Author Topic: The nature of risk-taking in space launch  (Read 10702 times)

Offline speedevil

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #20 on: 12/30/2017 02:31 AM »
What people like Llian Rhydderch will never tell you is that this approach works only for things where profit is expected.

Rare disease? Pure space exploration (or pure sciences in general)? Free market won't help you in this and many other cases.

In fact, free market will come in new area only when someone else (usually that "totally unable to innovate" government) sufficiently develop it and lower risks - like with Internet (and yes, computers). Giving all credit for these things to free market is historical revisionism.

The internet is a poor example in several ways.
AOL and compuserv and several other online pre-internet services were getting quite large by the time the government sponsored commercial use of the internet overtook them with globally working email.

It is quite possible even with modest delays in this happening, inter-provider email (the killer app of the day), the internetworking of these providers would have produced something very, very different, with all content curated by these massive platforms.
As one example, Minitel in france took off and got a monopoly, which remained for a very long time after the internet.

Standardisation of railway gauges or container sizes might be a better example, but even here it's unclear, as they were often developed by single companies that 'won' in the market in their region before standardisation.

Offline AncientU

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #21 on: 12/30/2017 01:19 PM »
Risk tolerance.

If you boiled down the myriad reasons behind one young, private company building a rocket to land 150 tonnes or 100 people per flight on Mars and another prestigious, well-healed organization giving up on even landing on Mars -- though it has been promoting that goal for 40 years -- it would be these two words.

They haven't done it yet.

Exactly.  After 40 years and uncounted billions wasted, they gave up.
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Offline woods170

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #22 on: 12/30/2017 01:45 PM »
Risk tolerance.

If you boiled down the myriad reasons behind one young, private company building a rocket to land 150 tonnes or 100 people per flight on Mars and another prestigious, well-healed organization giving up on even landing on Mars -- though it has been promoting that goal for 40 years -- it would be these two words.

They haven't done it yet.

Exactly.  After 40 years and uncounted billions wasted, they gave up.
Again, I might add.

That is, until a new administration comes along and re-directs to Mars (again). Has happened before (and will happen again IMO).

Personally I refer to it as Moon-Mars Ping-Pong: roughly every decade the direction of US BLEO HSF changes course to either the Moon or Mars.

Offline IntoTheVoid

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #23 on: 12/30/2017 04:13 PM »
That is, until a new administration comes along and re-directs to Mars (again). Has happened before (and will happen again IMO).

Personally I refer to it as Moon-Mars Ping-Pong: roughly every decade the direction of US BLEO HSF changes course to either the Moon or Mars.
Of course.

No one gets credit for continuing what the last guy started, especially if he was from another party, and extra-especially if you can't finish it. Instead, if the last guy said 'moon', you can say 'Mars', and claim 'vision'. If the last guy said 'Mars', you can say 'Moon' and claim 'fiscal restraint/realism'.

Once something feels attainable, I expect them to jump on, whatever it is. (And very possibly claim credit, even if no one buys it)

Offline Jim

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #24 on: 12/30/2017 08:42 PM »
Risk tolerance.

If you boiled down the myriad reasons behind one young, private company building a rocket to land 150 tonnes or 100 people per flight on Mars and another prestigious, well-healed organization giving up on even landing on Mars -- though it has been promoting that goal for 40 years -- it would be these two words.

They haven't done it yet.

Exactly.  After 40 years and uncounted billions wasted, they gave up.

No, the point is that Spacex hasn't done it

Offline Jim

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #25 on: 12/30/2017 08:44 PM »

(computer and IT technology (ICT) is merely one example.  Imagine leaving government bureaus of the US and Russia/Soviet Union in charge of innovating in ICT since 1960 and imagine what our computer platforms would be looking like today.

 It was government spending and needs in 60's that launched the IC chip industry. There would be not consumer electronics of the 70's
« Last Edit: 12/30/2017 08:45 PM by Jim »

Offline AncientU

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #26 on: 12/30/2017 08:50 PM »
Risk tolerance.

If you boiled down the myriad reasons behind one young, private company building a rocket to land 150 tonnes or 100 people per flight on Mars and another prestigious, well-healed organization giving up on even landing on Mars -- though it has been promoting that goal for 40 years -- it would be these two words.

They haven't done it yet.

Exactly.  After 40 years and uncounted billions wasted, they gave up.

No, the point is that Spacex hasn't done it

The point is that SpaceX is on a rational and believable path to do it after just a few years of launching rockets, and NASA, after over 50 years, has no plan and even admits it isn't going to happen. 

Tens of Billions of dollars and decades of space launch experience separate these two -- which do you think has the best chance of succeeding?
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Offline Jim

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #27 on: 12/30/2017 09:04 PM »
neither

Offline meekGee

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #28 on: 12/30/2017 09:07 PM »
Risk tolerance.

If you boiled down the myriad reasons behind one young, private company building a rocket to land 150 tonnes or 100 people per flight on Mars and another prestigious, well-healed organization giving up on even landing on Mars -- though it has been promoting that goal for 40 years -- it would be these two words.

They haven't done it yet.

Exactly.  After 40 years and uncounted billions wasted, they gave up.

No, the point is that Spacex hasn't done it

They also haven't landed or reused a booster yet.
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Offline AncientU

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #29 on: 12/30/2017 09:19 PM »
neither

For one who is so certain about everything, that's a bit non-committal.
Hang it out there, Jim.
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Offline Jim

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #30 on: 12/30/2017 09:31 PM »
neither

For one who is so certain about everything, that's a bit non-committal.
Hang it out there, Jim.

No, I am certain that neither of them will go to Mars in my lifetime.

Offline woods170

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #31 on: 12/30/2017 10:04 PM »
neither

For one who is so certain about everything, that's a bit non-committal.
Hang it out there, Jim.

No, I am certain that neither of them will go to Mars in my lifetime.

You were also certain that Obama would be one-term president.

So you are either terminally ill (which I really don't hope) or your crystal ball needs an overhaul.

Offline woods170

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #32 on: 12/30/2017 10:05 PM »
Risk tolerance.

If you boiled down the myriad reasons behind one young, private company building a rocket to land 150 tonnes or 100 people per flight on Mars and another prestigious, well-healed organization giving up on even landing on Mars -- though it has been promoting that goal for 40 years -- it would be these two words.

They haven't done it yet.

Exactly.  After 40 years and uncounted billions wasted, they gave up.

No, the point is that Spacex hasn't done it

You missed the joke.

Online zubenelgenubi

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #33 on: 12/30/2017 11:15 PM »

(computer and IT technology (ICT) is merely one example.  Imagine leaving government bureaus of the US and Russia/Soviet Union in charge of innovating in ICT since 1960 and imagine what our computer platforms would be looking like today.

It was government spending and needs in 60's that launched the IC chip industry. There would be not consumer electronics of the 70's.

IIRC, all or virtually all of the first ICs were manufactured to meet the demand of Minuteman II (most) and Apollo (remainder).  There was a high proportion of defective ICs that were discovered in testing, so production had to account for the predicted proportion of finished ICs that did not meet specs.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2017 11:16 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline AncientU

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #34 on: 12/31/2017 12:26 AM »

(computer and IT technology (ICT) is merely one example.  Imagine leaving government bureaus of the US and Russia/Soviet Union in charge of innovating in ICT since 1960 and imagine what our computer platforms would be looking like today.

 It was government spending and needs in 60's that launched the IC chip industry. There would be not consumer electronics of the 70's

If development had stayed in government hands, there wouldn't be consumer electronics today.
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Offline Lar

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #35 on: 12/31/2017 03:11 AM »
Capitalism vs government, who invented the internet, integrated circuits, etc....  is general politics. Don't go there.
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Offline alang

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #36 on: 01/02/2018 01:43 AM »
neither

For one who is so certain about everything, that's a bit non-committal.
Hang it out there, Jim.

No, I am certain that neither of them will go to Mars in my lifetime.

What would it take to moderate your certainty?
If in the next few years SpaceX did build a fully reusable launch vehicle that cost a small fraction of the Shuttle refurbishment costs to reuse it then would you start to have doubts?

Offline AncientU

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #37 on: 01/02/2018 12:20 PM »
neither

For one who is so certain about everything, that's a bit non-committal.
Hang it out there, Jim.

No, I am certain that neither of them will go to Mars in my lifetime.

What would it take to moderate your certainty?
If in the next few years SpaceX did build a fully reusable launch vehicle that cost a small fraction of the Shuttle refurbishment costs to reuse it then would you start to have doubts?

They'll be opening brew pubs on Mars before that certainty would budge... and then it would be to complain about the availability of Bud Light.
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #38 on: 01/02/2018 04:01 PM »
The internet is a poor example in several ways.
AOL and compuserv and several other online pre-internet services were getting quite large by the time the government sponsored commercial use of the internet overtook them with globally working email.
Look deeper.

Those companies didn't develop their own protocols. They came from the TCP/IP stack.  The front end UI of their systems might have been proprietary but it was sitting on things developed on the USG's dime to linke multiple networks together for remote access  to specialized computing resources from a single desk. IOW "Inter-networking"
Quote from: speedevil
It is quite possible even with modest delays in this happening, inter-provider email (the killer app of the day), the internetworking of these providers would have produced something very, very different, with all content curated by these massive platforms.
Something more like Facebook but with charges perhaps?
Quote from: speedevil
As one example, Minitel in france took off and got a monopoly, which remained for a very long time after the internet.
Are you aware that "Mintel" terminals were supplied for free by the French (state owned monopoly) telephone company? They'd worked out that an online phonebook would save them a shed load of money updating (and then distributing) copies of the phone book
BT in the UK (also a state owned monopoly telco at the time) did something similar with Prestel, but conceived as a general information service.
Yup, for the French "White Pages" was the killer app.  :)
Quote from: speedevil
Standardisation of railway gauges or container sizes might be a better example, but even here it's unclear, as they were often developed by single companies that 'won' in the market in their region before standardisation.
And look what a mess that has left rail transport of goods across certain national boundaries.  :(
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: The nature of risk-taking in space launch
« Reply #39 on: 01/02/2018 04:11 PM »
neither

For one who is so certain about everything, that's a bit non-committal.
Hang it out there, Jim.

No, I am certain that neither of them will go to Mars in my lifetime.
Before you mock him consider what would happen to SX plans if Musk were to (for example) drive into a telephone pole (I imagine there are still a few of those dotting the Californian landscape) like the head of Amroc?  :(

TBF to Jim I don't think he's the sort of person who then turns round and says "I'm surprised it took them so long."
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

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