Author Topic: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market  (Read 17310 times)

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4401
  • Liked: 182
  • Likes Given: 359
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #20 on: 06/14/2011 02:54 AM »
Isn't this a direct takeaway from Ariane? Thought they were using  their birds.

Might be more of a loss for the Chinese and Russians.


Interesting the knockers when a U.S. company wins back international business.  Sounds particularly like sour grapes to me.
SpaceX has launched satellites and built fairings.  I don't see those things as difficult for SpaceX anymore.  Certainly not more difficult that designing, manufacturing, launching and returning to Earth, a spacecraft.  Schedule slip is expected (where were the cries of horror for the slips on Shuttle and Cx - silence was deafening) and no doubt the companies signing up with SpaceX are well aware of that risk.  I think you'll see the company ramp up and meet its committments next year.  It's doing things now like enlarging McGregor and moving it's machine shop to provide more manufacturing room.  I think many give the company insufficient credit for what they've already done and I think those persons have totally underestimated them.
JM2CW

I think Spacex can pull it off they already did the hardest part which was design engines and a launch vehicle the rest is just refining their system.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28569
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8515
  • Likes Given: 5558
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #21 on: 06/14/2011 03:46 AM »
Actually, I think remaining a profitable launch vehicle provider without direct government subsidy is a lot harder than making an orbital launch vehicle or even a reentry-capable spacecraft. I don't think anyone has done it, yet*! It's not assured that SpaceX will fulfill that, though I think almost all of us hope for that (even Orbital, their competitors... who make more money on the satellites).

*With the possible exception of Orbital.
« Last Edit: 06/14/2011 03:48 AM 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 beancounter

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1251
  • Perth, Western Australia
  • Liked: 105
  • Likes Given: 167
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #22 on: 06/14/2011 04:17 AM »
Actually, I think remaining a profitable launch vehicle provider without direct government subsidy is a lot harder than making an orbital launch vehicle or even a reentry-capable spacecraft. I don't think anyone has done it, yet*! It's not assured that SpaceX will fulfill that, though I think almost all of us hope for that (even Orbital, their competitors... who make more money on the satellites).

*With the possible exception of Orbital.

That's a good point although Orbital has diversified business which eliminates them from consideration as only a launch provider.  Actually that's not even correct since SpaceX has Dragon and that's a cargo vehicle, not just a launch vehicle.
« Last Edit: 06/14/2011 04:19 AM by beancounter »
Beancounter from DownUnder

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8652
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1124
  • Likes Given: 243
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #23 on: 06/14/2011 02:05 PM »

Actually that's not even correct since SpaceX has Dragon and that's a cargo vehicle, not just a launch vehicle.

True, but Dragon is a vehicle and it does not look like they have any plans to produce satellites. So they will stand and fall based on remaining profitable in an industry where all most all (Do Orbital launch operations have direct government subsidies?) launch providers get direct subsidies.

Actually I am surprised this announcement has only generated 22 (now 23) replies. This morning I was expecting to see pages and pages...
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline mrmandias

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
  • US
  • Liked: 29
  • Likes Given: 34
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #24 on: 06/14/2011 04:05 PM »
SpaceX has launched satellites and built fairings.  I don't see those things as difficult for SpaceX anymore.  Certainly not more difficult that designing, manufacturing, launching and returning to Earth, a spacecraft. 

Then why aren't they launching satellites?

Offline Jason1701

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • Liked: 70
  • Likes Given: 39
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #25 on: 06/14/2011 04:25 PM »
SpaceX has launched satellites and built fairings.  I don't see those things as difficult for SpaceX anymore.  Certainly not more difficult that designing, manufacturing, launching and returning to Earth, a spacecraft. 

Then why aren't they launching satellites?

Because their contracts call for satellite launches in a few years, not now. Exactly which satellites would you like them to launch now?

Offline Nate_Trost

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 419
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #26 on: 06/14/2011 04:26 PM »
Perhaps the ones they had on the manifest which they subsequently lost to other launchers...

Offline AS-503

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 427
  • Orion Fab Team
  • Colorado USA
  • Liked: 158
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #27 on: 06/14/2011 04:43 PM »
Asian market?

The demo flight will probable not have a wheel of cheese onboard.

Maybe a ballast of some good dipping sauce.

Offline Comga

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4346
  • Liked: 1586
  • Likes Given: 1321
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #28 on: 06/14/2011 04:47 PM »
SpaceX has launched satellites and built fairings.  I don't see those things as difficult for SpaceX anymore.  Certainly not more difficult that designing, manufacturing, launching and returning to Earth, a spacecraft. 

Then why aren't they launching satellites?

Because their contracts call for satellite launches in a few years, not now. Exactly which satellites would you like them to launch now?

As Nate Trost said, flights on their manifest. Per the April 2009 SpaceX manifest:
Avanti Commumications  2009
MDA Corporation            2010
Sweedish Space Corp     2011
Bigelow Aerospace         2011

In that manifest they also had three COTS flights, two CRS flights, and two Dragonlab flights, all before the end of 2011. 

The most recent manifest adds 5 CRS flights, and now 3 or 4 new commercial satellite customers before the end of 2013.

We all know the issues and realities.  Continuing engineering of the Dragon, Merlin 1-D, Falcon 9 mk 2, Falcon Heavy, etc is preventing them from ramping up.  Let's just not pretend they they aren't building up a backlog much faster than they appear able to launch.

When do you think they will be able to do seven launches per year, which is about what they are putting on the manifiest?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline go4mars

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3752
  • Earth
  • Liked: 152
  • Likes Given: 3153
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #29 on: 06/14/2011 09:01 PM »
Interesting the knockers when a U.S. company wins back international business. 

I agree with you that SpaceX should be applauded for getting this contract.  Probably most of the surly sounding posters do too.  What they are heartbroken over is the launch date of Q1 2013.  I'm a serious worshipper at the church of SpaceX, but even I feel a lack of faith when I see that date. 

It's doing things now like enlarging McGregor and moving it's machine shop to provide more manufacturing room.  I think many give the company insufficient credit for what they've already done and ...

True.  All time and investment well spent for the upcoming production company; but its realistic to expect some delays/bugs/kinks in the system before they are building rockets like McDonalds builds fat folks (efficiently). 


When do you think they will be able to do seven launches per year, which is about what they are putting on the manifiest?

Beginning mid-2013
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28569
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8515
  • Likes Given: 5558
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #30 on: 06/14/2011 09:03 PM »
...building rockets like McDonalds builds fat folks (efficiently). 
...
I'm DEFINITELY going to have to remember that one! :D
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 spacetraveler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 641
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Liked: 139
  • Likes Given: 22
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #31 on: 06/14/2011 11:18 PM »
This is a major coup for SpaceX.


The coup is getting somebody to believe that they can launch 6-8 missions before this one.

For the moment I agree. SpaceX has shown they can fly a rocket. They haven't shown they can launch everyone even if they got 100% of the launch market with their superior advertising.

How they will scale is their next great challenge. NASA is pushing them on this as well.

That said, SpaceX is really shaking things up. But they still need to deliver what they've contracted for.
« Last Edit: 06/14/2011 11:20 PM by spacetraveler »

Offline RocketEconomist327

  • Rocket Economist
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 805
  • Infecting the beltway with fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets.
  • Liked: 82
  • Likes Given: 62
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #32 on: 06/15/2011 01:38 AM »
They just need to fly... COTS is the priority at the moment.  It is the cash cow.  Once COTS is happy I think things will get better.

VR
RE327
You can talk about all the great things you can do, or want to do, in space; but unless the rocket scientists get a sound understanding of economics (and quickly), the US space program will never achieve the greatness it should.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

Offline beancounter

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1251
  • Perth, Western Australia
  • Liked: 105
  • Likes Given: 167
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #33 on: 06/15/2011 05:29 AM »
This is a major coup for SpaceX.


The coup is getting somebody to believe that they can launch 6-8 missions before this one.

For the moment I agree. SpaceX has shown they can fly a rocket. They haven't shown they can launch everyone even if they got 100% of the launch market with their superior advertising.

How they will scale is their next great challenge. NASA is pushing them on this as well.

That said, SpaceX is really shaking things up. But they still need to deliver what they've contracted for.

Interesting.  I'd got the impression that the 'superior' advertising was SpaceX's worst enemy.  I thought they had commercial customers on board due to their superior products, not superior advertising.  I doubt commercial companies with hundred million dollar satellites would be swayed by a bit of advertising no matter how superior to their competitors that advertising might be. LOL.
Beancounter from DownUnder

Offline Blackjax

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
  • Liked: 26
  • Likes Given: 33

Offline majormajor42

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
  • Liked: 43
  • Likes Given: 221
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #35 on: 06/15/2011 05:48 PM »
Elon is having a good week. Besides this SpaceX news, another facet of his personal business portfolio trifecta, Solar City, just got a $280 million investment from Google.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/google-invests-280-million-residential-solar-power-fund.php?campaign=top_news

...water is life and it is out there, where we intend to go. I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man or machine on a body such as the Moon and harvest a cup of water for a human to drink or process into fuel for their craft.

Online ugordan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7549
    • My mainly Cassini image gallery
  • Liked: 1759
  • Likes Given: 395
Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #36 on: 06/15/2011 06:20 PM »
Elon is having a good week. Besides this SpaceX news, another facet of his personal business portfolio trifecta, Solar City, just got a $280 million investment from Google.

Completely off-topic for this thread and, in fact, all other SpaceX threads around here.

Tags: