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  1. #41
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Joe View Post
    Eh one is made up of a bunch of countries without independent space agencies that really can't enforce any thing is say, the US chooses not to honor it. The other is drafted by nations who have first on the ground capabilities or very strong ties to nations with strong independent space agencies (the US). It's like the UN. The US is part of the UN but doesn't actually listen to the UN, with the UN being powerless to make the US listen.

    The Artemis Accords purposely ignores the US's advantage when it comes to space exploration while giving room for the US to exploit it. The only entity that could actually make the US honor either treaty no longer exists (the USSR). That's just reality. The only thing keeping SpaceX from privatizing parts of the moon is the US, which can privatize parts of the moon through SpaceX. What will 100 of those countries say? They are going to stop using American rockets and trading with the US? No chance of that happening.

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  2. #42
    The Unstoppable Force Orange Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Eh one is made up of a bunch of countries without independent space agencies that really can't enforce any thing is say, the US chooses not to honor it. The other is drafted by nations who have first on the ground capabilities or very strong ties to nations with strong independent space agencies (the US). It's like the UN. The US is part of the UN but doesn't actually listen to the UN, with the UN being powerless to make the US listen.

    The Artemis Accords purposely ignores the US's advantage when it comes to space exploration while giving room for the US to exploit it. The only entity that could actually make the US honor either treaty no longer exists (the USSR). That's just reality. The only thing keeping SpaceX from privatizing parts of the moon is the US, which can privatize parts of the moon through SpaceX. What will 100 of those countries say? They are going to stop using American rockets and trading with the US? No chance of that happening.
    Sanction tesla, block their sales in those 100's of countries would be a quick and easy start. Something tells me Elon wouldn't want his revenue cut by at least half
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Joe View Post
    Sanction tesla, block their sales in those 100's of countries would be a quick and easy start. Something tells me Elon wouldn't want his revenue cut by at least half
    SpaceX and ULA increases the price of there launch services to make up the difference. PhDs in countries without their own launch capabilities complain that they can't launch their experiments and transfer to US institutions. Governments and international companies have to pay more to launch their telecom satellites or deal with countries they don't want to, Russia, China, Japan, India, EU. Japan and the ESA would only do so much as to not burn relationships with the US.

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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Themius View Post
    The argument is why not just build it via government?
    I could be misremembering, but isn't this SpaceX scenario just a repeat of what worked for the original Apollo moon landers?

    IIRC they were designed/built by Grumman (company that made the F-14) and just ferried to the moon and back by NASA.

  5. #45
    The Unstoppable Force Orange Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    SpaceX and ULA increases the price of there launch services to make up the difference. PhDs in countries without their own launch capabilities complain that they can't launch their experiments and transfer to US institutions. Governments and international companies have to pay more to launch their telecom satellites or deal with countries they don't want to, Russia, China, Japan, India, EU. Japan and the ESA would only do so much as to not burn relationships with the US.

    I guess time will tell which treaty will stand and which won't.


    Not to mention. What would then stop these countries from going to Russia instead of space x? I don't think Russia would have an issue doing this.
    Last edited by Orange Joe; 2021-04-19 at 02:34 PM.
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  6. #46
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caervek View Post
    I could be misremembering, but isn't this SpaceX scenario just a repeat of what worked for the original Apollo moon landers?

    IIRC they were designed/built by Grumman (company that made the F-14) and just ferried to the moon and back by NASA.
    Kind of but not exactly. The lunar module went up with the capsule the astronauts rode in.

    This plan with SpaceX involves two ships. The SLS that carries the capsule to the moon. Then you have Starship the remains in lunar orbit, ferrying astronauts to and from the moon's surface.

    The white part of the vehicle on the left is what will act as the lunar lander (about the size of the entire space shuttle stack) . The old Apollo landers were are in that small straight part below the top triangle in the Saturn V (the rocket in the middle). Massive upgrade.

    Last edited by PACOX; 2021-04-19 at 05:32 PM.

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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Damn Skroe would have dropped is a fat info dump with cool ass pictures and everything.

    The article is very misleading. NASA is only using SpaceX to actually touch down onto the moon. It's still using its own rocket and capsule to actually get to the moon. The capsule will dock with SpaceX's vehicle at the moon and be the means of getting astronauts to and from the lunar surface.

    That's cool and all but it seems kind of silly when you see the two bigass rockets being used for something that was done with one in the past. Hopefully the goal is future proofing stuff for Mars.

    NASA will be using SLS, a rocket that will already by bigger than the Saturn Vs that got to the moon. SpaceX's Starship will be huge too, if not around the same size. The crazy thing is that the SpaceX vehicle is only going to be around the moon. There's pros and cons to that. It gets the job done but we're looking at space shuttle levels of way too much vehicle and costs for what's actually being done. It's like you tell your roommate you're about to drive your hybrid SUV to the corner store that's 2 min away but they insist that they drive you in their H1 Hummer. It's inefficient but hell, it's their money.

    The real short-term gain for NASA, assuming SpaceX even meets its goal with Starship, is that NASA can hold off on building a lunar space station to act as a hub for lunar missions. Instead it can use Starship as kind of a forward RV while it drafts plans for a bigger station further out stable orbit - one that can better serve Mars and asteroid missions. SpaceX gets to show off its tech to future investors/customers, being a rep beyond the ISS's Uber. SpaceX will also get first dibs on the commercialization of the moon (we can have a completely separate discussion on the Artemis Accords, what they are, the politics, economics, why some scientists/countries are for them and why others against, and how SpaceX's bid is controversial). SpaceX can and will use the fact that it's their vehicle being used to claim equity in favorable lunar sites/discoveries.

    This entire contract assumes Starship will do half of what SpaceX says it will, on top of SpaceX being able to generate enough revenue to complete its Starship project.
    Historically speaking, the real question is whether NASA can hold up their end. SpaceX certainly has lofty goals, but they have also recently (past 15 years) met those goals. While NASA is the bedrock of everything private space enterprise is building on, NASA has been awful in meeting any goal recently.

    The SLS has only flown once in the past 15 years, is slated to launch again in the next few years, and even that will be with a broken capsule.

    I would imagine in the near future, NASA might change their moon goals, giving even more launch responsibility to private enterprise (Blue Horizon just completed their first launch-and-land).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Themius View Post
    The argument is why not just build it via government? The cost of building a rocket for the government doesn’t include profit motives and shareholders.
    Because they can't. The government has categorically failed to make any real achievements over the past two decades. Not their fault, of course, because politics, etc. But to ask your question speaks to volumes of misplaced hope in an agency that is going to be more akin to the FAA soon enough, rather than an actual launch facility.

    I know you hate Musk and all things involved with him, but the only reason the United States can launch their own astronauts to the ISS, is because of SpaceX. And Blue Horizon is right behind them as well.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by XDurionX View Post
    NASA has always been SpaceX biggest financier, this is not unusual.
    This - precisely. SpaceX gets enormous funding from NASA/Government, but to their credit, they use it very well.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    It’s to test habitats for missions to Mars.
    Exactly. Plus testing everything else on interplanetary landing. Plus the science piece of having a permanent moon base. Plus not letting the Chinese be the only ones on there. Plus...other stuff that isn't readily apparent.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Utinil View Post
    You obviously have never worked with government contracts in the USA. Private enterprises generally can get the same job done faster and cheaper due to how horribly inefficient our bureaucracy is. Look at how much NASA was spending on the shuttle craft vs how much Space X is spending for the same payload size.
    Totally agree. Private enterprise does it better, faster, and cheaper - built, of course, on the NASA giants that did the big parts first, way back when.

  8. #48
    truly dark times for NASA if they need to go to Elon musk for anything except batteries.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    Historically speaking, the real question is whether NASA can hold up their end. SpaceX certainly has lofty goals, but they have also recently (past 15 years) met those goals. While NASA is the bedrock of everything private space enterprise is building on, NASA has been awful in meeting any goal recently.

    The SLS has only flown once in the past 15 years, is slated to launch again in the next few years, and even that will be with a broken capsule.



    I would imagine in the near future, NASA might change their moon goals, giving even more launch responsibility to private enterprise (Blue Horizon just completed their first launch-and-land).
    I don't hate Musk, I just think he is overrated and over let's misleading information fly to boost the reputation of his companies.

    Yeah, the handling of the SLS has been stupid. Comparatively speaking, everyone has pushed their projects back. The SLS is by far the worst offender with no real distinct mission profile...like the shuttles. It can do a lot of thinks well enough but there's no reason to use it most of the when there's more efficient vehicles.

    All of that said, it's still the only deep space (beyond the ISS) vehicle we have that's built upon proven technology. It's basically the shuttle in a long range rocket form. It's kind of a necessary intermediate step. Hopefully a short lived one. Even that janky ass capsule. SpaceX is not close to human rating, let alone the interior of Starship but will be first generation of a new kind of human space vehicle.

    Until then, NASA is going to play pioneer, using less sexy but proven vehicles like the SLS and Orion to push towards Mars.

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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    I don't hate Musk, I just think he is overrated and over let's misleading information fly to boost the reputation of his companies.

    Yeah, the handling of the SLS has been stupid. Comparatively speaking, everyone has pushed their projects back. The SLS is by far the worst offender with no real distinct mission profile...like the shuttles. It can do a lot of thinks well enough but there's no reason to use it most of the when there's more efficient vehicles.

    All of that said, it's still the only deep space (beyond the ISS) vehicle we have that's built upon proven technology. It's basically the shuttle in a long range rocket form. It's kind of a necessary intermediate step. Hopefully a short lived one. Even that janky ass capsule. SpaceX is not close to human rating, let alone the interior of Starship but will be first generation of a new kind of human space vehicle.

    Until then, NASA is going to play pioneer, using less sexy but proven vehicles like the SLS and Orion to push towards Mars.
    And I know we've disagreed on Musk in prior discussions - we can probably leave all that there, if that's ok with you.

    I agree the SLS handling has been very stupid, but also very NASA. I'm a huge fan of NASA, but their abilities to make progress on new designs or concepts for space exploration involving manned spacecraft is horrible over the past 20 years. The SLS alone has been in development for 15 years, with one test firing - and new the artimus capsule is flawed, but they are going to launch it anyway, sometime (maybe) this year.

    I'm not sure what you mean by deep space vehicle based on proven technology. So far we haven't done any deep space vehicles outside of unpowered probes and landers.

    SpaceX has as more man-rated vehicles than NASA currently. They obviously aren't there with Starship, but they weren't expected to be by anyone's calculations.

    I disagree about NASA playing pioneer. I really seem them in the future as the space version of the FAA.

  11. #51
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    And I know we've disagreed on Musk in prior discussions - we can probably leave all that there, if that's ok with you.

    I agree the SLS handling has been very stupid, but also very NASA. I'm a huge fan of NASA, but their abilities to make progress on new designs or concepts for space exploration involving manned spacecraft is horrible over the past 20 years. The SLS alone has been in development for 15 years, with one test firing - and new the artimus capsule is flawed, but they are going to launch it anyway, sometime (maybe) this year.

    I'm not sure what you mean by deep space vehicle based on proven technology. So far we haven't done any deep space vehicles outside of unpowered probes and landers.

    SpaceX has as more man-rated vehicles than NASA currently. They obviously aren't there with Starship, but they weren't expected to be by anyone's calculations.

    I disagree about NASA playing pioneer. I really seem them in the future as the space version of the FAA.
    SpaceX has a vehicle that can get to the ISS, which is technically still in Earth's atmosphere. They can an won't be using the Falcon or Dragon capsule to get to the moon.

    The SLS the closest thing we have to getting a human to the moon right now. Assuming the program does not hit red tape again, it will have problem achieving a human rating because it's using tech that's already been human rated.

    Starship has a long way to go before it receives human rating. It looks like it will be certified as a landing vehicle before its launching people from Earth.

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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    SpaceX has a vehicle that can get to the ISS, which is technically still in Earth's atmosphere. They can an won't be using the Falcon or Dragon capsule to get to the moon.

    The SLS the closest thing we have to getting a human to the moon right now. Assuming the program does not hit red tape again, it will have problem achieving a human rating because it's using tech that's already been human rated.

    Starship has a long way to go before it receives human rating. It looks like it will be certified as a landing vehicle before its launching people from Earth.
    But in the modern era, SpaceX is light years (heh) ahead of NASA. NASA knew they were losing their only way to resupply the ISS and they couldn't get a replacement - ever - and still don't. SpaceX is the only man-rated space capsule under U.S. control, and SpaceX did all of the work in the same time frame NASA used to fail their first SLS test. And NASA's solution has to do it's second test flight with a known and unfixable flaw.

    I definitely agree that both programs have a way to go before we'll know if they will work for the moon. But given the last two decades of achievements, I would bet that SpaceX gets more of the moon re-landing than they have now.

    And yeah, Starship definitely has a LOOOONG way to go. Interesting point about the landing first, then the human-rating. I wonder if they will do it that way.

  13. #53
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    But in the modern era, SpaceX is light years (heh) ahead of NASA. NASA knew they were losing their only way to resupply the ISS and they couldn't get a replacement - ever - and still don't. SpaceX is the only man-rated space capsule under U.S. control, and SpaceX did all of the work in the same time frame NASA used to fail their first SLS test. And NASA's solution has to do it's second test flight with a known and unfixable flaw.

    I definitely agree that both programs have a way to go before we'll know if they will work for the moon. But given the last two decades of achievements, I would bet that SpaceX gets more of the moon re-landing than they have now.

    And yeah, Starship definitely has a LOOOONG way to go. Interesting point about the landing first, then the human-rating. I wonder if they will do it that way.
    Wait how is SpaceX ahead anyone but other private companies?

    NASA had a vehicle that could get to the ISS. It was reusable. It was over qualified. There was no point in developing a new vehicle when the Russians have a very good one, besides national pride. The money that they would spent on making a new rockey for the ISS was split among all the private companies, including SpaceX because getting to the ISS is 'beneath' what NASA should be about. The Dragon capsule that SpaceX built is neat but not revolutionary. The Falcon is cool but no one else bothers landing their rockets because there's no enough demand for rockets to see the returns of a reusable rocket - SpaceX is literally using its own project to justify their rockets. They don't receive enough contracts otherwise to make a Falcon any better than the dozens of disposable rockets they compete with. The Falcon Heavy is cool but it doesn't have the lift capabilities of the SLS - which actually does not mean much because the extra lift power of mean anything if it's not used. If and when Starship is finalized is when SpaceX can say it's ahead of NASA.

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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Wait how is SpaceX ahead anyone but other private companies?

    NASA had a vehicle that could get to the ISS. It was reusable. It was over qualified. There was no point in developing a new vehicle when the Russians have a very good one, besides national pride. The money that they would spent on making a new rockey for the ISS was split among all the private companies, including SpaceX because getting to the ISS is 'beneath' what NASA should be about. The Dragon capsule that SpaceX built is neat but not revolutionary. The Falcon is cool but no one else bothers landing their rockets because there's no enough demand for rockets to see the returns of a reusable rocket - SpaceX is literally using its own project to justify their rockets. They don't receive enough contracts otherwise to make a Falcon any better than the dozens of disposable rockets they compete with. The Falcon Heavy is cool but it doesn't have the lift capabilities of the SLS - which actually does not mean much because the extra lift power of mean anything if it's not used. If and when Starship is finalized is when SpaceX can say it's ahead of NASA.
    It was my understanding that NASA had no man rated vehicle that could reach orbit and dock with the ISS since the shuttle program was canceled. Was that not correct?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Shoot - I'm sorry, I completely misread the initial part of your post.

    But that's my point - NASA didn't have a way to get astronauts to ISS. And the United States needed one, because, as you pointed out, we were relying on other countries to hitch hike us up there.

    I don't necessarily agree with your position on what is "beneath" NASA - supporting the ISS seems like it should be a top mission for that organization.

    And if everything SpaceX did was easily done off old tech, when didn't NASA do it? Because it was beneath them? That doesn't even make sense.

  15. #55
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post

    I don't necessarily agree with your position on what is "beneath" NASA - supporting the ISS seems like it should be a top mission for that organization.

    And if everything SpaceX did was easily done off old tech, when didn't NASA do it? Because it was beneath them? That doesn't even make sense.
    NASA's money is tied to a bunch of old heads in Congress who barely know how to use their iPhone. Some who definitely believe in science, definitely not research.

    "We need $30 billion to make a rocket to get to the ISS?"

    "Why do you need to go to the ISS?"

    "For research on things like biology and climate science"

    "No".

    "But then we lose out on the money we already spent on the ISS".

    "Okay you get $2 billion"."

    "For that we might as well ask the Russians..."

    "Thats a good idea!"

    They already had commercial contracts for ISS resupply missions. Using the same companies and rockets made sense. More sense than arguing with dinosaurs in the Senate. That way NASA could focus on other things, like the Artemis program, including the Lunar Gateway.

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  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    NASA's money is tied to a bunch of old heads in Congress who barely know how to use their iPhone. Some who definitely believe in science, definitely not research.

    "We need $30 billion to make a rocket to get to the ISS?"

    "Why do you need to go to the ISS?"

    "For research on things like biology and climate science"

    "No".

    "But then we lose out on the money we already spent on the ISS".

    "Okay you get $2 billion"."

    "For that we might as well ask the Russians..."

    "Thats a good idea!"

    They already had commercial contracts for ISS resupply missions. Using the same companies and rockets made sense. More sense than arguing with dinosaurs in the Senate. That way NASA could focus on other things, like the Artemis program, including the Lunar Gateway.
    That is incorrect. NASA's budget is usually passed with most of what they need. I'm going to cite @Skroe here for previous documentation on NASA's budget pretty much getting passed with what they need every year.

    We're talking about how SpaceX is pretty much passing NASA in every category at this point. Granted, SpaceX is building their legacy on the backs of NASA [giant] shoulders, but still, in the last 20 years, NASA has been left in the dust of private industry, in regards to manned missions.

  17. #57
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    That is incorrect. NASA's budget is usually passed with most of what they need. I'm going to cite @Skroe here for previous documentation on NASA's budget pretty much getting passed with what they need every year.
    Usually except when they were getting too much money, the had their budget slashed and weren't getting enough. And I am sure Skroe's argument was against the people who say stuff like "well maybe if we gave NASA more money we'd be on Mars already!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Usually except when they were getting too much money, the had their budget slashed and weren't getting enough. And I am sure Skroe's argument was against the people who say stuff like "well maybe if we gave NASA more money we'd be on Mars already!"
    I really miss his posts - they were ridiculously thorough.

    Update on Artemis: As Artemis Moves Forward, NASA Picks SpaceX to Land Next Americans on Moon

    Seems like NASA is allowing more and more room for private enterprise to lead the way.

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    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    I really miss his posts - they were ridiculously thorough.

    Update on Artemis: As Artemis Moves Forward, NASA Picks SpaceX to Land Next Americans on Moon

    Seems like NASA is allowing more and more room for private enterprise to lead the way.
    That article is what this thread is about. The SLS, nicknamed the Senate Launch System for a reason, has no independent lander. NASA isn't going to let any private company go to the moon before them. They will let private companies participate, build the hardware (which has always been contracted out anyway) in parts deemed low-risks. NASA assumes the high risks, notes the hard requirements, privates come behind them and make spaceflight efficient/applicable. Better, NASA doesn't have to party with the military (see space shuttle) to justify human spaceflight. If space was a road, NASA is the trailblazer, the private companies pave the road and develops the land.

    Orion is going to a limited and hopefully shot life. They are going to use to (re)discover the hard requirements of getting humans to places beyond LEO and then pass the requirements off to private companies. When Mars comes, you'll see NASA lead some deep space mission, design the expedition, put station around Mars, then likely let private companies build the vehicle that makes the transit between Earth and Mars.

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