[FPSPACE] correction/update

David Portree dsfportree at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 7 09:59:31 EDT 2017


Thanks, Nick - I'll read it when I get home from work.


dsfp


David S. F. Portree

Email:

dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>

Blog:

http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: Nick WATKINS <nickwatkins62 at fastmail.com>
Sent: Friday, July 7, 2017 12:58 AM
To: David Portree
Cc: Marc Boucher; FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] correction/update

I liked Oliver Morton's survey, which ranged from SpaceX to the micro satellite world, in the Economist last year

http://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2016-25-08/space-2016?fsrc=scn/fb/te/bl/ed/asuddenlight

Sent from my iPhone

On 7 Jul 2017, at 02:15, David Portree <dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>> wrote:


Marc:


We're drifting away from the topic - whether delays when delays are projected to interfere with commercial profitability are to be celebrated - but that's OK.


There's an awful lot of could-be and might-be in what you write. It's refreshing that you acknowledge that taxpayers subsidize SpaceX. I'm used to Elon's fans denying that completely. Or maybe "subsidies are OK" is the new party line now that it has become wholly obvious that they are necessary. I agree that they are OK - that's how Arianespace works, for example, and they've gradually built up an impressive capability.


I like ULA. They've built up a terrific flight performance record. They don't land first stages on barges, it's true.


The problem with SLS is not that it's a "jobs program" - if you don't believe space exploration is important, then all of NASA is a jobs program, a point of view shared by many politicians - but rather that, if it works as advertised and if it undergoes evolutionary upgrades, it could provide a highly desirable IMLEO capability that could be applied to exploration by humans and robots. Oops, that would not a problem.


I don't care whether the U.S. is commercially competitive in space. We blow everyone out of the water when it comes to engineering spacecraft that do amazing things, and that counts for a whole lot more, in my view. Who else has explored everywhere from Mercury to the inner Kuiper Belt? No one. And there's a whole lot more exploration to do. It interests me not at all that SpaceX launches comsats and groceries. That's like getting enthusiastic about delivery vans.


I worry that insisting on profits will undercut exploration, which at this early stage of the Space Age is the main reason for leaving Earth.


There are plenty of small-scale opportunities for viable, low-risk commercial ventures in the field of space exploration. Malin Space Science Systems comes to mind. They give us eyes to see the Solar System. Cubesats are also interesting - huge potential there for space exploration and what one might call "space democratization." These opportunities could be grasped by many of the highly capable people who read posts on this list.


dsfp


David S. F. Portree

Email:

dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>

Blog:

http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: FPSPACE <fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org<mailto:fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org>> on behalf of Marc Boucher <marc.boucher at spaceref.com<mailto:marc.boucher at spaceref.com>>
Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 3:47 PM
To: FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org<mailto:FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org>
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] correction/update

If SpaceX is unnecessary who will launch the non-commercial payloads? ULA? Orbital? If you're concerned about taxpayer dollars, then you will pay more for ULA and Orbital to launch payloads. And Orbital can't launch the big stuff. So that would leave ULA.

SpaceX is commercial service provider. Do they have an interest in colonizing Mars? Elon sure does, and many other within the company. But to get to point A from B you need rockets and business. They are working towards that goal. More importantly to achieve that goal and be successful, SpaceX needs to bring the cost of launch down, which they are doing incrementally.

Did the taxpayer subsidize a portion of the development of the Falcon 9, yes. What of it?  The taxpayer subsidizes a lot of things, some good, some bad. SpaceX has used that subsidy well, reinvesting in the company, hiring more people (ie creating jobs) etc.

What do you think of SLS? Now there's a job program. For a rocket funded by the taxpayer which may eventually fly once a year at a cost of $1 billion per. Why not let SpaceX, Boeing, ULA, Blue Origin or some other company do it for cheaper? But if you prefer government do the launching of human exploration missions, then be prepared to pay for it.

I'm pro bringing the cost down of launching anything into orbit and beyond. If it took a subsidy to SpaceX to get the ball rolling, as in foster competition to innovate in technologies to help reduce the cost, then heck yes, I'm for it. The beneficiary at the end of the day includes the taxpayer who now has to pay less for that MilSat or ISS resupply launch etc.

SpaceX is in the limelight. You don't like it, that's fine. They are commercial and you don't like that, fine. But as a taxpayer, if you have to pay less for services they provide to the government and they've forces competitors to pay less for services, well then you can't complain about that.

Companies like SpaceX are needed. They make America competitive globally. Before SpaceX started winning foreign launch payload contracts, can you tell me which U.S. company was winning those contracts? Before the SES-8 launch by SpaceX in December of 2013 the last commercial launch by a U.S. provider for a foreign entity was ULA in 2009 for Intelsat IS-14.




Marc Boucher, Co-founder & CEO
NOTE: You can use Signal or WhatsApp for secure encrypted communication with me.
office: 1.519.685.6586  mobile: 1.647.985.9203
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On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 4:14 PM, David Portree <dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>> wrote:

Marc:


The truth is, I don't "dislike" SpaceX, I think they are unnecessary and overblown. I don't think they can reach the "cadence" they themselves have said they need to reach in order to be economical. I resent US tax dollars being spent to enable Elon Musk to play rocketeer, just as I resent any misuse of US tax dollars.


I see people becoming excited about launches just because they are "commercial," and I am at a loss as to why they are excited. Some folks start chanting about building a new civilization in space when SpaceX launches a rocket. I don't see the connection because there isn't one, unless you point to the future and use what hasn't happened yet as proof of amazing accomplishments.


dsfp


David S. F. Portree

Email:

dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>

Blog:

http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: FPSPACE <fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org<mailto:fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org>> on behalf of Marc Boucher <marc.boucher at spaceref.com<mailto:marc.boucher at spaceref.com>>
Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 7:47 AM

To: FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org<mailto:FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org>
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] correction/update

I have not investigated the cause of solution to the two delays. I could if so inclined, and will eventual get updated on that topic, but no, other than a computer being tripped for a limit violation, I don't know the specific cause or the applied solution, presumably a software change.

My point with respect to the launch numbers is that last year there were 22 total orbital launches by U.S. companies last year. These providers are on pace to eclipse that by almost doubling the number of launches of the previous year. Of those SpaceX alone may come up one short of matching the total output of all U.S. launches last year.

This year there have been 41 successful orbital launches globally. Of those, 1 in four, or 25% are attributed to SpaceX alone.

I know you dislike SpaceX. However, an objective look at their performance shows a company increasing its cadence. Their customers believe in them even if some grumble about delays. Delays are inherent in the launch business and SpaceX is trying to increase cadence and lower the incidence of delays due to mechanical or software related issues. As a business, it's in their best interest to do so.

As for range conflict, which you said "They're just lucky that one of those other launches you mention wasn't scheduled for yesterday - they'd have been delayed still further.", that was not an issue as the only other company launching from the Cape is ULA, and they are not scheduled to launch their 5th launch of the year until August.

Range issue though is one reason why SpaceX is building a new launch complex in Texas near Brownsville.


Marc Boucher, Co-founder & CEO
NOTE: You can use Signal or WhatsApp for secure encrypted communication with me.
office: 1.519.685.6586<tel:(519)%20685-6586>  mobile: 1.647.985.9203<tel:(647)%20985-9203>
Twitter / Linkedin / Skype @MarcKBoucher
[http://images.spaceref.com/logos/email_sig_logo_300_100.png]<http://spaceref.com>

On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 9:09 AM, David Portree <dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>> wrote:

Marc:


Dammit - I didn't even press "send". I'll repeat my question.


Do you know what caused the two delays and how SpaceX fixed the problem(s)?


Arguing that we're cooking right along because of launches to come isn't very convincing. Probably should look at plans for the last year and compare them with what actually flew, including delays, accidents, etc.


David S. F. Portree

Email:

dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>

Blog:

http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: FPSPACE <fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org<mailto:fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org>> on behalf of Marc Boucher <marc.boucher at spaceref.com<mailto:marc.boucher at spaceref.com>>
Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 6:49 AM
To: FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org<mailto:FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org>
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] correction/update

"Partial success"?? Delays are par for the course for anyone launching payloads to space. This mission was a complete success as the customer had their payload launched into the correct orbit which is what they contracted for. Last year there were 22 U.S. orbital launches. Should SpaceX, ULA and Orbital complete their scheduled manifest for the rest of the year, a total of 37 launches will have been completed. Of that, 21 would be for SpaceX.

Marc Boucher
SpaceRef


On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 12:53 AM, David Portree <dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>> wrote:

Peter:


For the sake of argument (and because I am a curmudgeon), I'm going to call this a partial success because of the delays. As long as the business model demands 40 or so launches a year, delays are set-backs.


Did they ever explain what went wrong the first two times and what they did to solve the problem? Was it a software fix (reset the values so the problem goes away) or something else?


dsfp


David S. F. Portree

Email:

dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>

Blog:

http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/




________________________________
From: FPSPACE <fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org<mailto:fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org>> on behalf of Peter Pesavento <pjp961 at svol.net<mailto:pjp961 at svol.net>>
Sent: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 6:10 PM
To: FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org<mailto:FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org>
Subject: [FPSPACE] correction/update


It is Intelsat 35e, not 45e.  And the second stage burn was good, and the spacecraft is set for deployment.

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