Falcon Heavy Rocket gets unveiled by SpaceX (Update)

Apr 05, 2011 by John Messina report
This undated artist rendering provided by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), shows Space Exploration Technology's new rocket Falcon Heavy. On Tuesday, Elon Musk, CEO and chief rocket designer of (SpaceX) unveiled plans to launch the world's most powerful rocket since man went to the moon. (AP Photo/Space Exploration Technologies)

(PhysOrg.com) -- Private spaceflight company, SpaceX, unveiled their massive 22 story big Falcon Heavy rocket capable of carrying a cargo capacity of 117,000 pounds. The 27-enginge Falcon Heavy is aimed to carry large commercial and government payloads into Earth orbit.

The 227 foot Falcon Heavy rocket is currently under construction at SpaceX’s California HQ; the rocket dwarfs any of its rivals. The closest heavy-lift rocket would be the V which launched the Apollo program.

In the private sector the closet rocket for comparison would be the United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV, a 50,000-pound capacity booster that launches the Pentagon’s heavy payloads.

According to SpaceX the Falcon Heavy offers a cost advantage over existing boosters. With a price range of $80-125 million Falcon Heavy can deliver twice the payload into orbit. This compares to United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV, a 50,000-pound capacity booster, costing $275 million per launch.

SpaceX manages to keep their production cost down because they manufacture most of the parts in-house in the Hawthorne, CA complex that once assembled Boeing’s 747 jumbo jets. The company also employs young engineers, in their early 30’s that work for much less pay than they would make at larger aerospace companies.

SpaceX aims to launch their new heavy-lifter in a demo flight from California’s Vandenberg AFB, northwest of Santa Barbara, by end of next year. The company’s vision for the future is not only to launch satellites but also to carry robots and astronauts to Mars.

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More information: LA Times and SpaceX

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Jaeherys
not rated yet Apr 05, 2011
What would that be in $/kg or $/pound?
Husky
not rated yet Apr 05, 2011
this is from 2001:
CURRENT COMMERCIAL LAUNCH COSTS TO LOW EARTH ORBIT*
(As published by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary
Average Cost-per-LB to LEO: $3632-$4587
GEOSYNCHRONOUS TRANSFER ORBIT
Average Cost-per-LB to GTO: $9,243/$11,243
ariane, proton, delta etc were all considered
Husky
5 / 5 (1) Apr 05, 2011
i'd guess about $2000 / kg or $80 million a launch to LEO but they have to recoup some money on the initial r&d, it certainly beats a $500 million mission to the space station
Quantum_Conundrum
3.4 / 5 (20) Apr 05, 2011
At twice the cargo for half the cost, they are well on their way...

That's basicly up to 4 times as cost-effective.

I'm sorry, but if these results are true, this proves NASA is incompetent. After all these years, an upstart company can double up on capacity while halving cost vs NASA?! This is ridiculous.

Maybe we can skip the NASA mission to Mars and just have the private sector do it. Probably cost 10 times less in the end.
ruebi
5 / 5 (3) Apr 05, 2011
the rocket nasa was working on building before obama put a stop to it went over 4 billion before they even tested it.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (4) Apr 05, 2011
I have been following Spacex since their formation about 12 years ago. They have been surprisingly open regarding their product development from the start. Their big cost savings come from in house design and production of nearly every piece of every rocket. (the fairing used to be outsourced, but after problems, is now also in house) Their quoted prices represent profitable figures for them right now, but they are actively pursuing first stage recovery which would dramatically decrease costs even further should they be able to pull it off.
Husky
5 / 5 (10) Apr 05, 2011
to put things further in perspective a spacetelecope 8-9 times the mass and 15-20 times the diameter of the James Webb telescope could be launched in one go, one could do direct imaging of exoplanets and perhaps even see weather patterns, shapes of continents or even the collective spilled light of a city.

I am sure Bigelow aerospace is considering SpaceX for getting a huge hotel up there
Quantum_Conundrum
3.6 / 5 (5) Apr 05, 2011
to put things further in perspective a spacetelecope 8-9 times the mass and 15-20 times the diameter of the James Webb telescope could be launched in one go, one could do direct imaging of exoplanets and perhaps even see weather patterns, shapes of continents or even the collective spilled light of a city


Well, possible large weather systems like the Great Red Spot on a gas giant, or you might be able to see decent sized moons either directly or in transit if you are lucky enough to be in the proper alignment.

I wonder when we would actually see a space telescope that large launched? Fifteen, Twenty or thirty years maybe?
Honor
5 / 5 (9) Apr 05, 2011
bureaucracy and politics is what makes NASA so expensive.
MorganW
3 / 5 (2) Apr 05, 2011
Is Reid Malenfant flying that thing?
Quantum_Conundrum
1.7 / 5 (21) Apr 05, 2011
Just to show how pathetic our knowledge of the universe is.

Based on the wiki article for the Hubble Deep Field, I calculate that in order to map the ENTIRE sky at that level of zoom and resolution, and assuming a couple percent overlap for matching things up, you'd need about 850,000 years if you only used one Hubble, or if you had 1000 Hubbles systematically working on different portions of the sky, you'd need 850 years.

By comparison, mapping the entire universe to the distance and resolution of the HUDF would apparently require ~5.42 million years for a single telescope, or 5420 years for 1000 telescopes, or 5.42 years for a million such telescopes.

Please, let's not talk about any Big Bang theory ever again in our life times. The amount of the universe anyone has actually looked at, even once, is virtually nothing, and that's not an exaggeration...
FrankHerbert
4.5 / 5 (8) Apr 05, 2011
Stop talking about your god and maybe we have a deal.
Parsec
4.6 / 5 (16) Apr 05, 2011
QC - and? I have never heard anyone suggest a project in which the entire universe was mapped to the same degree of precision as the HDF. Given statistical sampling, what would be the point?

Thats like saying that asking everything about every human being on the planet simultaneously couldn't be done. And to which I would say you are a veritable guru of the obvious. But whats the problem with that? Polls will give you measurements to any desired accuracy with a tiny fraction of actual sampling. Did you miss that section of statistics?
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (6) Apr 05, 2011
As low as 2000/kg to LEO with possibility of 1000/kg in the future, 53 t to orbit in one launch (that is super-heavy lift category folks), 11 launches a year.. Wow,, this is a real gamechanger.. Go SpaceX! :)
Quantum_Conundrum
1.3 / 5 (12) Apr 05, 2011
Parsec:

Guess we should have stopped mapping the Earth at like a one degree by one degree segment, right? I mean, statistically, what could possibly be wrong with that?

End sarcasm...
MikPetter
5 / 5 (14) Apr 05, 2011
Not to take away from SpaceX achievements it is worth noting that they are building on both the legacy of the Russian and NASA led space programs.
from SpaceX Website "Although drawing upon a rich history of prior launch vehicle and engine programs...
The main engine, called Merlin 1C, was developed ... drawing upon a long heritage of space proven engines. The pintle style injector at the heart of Merlin 1C was first used in the Apollo Moon program.....
Moreover, the stage separation bolts ...fully space-qualified, with a zero failure track record in prior launch vehicles.
The tank structure is made of aluminum-lithium as currently used by the Space Shuttle External Tank...The SpaceX nine engine architecture is an improved version of the architecture employed by the Saturn V and Saturn I rockets of the Apollo Program."
"If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants" Newton
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (1) Apr 05, 2011
MikPetter:

In the article and animations, you can see it's actually 27 engines, because it's 3 nine engine cores.
OdieNewton
5 / 5 (7) Apr 05, 2011
Just to show how pathetic our knowledge of the universe is.



Exactly which part of this article prompted you to think of this? I mean sure, we don't know everything, but isn't that the point of science? Figuring it out? I think the reason we know anything at all is because the greater scientists don't wait for the approval of the nay-sayers that can't contribute anything but criticism.

But then again, maybe you're right. We should give up now since we don't know everything.
flicktheswitch
4.4 / 5 (7) Apr 05, 2011
MikPetter:
I think the point is more that NASA et al. have their own rich history to draw upon too... yet their last Rocket design hit about 4 billion without a working launch.

I completely agree that, historically, they have been critical to the evolution of space exploration and getting technology to the current state where commercial entities can take over some aspects from governmental agencies.

However, in the present, working from the same base of knowledge, NASA appear woefully inadequate to the tasks that the future requires in the sense of efficiency, and cost reduction.
Mainly, I suspect, due to the fact that the nature of bureaucracy generally precludes both of these things.
flicktheswitch
5 / 5 (11) Apr 05, 2011
I think if NASA continue to do the science and exploration side of things and partner with commercial companies to do the (excuse the pun) heavy lifting, we all get the best of both worlds.
Mercury_01
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 06, 2011
A lot of very good points being made here. It seems that the community at large is on the same page with this kind of thing. one thing that comes to mind is the commentary by this guy named Andrew Chaikin on Colbert a couple of days ago. http://www.colber...-chaikin His point was that NASA is less of a space program these days and more of a jobs program. I totally agree. Its like its all we can do to just keep our scientists employed so that we dont completely run out of rocket scientists. maybe the smart ones should go work for Space X.
Bigblumpkin36
2 / 5 (7) Apr 06, 2011
.Honor
9 hours ago

Rank: 5 / 5 (2) bureaucracy and politics is what makes NASA so expensive.

Yep we should send all the politians and bureaucrats to the sun, and then drill for oil in their backyards for science fundind.
GaryB
3.3 / 5 (9) Apr 06, 2011
Not to take away from SpaceX achievements it is worth noting that they are building on both the legacy of the Russian and NASA led space programs.
from SpaceX Website "...


This is where libertarianism crashes and burns. It's not Market or Gov., it's Gov. can be great at starting markets and driving science (think of the internet or microchips or jet engines) but at some point the market takes off and the Gov. should exit. In this case, we seem to be on the verge, I hope, where the rocket tech has become mature enough for the market to start taking over.
Inflaton
1.6 / 5 (8) Apr 06, 2011
The New Zealand experiment is a good example of how badly libertarianism crahses and burns.
Eikka
4.6 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2011
Not to take away from SpaceX achievements it is worth noting that they are building on both the legacy of the Russian and NASA led space programs.
(...)
The main engine, called Merlin 1C, was developed ... drawing upon a long heritage of space proven engines. The pintle style injector at the heart of Merlin 1C was first used in the Apollo Moon program...


What they, and NASA, and everybody else fails to mention while paying lip service to government projects is that that particular piece of technology existed and had been developed by a private company before NASA even planned to go to the moon. It was developed for use in missiles and planes by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, who subsequently sold the technology to NASA as a part of the moon lander.

In fact most of the technology used was like that. Developed by private companies, based on German rocket engineering, and sold to NASA who took all the credit in the public eye.
Eikka
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2011
In fact, what NASA mostly did was ask the subcontractors, "What do you already have, and how large can you make it, and how much does it cost? Fine, we'll take a dozen."

Most of NASA's own developement projects have been financial disasters with deadlines stretching for years throughout its history. NASA is chiefly a committee, not an engineering company, and so it does what committes do best: waste everybody's time and money.

It could not have made it to the moon if most of the essential technology hadn't already been there at the start.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2011
And I would argue that due to NASA's involvement and inflation of the costs of spaceflight, the perception became that space flight is too expensive for private entrepreneurs and that set back the whole industry for decades to come.

While all along, private companies could have gone to the same sources and bought the technology at a fraction of the price that NASA did.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 06, 2011
And of course, due to the cold war there was interest that no private companies develop complete and competent launch technology, because that would have proven the point that it is doable without the scale of resources of the US government.

It wasn't until the late 80's and early 90's that private space flight really began, right on the brink of the collapse of the Soviet Union, with as simple technology as hauling a solid fuel rocket up 12 kilometers with an airplane and launching to orbit from there. Orbital launched their first Pegasus rocket that way in 1990 with a B-52 borrowed from NASA, and later bought their own airplane from Canada in 1994, coincidentally when Burt Rutan got the same idea for his Space Ship One.
Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2011
But we're still hitching rides with the Russian's aren't we.

Yeah it's really great about the cost reduction (no sarcasm at all), but we're a second rate space power now because of the Obama Administration directly, and the Bush Administration indirectly...and let's not forget the abysmally incompetent idiots at NASA.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2011
The New Zealand experiment is a good example of how badly libertarianism crahses and burns.


I'm just curious about what you mean when you say libertarianism? Do you mean economics in general? Do you mean any non-communist economy? Do you know what happened to the former USSR?

See here's the thing pee wee, governments don't exist AT ALL without economic activity to TAX. No market, no government...period.
Buyck
1 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2011
Good news accept the price, a range of $80-125 million! That still to much. But... nothingless very good news! The price can drop in the years to come. Maybe 50 million or 25 million in 2020-2025.
jjoensuu
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Their big cost savings come from in house design and production of nearly every piece of every rocket.

hmmm I thought Nasa also did only "in house design and production". Not that their costs were particularly low, though.
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2011
Falcon 9 launch should cost about 50 million. Stick manned Dragon with 7 people on top, thats 7 million per person. Russians currently ask 63 million for a seat in Soyuz..
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (8) Apr 06, 2011
In fact most of the technology used was like that. Developed by private companies, based on German rocket engineering, and sold to NASA who took all the credit in the public eye.
And German engineering was wholly state-sponsored, funded, and controlled. Might I point out that what NASA has been doing since it's inception has had direct military application. It's R+D was so expensive because it was intended to push the limit of what was possible, in order to stay ahead of the competition which was doing the same.

What NASA has been doing up until now could not have been allowed in the private sector for reasons of national security, and the possibility that enemies would benefit from stolen info and tech.

Might I also point out that joint allied efforts to develop nuclear tech and the industry base to produce bombs, in conjunction with German R+D including essential field testing of the methods of delivering these bombs, conveniently gave the west nuclear dominance.
Eikka
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2011
Their big cost savings come from in house design and production of nearly every piece of every rocket.

hmmm I thought Nasa also did only "in house design and production". Not that their costs were particularly low, though.


Quite the contrary. NASA was used in part to funnel taxpayer money to the large aircraft companies, who started engineering and building expensive rocket parts as subcontractors for the space program - as a kind of an economic stimulus package.

Ever heard the story of the two thousand dollar hammer? Nobody knows how much a hammer should cost, so they slap a price high enough to make sure - after all, it's the gov who's paying and they don't know either.
Eikka
4.3 / 5 (3) Apr 06, 2011
And German engineering was wholly state-sponsored, funded, and controlled.


Indeed, but it's a whole different debate whether or not the same thing would have been done anyways without the Germans. For example Robert Goddard did his own stuff with liquid fueled rockets in 1926 completely disconnected from the Germans' wartime efforts. If it wasn't for Wernher von Braun, it might have been his legacy that put man on the moon.

Sure, his rockets didn't go all the way to London, but they weren't far behind when the war ended.

As for you other points, I already adressed them. NASA didn't do much R&D of its own - it simply integrated the stuff developed by the subcontractors and tested them, and those subcontractors then went on making the military applications for the government.

And it was mostly because of government bullying that nobody dared to dream of private orbital spaceflight. We could be to Mars right now if it wasn't for that.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
In fact, his legacy did put the man on the moon. Braun just engineered the massive rockets which were basically just huge V2-s.

Goddard received little public support for his research during his lifetime. Though his work in the field was revolutionary, he was sometimes ridiculed in the press for his theories concerning spaceflight. As a result, he became protective of his privacy and his work. Years after his death, at the dawn of the Space Age, he came to be recognized as the father of modern rocketry.
baudrunner
5 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
'The only rocket that comes close is Saturn V'. Not really, compared to the Falcon Heavy Lifter, with a payload capacity of 117,000 pounds (one assumes to low earth orbit), Saturn V still seems to kind of 'dwarf' the Falcon, with its payload capacity of 262,000 pounds. Still, the shuttle has a payload capacity of 'only' 53,600 pounds. That makes the Falcon very impressive, indeed. Let's hope it keeps a clean record.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2011
Sure, his rockets didn't go all the way to London, but they weren't far behind when the war ended.
You are not appreciating the essential manufacturing, deployment, and field-testing under actual combat conditions, of ballistic and cruise missile delivery systems. The war provided a unique opportunity for this, and it was essential to a reliable ICBM system. True also for bombers and anti-qaddaffy cruise missiles.
NASA didn't do much R&D of its own - it simply integrated the stuff developed by the subcontractors and tested them
Absolutely. NASA directed tech devt and integration. It dictated the course of systems devt, tested these systems, and guided further devt. This process could not have been allowed to occur privately. Northrup designs fighters based on govt specs. The shuttle was a weapons system originally designed with launch facilities at vandenburg. The shuttle route was selected over expendables and rocket planes because it was impossible for others to duplicate.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2011
-So we have yet another example of where a potentially destabilizing and disruptive tech (orbit placement) was SUPPRESSED until such time as it was safe to release it. To do otherwise would be suicide and a great evil.

You conspiracy theorists would claim that corporate industrial war machine greed and govt corruption caused this, but it is obvious that there are much greater Issues at stake in this case, as always. The progress of civilization. The maintenance of overall Stability so that this progress can occur. The function of economic systems upon which everyone, rich or poor, depend.
El_Nose
5 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2011
@ eikka

While all along, private companies could have gone to the same sources and bought the technology at a fraction of the price that NASA did


I disagree with this statement... the thought that a government in the 60's and 70's would allow a private entity to develop a missile like vehicle to sell is not to understand the politics and perseptions of the time.

Rocketery was done by companies with DoD contracts -- the science could be done by anyone but the engineering and building prototypes was all filtered through the government

America was really on edge after the Cuban Missle Crisis and there was no market to move into -- developing that technology just made you a target for the government to step into your business -- notice it was the UK's Virgin that started this effort and then the US changed policy to allow capitol interests to dictate.
krundoloss
5 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2011
Yeah, it would seem that NASA is like an old retailer like Kmart or Circuit City - Bad infrastructure that is destined to be replaced by a more efficient and newer organization. I think we need a united worldwide space organization, funded by all nations and working together for the advancement of all mankind. We have one planet, we need to unify to make any serious effort towards space travel.
rjh405
5 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2011
Hmm, a commercial supplier is seeking government contracts and comes in with a surprisingly low bid. For some reason that seems strangely familiar. Personally, I'll wait to see if they can deliver on their claims.
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2011
But then again, maybe you're right. We should give up now since we don't know everything.


Where did I say anything about giving up?

I was actually pointing out the fact that one telescope is nowhere near enough, and we need lots of them to do anything really useful in a decent time period.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
This process could not have been allowed to occur privately.


Undoubtedly so, but for the debate whether or not you needed government involvement to pull off spaceflight, all these things point to the simple conclusion that no, you didn't. The main thing the gov did was to hide the technology from the public for decades out of fear of the soviets.

The only thing left to answer is, whether the private sector would have had a reason to go to the moon.

The fundamental technology was privately invented and developed, even tested, and even the German engineers considered Goddard to be years ahead of them despite not having the engineering capacity for big rockets - when shown the pieces of a V2 rocket, he was convinced that the Germans had stolen HIS work. He figured out the guidance systems, solved the math and even built liquid oxygen cooled nozzles that were re-discovered for the space program. Yet all he got was ridicule until the day he died (1945).
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011

Rocketery was done by companies with DoD contracts -- the science could be done by anyone but the engineering and building prototypes was all filtered through the government


I fully understand that and even made a point of it earlier on.

The thing that gets me is the glorification of NASA and the government in all of this. What they did was because nobody else was allowed to do it, not because nobody else could or would, nor because they were the best people to do it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.2 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2011
What they did was because nobody else was allowed to do it
Because it was not SAFE for anybody else to do it. And NASA was the best agency to develop defense-related tech because it was established expressly for the purpose.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Interesting bit of trivia about Goddard is that he was the one who proposed using rockets to the US military. He was the original inventor of the bazooka, during world war one, but the war ended before it went beyond concept stage. They didn't really get the whole rocketry thing anyways until the Germans bombed London with pulsejet buzz-bomb cruise missiles and the V2 rocket.

The main difference between the German V2 and Goddard's later rockets was that the Germans used alcohol and hydrogen peroxide for fuel, while Goddard used gasoline and liquid NO2 or liquid oxygen. They were otherwise almost identical.


There's the whole myth about rocket science. It's really not that hard. It's not brain surgery.

John Powell, founder JP Aerospace, Wired magazine, July 2006.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Because it was not SAFE for anybody else to do it. And NASA was the best agency to develop defense-related tech because it was established expressly for the purpose.


That's still entirely besides the point.

That is merely the reason why spaceflight stagnated for 40 years despite all the bold plans.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
The only thing left to answer is, whether the private sector would have had a reason to go to the moon.
By private sector you mean an enemy foreign govt?
when shown the pieces of a V2 rocket, he was convinced that the Germans had stolen HIS work.
Well, thats because they were GIVEN that work. Or allowed to steal it- same difference. They were the only ones in a position to develop it as a viable weapons system.

Military weapons tech and the tactics needed to use it must absolutely be tested under actual battlefield conditions, or the military which will use it cannot be sure that it will work.

Wars can be lost by using unproven tech, and from that perspective it is actually a danger as it takes the place of something else which would have worked. And losing war is NOT EVER an option.
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Undoubtedly so, but for the debate whether or not you needed government involvement to pull off spaceflight, all these things point to the simple conclusion that no, you didn't.


Government involvement? No, I dont see any reason why the gov needs to be involved in the development and execution itself.

But government money? Thats another matter entirely, without the ability of the gov to provide huge sums of money, there would be no spaceflight beyond commercial satelites.

All this talk about private commercial spaceflight means that instead of government agency, space policy will be executed by privateers. Make no mistake, that is very important difference, if technologically and economically efficient space program is our goal.
But there is no profit to be made in manned spaceflight yet, and so it will have to be payed for ultimately by taxpayers.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
he was the one who proposed using rockets to the US military
'Rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air'? The chinese military was using rockets around 500ad.
That's still entirely besides the point.

That is merely the reason why spaceflight stagnated for 40 years.
I dont understand what youre trying to say. Are you saying it would have been ok for private concerns to develop intercontinental ballistic and cruise missile tech for sale to any third world country or alliance who wanted it? Or worse, for them to develop their own based on easily available info?
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Well, thats because they were GIVEN that work. Or allowed to steal it- same difference. They were the only ones in a position to develop it as a viable weapons system.


Goddard did his most of his work in secrecy, ridiculed and ignored by the military and the public who all thought he was a fool, and he specifically stopped any correspondence with the Germans, so I don't buy that argument.

Had the US government known what they had, the would have beaten the Germans to rocket technology by years, so it doesn't stand to reason that they somehow "allowed" it to be stolen. The US built literally millions of fighters, bombers, tanks and ships - what's a few rockets to that? Had the British gotten the technology, they would have shot their rockets back at Berlin.

Unless this is another one of those secret world elite stories.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
But government money? Thats another matter entirely, without the ability of the gov to provide huge sums of money, there would be no spaceflight beyond commercial satelites.


That is working under the assumption that private spaceflight would have had been half as expensive as what NASA ended up paying for it. I already argued against that.

I dont understand what youre trying to say. Are you saying it would have been ok for private concerns to develop intercontinental ballistic and cruise missile tech for sale to any third world country or alliance who wanted it? Or worse, for them to develop their own based on easily available info?


How is that different from the Soviets planting their missile silos everywhere around the world, and the US doing the same?

The US and the Soviets pretty much bullied every other nation into not building anything that was against their interest anyways. Like the Rauma-Repola Oceanics case with the MIR submarines.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2011
Goddard did his most of his work in secrecy, ridiculed and ignored by the military and the public who all thought he was a fool, and he specifically stopped any correspondence with the Germans, so I don't buy that argument.
And yet you do accept that the germans obviously had the tech. You really believe everything youre told, for instance that the govt ignored a potentially deadly weapons tech which had been in use for 1500 years, and which they would shortly need to deliver the nuclear payloads they were developing?

Isnt it more reasonable to assume that their public ridicule was disinformation, and that the RESULTS of joint efforts by germans/soviets/US/brit/canadian interests, to produce tested and proven nuclear ICBM systems shortly after the war, is strong evidence for this? Of course it is.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
'Rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air'? The chinese military was using rockets around 500ad.


What they had was bottle rockets. What Goddard had was de laval nozzles and designs that made the efficiency of the things go up from 2% to 63% enabling them to do much more than carry a spearhead and a crackler bomb a few hundred yards.

What I'm trying to say is that without the government pressing down on the US industry, US based space flight would have advanced by leaps and bounds while everybody else including the Soviets would have been playing the second fiddle.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.8 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
The US and the Soviets pretty much bullied every other nation into not building anything that was against their interest anyways. Like the Rauma-Repola Oceanics case with the MIR submarines.
ABSOLUTELY. Their adversarial role was essential in subduing the world. Would the 6-8000 tons of fissionable materials have been produced, except under dire mutual threat? This material was essential in controlling the oceans above and below the surface.

The possibility that it could be produced meant that it absolutely HAD to be produced in the way it was, to prevent others from doing so. It could not have been produced any other way. It was the proper TIME to do it.

Fissionables are the most valuable material a civilization at our stage of devt can possess. They are freedom and security. They enable us to leave the planet and quickly establish an independent presence elsewhere, or deep underground on this planet, should the necessity arise.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
US based space flight would have advanced by leaps and bounds
Uh huh. While potential enemies were preparing to send swarms of cruise missile dirty bombs or ICBMs across our borders. Youre not thinking this through. The soviets graciously demonstrated this danger with sputnik; not only to the US public but to all potential enemies of BOTH superpowers.

Above a certain Level there are no enemies. Leaders consider only the people to be the enemy and have always been waging war against them.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
And yet you do accept that the germans obviously had the tech. You really believe everything youre told, for instance that the govt ignored a potentially deadly weapons tech which had been in use for 1500 years, and which they would shortly need to deliver the nuclear payloads they were developing?


You really want to believe do you?

Like I said, rockets were viewed as toys because nobody understood how effective they would be. Nobody had provided the necessary theory that showed that they could be. Goddard was ridiculed for his claims. "You silly man, rockets don't work in vacuum."

And the Germans did their own research. Why is that so unbelievable? The wheel was invented twice. SO what? So was the automobile - many times over.

Goddard got his idea for the rocket nozzles from Swedish steam turbine engineers. The Germans probably did too.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
Read the history of rockets in warfare.
http://en.wikiped...i/Rocket

-They were never considered as toys. You have much to learn grasshopper. The first would be to discern the difference between propaganda meant to subdue the masses, and Fact gleaned from the actual course of events. Hint: one makes sense, the other makes no sense (if you think about it for any length of time).
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Uh huh. While potential enemies were preparing to send swarms of cruise missile dirty bombs or ICBMs across our borders. Youre not thinking this through.


You're not thinking this through. For two reasons.

Cruise missiles were trivial to shoot down for the perpared, as proved by the Brits who started to shoot down V1-s. Hence the V2. They would not have posed a threat to the US who had constant air surveillance.

Anybody building orbital launch technology would stick out like a sore thumb for the intelligence to pick up, and the diplomats to come and have a frank discussion about it. Pretty much the only parties powerful enough to do it were the United States and the Soviets.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
A wiki exerpt:
"Between 1529 and 1556 Conrad Haas wrote a book in which he described rocket technology, involving the combination of fireworks and weapons technologies. This manuscript was discovered in 1961, in the Sibiu public records (Sibiu public records Varia II 374). His work dealt with the theory of motion of multi-stage rockets, different fuel mixtures using liquid fuel, and introduced delta-shape fins and bell-shaped nozzles."
Cruise missiles were trivial to shoot down for the perpared, as proved by the Brits who started to shoot down V1-s.
ABSOLUTELY. That wasnt realized until they had been tested under actual combat conditions.
Anybody building orbital launch technology would stick out like a sore thumb for the intelligence to pick up
V2s were built and launched from underground facilities.
and the diplomats to come and have a frank discussion about it.
-Like the brits did with hitler? You can be usurped with alarming rapidity in todays world.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Read the history of rockets in warfare.
http://en.wikiped...i/Rocket

-They were never considered as toys. You have much to learn grasshopper. The first would be to discern the difference between propaganda meant to subdue the masses, and Fact gleaned from the actual course of events. Hint: one makes sense, the other makes no sense (if you think about it for any length of time).


Empty rhetorics. Where is your argument again? What is the wikipedia page supposed to prove and how?

Of course rockets were used in warfare, but there is a great difference between an oversized bottle rocket and a Goddard rocket, just like there's a difference between a matchlock musket and a M1903 Springfield.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
Sorry grasshopper you read neither my exerpt or the rest of the wiki article. The potential for ICBMs were realized during the Renaissance if not long before. Another:
"In 1792, the first iron-cased rockets were successfully developed used militarily by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, rulers of the Kingdom of Mysore in India against the larger British East India Company forces during the Anglo-Mysore Wars."
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
V2s were built and launched from underground facilities.


You have to build one first. Might I remind you we're talking about the cold war era when there wasn't an actual war going on? A nation would have to close its borders before it could do it in secret, but that would have practically been the same as declaring war before you have the weapons.

Like the brits did with hitler?


See the point above.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Sorry grasshopper you read neither my exerpt or the rest of the wiki article. The potential for ICBMs were realized during the Renaissance if not long before. Another:
"In 1792, the first iron-cased rockets were successfully developed used militarily by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, rulers of the Kingdom of Mysore in India against the larger British East India Company forces during the Anglo-Mysore Wars."


The idea was developed yes, but not the potential.

For potential, you need better rocket technology than they had. It's the same as me saying "We could build fusion reactors!" - but there is no viable technology yet, thus no potential for building one. You can start, but you won't finish it unless the technology catches up.

So, good try but no cigar.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
A nation would have to close its borders before it could do it in secret, but that would have practically been the same as declaring war before you have the weapons.
No it wouldnt. Sorry youre losing this argument. Nazi weapons were built underground using slave labor. We are having the same problem with Iran at the moment. Good thing their Leadership is actually on the same Side as we are, the only Side which exists in the world today. Hail Empire.
For potential, you need better rocket technology than they had.
ABSOLUTELY. The idea sat unrealized but not forgotten, for centuries. Rocket tech however continued to be used in war. And as the potential quickly approached with the Industrial Revolution, and nuclear weaponry became feasible, it was realized that the 2 together posed a humongous existential threat. Or unprecedented Opportunity, depending on your Perspective.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Cruise missiles were trivial to shoot down for the perpared, as proved by the Brits who started to shoot down V1-s.
ABSOLUTELY. That wasnt realized until they had been tested under actual combat conditions.


Yes, and they were. We're talking about the time after the war, remember?

After the war, the government did a silly thing of not allowing US companies to develop private space flight. Nobody else (outside of NATO) would have dared to use it to make cruise missiles or ICBMs against the US allies because they would have been spotted and crushed for doing so, except the Soviets who were doing it anyways.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2011
Nobody else (outside of NATO) would have dared to use it to make cruise missiles or ICBMs against the US allies because they would have been spotted and crushed for doing so, except the Soviets who were doing it anyways.
You mean like we are crushing Iran and North Korea at the moment? But like I say, not to worry. Theyre serving that vital Purpose as fabricated Enemies in order to justify continued support of western military might. Just in case a reall enemy comes along. So we have they ability to crush them for real, and not just destroy their problematic military as we did with Saddaam (twice), or manage their populations, as we did in the Korean war.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
No it wouldnt. Sorry youre losing this argument. Nazi weapons were built underground using slave labor. We are having the same problem with Iran at the moment. Good thing their Leadership is actually on the same Side as we are, the only Side which exists in the world today. Hail Empire.


But it isn't the cold war anymore. US doesn't have such power over others as it did then, which is why we're having this problem.

And as the potential quickly approached with the Industrial Revolution, and nuclear weaponry became feasible, it was realized that the 2 together posed a humongous existential threat. Or unprecedented Opportunity, depending on your Perspective.


We're talking about existing history. You're talking about some odd world where the second world war and the cold war never happened.

You're bordering incoherence now
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
You mean like we are crushing Iran and North Korea at the moment?


Again, it isn't the cold war anymore. The US doesn't have the power to do anything about it anymore without causing an international incident.

During the cold war, everything was either Soviet or US. You were either with US, or with them. Had a country like North Korea started to threaten the US with nuclear weapons, the US would have turned to the Soviet Union and asked "Is he with you?" and regardless of the answer, one or both of them would have bombed the c**p out of North Korea out of a fear of escalating the conflict.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2011
But it isn't the cold war anymore. US doesn't have such power over others as it did then, which is why we're having this problem.
Sorry, we didnt invade afghanistan and iraq twice and destroy the govts there?
We're talking about existing history. You're talking about some odd world where the second world war and the cold war never happened.
Yeah I dont understand your disconnect. Germany rearmed in record time and the west ostensibly could do nothing about it. Iran and north korea develop nukes and the west ostensibly can do nothing about it, although we both know it could.

ICBM tech could have absolutely fallen into the wrong hands and used against the world had not the US and the USSR quickly moved to secure it. This INCLUDED developing this tech behind the iron curtain, and within NASA, TOGETHER, where it remained safely inaccessible to potential enemies. Because up until quite recently we didnt have the tech to discern for certain what was going on everywhere.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
c**p
Dude I think its ok to use the word crap unless it means something particularly nasty in your native language. Now, shit is something different. You may not want to type out the word shit unless you are skeptic heretic or somebody like that who has chutzpah.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Yeah I dont understand your disconnect. Germany rearmed in record time and the west ostensibly could do nothing about it.


Again, you're mixing history.

US wasn't even involved or interested at the time when Germany started to rearm, and the world wasn't in a paranoid state of spying on everything that moves or doesn't move, or that they could have. It was a different world in the twenties - you could do things that during the cold war were unplausible because the US did have spying satellites in orbit.

Iran and north korea develop nukes and the west ostensibly can do nothing about it, although we both know it could.


Which they couldn't have had done during the cold war, for obvious reasons. Either the Soviets would have stopped it, or given the west free hands to stop it because even they weren't stupid enough to let a rogue start throwing nukes.

Undoubtedly, ICBM technology did fall into the wrong hands many times. They just couldn't do anything with it.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Dude I think its ok to use the word crap


I prefer to keep it family friendly in any case.

Because up until quite recently we didnt have the tech to discern for certain what was going on everywhere.


The US had spy satellites and planes, and agents on foot very early on, taking photographs all over the place, and so did the Soviets. Neither one could know what the other one was planning, so they both had to keep an eye out for the whole world.

And you don't build a V2 factory in a year, especially if you try to keep it a secret.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
US wasn't even involved or interested at the time when Germany started to rearm
You are naive.
you could do things that during the cold war were unplausible because the US did have spying satellites in orbit.
-Including developing regional multistage missiles or ICBMs. An islamic empire for instance could have formed extremely quickly and threatened the world without all the efforts the west made to prevent it. Rocket tech sequestration must be seen in conjunction with all the other things which were going on in the world. Things political, economic, military, technological.

One must consider how political and economic change can be, and is, enacted prior to the outbreak of hostilities and not as a result of it. Conflict in this world is Arranged and the results of it predetermined. Because it CAN be. And because it can be, then the option of letting it inevitably occur by itself is unacceptable; irresponsible; evil.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Besides, you forget that the same reasons still apply.

Why are we allowed to do private spaceflight now, when we can't control nations like Iran or North Korea? Wouldn't the technology leak to them just as easily and allow them to build cheap ICBMs in secret underground bunkers and then shoot everybody?

If it was necessary and justifiable then, why not now?

Hmm?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
And you don't build a V2 factory in a year, especially if you try to keep it a secret.
Sure you do.
http://www.subbri...ex.shtml

-You do it under cover of a conflict or a religious edict restricting foreign access. You convert existing mines and use forced labor. V2 tech is comparatively simple as POWs did the work during the war.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
-Including developing regional multistage missiles or ICBMs. An islamic empire for instance...


Again you are mixing your history. There was no multistage ICBMs in the twenties. Nothing even approaching that existed until well into the second world war, after which the world entered the cold war and such sudden rogue empires became practically impossible due to the power struggle between the east and the west.

Neither could afford to have loose cannons around, because if some hypothetical little dictator had started lobbing nukes around, it would have triggered global thermonuclear war.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
And you don't build a V2 factory in a year, especially if you try to keep it a secret.
Sure you do.
http://www.subbri...ex.shtml

-You do it under cover of a conflict or a religious edict restricting foreign access. You convert existing mines and use forced labor. V2 tech is comparatively simple as POWs did the work during the war.


Again, your example is from wartime Germany which was pretty much closed from outsiders anyways. I already noted you for that - no nation under peace during the cold war could have closed itself from surveillance like that, and if they had done so under the pretense of some internal conflict, then it would have seen both the US and the Soviets coming down on it like a mountain of diplomatic and not-so diplomatic bricks.

This is getting rather dissapointing.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
Why are we allowed to do private spaceflight now, when we can't control nations like Iran or North Korea?
Like I say, what makes you think theyre not under Control? The soviets installed the current NK regime. Iran is a very interesting study. The shah was overthrown and the ayotollah installed who initiated the current islamist mania gripping the middle east, accompanied by the rampant overgrowth of populations and the inevitable conflict we see today. This can only result in a massive conjoined war, resulting in a great population reduction, the destruction of the ancient and obsolete cultures which make it necessary, and breathtaking advances in technology fueled by crisis.

These are exactly the kinds of changes which occurred in germany and russia prior to the world wars. They were initiated at that scale mainly because of the potential technologies which both imperiled the world and promised unbelievable advancement. Controlled burn to save the forest from destruction.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Why are we allowed to do private spaceflight now, when we can't control nations like Iran or North Korea?
Like I say, what makes you think theyre not under Control?


All along you have argued that private space flight could not be allowed, not even ten years sooner because it couldn't have been controlled and the technology would have leaked to rogue nations that would have used it to bomb the United States despite the cold war and everyone's interests being against it.

Or, you may be arguing that somehow we CAN control rogue nations like Iran and North Korea now, so leaking the technology isn't a problem anymore. But why then would you argue that they are a problem?

You contradict yourself on many many levels.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
no nation under peace during the cold war could have closed itself from surveillance like that, and if they had done so under the pretense of some internal conflict,
Or regional conflict.
then it would have seen both the US and the Soviets coming down on it like a mountain of diplomatic and not-so diplomatic bricks.
The point being, that the US and the USSR were able to pose that ongoing threat because they maintained strict control of the technologies which enabled them to do so. Including rocketry. You can see this with relaated tech. Because of their mutual threat the superpowers were able to populate the seas with hunter-killer subs. No somalia pirate or mesoamerican druglord could threaten commercial shipping as a result, although the potential exists:
http://en.wikiped...ubmarine

Had the superpowers not developed the enormously expensive tech and tactics to own the seas under mutual dire threat, this would have been a fatal problem.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2011
Or, you may be arguing that somehow we CAN control rogue nations like Iran and North Korea now, so leaking the technology isn't a problem anymore. But why then would you argue that they are a problem?

You contradict yourself on many many levels.
I imagine it to be like an extremely complex chess game, made moreso by the accelerating pace of technological development. We now have the ability to shoot down ICBM MIRVs with lasers among other things, probably a major reason. They are no longer the threat they were.

But now we have to worry about portable beam weapons proliferation, made possible by energy production and storage tech. Not to worry, Im sure this was anticipated 100 years ago, which is why electric car development was quashed.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2011
The point being, that the US and the USSR were able to pose that ongoing threat because they maintained strict control of the technologies which enabled them to do so. Including rocketry.


My point being that rocketry is a technology that they could have controlled anyways, because such large projects as developing your own ICBMs and nuclear bombs would have been so obvious to both. Under such tension of power, nobody else could have formed your "sudden islamic empire" either, without it being totally disrupted by installed insurgents from both parties - seeing that both already had their men working in the systems to tip the scales to their side all around the world.

And you still haven't provided a reasonable answer to the question of why is rocketry allowed now when the cold war is over. Aside from your previous contradictions, all you have left is the woo-woo answer that the US is now somehow able to control all the private industries across the world.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
Proliferation was not the only reason to maintain strict control of this powerful new tech. I would think few knew the full potential of rocket transport. Could it threaten the commercial jet aircraft industry? The germans had built a few very nasty rocket planes. Jets ran on petroleum-based fuel and this commodity is what enabled the west to maintain influence in the middle east.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
We now have the ability to shoot down ICBM MIRVs with lasers among other things, probably a major reason. They are no longer the threat they were.


Not really. The US has what? One Boeing plane fitted with a prototype laser that is designed for shooting down tactical ballistic missiles, not ICBMs.

ICBMs are only vulnerable for a short moment at launch, because they quickly climb to altitudes and speeds where they cannot be shot down by the laser, and effective shield against even short range ballistic missiles would require that you have hudreds of those planes flying all over the place all the time.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 06, 2011
Proliferation was not the only reason to maintain strict control of this powerful new tech. I would think few knew the full potential of rocket transport. Could it threaten the commercial jet aircraft industry? The germans had built a few very nasty rocket planes. Jets ran on petroleum-based fuel and this commodity is what enabled the west to maintain influence in the middle east.


So did the Brits, build rocket planes. They didn't really work as well as they both wanted because rockets have to carry the oxidizer along. It weighs significantly and that means they have much smaller fuel capacities than jets.

The only control the US really had to worry about was the Soviets getting their hands on better rocket technology, but they did it anyways. With the private market doing it exponentially faster than the stiff command economy they could have beaten the Soviets a mile for every meter they could follow.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2011
But now we have to worry about portable beam weapons proliferation, made possible by energy production and storage tech. Not to worry, Im sure this was anticipated 100 years ago, which is why electric car development was quashed.


Right. This is exactly the kind of woo-woo stuff that I hoped you wouldn't try to pull.

Energy storage and power generation has never been the problem of beam weapons. The main problem is that if you have a bit of dust on your laser's lens, and you fire your "raygun" at sufficient power to really hurt somebody, the lens shatters like a projector bulb with a greasy fingerprint on it.

And electric cars stopped being developed because the internal combustion engine was better under conditions where there appeared to be an endless supply of gasoline, and because they couldn't manufacture any better batteries with the level of technology in 1910.

I think this is enough for me.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2011
Energy storage and power generation has never been the problem of beam weapons.
For small transportable terrorist weapons, sure it has. It now threatens commercial air transportation, not to mention the military.
better under conditions where there appeared to be an endless supply of gasoline
You've got it backwards. The demand for petrol ensured an unending supply from the middle east. The end of electric cars meant that battery tech would not be developed. It was suppressed.
you fire your "raygun" at sufficient power to really hurt somebody, the lens shatters like a projector bulb with a greasy fingerprint on it.
You see tech details as game enders. The navy is mounting lasers on ships. They WILL soon be used on battlefields. Details are never a problem for long.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2011
Ok here's something you're really not gonna like... There always seem to be many very good reasons why things of this sort are made to happen in this world. With rocketry, I have already named 2: weapons Proliferation and a threat to the energy politico-economic infrastructure. But another idea I put a lot of effort into a number of years ago, was exploring the possibility of restricting access to space because the superpowers were engaged in clandestine operations up there.

Let me elaborate. I think it became obvious a very long time ago, that the greatest threat to civilization besides war, was an extraterrestrial impactor. We developed the ability to actually do something about it shortly after the war. The unique relationship between 1 superpower hypercharged by consumerism, and 1 with the freedom to conduct major operations in total secrecy, enabled to possibility of orbiting manned, armed vehicles and sending them to the asteroid belt.
==>
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2011
You're laughing. But just let me finish. The GREATEST potential threat, and the infrastructure and tech to be able to address it. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence for this; secret launch sites around the USSR, a huge but myopic Russian telescope nevertheless suited for detecting these objects, the MIR space station suited for assembly of craft in orbit, the disappearance of a (manned?) soviet lunar craft from orbit, the apparent loss of 16 soviet mars bound probes suitable for either detecting, communicating, or actually landing on asteroids... And 1/3 of ours. Etc.

A myopic US space telescope launched years too late... maybe so it wouldnt see something? Suicide missions to divert asteroids to save the world are not inconceivable. And the suspicious number of astrroid near-misses in recent years, which could have been pending catastrophes nudged out of our way by brave heroes who placed nukes or albedo-changinging materials on their surface.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2011
Here's another:
http://en.wikiped...RESTRIKE

And a more conventional ballistic missile defense system:
http://www.washin...787.html
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 07, 2011
I think this is enough for me.
So sorry you decided to capitulate. A few more reasons occurred to me, as to why the govt wanted to keep control of launch-to-orbit tech:

1) Spy satellites- too much is visible from orbit to allow unrestricted access
2) Threat from orbit- things dropping by accident or design
3) Unanticipated disruptive spinoff tech- our program spawned microchips, comsats, materials, freeze-dried food... No one knew 60 yrs ago what might emerge
4) Clutter- it's already too crowded up there
5) Unanticipated discoveries- what disruptive, paradigm-shifting, politically-destabilizing, economy-ruining things might be found up there? No one knew.

-It was as important to restrict independent exploration of space as it was to prevent independent trade with the precolombian American cultures, until they could be destroyed and the economy-ruining precious metals secured. Too much was at stake to let things happen by themselves in either case.
Dunbar
5 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2011
I'm sorry, but if these results are true, this proves NASA is incompetent. After all these years, an upstart company can double up on capacity while halving cost vs NASA?! This is ridiculous.

Maybe we can skip the NASA mission to Mars and just have the private sector do it. Probably cost 10 times less in the end.


This rocket IS NASA technology. NASA blazed a path, they developed the science and the tech. Government is paying for private companies R&D, it's how tech development contracting works.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Apr 07, 2011
So sorry you decided to capitulate. A few more reasons occurred to me, as to why the govt wanted to keep control of launch-to-orbit tech:


It's always so pathetic when somebody doesn't understand when they've lost. It's like the whole conversation never happened, all the arguments never made. Capitulate? A thoroughly dishonest choise of words.

We could go the same way for petrol engines and lasers and electric cars, but that would be pointless and out of topic, and you wouldn't admit that you're wrong anyhow. For example, the US was completely self-sufficient on oil and gasoline at the time and all the resources weren't even charted, so there's no need to bring the middle east into the picture unless you want to deliberately mix up history and create conspiracy theories, like you've been doing all along.

And you don't understand the technical difficulties in building small lasers. With big lasers, you can lower the power density at the focusing lens so it doesn't burn out.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 07, 2011

This rocket IS NASA technology. NASA blazed a path, they developed the science and the tech. Government is paying for private companies R&D, it's how tech development contracting works.


This rocket is Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, contemporary Northrop Grumman technology. They developed it, engineered it, built it and NASA simply used it. To my knowledge the technology was already done before they decided to slap it on the moon lander.

You cannot take credit for something you just use, even if you paid for it. I didn't make the computer I'm using. It's not my technology no matter how great things I achieve with it.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 07, 2011
It was as important to restrict independent exploration of space as it was to prevent independent trade with the precolombian American cultures


Every reason you state should also be valid today if they had been valid then. We already went through this, and you couldn't provide a reasonable answer to why the government is allowing private space flight now.

And all in all you make the contradictory statement that the US government deliberately kept their OWN free market innovation down to stay ahead of the Soviets and the rest of the world.

It doesn't make any sense.
Eikka
not rated yet Apr 07, 2011
To recap the argument without the conspiracy woo woo:

The US government involvement in space flight through NASA and directly with aerospace companies served to drive up the costs of orbital space flight and discouraged private entrepreneurship in the sector for decades.

Even though the technologies were privately developed and engineered the whole time, no private integration occurred because the government paid too high a price for the parts and basically outbidded everyone else out of the auction.

Had they not done that, we would have been to Mars by now if we had a reason to go there.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 07, 2011
It's always so pathetic...It's like the whole conversation never happened, all the arguments never made. Capitulate? A thoroughly dishonest choise of words.
And it is so sad to encounter yet another poster with no sense of humor. Bleep.
Every reason you state should also be valid today if they had been valid then.
Not so.
1) Spy sats are common now and ops typically hardened against them unlike decades ago.
2,4) Yes the Inevitable has occurred- orbit is full of crap. As countermeasures have been developed against intentional threat from orbit, an actual threat (north koreas sat attempt) can be staged as a demonstration. We know now how to deal with clutter
3,5) We also know what there is to be developed and discovered. No surprises. We have taken the high ground. Things are absolutely different than when NASA was established. We can go to space now in a big way. Time for competition.

-And Lasers are definitely protection now against ICBMs. Your rebuttal makes no sense.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 07, 2011
you couldn't provide a reasonable answer to why the government is allowing private space flight now.
I gave you a number of very good reasons dealing with security and potential threat to infrastructure. Conditions have obviously changed. Private enterprise offers competition for space resources and accelerated innovation which is the best way to develop emerging markets. The military has ALWAYS gone in first, to conquer and subdue and secure. NASA and the soviets have done this IN CONCERT with space.
Even though the technologies were privately developed and engineered the whole time
-according to strict NASA spec and direction
no private integration occurred because the government paid too high a price for the parts and basically outbidded everyone else out of the auction.
Correct. For reasons already stated and because it was primarily a military venture; national security. Threat of dissemination. You lose yet again. But hurry back.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 07, 2011
Had they not done that, we would have been to Mars by now if we had a reason to go there.
Yeah. The Vikings tried this with north America. They couldn't even defend Greenland settlements from inuits. They did discover that the continents had to be taken militarily, with overwhelming force. With firearms and wardogs and disease.

Space was a HUGE unknown 60 yrs ago. It was SAFEST to let the military do it first. Industry might have tried and failed, seeing no profit, and thereby hampering efforts to commercialize it now, at the Proper Time, with a better understanding, the proper technology, and no surprises.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (8) Apr 07, 2011
Had they not done that, we would have been to Mars by now if we had a reason to go there.
-If we had a reason to go there...

2095: 'The Greater Corporate American Empire had finally decided it made good business sense to go to mars, only to realize once they got there that suicide jihadis from the Neocaliphate had already been busy in the area, lining up asteroids for dropping on corporate facilities in LA and Lisbon. They unfortunately found this out when an asteroid landed on their shiny new Welcome Center in the Sinus Meridiani today. NATO was unavailable for comment.' -al jazeera
pauljpease
5 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2011

See here's the thing pee wee, governments don't exist AT ALL without economic activity to TAX. No market, no government...period.


Do you mean a monetary market? Or just the exchange of goods and services in general? I'm pretty sure there were social structures akin to government before there was money, so if the former, fail. If the latter, well, there is no LIFE without the exchange of goods and services, so yeah, I guess there wouldn't be government either. I think you're fixating on your hatred of the idea that a group of people, called a nation, can tell you what you're allowed to do.
Beard
5 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2011
Go SpaceX!

Powerful, affordable and reliable launches of valuable assets into LEO or beyond is a key enabler that will lead to more ambitious space engineering projects.

SpaceX is actively pursuing all three of those characteristics and so I'm extremely excited at news of any of their successes.
Husky
5 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2011
What I like is that Elon Musk will not be satisfied by having affordable access to LEO, he wants to see a footprint on mars in his lifetime for his personal satisfaction, thereby singlehandedly creating the demand for the thermal/electro nuclear rockets we have all be waiting for but that nobody wanted to pay for.

On another note, i just read that Burt Rotan was the designer of the wings on the Pegasus.
Bigblumpkin36
5 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2011
We need a revolution here in US
Jimee
1 / 5 (3) Apr 11, 2011
Gee, let's trust corporations. I'm sure they won't gouge us or steal from us Americans. NASA made these advancements possible with our tax dollars. Then the private sector comes in to take us for whatever they can. Thank goodness these corporations have the good of the U.S. at heart. Oops! The corporations have no heart, and NO COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!
thematrix606
5 / 5 (1) Apr 12, 2011
and NO COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!


What does one country have anything to do with science? We are one species, one civilization, on one world, in one universe. We should unite forces, not divide in this matter. If we find ET life, we must unite and call ourselves 'us' rather than 'them and us'.