[FPSPACE] Elon Musk Wants the Military to Let SpaceX Launch Satellites
Michael K. Heney
mike at heney.net
Sun Jun 1 22:39:31 EDT 2014
Quoting David Portree <dsfportree at hotmail.com>:
> Boeing has had some troubles, too.
> Just a few things that set off alarm bells for me on Friday.
> If this is Dragon V2, and then it's dramatically different from
> Dragon V1, which is a fairly basic capsule shape that splashes down
> at sea (they'd like to land it on land, but there exist few areas
> big enough and empty enough in the continental US given its
> footprint). Does previous experience with V1 even apply? If not,
> then SpaceX can claim precious little lead on Sierra Nevada or Boeing.
> To me it looks about like the jump we made from Mercury to Gemini.
> No one would claim the latter had flown before the Gemini test
> And this: Musk claims V2 will be able to land like a helicopter
> anywhere. But space systems aren't like that. Not until they are
> well proven, in any case. One lands where one can safely land - for
> the people on the ground if nothing else - if one has a bad day.
> And where does the propellant for these amazing landing feats go? Is
> SuperDraco an anti-gravity device? Never mind about all that picky
> stuff like plane changes.
> And where was all the stuff that makes spacecraft cluttered inside?
> Necessary stuff, like oxygen hoses? Does Musk envision air pills?
> And what's with the silvery interior - that's going to be a real
> pain if the Sun shines in a porthole. And that insubstantial little
> Basically, what we saw unveiled was not Dragon V2, but rather a
> low-fidelity mockup designed mainly to glitter. Plus a movie
> starring the mockup. I say that, based on Elon's extravaganza, we
> really know nothing substantial about V2.
> The mockups I've seen come out of Sierra Nevada (which, foolishly,
> is working on a lifting-body design functionally more complex than
> either SpaceX V1 or Boeing CST-100) and Boeing (which has built
> piloted spaceflight hardware and seen it flown) look like real
> spacecraft that could work. This thing looked like a space
> playhouse. You know, the kind you might order from Walmart.
> So we can't go around saying SpaceX has flown a prototype in space,
> unless the real V2 resembles V1 more than does this mockup. In which
> case, the V2 we saw is a lie.
> Why would that be? Is SpaceX struggling so that they really don't
> have much to show off? The fact that they are flying rockets behind
> schedule with persistent technical issues and getting really tetchy
> about contracts awarded to other companies - companies more
> qualified than they are, surely they realize that - might mean
> something. As might charging NASA more than commercial customers -
> using NASA funds to underwrite those commercial launches to undercut
> the competition. (This was reported in AV WEEK.)
> AV WEEK also reported that they have to fly lots of payloads - more
> than are likely to exist - to make their business model work. And
> pump out rocket engines like donuts.
> Which brings me back to the whole thing about SpaceX transparency
> and all the Hollywood stuff which impresses a depressingly large
> number of people. If Musk had pulled Thor's Hammer out from under a
> seat in Dragon V2, would they have believed it was real? Or would
> they have thought about it a bit, and wondered about the claim?
> David S. F. Portree
> author and stuff
> dsfportree at hotmail.com
> dportree at usgs.gov
>> Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2014 19:38:41 -0400
>> From: clj at panix.com
>> To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
>> Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Elon Musk Wants the Military to Let SpaceX
>> Launch Satellites
>> On 6/1/2014 5:17 PM, David Portree wrote:
>> > Meanwhile, Boeing and Sierra Nevada are trotting out plausible
>> > spacecraft without the big show.
>> And where do they stand? Do you think they're ahead of SpaceX? Neither
>> has flown a prototype into space, neither has brought payloads back to
>> earth. Sierra Nevada made a big show of their "successful" (their word)
>> glide test, but refused to show the prototype being destroyed on
>> touchdown; why don't you show the same outrage you do toward SpaceX?
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