09/2016 02:07 am »
For those interested in the trailer for the "Mars" miniseries. http://www.popsci.com/watch-trailer-for-ron-howards-mars

Did the trailer show a BFS landing on Mars? And did SpaceX provide the basic info for the vehicle animations and internal constructs?
Hmm.   The engines look "wrong" - proportioned more like a nuclear-thermal rocket (NERVA, etc.) than a conventional rocket engine.
Looks like someone put a Kerbal rocket (in sandbox mode so you can afford a bunch of silly NERVAs like that, though they'd probably overheat and asplode so close together) through a much better rendering program. :)
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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