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peb
12-09-2010, 11:00 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703493504576007293723135976.html?m od=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

Surprised there has been no comment on the SpaceX flight yesterday, quite impressive. If you do some digging around on Wikipedia, you will find they are designing a quite impressive rocket and space capsule, capabilities for manned flight is expected.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_9

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_Dragon

George Jung
12-09-2010, 01:42 PM
I haven't kept up with this; last I'd read, Rutan was developing craft for, what, space tourism?

Good links. Interesting to me they're letting private enterprise re-invent the wheel ratherr than having them take existing designs and go private. I had read there was a remarkable cost savings. NASA developing/private enterprise marketing sounds a lot like the vaccine programs.

Old Dryfoot
12-09-2010, 01:59 PM
I noticed the story and though of posting it but I know that others here would also spot it. ;)
I was reading that they will be contracted to carry astronauts and gear to the ISS, let the commercialization of space begin.

peb
12-09-2010, 02:23 PM
I haven't kept up with this; last I'd read, Rutan was developing craft for, what, space tourism?

Good links. Interesting to me they're letting private enterprise re-invent the wheel ratherr than having them take existing designs and go private. I had read there was a remarkable cost savings. NASA developing/private enterprise marketing sounds a lot like the vaccine programs.

Rutan/ Virgin are planning on suborbital tourist flights, you go high enough to be weightless and are out of the atmosphere, but not in orbit. Its a pretty big step from suborbital to orbital. SpaceX's flight yesterday was orbital.

I do not believe any existing designs for manned spacecraft and rockets were really ever considered as they would not be cost effective enough and I suspect most of them are horrible out of date.

George Jung
12-09-2010, 02:27 PM
The shuttles are, what, 25+ yrs old? I believe the Soviet booster rockets are much older design than that.

Have none of NASA's resources been devoted to further R & D? That seems implausible. OTOH, perhaps they have, but aren't in a position/need to share that.

SMARTINSEN
12-09-2010, 02:35 PM
I just happened to be able to watch the launch on TV yesterday. For those who are harping on the fall from greatness of the U.S.A, the reports of her death are greatly exaggerated. In what other country could this have happened?

john welsford
12-09-2010, 07:16 PM
I just happened to be able to watch the launch on TV yesterday. For those who are harping on the fall from greatness of the U.S.A, the reports of her death are greatly exaggerated. In what other country could this have happened?

Russia, China, Japan, India, Brazil, England, the EC who have been tossing satellites up there for ages now, even tiny little New Zealand has a company who is contracting to launch sub orbital research packages and I'm sure that there are others.

John Welsford

willmarsh3
12-09-2010, 07:36 PM
I think commercializing space is a good thing. Air flight was commercialized early on and now most people can afford a ticket to fly. But when the space elevator gets built then space travel will become truly affordable.

WX
12-09-2010, 07:46 PM
Australia put a satellite into orbit back in the 60s...virtually nothing since though.

SMARTINSEN
12-09-2010, 08:08 PM
Russia, China, Japan, India, Brazil, England, the EC who have been tossing satellites up there for ages now, even tiny little New Zealand has a company who is contracting to launch sub orbital research packages and I'm sure that there are others.

John Welsford

John, your examples you give are all state-sponsored. The latest launch here is private enterprise, although I grant you with support--but not funding--from NASA.

peb
12-09-2010, 08:43 PM
Russia, China, Japan, India, Brazil, England, the EC who have been tossing satellites up there for ages now, even tiny little New Zealand has a company who is contracting to launch sub orbital research packages and I'm sure that there are others.

John Welsford

Yes, but a) this was not suborbital and b) this was a reusable spacecraft that was recovered. Those guys are not doing that. The first stage of the rocket itself is supposed to be eventually reusable. Eventually they hope to reuse the second stage. Not many people, state or private, doing this stuff with new designs.

john welsford
12-09-2010, 10:02 PM
Yes, but a) this was not suborbital and b) this was a reusable spacecraft that was recovered. Those guys are not doing that. The first stage of the rocket itself is supposed to be eventually reusable. Eventually they hope to reuse the second stage. Not many people, state or private, doing this stuff with new designs.

you asked, "in what other country COULD this have happened". Not "has" not "might" not "will". I stand by my reply, any of those countries plus sseveral others have the industrial capacity to do that given the financial incentive and private enterprise there is as good as anywhere.

JohnW

Milo Christensen
12-09-2010, 10:38 PM
John is quite right here peb, don't be stuck with an outdated idea of American exceptionalism. That's dead, dead, dead.

Old Dryfoot
12-09-2010, 11:40 PM
Arianespace was formed in 1980; lots of satellites end up in orbit on the front of an Ariane rocket.

Just saw a little bit here on Daily Planet, the SpaceX rocket carried a secret payload, a wheel of cheese... in honor of Monty Python. :D

peb
12-10-2010, 08:53 AM
you asked, "in what other country COULD this have happened". Not "has" not "might" not "will". I stand by my reply, any of those countries plus sseveral others have the industrial capacity to do that given the financial incentive and private enterprise there is as good as anywhere.

JohnW
I never asked that, its not at all the conversation I was having. I simply responded about what was fairly unique in the SpaceX program. You guys are way too sensitive, someone applauds an American company and you take it as a slight. I am sure there are lots of other countries that could do this, as SpaceX is just a 500 employee company.

Paul Pless
12-10-2010, 08:55 AM
quite impressiveif a bit cheesey

peb
12-10-2010, 08:55 AM
John is quite right here peb, don't be stuck with an outdated idea of American exceptionalism. That's dead, dead, dead.
Where in the hell does this stuff come from? I went back and read again, I don't see what I said along those lines. Certainly wasn't my intent. I will say again, only started this thread to discuss something that seems pretty cool to me.

Y Bar Ranch
12-10-2010, 09:16 AM
Arianespace was formed in 1980; lots of satellites end up in orbit on the front of an Ariane rocket.
NASA didn't build a single rocket, they contracted out them all out. The difference is while Lockmart sells NASA rockets, SpaceX will be selling to NASA its transportation services. Like comparing US Postal Service to FEDEX.

Bob Adams
12-10-2010, 09:32 AM
NASA didn't build a single rocket, they contracted out them all out. The difference is while Lockmart sells NASA rockets, SpaceX will be selling to NASA its transportation services. Like comparing US Postal Service to FEDEX.

Very comforting I'm sure to the 6,000+ people losing thier jobs at Kennedy Space Center.

boatbuddha
12-10-2010, 09:35 AM
Rutan/ Virgin are planning on suborbital tourist flights, you go high enough to be weightless and are out of the atmosphere, but not in orbit.

Actually at the altitude of the Rutan Virgin rocket gravity is almost as strong as it is on the ground. It's the long slow freefall that causes the weightlessness.

Y Bar Ranch
12-10-2010, 09:36 AM
Very comforting I'm sure to the 6,000+ people losing thier jobs at Kennedy Space Center.
It's not NASA's mission to be a jobs program.