Author Topic: Spacex and the Moon?  (Read 34551 times)

Offline Dave G

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Re: Spacex and the Moon?
« Reply #60 on: 08/03/2011 02:48 AM »
I think SpaceX should concentrate on getting F9 and Dragon flying on a consistent basis and not worry about things like Moon and Mars missions just yet, if that's what they're doing.

Commercial development works like a pipeline.  By the time you start shipping the current product, the next product is being tested, and the one after that is already starting the design phase. 

Each phase of development has different people - manufacturing engineers, test engineers, design engineers, etc.  So if you concentrate on one thing at a time, you have a lot of engineers sitting around waiting for something to happen.  I've found that engineers tend to be happier when they're busy, so concentrating on one thing at a time often leads to attrition.  Use it or lose it.


Offline marsavian

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Re: Spacex and the Moon?
« Reply #61 on: 08/03/2011 02:49 PM »

Once again Elon leads NASA on a shoestring budget showing the ineptitude of the Government body. NASA spend $8 bill developing Orion to go nowhere. Elon spends $300 mill on Dragon as is talking return to the moon.

Is Dragon a finished working product at $300m already ? How much did they pay NASA for PICA and all the operational advice/guidance they have been given ? Has Orion spending really reached $8bn already and isn't its LAS already working ? Perhaps Dragon will be as successful in BEO work as Falcon 1/9 reusability has proven to be ;).

Offline DaveH62

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Re: Spacex and the Moon?
« Reply #62 on: 08/08/2011 12:03 AM »

Once again Elon leads NASA on a shoestring budget showing the ineptitude of the Government body. NASA spend $8 bill developing Orion to go nowhere. Elon spends $300 mill on Dragon as is talking return to the moon.

Is Dragon a finished working product at $300m already ? How much did they pay NASA for PICA and all the operational advice/guidance they have been given ? Has Orion spending really reached $8bn already and isn't its LAS already working ? Perhaps Dragon will be as successful in BEO work as Falcon 1/9 reusability has proven to be ;).
Dragon has completed development as a launchable payload carrying capsule and has proven capability to launch and land, which involved the technical architecture and engineering and the flight control operations. Perhaps Orion will prove superior for BEO, but does anyone see a standalone capsule for 3-7 astronauts, with the room of a small SUV, a deep space system? Any capsule is going to need a Bigelow or other like living quarters system. Atrophy will be too critical for humans to stay seated or be so limited in movement. Psychologically and physically, it is not going to work.
You are correct that SpaceX has utilized NASA developments, but seems to be building on NASA's research and iteratively improving on the base technology. SpaceX is indeed completing and achieving results at a reduced cost from NASA and cost plus contractors. The engineering community at the traditional providers should feel insulted about their capabilities. SpaceX is competing by being an engineering, industrial and architectural company. The traditional companies have gone down the cost plus road, which is far more profitable, but more about finance and having lawyers defining what a toilet seat is in 10,000 words or less. Cost plus contracting creates barriers to entry that have blocked entrepreneurs from government contracting for large integrated services. Entrepreneurs like Howard Hughes were responsible for tremendous industrial change when America needed it to fight WWII, but with the oversight required by traditional government acquisitions the speed to market and development cycles done between 1939 and 1945 could never be repeated. SpaceX and the new SAA contractors are proving that the government can state goals, and that the private sector can build toilet seats and integrated space flight systems for under $900 and $9 billion, respectively. Should NASA share technology developed internally with American companies and license it for less than they spent developing technology: Aren't technology spin-offs what all us NASA supporters have been saying is NASA's economic justification for being? Or is that only when it doesn't compete with existing NASA service providers?
SpaceX is what should have come out of NASA in the 1970's. Do all our development cycles and costs really need to be in the 10's of billions or more? Do we need engineers to clock in for a 15 minute collaboration session with a colleague in a different silo? Is productivity better when the life is sucked out of achievement with paperwork that weighs more than the finished product?
You are correct, SpaceX has benefited from earlier NASA development. So has Bigelow. The problem isn't that SpaceX and Bigelow have cherry picked NASA technologies, it is that it hasn't happened sooner, and that this licensing and technology sharing is not a greater part of NASA culture.
I am proud of what NASA has done for itself and for our country. I think there are fewer things we can be more unquestionably proud of, but that does not mean there are not better ways for us to advance NASA and our country.

Offline catiare

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Re: Spacex and the Moon?
« Reply #63 on: 08/12/2011 09:38 PM »

Once again Elon leads NASA on a shoestring budget showing the ineptitude of the Government body. NASA spend $8 bill developing Orion to go nowhere. Elon spends $300 mill on Dragon as is talking return to the moon.

Is Dragon a finished working product at $300m already ? How much did they pay NASA for PICA and all the operational advice/guidance they have been given ? Has Orion spending really reached $8bn already and isn't its LAS already working ? Perhaps Dragon will be as successful in BEO work as Falcon 1/9 reusability has proven to be ;).
Dragon has completed development as a launchable payload carrying capsule and has proven capability to launch and land, which involved the technical architecture and engineering and the flight control operations. Perhaps Orion will prove superior for BEO, but does anyone see a standalone capsule for 3-7 astronauts, with the room of a small SUV, a deep space system? Any capsule is going to need a Bigelow or other like living quarters system. Atrophy will be too critical for humans to stay seated or be so limited in movement. Psychologically and physically, it is not going to work.
You are correct that SpaceX has utilized NASA developments, but seems to be building on NASA's research and iteratively improving on the base technology. SpaceX is indeed completing and achieving results at a reduced cost from NASA and cost plus contractors. The engineering community at the traditional providers should feel insulted about their capabilities. SpaceX is competing by being an engineering, industrial and architectural company. The traditional companies have gone down the cost plus road, which is far more profitable, but more about finance and having lawyers defining what a toilet seat is in 10,000 words or less. Cost plus contracting creates barriers to entry that have blocked entrepreneurs from government contracting for large integrated services. Entrepreneurs like Howard Hughes were responsible for tremendous industrial change when America needed it to fight WWII, but with the oversight required by traditional government acquisitions the speed to market and development cycles done between 1939 and 1945 could never be repeated. SpaceX and the new SAA contractors are proving that the government can state goals, and that the private sector can build toilet seats and integrated space flight systems for under $900 and $9 billion, respectively. Should NASA share technology developed internally with American companies and license it for less than they spent developing technology: Aren't technology spin-offs what all us NASA supporters have been saying is NASA's economic justification for being? Or is that only when it doesn't compete with existing NASA service providers?
SpaceX is what should have come out of NASA in the 1970's. Do all our development cycles and costs really need to be in the 10's of billions or more? Do we need engineers to clock in for a 15 minute collaboration session with a colleague in a different silo? Is productivity better when the life is sucked out of achievement with paperwork that weighs more than the finished product?
You are correct, SpaceX has benefited from earlier NASA development. So has Bigelow. The problem isn't that SpaceX and Bigelow have cherry picked NASA technologies, it is that it hasn't happened sooner, and that this licensing and technology sharing is not a greater part of NASA culture.
I am proud of what NASA has done for itself and for our country. I think there are fewer things we can be more unquestionably proud of, but that does not mean there are not better ways for us to advance NASA and our country.

Well said. I wish lawmakers would get this message. If we could get dozens of SpaceX-type companies to assist in different aspects of the space exploration who knows were would we be today.

Offline happyflower

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Re: Spacex and the Moon?
« Reply #64 on: 08/22/2011 06:27 AM »
You are correct, SpaceX has benefited from earlier NASA development. So has Bigelow. The problem isn't that SpaceX and Bigelow have cherry picked NASA technologies, it is that it hasn't happened sooner, and that this licensing and technology sharing is not a greater part of NASA culture.
Amen.
Also I like to add that NASA should even start any project with the idea that the technology and knowledge be in a way built to be profitable. That way when private companies do use/license the technology the market is built into the product to foster the private company succeeding. That way NASA can extricate itself from that project and move on to blaze a new trial some where else but leave behind an infrastructure that is designed to make money.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Spacex and the Moon?
« Reply #65 on: 08/22/2011 07:01 PM »
You are correct, SpaceX has benefited from earlier NASA development. So has Bigelow. The problem isn't that SpaceX and Bigelow have cherry picked NASA technologies, it is that it hasn't happened sooner, and that this licensing and technology sharing is not a greater part of NASA culture.
Amen.
Also I like to add that NASA should even start any project with the idea that the technology and knowledge be in a way built to be profitable. That way when private companies do use/license the technology the market is built into the product to foster the private company succeeding. That way NASA can extricate itself from that project and move on to blaze a new trial some where else but leave behind an infrastructure that is designed to make money.

A ready to go comercializable project is depots. See the details from this thread.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26396.135

Offline corneliussulla

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Re: Spacex and the Moon?
« Reply #66 on: 08/23/2011 09:57 AM »
Great post DaveH. I couldnt agree with you more

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