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Boatboy24

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Kraffty

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I think I was more engrossed for that 8 or so minutes than I was watching the moon landing as a kid and watching the boosters land was like watching a1950's science fiction film. Just too incredible. The quality of images from beginning to end was also like watching a movie.

Mike
 

ibglowin

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Yep watched it live from work yesterday. Incredible images to say the least. Felt like a kid back in the early 70's watching a SAT5 take off from the Cape. Too bad they didn't stick the landing on all 3 boosters but 2 out of 3 is still darn amazing. Wish SpaceX was not a private company I would be all over that like white on rice!
 

Boatboy24

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For as well as that went, its hard to believe Musk himself only gave it a 50/50 shot of even getting off the launchpad. I read this morning though that the boost that was supposed to get it to Mars was far too strong and will now take it to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. :D
 

jswordy

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Yay, we now have the ability to launch our used cars into orbit! Alongside all the other junk we have up there. And our used vehicle junkyard on the moon. But what else to expect from the PT Barnum of the modern era? It only cost $90 million, too. :D The only goal Elon Musk has yet to achieve is a profit. :h But oh boy, when the SpaceX IPO hits, it'll go farther than that rocket did. Fo sho.
 

ibglowin

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Wow, why so much negativity?

NASA estimates that one flight of the (NASA designed, single use) Space Launch System SLS will cost about $1 billion in comparison.

Yay, we now have the ability to launch our used cars into orbit! Alongside all the other junk we have up there. And our used vehicle junkyard on the moon. But what else to expect from the PT Barnum of the modern era? It only cost $90 million, too. :D The only goal Elon Musk has yet to achieve is a profit. :h But oh boy, when the SpaceX IPO hits, it'll go farther than that rocket did. Fo sho.
 

GreenEnvy22

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Yay, we now have the ability to launch our used cars into orbit! Alongside all the other junk we have up there. And our used vehicle junkyard on the moon. But what else to expect from the PT Barnum of the modern era? It only cost $90 million, too. :D The only goal Elon Musk has yet to achieve is a profit. :h But oh boy, when the SpaceX IPO hits, it'll go farther than that rocket did. Fo sho.
I don't even know how to respond to that properly.
Musk is exactly the opposite of what you just said (seeking huge profit). He reinvests all the earnings back into his companies. He genuinely wants to make humans a multi-planetary species, incase earth gets toasted.
He and SpaceX have done more for space travel in the last 5 years then the previous 30 years at least.

Telsa never turns a profit because he keeps pouring every cents into increasing production and R/D.

He just took a 10yr renewal as CEO, and only gets paid (a huge amount mind you) if the company hits certain milestone targets. If it doesn't, he gets nothing.

Musk certainly promises a lot, and misses a lot of timelines, but just look what spaceX has done. 3Yrs ago we though landing an orbital booster was impossible, now they've done it 20x. They have lowered cost of getting to space by an order of magnitude. They have taken over the majority of launches in the US now.
 
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GreenEnvy22

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The SLS Rocket is supposed to launch December of next year. It will be the most powerful rocket ever built. The first test flight is supposed to be around 70-75 tons of cargo, with an expected max of closer to 145 tons (an empty Boeing 757-200 weights 128,840 lbs or 64 tons) of cargo it can lift.
SLS should be scrapped. It will cost Billions per launch, and only launch once or twice a year at best. It's just there to keep people employed at NASA and keep US senators happy in states with NASA facilities.
Falcon heavy cost around 500 Million to develop. Thats what SLS spends every couple of months, and it's been going on for years.

Falcon Heavy will lift nearly as much for a fraction of the price. 90 million vs 2 Billion. you could launch falcon Heavy more than 20X for the same price as on SLS launch.

BFR will lift way, way more than SLS and still be cheaper.
 

sour_grapes

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Not taking a position here, but seeking a little clarification:

I don't even know how to respond to that properly.
Musk is exactly the opposite of what you just said (seeking huge profit).
Jim's (JSWordy) phrasing was somewhat subtle. He said "The only goal Elon Musk has yet to achieve is a profit." He didn't say that Musk is seeking a profit. Jim's phrase, I believe, is consistent with Musk's actions, but presumes that one's goals SHOULD include a profit motive, and was highlighting the fact that Musk has not achieved that "goal."
 
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GreenEnvy22

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Not taking a position here, but seeking a little clarification:



Jim's (JSWordy) phrasing was somewhat subtle. He said "The only goal Elon Musk has yet to achieve is a profit." He didn't say that Musk is seeking a profit. Jim's phrase, I believe, is consistent with Musk's actions, but presumes that one's goals SHOULD include a profit motive, and were highlighting the fact that Musk has not achieved that "goal."
Quite possible.I can't tell after a 14hr shift.
 

dcbrown73

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SLS should be scrapped. It will cost Billions per launch, and only launch once or twice a year at best. It's just there to keep people employed at NASA and keep US senators happy in states with NASA facilities.
Falcon heavy cost around 500 Million to develop. Thats what SLS spends every couple of months, and it's been going on for years.

Falcon Heavy will lift nearly as much for a fraction of the price. 90 million vs 2 Billion. you could launch falcon Heavy more than 20X for the same price as on SLS launch.

BFR will lift way, way more than SLS and still be cheaper.
You need to reset until you understand all the considerations. Most importantly, the Falcon Heavy will only lift HALF as much as the SLS will overall. It only matches it in it's maiden flight. Secondly, for DEEP SPACE travel, (the main idea behind the SLS) you are going to need HUGE capacity and the Heavy Falcon won't obliged overall.

Finally, the BFR is still on the drawing board while the SLS is seven years in productions and 22 months from first launch. I don't know about you, but I don't toss $12 billion in the toilet because their might possibly be a cheaper version in the next 4-8 years that *might* succeed.

If the BFR works out, great. If it doesn't. We didn't throw $12B in the trash for nothing. (we won't even if the BFR succeeds) If the initial steps are more expensive, that's the price of innovation sometimes. You cannot throw all your eggs into one basket. The SLS will be at minimum a teaching tool for the BFR. It will learn things the easy way (although expensive) that would have ended up expensive (and time consuming) for the BFR to learn anyhow without it's SLS predecessor.

The plans for the BFR did not exist in 2011, but the need to reach our goals did. NASA did what it needed to do and to trash all that money and intelligence now would be foolish. NASA is dealing with the hand they were dealt. The prudent move is to play the hand out while better possibly alternatives are working out their issues. Nothing is guaranteed and we are playing a damn expensive game.
 
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JohnT

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If I can jump in here..

I am a space fanatic! I even have a collection of space artifacts that I am very proud of.

The problem is NASA.

NASA, I believe, has lost its way. The issue is that they have no incentive to accomplish anything. There is no "Before this decade is out". There is no "keep up with the Russians". Without any hard, concrete goals, NASA has floundered.

Consider the following..

- The space shuttle was retired in 2011. That means that America, once the leader in space technology, has not had a manned space program in seven years!! We bow to the Russians whenever we are desperate for a ride.

- The SLS system was preceded by the Constellation program that was to get us back to the moon. This project was active from 2005 to 2010 until Obama terminated the project. That is five years and countless dollars spent on a program cancelled due to a lack of commitment (aka funding).

- Now we have the SLS project, which began in 2010 is supposed to build on the work of the Constellation project.

- Just recently (surprise, surprise) NASA announced that the first launch date is being slipped to 2019. I can guarantee that the date will slip several more times. Keep in mind that NASA has no concrete, tangible goals, No "before this decade is out", No "Let's beat those Russians. What incentive is there? Let the date slip? Don't let the date slip? what does it really matter to NASA.

so..

We have not had a manned space program in 7 years and have been working on getting a space shuttle replacement for over the last 13 years, with no actual working hardware to show for it.

To put this into perspective, Apollo took just seven years to design, build and have a manned launch. That is seven years during a time when a slide rule was the main computer for engineers.

Nixon proposed the Space Shuttle in 1972 and the first launch was in 1981. That is 11 years from setting the goal to a manned mission for the shuttle. It took 11 years without todays advanced computer design capabilities. This was when a home computer was a very new concept.

The SLS will take a doubtful 15 years before it's first manned mission. This is for what is essentially the same technology developed for Apollo, only bigger and more powerful.

This is why we need people like Elon Musk and companies like Spacex. Coming from the private sector, they can remain goal oriented, focused, and economical. I honestly believe that privatization is the only effective way for America to reclaim its place as a spacefaring nation.
 
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sour_grapes

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For another perspective: Those of us who actually do and care about science are happier when money is put towards non-manned missions. We learn far, far, far more per dollar when you don't have to bring a body back!

Reasonable people may disagree, but I don't see a lot of value in putting men and women into space (even though I so desperately wanted to be an astronaut, even applying to be a mission specialist).

Those of you who favor privatization owe a lot of thanks to the previous two administrations for fostering those private efforts with NASA dollars.
 

balatonwine

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NASA, I believe, has lost its way. The issue is that they have no incentive to accomplish anything.
Not accomplish anything? NASA has 30+ ongoing missions:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/?type=current

And what is in the works:

https://www.nasa.gov/about/whats_next.html

I would rather say that NASA has simply expanded its tasks, and re-arranged its priorities. Of course, not everyone may agree with the "value" of its modern projects and missions or priorities, but I think one would be hard pressed to say they are not accomplishing anything. ;)


Nixon proposed the Space Shuttle in 1972
just so everyone is aware, to put that into perspective, a space shuttle idea had been in various planning and test stages years before that, so it was not as if it all started at zero in 1972 ;) :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle#Early_history


Personally, as for human space flight beyond low earth orbit, I would rather spend money, time and effort on a large permanent moon base as being the next and more important step than a trip to Mars. Moon is more mundane. Fewer bragging rights (so not as attractive to politicians or industrialists to fund or take credit for). But more important in a number of ways. IMHO, Mars can wait. Robots are doing just fine there for now to get what we need to know.

But that's just me. ;)
 

JohnT

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@balatonwine

I admit that NASA has had its accomplishments. What I was saying was that, considering the size, scope, and budget of NASA, I feel that they should have accomplished much, much more. The problem is that there is no incentive and a lack of focus. Back in the 60's and through the mid 70's, NASA's accomplishments came at an incredible pace without the benefit of today's technology. All I am saying is that NASA needs incentive and focus to live up to its full potential. A strong central focused goal.

I admit that the idea of a space shuttle was kicked around as a concept, much like the idea of Lunar/Orbit/rendezvous was kicked around before Apollo development got off the ground (The concept was originated in 1919), but actual development, beyond feasibility studies, was not a serious NASA commitment until after Nixon's proposal (and subsequent budget approval by congress).

I agree with you on a permanent moon base. There is a lot of moon left to explore. Water, for example, was discovered on the moon only recently. A permanent moon base would also serve as a good spring board to an eventual trip to mars.

I grew up with a major case of childhood hero worship for the Apollo astronauts. They were our champions and represented incarnate American pride. As a kid, seeing the miraculous strides taken by NASA during the space race (Mercury/Gemini/Apollo/ASTP/ and even Voyager), it is hard to not view NASA as if it has fallen into lethargy.
 

balatonwine

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What I was saying was that, considering the size, scope, and budget of NASA, I feel that they should have accomplished much, much more.
NASA's nominal (uncorrected for inflation) budget, was 4.41% of federal budget expenditures at it's peaked in 1966 at 5.9 billion. Today the NASA budget is 0.47% of Federal expenditures at 19.5 Billion (source).

If one corrects 5.9 billion for inflation, at the hight of the race for the moon, a comparable NASA budget today should be rather between $34 and $135 Billion. So NASA has had a significant budget cut. Even using 1960 technology, if limited to it's current budget it probably could not get to the moon. I do think you are expecting a lot of NASA under it current budget constraints and it's presently defined multi-mission initiative.


The problem is that there is no incentive and a lack of focus. Back in the 60's and through the mid 70's, NASA's accomplishments came at an incredible pace without the benefit of today's technology. All I am saying is that NASA needs incentive and focus to live up to its full potential. A strong central focused goal.
It was a cold war. During war governments tend to direct initiatives, agencies (and NASA is a government agency), and the population to focus on the war effort at the expense of all else. In both good and bad ways. Be they real or imagined. Lock in step.

If all energy was focused by NASA today, and the government gave it a 100 Billion a year budget, I do think NASA could put a human on Mars in a few years. But that would take a war like mentality to focus all that money and effort. Who are we currently at war with in space? Would it really matter if Russia, China, India or Elon Musk got to Mars first?

Over all, I see no problem with NASA's current diversity of projects and missions. You call it a lack of focus. I call it a wealth of interesting science from many angles and vantage points. Still fascinated by Opportunity and Curiosity. We can agree to disagree.
 
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JohnT

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You have certainly gave me a lot to think about.

I guess what it boils down to is that I just miss the hero worship, the wonder, and the sense of national pride that I experienced during the 60-70s. When we landed on the moon, it seemed like everyone had the opinion of "look what America can do when we set our minds to it". There was so much negativity about America. 1968 was a tough year. It was a wonderful witness (for once) expressions of national pride.

I would love to have that again, but I guess those days are over.
 
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