View Poll Results: Are NASA's future missions and budget justified?

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  • It's worth the time and expenditures

    55 46.22%
  • Complete waste of money

    15 12.61%
  • We need to explore, but not at the current cost

    16 13.45%
  • We haven't spent enough

    33 27.73%
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Thread: Space Exploration

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    As long as it's not a One-Way trip like Mars One proposes...
    That ended up being dissolved early last year. And how much out of the $6 billion in estimated launch costs they hoped to raise did they get through private funding?

    Less than $1 million.

    I have this feeling SpaceX will end up being the first to Mars whether orbital or landing remains to be seen. But I also get this feeling that NASA is not going to pass on the opportunity for a "partnership" with SpaceX to send people that way on the first Starship.
    Experience is a cruel teacher, gives the exam first and then the lesson.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverBullet432 View Post
    Maybe SpaceX will come to WTX as Blue Origin already has operations here.??
    I'd say they are pretty set with their Boca Chica operations at the moment.

    But Texas sure isn't being quiet about bringing in the Tesla HQ after Musk's little tiff with California.
    Experience is a cruel teacher, gives the exam first and then the lesson.

  3. #63
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    Yeah the governor even welcomed Musk in!

  4. #64
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    LOL, all, and I mean all, of the money the Federal government is spending is debt. None of it should be spent in reality.

  5. #65
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    I think if the overall all long term objective is to put a man on Mars, then that's where we should be spending the money. It seems that there is a lot of talk from NASA and SpaceX about a future Mars mission but it seems that they are very busy fulfilling contracts or dedicating resources to ongoing missions.

    SpaceX does NOT have the capital needed for a mission to Mars. What they do have is the capability to send objects into LEO and GTO as well as resupply the ISS. Saturday, May 30th 2020, SpaceX will launch its first crewed mission to ISS using there Crew Dragon on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. However, SpaceX is not the only kid on the block with a fancy rocket. Lockheed Martin has the Athena, as well as Atlas series 400 and 500 is capable of reaching GTO, Boeing's Delta II series 7000 is capable of reaching GTO as well as Delta IV series can carry more weight. Both of which are under the umbrella of United Launch Alliance EELV program which has a partnership with NASA. Orbital ATK has the Antares which are modified Peacekeeper ICBM's. Northrop Grumman has Minotaur which are modified Minuteman ICBM's. And of coarse, Jeff Bezos with Blue Origins.

    I like Elon Musk and I think he is this generations Howard Hughes, he has optimism on a "Walt Disney" level and he knows how to win people with his publicity stunts: like sending a Tesla into our solar system and building a mock up of Starship to get people hyped up. However, I think his ambitions are that of a typical billionaire. SpaceX is too young and too dependent on NASA and federal government to operate as a company with interplanetary ambitions.


    NASA has the desire for a MARS mission but will need massive funding from congress. In recent years they have been allocated additional funding for New Horizons: a flagship class probe sent to Pluto and beyond, Cassini-Huygens: a flagship class probe sent to Saturn, Juno, a Flagship class probe sent to Jupiter as well as Curiosity, a RTG powered Mars science laboratory rover. NASA/JPL is backlogged for years with scheduled missions: 12 ISS missions, James Webb telescope, Kepler telescope, InSight, GRACE-FO, ISARA, TEMPEST-D and a whole list of ongoing missions that require 24hr support. NASA is also funding SpaceX with $400 million every 2 years and continuing to its partnership with ULA as well as building the SLS and Ares launch vehicles and testing the Orion and Starliner crew vehicles which will allow the US to return to the moon.

    I think NASA's money and recourses are tied up right now and possibly for the foreseeable future.

    Right now in 2020 there is a huge revival in the Space Race and everybody wants to be a part. This time its not USA vs Soviet Union: its privately held companies competing with privately held companies and Defense contractors. Millionaires vs Billionaires vs Fortune 100 companies.

    Here is just a short list of the privately held companies that are involved in this new space race:

    SpaceX
    Blue Origin
    Scaled Composites
    The Spaceship Company
    Sierra Nevada Corporation
    PD Aerospace
    Copenhagen Suborbitals
    Orbital Science Corporation
    Astra Space
    ARCA Space
    Orbex
    Rocket Lab
    One Space
    Space Services Inc
    Vector Launch
    Generation Orbit
    Independence-X Aerospace
    Exos Aerospace
    Gilmour Space Technologies
    Perigee Aerospace
    Interorbital Systems
    PLD Space
    ULA
    Virgin Galactic
    Sea Launch
    UP Aerospace
    Armadillo Aerospace
    Trans Orbital
    Beal Aerospace - now SpaceX



    Space exploration is great, and if it was that great everybody would be doing it, well, they are, but they cant do it and make money at the same time.

  6. #66
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    Mars and beyond is the only thing that should matter to the human race.


    There, I said it lol.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by elephant View Post
    SpaceX does NOT have the capital needed for a mission to Mars. What they do have is the capability to send objects into LEO and GTO as well as resupply the ISS. Saturday, May 30th 2020, SpaceX will launch its first crewed mission to ISS using there Crew Dragon on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. However, SpaceX is not the only kid on the block with a fancy rocket. Lockheed Martin has the Athena, as well as Atlas series 400 and 500 is capable of reaching GTO, Boeing's Delta II series 7000 is capable of reaching GTO as well as Delta IV series can carry more weight. Both of which are under the umbrella of United Launch Alliance EELV program which has a partnership with NASA. Orbital ATK has the Antares which are modified Peacekeeper ICBM's. Northrop Grumman has Minotaur which are modified Minuteman ICBM's. And of coarse, Jeff Bezos with Blue Origins.

    I like Elon Musk and I think he is this generations Howard Hughes, he has optimism on a "Walt Disney" level and he knows how to win people with his publicity stunts: like sending a Tesla into our solar system and building a mock up of Starship to get people hyped up. However, I think his ambitions are that of a typical billionaire. SpaceX is too young and too dependent on NASA and federal government to operate as a company with interplanetary ambitions.
    I won't say he's dependent on NASA and the USG for his ambitions. The Starship program actually has been self funded from within SpaceX from their commercial contracts. In 2018 alone, SpaceX flew nearly half the commercial contracts available.

    The thing about ULA and Northrop-Grumman and the others isn't about the launch system, it's about the cost. ULA in particular has significantly higher costs associated with their systems for defense contracts. Like nine figures per launch type of numbers depending on the configuration and system. And frankly, SpaceX is beating the brakes off them in cost vs results. Now, with SpaceX bringing the Falcon Heavy online even more, they truly have the capability to surpass the Delta IV Heavy in payload capacity to GTO. And frankly, the full payload capacity hasn't ever been shown since they've never flown the Falcon Heavy in full expendable configuration. Even Arianespace had to go to the European Governments to ask for more subsidies since SpaceX was beating them like a bad stepchild in launch contracts.

    I also look forward to seeing the price tag on the Blue Origin vehicles since they will be partially reusable as well.

    The thing is, yes, Elon Musk is a Howard Hughes type of genius. The "old guard" laughed at him when he started a company where most have failed over the years. They laughed at him when he said he'd build a reusable first stage for his rocket. They are laughing at the Starship prototypes.

    But, he's changed the game so significantly and lowered the price enough that (other than the obvious Congressional districts that get money) I can't see why NASA or any other federal agency would consider funding ULA for flights in the future unless they bring their costs down. The business model created by SpaceX has been phenomenal and it's only going to get better.
    Experience is a cruel teacher, gives the exam first and then the lesson.

  8. #68
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    Unless they come up with some REALLY good shielding, radiation (from what I've heard) in long-term exposure is a serious problem for extended (months or years) missions.

    So, use robots instead. Until we invent warp drive.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand58742 View Post
    I won't say he's dependent on NASA and the USG for his ambitions. The Starship program actually has been self funded from within SpaceX from their commercial contracts.

    Right now SpaceX is fulfilling their commercial contracts with NASA at a super discounted rate considering NASA is giving them $400M every 2 years for development. When the $400M goes away in 2022, I guarantee the price to LEO or GTO will more than double putting SpaceX within the same price as ULA.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by elephant View Post
    Right now SpaceX is fulfilling their commercial contracts with NASA at a super discounted rate considering NASA is giving them $400M every 2 years for development. When the $400M goes away in 2022, I guarantee the price to LEO or GTO will more than double putting SpaceX within the same price as ULA.
    SpaceX is fulfilling their contracts with both commercial and government agencies at the same price rate and continuing to drive costs down as they continued to reuse the first stages. Again, they've captured nearly half the commercial market in the decade they've been launching the Falcon 9 and continuing to lower their prices, yet the company is still making a profit. Now, I'll agree NASA made that happen in the beginning with the first CRS contract they gave SpaceX since, without it, they were dead as a company. But since then only 31 of the 87 launches have been US Government contracts.

    Government contracts are a significant part of their business model, but they'd still be in business without them with the commercial market.
    Experience is a cruel teacher, gives the exam first and then the lesson.

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