Discussion Will the SpaceX push to reusability make ArianeSpace obsolete?

Sky Captain

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I don't get this SpaceX worship. Yes, they have developed a competitive satellite launcher and capsule to transport cargo and some time later crew to ISS. So far their launch prices are more or less comparable to other companies providing similar rockets. They are just another player in the game. They like to talk a lot about future plans, but that's just a PR, lots of companies like to talk about how good their future products will be. Any such PR talk should be taken with grain of salt. Only potentially groundbreaking thing is Space X R&D work on reusable rocket stages, but currently it is impossible to tell how well it will play out.
If SpaceX manage to provide Falcon Heavy launch for 100 - 120 million then they have real possibility to snatch large fraction of heavy comsat market, but that is left to be seen.
 

RGClark

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Argh. :facepalm:

A CTO does not run the company. Thats job of the CEO. The CTO supervises R&D. The CTO knows usually a lot of the technology, the goals of his company and decides how to achieve these goals by R&D.
A CTO knows many numbers regarding the economic side, especially the launch costs, since this is part of the R&D design process. He reports directly to the CEO.

So you're argument is that a CTO does not understand the concept of profit and loss?

Bob Clark

---------- Post added at 03:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:18 PM ----------

I don't get this SpaceX worship. Yes, they have developed a competitive satellite launcher and capsule to transport cargo and some time later crew to ISS. So far their launch prices are more or less comparable to other companies providing similar rockets. They are just another player in the game. They like to talk a lot about future plans, but that's just a PR, lots of companies like to talk about how good their future products will be. Any such PR talk should be taken with grain of salt. Only potentially groundbreaking thing is Space X R&D work on reusable rocket stages, but currently it is impossible to tell how well it will play out.
If SpaceX manage to provide Falcon Heavy launch for 100 - 120 million then they have real possibility to snatch large fraction of heavy comsat market, but that is left to be seen.

These are businesses, some multi-billion dollar ones. Anyone that can change a net loss to a net profit is a big deal.

Bob Clark
 

AlfalfaQc

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Can someone explain me why there is so much hate towards SpaceX? Just because they have a good PR team means that they are evil? I personally don't think they endanger any other company, but I don't really get why so many people want to see them fail.
 

Loru

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Can someone explain me why there is so much hate towards SpaceX? Just because they have a good PR team means that they are evil? I personally don't think they endanger any other company, but I don't really get why so many people want to see them fail.

IMHO it's not hate but criticism. If for example drug company now started advertisement campaign marketing acetylosalicilic acid as "New and revolutionary game changer" in drug industry would you belive them??
 

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So you're argument is that a CTO does not understand the concept of profit and loss?

No, I am just explaining somebody with big gaps in his understanding of company structures and business administration, what the CTO does.

And that is not running the company, as much as the network administrator is not running the company, even if he often feels like that.

The CTO is often not even a shareholder of the company that employs him.
 

AlfalfaQc

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Well like I said, they have a good PR team :lol:. There are a lot of company who do that in a lot of different industries. But still, I feel like a lot of people hope to see them fail so they can say "Told ya".

I'll be honest, I really like SpaceX (and maybe hope to work there one day) because they sound like a nice company who wants to push forward the industry. I don't really pay much attention at what they claim to be when compared to other companies. The idea of reusability sound innovating, it is viable, we won't know it before they actually manage to make a reausable launcher. The tests they do on the grasshopper are interesting, even if some people think it's dumb and only a publicity stunt. Like I said previously, you have to walk before you run, you have to land a subsonic stage before landing the real thing.

I look more at the company through what they are achieving. If they get money from government to achieve what they are doing, good for them. There are plenty of companies in the construction industry where I live that depend only on government contracts. Entering the market of commercial spaceflight is not as easy as some may put it, and IMO, any new player is kind of a big deal.

The title of this thread is: "Discussion Will the SpaceX push to reusability make ArianeSpace obsolete?". Short answer: I really don't think so.

Long answer: This discussion is IMO pointless since we have no way to know how much will reusable launcher cost, when will it be a thing for SpaceX, and what technological advances will happen before we are there. I don't really think that reusability will cut the costs that much anyway because of the maintenance and security and blah blah blah.

For now I see SpaceX as a growing company in the industry. They run good, they are starting to get contract from more private sources (like I said, I don't really care who is the client when it comes to satellite launch but you guys seem to accord a lot of importance to this). The more they will launch, the more they will attract other contracts.
 

N_Molson

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Can someone explain me why there is so much hate towards SpaceX ?

Can someone explain me why SpaceX fans feel assaulted everytime a rational argument is in contradiction with the Holy Word of Musk ?

Maybe because North American people put their hopes of a renew of the american domination of space but in the same time hate NASA because "OMG they grounded that ******* awesome spaceplane - but with only one tail fin, sadly :cry: - that was the Space Shuttle" ?

SLS/Orion program, even if it might not have been the most subtle choice made (but Saturn/Apollo or N-1/LOK were even less subtle), is getting really serious, and manned deep-space exploration is a bit more prestigious/interesting than sending fleet after fleet of orbital satellites, no ? Let's be honest, you'll never have the same feeling of accomplishement with commercial satellites market, or even ISS astronauts ferry, so stop to more or less secretly expect from SpaceX things that they will anyway be unable to do (like "sending millions of people on Mars"). And don't tell me about economy, etc : this is the boring part of spaceflight. What people want to see ? 'nauts landing on other places than Earth, it's what ultimately make them dream. :2cents:

Edit : do Orbinauts set up complex fleets of satellites (which is perfectly possible and is an interesting challenge) ? No, what they have the most fun with are the addons that allow them to quite freely explore the Solar System, land people and establish bases where they want.
 
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Urwumpe

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Orbinauts do not even really want to care about the dirty work of spaceflight. You see the think go up and disappear from sight, but what happens outside the sight of the webstreams, is pretty much invisible to most.

Heck, I admit it, even I was surprised when I learned that the GLV was actually assembled by long episodes of manual labor, with many many cables and pulleys. Today, you would have far less such tasks, but still, it happens preflight. Spaceflight is not done by keypresses at all.
 

AlfalfaQc

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Can someone explain me why SpaceX fans feel assaulted everytime a rational argument is in contradiction with the Holy Word of Musk ?[/I]

I guess it's for the same reason car company fans feel assaulted when someone points the default in one of their product...

Like I said I like SpaceX, I just don't give a flying f*** about all that economic bullcrap. Sure I highly doubt SpaceX will send millions of people on Mars, but what about some cargo or equipment, or other satellite around planets. You may or may not like Elon Musk, but his claims and his "goal" to send people on Mars can be a damn good motivation. I would prefer to work for someone who has a dream like that than for someone who is just happy to lauch satellites in orbit (well, I would still be happy to launch satellite :lol:).

PS: I actually do more satellite launches and ISS rendez-vous in Orbiter than exploring the solar system :cheers:
 

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SLS/Orion program, even if it might not have been the most subtle choice made (but Saturn/Apollo or N-1/LOK were even less subtle), is getting really serious, and manned deep-space exploration is a bit more prestigious/interesting than sending fleet after fleet of orbital satellites, no ?

The problem here is that very few of us here actually expect SLS/Orion to ever fly with any regularity.
 

Sky Captain

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Can someone explain me why there is so much hate towards SpaceX? Just because they have a good PR team means that they are evil? I personally don't think they endanger any other company, but I don't really get why so many people want to see them fail.

I think Space X should put some restraints on their PR team. They just talk too much about how good and cheap their future rockets will be before they even make first testflight. They behave too much like car company marketing future cars that exist only as some prototypes and in some computer animations. Spaceflight is more serious business so a company engaged in spaceflight should also act more seriosly.
You don't hear such PR talk coming from ULA, Orbital Sciences or Arianespace.

However I completely agry that what SpaceX are already achieved on relatively small budget is quite remarkable. Currently they are only company on Earth actively developing reusable rocket stages, their Falcon Heavy if it lives to expectations may become highly competetive in heavy geosync orbit sattelite launch market. It may also just hit the sweet spot where it is small enough to be useful in regular sattelite launches, but also powerful enough to be useful in NASA exploration class missions. With 3 or 4 launches a quite serious manned asteorid mission could be assambled in LEO. SLS rocket is far too big for comercial sattelite market, it will have little to no application outside NASA making it very expensive per launch.
 

Loru

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Currently they are only company on Earth actively developing reusable rocket stage.

Almost every piece of R7 that falls on Kazah plains after launch from Baikonur is resued :p Just not as rocket part :p
 

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However I completely agry that what SpaceX are already achieved on relatively small budget is quite remarkable.

The SpaceX has a pretty huge budget, about 100 million USD per year for the first 10 years (exact numbers are unknown since SpaceX is not publicly traded or required to deliver annual reports by any standard). for the next two years, the NASA payments alone contributed 450 million USD per year.

Astrium had 5.8 billion Euro as revenue in 2012, which you can use as reference for a really big company with 18,000 employees, but that also contains satellite contracts and ground infrastructure products.


OSC has the same number of employees as SpaceX (3,700), and a revenue of $1.3 billion, with $1.1 billion assets. And had just 80 million USD as income (which means its $640 million equity increased by 12.5%, a pretty healthy company)



Currently they are only company on Earth actively developing reusable rocket stages, ...

There is also Reaction Engines, which develops on a really small budget, and still manages to meet their own deadlines, something SpaceX never achieved. OK, we europeans are already fanboys of them, but they should really do more marketing...
 

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There is also Reaction Engines, which develops on a really small budget, and still manages to meet their own deadlines, something SpaceX never achieved. OK, we europeans are already fanboys of them, but they should really do more marketing...

Yeah, Skylon, hope they succeed and they will need some big money to go past initial design stages more than Orbital Sciences or SpaceX because they are actually pushing the technological edge and that always is expensive.
 

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SLS rocket is far too big for comercial sattelite market, it will have little to no application outside NASA making it very expensive per launch.

And this is another thing that a lot of people don't seem to get : manned exploration is not a commercial enterprise. It's an achievement, that requires efforts. The Saturn/Apollo program was a money black hole, but it allowed to meet Kennedy's very tight schedule.

I don't think it is a good idea to mix the two. And that's the line that the US governement follows : develop public-private partnerships for LEO operations that do not require new technologies, and let NASA focus on deep-space exploration, which requires technologies that can only cost a lot of money in the short-term. Seems very reasonable to me. Else that's the same problem than with fundamental research : now everyone wants research to immediately earn money. It just doesn't work that way, if you don't support fundamental research you slow down technological progress. That's obvious in the pharmaceutical industry, where nearly all the R&D effort is set on drugs that will earn money. If we really wanted it, AIDS, cancer & genetic diseases would be harmless since 10 good years.
 

Sky Captain

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And this is another thing that a lot of people don't seem to get : manned exploration is not a commercial enterprise. It's an achievement, that requires efforts. The Saturn/Apollo program was a money black hole, but it allowed to meet Kennedy's very tight schedule.

I don't think it is a good idea to mix the two. And that's the line that the US governement follows : develop public-private partnerships for LEO operations that do not require new technologies, and let NASA focus on deep-space exploration, which requires technologies that can only cost a lot of money in the short-term. Seems very reasonable to me.

Surface to LEO don't require new technologies, I'm all for NASA developing, more advanced space probes, deep space habitats, advanced life support, in space propulsion, but they could launch that stuff on commercially available rockets and skip developing entirely new rocket.
 

Mader Levap

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Can someone explain me why there is so much hate towards SpaceX?
Here? Skylon fanboys see reusable stages of standard rockets as extreme danger to their toy. And they are right, after all Skylon - if it will exist at all - will compete with reusable rockets of future, not expandable rockets of today. Though luck.
In general? Because they smacktalk and are successful. It always annoys people greatly.

There is also Reaction Engines, which develops on a really small budget, and still manages to meet their own deadlines, something SpaceX never achieved.
BS. Their dates slipped too. Skylon was supposed to enter use originally in 2020, now 2022. I bet it will slip more, hopefully not 1:1.
Everyone slips, despite behaviour of some people here that seem to think that only SpaceX in universe has delays. :rolleyes:

OK, we europeans are already fanboys of them, but they should really do more marketing...
Fun fact: Skylon is varpourware and will not cease to be it any time soon. F9R almost exist and its prototype not so long ago crashed in water in one functional piece after hypersonic brake (as much as you hilariously try to deny/downplay that).
 

Hlynkacg

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To answer the title question "Probably not, and even then not for a long while."

That said, I figured that I should cross-post this from the SpaceX thread...

Falcon 9 gets it's gams.


Z3.jpg


Photos taken by several local people from a public road in the vicinity of the test site - some of which were provided to L2, while others were posted openly on the internet – provide a glimpse of the landing leg structures that appear to be closely based on the hardware that SpaceX is expected to employ when they actually fly with legs on a Falcon 9 mission to space.

It is understood the vehicle is currently suspended slightly above the ground, on hold downs points, with the legs deployed.

Soot can be seen on the base of the vehicle and the legs themselves, likely via static test firings.

Apparently these are the first images of GrassHopper mk 2. It is both bigger and heavier than the GH1, matching the dimensions/mass of the Falcon 9 1.1 stage, and has deployable (as opposed to fixed) landing gear.

It's primary test objectives are to verify/test the flight characteristics and deployment mechanism of the landing legs in preparation for a full first stage recovery attempt.
 

Urwumpe

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Does not look exactly deployable... the minimum length of the shock absorbers is pretty long for the mounting points used.
 
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