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Old 04-10-2019, 09:26 AM
 
1,140 posts, read 798,812 times
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https://arstechnica.com/science/2019...ging-the-game/

We all knew this was inevietable. If I worked for Aerojet (fortuntely, I turned their offers down), or Boeing, I'd be looking for a new job (maybe 737 Max Safety Engineer?) right about now.

When the business-as-usual no-compete government contract companies are far behind schedule while building a less-capable rocket for more than 10X the cost, while SpaceX is already FLYING the faster, better, cheaper verson, (and Blue Origin is flight-testing full-scale hardware) you know the writing is on the wall. SLS is already DOA. I don't know why we keep insisting on throwing money down that well. (Yes I do; porkbarrel)

Here's my prediction: SLS flies only one demo launch and then closes up shop. Not only that, but the SLS demo will come AFTER the first demo (maybe even operational) Ultra-Heavy launch. Also after the first operational New Glen launch.

If I was working on the RS-25, or at Rocketdyne/Aerojet at all, or ATK on the 5-segment booster, I'd have my retirement plans in order. Atlas and Delta are done. SLS is done. It's a new age.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:19 AM
 
33,709 posts, read 17,275,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wac_432 View Post
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019...ging-the-game/

We all knew this was inevietable. If I worked for Aerojet (fortuntely, I turned their offers down), or Boeing, I'd be looking for a new job (maybe 737 Max Safety Engineer?) right about now.

When the business-as-usual no-compete government contract companies are far behind schedule while building a less-capable rocket for more than 10X the cost, while SpaceX is already FLYING the faster, better, cheaper verson, (and Blue Origin is flight-testing full-scale hardware) you know the writing is on the wall. SLS is already DOA. I don't know why we keep insisting on throwing money down that well. (Yes I do; porkbarrel)

Here's my prediction: SLS flies only one demo launch and then closes up shop. Not only that, but the SLS demo will come AFTER the first demo (maybe even operational) Ultra-Heavy launch. Also after the first operational New Glen launch.
Well, let's not get too cocky, it's only the 2nd FH flight. That being said, you're 100% right that the new players are taking over from the old gang. But as long as Senator Shelby is using NASA as an Alabama jobs program, that is unlikely to change. Why build rockets when you can get money for making CAD drawings, and the latter is so much easier?

Right now it also looks as if SpaceX is going to beat Boeing on manned capacity - and that's embarrassing, as Boeing got 4.2 billion for their CCDev program, with SpaceX getting a comparatively modest 2.4 billion. Of course, with Boeing and NASA being extremely intertwined, expect to see some bureaucratic hurdle put in SpaceX's lane.

Quote:
If I was working on the RS-25, or at Rocketdyne/Aerojet at all, or ATK on the 5-segment booster, I'd have my retirement plans in order. Atlas and Delta are done. SLS is done. It's a new age.
The people who designed the RS-25 are long retired. It first flew in 1981(!). And in NASA's infinite wisdom, they'll take that marvel of an engine, painstakingly designed to be reusable - and throw 4 of them away per SLS launch.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:18 PM
 
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You are preaching to the choir, brother!

I don't think there's a point that you didn't hit there. I especially like this one:
Quote:
Why build rockets when you can get money for making CAD drawings, and the latter is so much easier?
I don't work for SpaceX, but I can see the writing on the wall.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,514 posts, read 55,435,808 times
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IIRC, Shelby won't be running for re-election. The bigger shift is that the cadre of German rocket scientists have died or aged out. While they were still alive there was a history of continuing growth and a track record that went back decades. That was bankable in Congress.

Another overlooked factor is that corporations also age out unless there is periodic massive restructuring and cleaning house. Systems of reporting get set up that become ossified, fiefdoms protect time and money wasters, and bean-counters gain control over the drivers of growth and innovation. Sears, GE, New York Central, General Cinemas, all suffered the failure of success. Boeing may be overdue.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:50 PM
 
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Well SpaceX was 3 for 3 and landed both side boosters and the center core safety back on earth!
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:00 PM
 
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That - was worth watching. Holy TOS violation, that was bee-yoo-ti-ful.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Amelia Island
3,007 posts, read 4,055,280 times
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We tried to watch it here in Florida from the deck but it was two bright and was only able to see the smoke plume trailing.

As a witness of the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle it was truly amazing on what was accomplished tonight.

We watched live on You Tube and to see those rockets return so beautifully was a marvel.

I don't think the American public has the same excitement for the space program as they used to, but this was truly extraordinary and one heck of an engineering and technical marvel
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:14 AM
 
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Looks like they were also able to recover both halves of the fairing that were floating in the ocean.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says Starlink launch will reuse Falcon Heavy’s fairing



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Old 04-12-2019, 09:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBtwinz View Post
I don't think the American public has the same excitement for the space program as they used to, but this was truly extraordinary and one heck of an engineering and technical marvel
I think people get complacent, things become "old hat" and they just get used to it and take it for granted, which kind of stinks, but it is what it is. To remind people how difficult doing stuff in space is, just look at Israel's Beresheet.

Israeli spacecraft crashes in final moments before moon landing
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:22 AM
 
1,140 posts, read 798,812 times
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13B have been spent on the SLS, with little but a paper rocket to show for it. The (low-end) estimate is that the SLS will cost 500M per launch.

For the cost of ONE SLS launch (of 95 tons), we could put 388 tons into LEO.
For the (13.5B) to-date cost of the development of the SLS, we could put 10,111 tons into LEO.

For reference, the ISS masses the equivilent of 450 tons.

So we could've lofted TWENTY-TWO international space stations for the cost of the SLS paper rocket.

I recognize that SpaceX can't build rockets fast enough (but once they have a fully-stocked reusable fleet, this will become less of a problem) to meet present demand, but keep in mind that the NO-BID consortium of legacy launch providers hasn't built a SINGLE expendable SLS rocket, and we can expect their initial launch date to slip at least a year or more. The BFR will likely fly first.
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