• sp3tr4l@lemmy.zip
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    22 days ago

    While Falcon 9 is a dependable rocket…

    1. One has never been turned around as re-usable in anywhere near 24 or 72 hours as Musk claimed they would be, fastest turn around to date is I think 3 weeks, roughly in line with faster Space Shuttle turn around times. No where near ‘rapid’.

    EDIT: My turnaround times for the Space Shuttle were off, fastest was 55 days and its more like 3 months in average. The point I was attempting to illustrate, which is Rapid Reusability Is A Huge Element To Making The Cost Effectiveness Gains Promised, And SpaceX Is Still Off By An Order Of Magnitude, Over A Decade Into The Falcon Program.

    1. The cost to launch a Falcon 9 has never dropped to around 5 million dollars, as Musk claimed they would be. Even accounting for inflation, launches average around ten times the cost Musk said they would be. Musk is charging the government around 90 million per launch: Soyuz was the only option, so the Russians could overcharge a bit for ISS launches, now the Russians are not an option, and Musk is similarly overcharging.

    2. Starship/BFR is woefully behind the schedule for accomplishments that Musk claimed it would reach in his hype shows, woefully behind schedule for the NASA contract.

    3. Starship/BFR has cost taxpayers billions of dollars and so far has a proven payload capacity of 0, would require 12 to 16 launches to accomplish what a single Saturn V could do, has not demonstrated the capacity to refuel in orbit, is not human rated, and is now just being moved back to Starship 2 and 3, with Musk now claiming Starship 1 actually has half the orbital cargo capacity he has up to recently claimed it has.

    4. For comparison, the Saturn project had a development time similar to how long BFR/Starship has… never once failed, proved it could do what it needed to in 67, 7 years after development began.

    (They also had computers maybe a little bit more or less powerful than a ti-83 and had to basically invent a huge chunk of computer science)

    Starship/BFR development has been a shit show.

    Dear Moon is cancelled.

    Remember when the repulsive landing Dragon Capsule was going to land humans on Mars?

    Remember when we were going to have multiple Starships starting a Martian colony by now?

    SpaceX in general has gotten high on their own supply over the last 10 years and has made all sorts of lofty claims about lowering launch costs, rapid reusability, rockets for military asset deployment to anywhere on Earth, rockets as basically super fast commercial airliner travel, all of which have driven massive public hype and investor confidence, and then these claims are just forgotten about when it becomes apparent just how difficult these are to achieve, or in some cases, laughably, obviously unworkable with even a modicum of thought.

    The truth of the matter, as proven by Musk’s handling of his other companies, is that Musk just says things, “We can do this now!”, when in reality he’s basically had a napkin drawing plan a month ago, calls this prototyping, and now its a month later, and he emailed somebody and said ‘Make this happen’ with no further explanation, thus the project is now in development.

    • JohnDClay@sh.itjust.works
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      22 days ago

      Seems like you’re comparing SpaceX to Elons promises, not against the rest of the space industry. They’re still much better than all the rest, even if they don’t quite meet Elons promises.

        • M0oP0o@mander.xyz
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          22 days ago

          Even ignoring all the other aspects of one working and the other not; The big one is even with the musk grift the cost to taxpayers is orders of magnitude different.

          SLS is Over US$2 billion excluding development (estimate) per launch. While Space X just upped their cost estimates in 2022 to $67 million per launch.

            • M0oP0o@mander.xyz
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              22 days ago

              SLS cost to develop so far: US$23.8 billion nominal

              Falcon 9 cost to develop so far (note this was for falcon 9 1.0)(estimate): US$300 million

              Once again, not even close.

              • M0oP0o@mander.xyz
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                22 days ago

                For more fun I started to look at some of the other development costs of Space X rockets.

                Starship (the big spender) : $5 billion to $10 billion

                Falcon Heavy : Over $500 Million

                Falcon 9 : $300 Million

                Falcon 1: $100 Million

                Like I dislike the kirkland brand Dr.evil as much as the next dood, but I think boeing might just have a spending issue.

                • sp3tr4l@lemmy.zip
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                  22 days ago

                  Speaking of Kirkland Brand Dr. Evil, how much has Blue Origin spent in its non highly publicized efforts to develop the New Glenn?

                  • M0oP0o@mander.xyz
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                    22 days ago

                    Blue Origin

                    From what I can find At least $2.5 billion. So maybe kirkland branded Dr. Evil (musk) is better at spending then Temu Dr. Evil.

              • AFK BRB Chocolate@lemmy.world
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                22 days ago

                You’re not arguing in good faith. First of all, that’s what NASA paid, not the total development cost. Way, way more of the costs were paid by investor money. Secondly, falcon 9 is not the nearest equivalent to SLS - that’s starship. There’s a huge, huge difference.

                • sartalon@lemmy.world
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                  22 days ago

                  If it’s not tax payer money, then who gives a fuck. You are declaring apples to oranges then doing the same god damned thing.

                  • AFK BRB Chocolate@lemmy.world
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                    22 days ago

                    You can’t say SpaceX does things better and cheaper if you aren’t looking at the whole picture. Yes, SpaceX is largely privately funded, and estimates are that they’re only recently turning a profit, and at that it’s because of billions in Starlink revenue.

                    Likely a great deal for the government, for sure, of they can get someone else to pay the development costs. But don’t imply that the big primes are to expensive or are too bloated if you aren’t going to compare actual costs.

                • M0oP0o@mander.xyz
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                  22 days ago

                  I am arguing in good faith, this is what I could find on the prices (and since this is a private (not publicly traded) company I do take it with a grain of salt). I think you might have a bit more emotionally tied up in this then you are willing to admit.

                  • AFK BRB Chocolate@lemmy.world
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                    22 days ago

                    Totally willing to admit that I get pissed off seeing people say that SpaceX does things so much better and cheaper and then not compare actual costs. We didn’t know their actual costs because they’re a private company and they don’t have to say, but it’s clearly in the billions.

        • frezik@midwest.social
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          20 days ago

          Are you serious? Most observers shake their head at SLS. Best result for everyone on its maiden flight would have been blowing up at Max-Q. Then congress could admit it’s a failure and move on.

      • lone_faerie@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        22 days ago

        A big part of that is money. The competition is either less wealthy Musks or notoriously underfunded government agencies.

        • JohnDClay@sh.itjust.works
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          22 days ago

          Are you saying SpaceX is selling launches at a loss? I don’t think musk is paying for SpaceX launches with Tesla money.

          • lone_faerie@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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            22 days ago

            Not necessarily, although I wouldn’t be too surprised, scientific endeavors tend to operate at a loss. I’m just saying that Musk’s funding gave SpaceX a jumpstart on the competition. Someone like NASA isn’t going to be able to keep up when their budget is consistently getting cut and Musk is rolling around in more money than anyone could ever spend.

            • halcyoncmdr@lemmy.world
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              22 days ago

              So then if you want to move that goalpost again at least move it to a comparison that makes sense. SpaceX and Blue Origin are both Billionaire funded launch providers. Even though SpaceX now operates from their launch sales.

              Meanwhile, Blue Origin has a complete lack of real world launch vehicles to send viable payloads. The best they’ve shown is a handful of tourism rides on New Shepard. And massive delays on the new engines for New Glenn and other rockets, which are finally starting to be delivered to customers massively delayed, but still no New Glenn rocket anywhere near being launched.

              • Emerald@lemmy.world
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                20 days ago

                Meanwhile, Blue Origin has a complete lack of real world launch vehicles to send viable payloads.

                Do they really need to? Vulcan seems like it will be a fine rocket. And the vulcan engine is the same as new glenn engine

                Edit: Okay well it seems New Glenn is planned to be a lot more powerful, containing 7 BE-4’s rather than 2 for Vulcan.

      • sp3tr4l@lemmy.zip
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        22 days ago

        Musk is SpaceX.

        He’s the frontman, even if Shotwell is the CEO now she’s made some of the absurd claims I’ve referenced.

        And SpaceX as a company, its developed products, fall laughably short of its promises, of its marketing.

        The rest of the Space industry, generally, is no where near as bombastic and obviously full of shit, instead preferring to develop and operate without grandiose media/public performances.

        There is a saying in business: Under-Promise, Over-Perform, or Over-Deliver.

        SpaceX does the opposite of this.

        • JohnDClay@sh.itjust.works
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          22 days ago

          Yeah but that doesn’t mean SpaceX isn’t a fantastic rocket company. Why is over promising an issue? It’s still fantastically cheap and capable. You aren’t buying rocket launches, and the people who are are looking at the current performance, not future projections.

        • AngryMob@lemmy.one
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          22 days ago

          Like it or not, the industry would still be worse off without the idiotic claims. The idiotic claims pushed the industry forward. You want to make a bulleted list of all the things you dislike or you perceive as failures and drawbacks, fine, go ahead. There are just as many positive bullet lists that could be made.

          • sp3tr4l@lemmy.zip
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            22 days ago

            Or one could interpret them as fraudulent claims for the purpose of soliciting funding, you know, like Full Self Driving.

        • sushibowl@feddit.nl
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          22 days ago

          There is a saying in business: Under-Promise, Over-Perform, or Over-Deliver.

          SpaceX does the opposite of this.

          It literally doesn’t matter though: everyone and their mother are buying falcon 9 or heavy launches. SpaceX accounts for almost 90% of the world’s launched upmass. They are simply the cheapest most reliable option out there and it is not close. The only reason not to fly on a SpaceX rocket is national security or wanting to keep your own domestic launch industry alive.

    • clothes@lemmy.world
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      22 days ago

      Musk is gross and SpaceX has some questionable marketing claims that you’ve identified, but I don’t see how anyone could claim that anything about the company’s products are a shitshow.

      Falcon 9 has radically changed the economics of the space industry, and has no competition to force lower prices.

      Starship has had a very successful testing campaign, and operates within a different development paradigm than Saturn. They’ve shown more progress on more technology in the last year than almost any rocket ever. It won’t be long before Starship has demonstrated all the capabilities you mentioned. While the price tag is large in absolute terms, it will be very cheap relative to the competition.

      Dear Moon was not canceled by SpaceX, and no one who follows the industry has ever believed Musk’s timelines.

      I guess I’m confused, because everything I know about Starship points towards it being one of the most incredible engineering accomplishments ever. There are lots of other problems with SpaceX’s leadership, environmental impact, and work culture, but aren’t the products inspiring?

      • AngryMob@lemmy.one
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        22 days ago

        Some people just cant separate the musk from the accomplishments. Or they read headlines about costs and historical comparisons without actually thinking about how apples to oranges they are. The vitriol over musk which is well deserved has really fucked with the space industry’s image. And considering how fucked the image already was (not hated, but jaded and perceived as a waste of money), its a shame.

      • someacnt_@lemmy.world
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        21 days ago

        It would be interesting if starship actually succeeds. It initially did not seem like something that would work

      • sp3tr4l@lemmy.zip
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        22 days ago

        I specifically said Starship development has been a shitshow.

        I would not characterize all of SpaceX as a shit show, more like vastly under delivering compared to what was promised.

        • ebc@lemmy.ca
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          22 days ago

          They say it themselves: SpaceX specializes in turning the impossible into merely late.

          When Starship was announced, people were saying it wouldn’t fly with so many engines because the Russians tried and failed with their N1 rocket. Now that it did fly, it’s that the heat shield will never work.

          Are they late compared to what they announced? Absolutely. Are they still faster than anyone else? Look at Blue Origin and you have your answer.

          • someacnt_@lemmy.world
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            21 days ago

            Yeah, it’s honestly impressive how it works at all. Like, look at the sheer scale! How does it even stand?

    • shadowtofu
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      22 days ago

      3 weeks, roughly in line with faster Space Shuttle turn around times

      The shortest shuttle turnaround time was 55 days. Almost three times as much as Falcon 9. The fastest post-Challenger turnaround time was 88 days, I believe. After Columbia, the fastest turnaround was around 5 months.

      NASA claimed that the shuttle could achieve a turnaround time of two weeks (page IX). It looks like SpaceX is not the only one setting unrealistic timelines?

    • AdrianTheFrog@lemmy.world
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      21 days ago

      They don’t have rapid reusability because it doesn’t matter to them, they have enough rockets that they can work on multiple at the same time to get the same effect

    • Emerald@lemmy.world
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      20 days ago

      Dear Moon is cancelled.

      Looked this up. The guy says he cancelled it because it was delayed too long. Pretty much shows they didn’t have the patience needed for spaceflight in the first place.