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19 May 2022, 17:32 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2021, 13:45 
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Northrop Grumman just got a contract to supply boosters for SLS launches.

$3.19B for 9 launches, $355M per launch.

Using OLD shuttle booster segments! They don't even have to build new ones. The boosters are not even recovered, thrown away after each use.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is aiming for Starship launches to cost a fraction of that for the entire mission.

SLS cost per launch, all in, about $2B each. This is with using old shuttle parts, too!

SLS represents obsolete thinking. It is becoming increasingly embarrassing how expensive and late SLS is.

When Starship does a successful orbital flight, the questions about why we have SLS will become very hard to ignore.

Mike C.


Worth it to have a second option. With the move to private launches we cannot allow there to become a single source (no matter how much I like Musk/SpaceX).

If a second viable private heavy launch option becomes available and shows signs of being sustainable then that would be the time to ditch SLS.


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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2021, 13:51 
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Fortunately I support that dream 100%

Username Protected wrote:
For Musk, landing on the moon is just a practice to land on Mars.
It's all about Mars. It has always been about Mars.
Everything he does is with this in mind.
We will be paying him to make his dream to go to Mars.

Clever guy.


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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2021, 23:31 
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Username Protected wrote:
Musk also says he needs Starship to make Starlink profitable …


This is what is most surprising to me. I always assumed that Falcon was SpaceX's bread and butter, and Starship is just a pet moonshot (or is it Marshot?) project of Elon's, funded by excess profits.

If Starship is instrumental to the company's financial viability, Elon has some huge balls to bet on it. I'd be elated if they complete ONE successful orbital flight next year (with both ships fully reusable afterwards), let alone a flight every two weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2021, 23:35 
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I believe Musk has one goal: get to Mars. I can well imagine it crafted the Starlink program to requires Starship so that it would be available for use for Mars.

I really do wish him luck - I'd love to see space program get going again


Username Protected wrote:
Musk also says he needs Starship to make Starlink profitable …


This is what is most surprising to me. I always assumed that Falcon was SpaceX's bread and butter, and Starship is just a pet moonshot (or is it Marshot?) project of Elon's, funded by excess profits.

If Starship is instrumental to the company's financial viability, Elon has some huge balls to bet on it. I'd be elated if they complete ONE successful orbital flight next year (with both ships fully reusable afterwards), let alone a flight every two weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2021, 05:41 
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In addition, we are spooling up terminal production to several million units per year, which will consume massive capital, assuming that satellite V2 will be on orbit to handle the bandwidth demand. These terminals will be useless otherwise.




Can someone help me understand this bit please? Several million units per year of what? Satellites?

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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2021, 07:44 
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Username Protected wrote:
In addition, we are spooling up terminal production to several million units per year, which will consume massive capital, assuming that satellite V2 will be on orbit to handle the bandwidth demand. These terminals will be useless otherwise.




Can someone help me understand this bit please? Several million units per year of what? Satellites?


The ground user terminals that connect to the Starlink satellites.

He is betting a lot on Starlink

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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2021, 10:51 
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Username Protected wrote:
This is what is most surprising to me. I always assumed that Falcon was SpaceX's bread and butter, and Starship is just a pet moonshot (or is it Marshot?) project of Elon's, funded by excess profits.

If Starship is instrumental to the company's financial viability, Elon has some huge balls to bet on it. I'd be elated if they complete ONE successful orbital flight next year (with both ships fully reusable afterwards), let alone a flight every two weeks.

There is no bread, there is no butter. Starship does not support the company, Starship is SpaceX's raison d'etre.

The single, unwavering goal of SpaceX is to put Elon on Mars. There are multiple facets to making that happen. Starlink is a major funding channel, but Starlink V1 is barely profitable; more of a proof of concept, whereas V2 has a much better profit margin. V2 requires Starship to deploy the satellites, which dovetails nicely with the fact that Starship is in development for human flight rating, so they can learn, and ultimately demonstrate its safety while still having some payback to the company. The Falcon program is great, but there aren't enough customers for it to fund Starship. It can support itself, but that's not in alignment with the single goal. So why is it there? It taught SpaceX how to fly to orbit, re-enter, and land propulsively on the surface; all things they will need to do to accomplish the single end goal.

Likewise, Starlink is not there to improve internet access for the world, although that's what makes it sell. Starlink is there to fund, at least in part, the Starship program.

Likewise the HLS is not a goal, it is a development and learning program that permits SpaceX to receive funding for their further R&D of Starship, albeit a variant of it. HLS will allow them to learn how to refuel in orbit, how to land and take off from an unimproved site, and how to make a human flight rated interplanetary vehicle. If it were not for the HLS contract it is very unlikely that SpaceX would spend the time and money to go somewhere other than Mars.

The "bankruptcy" issue is remote. What he's saying is that a major source of funding for Starship is Starlink V2, and that in turn requires Starship. In order to meet their aggressive launch schedule for Starlink V2, they will need a LOT of Raptors. Apparently there have been some production issues with that. The engines themselves don't appear to be the problem, but rather the ability to reliably crank them out in large quantities. The inference from Elon's email is that the former VP of propulsion hid the problems that they were having.

Obviously the All hands on Deck call is going to get things focused and hopefully resolved quickly. They are still planning the first test flight (we think) in January, construction continues both at Boca Chica, and now at KSC where an orbital launch tower is under construction at pad 39A.

The Raptor production problem is concerning, but hopefully it can be resolved effectively now that the full attention of the company is on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2021, 14:21 
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Username Protected wrote:
The single, unwavering goal of SpaceX is to put Elon on Mars.

That objective will fail, but the collateral benefits that occur along that path will be worth it.

Landing humans on Mars is an achievement, but without any utility. Just like landing people on the moon.

Building a human colony on the moon would be FAR easier than Mars and have no less utility or purpose.

Elon is heading towards a mirage, human colonies on Mars, but the path will yield benefits along the way, so the delusion is useful.

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They are still planning the first test flight (we think) in January

They already have the engines needed for that, early versions that will be sacrificed in a one time disposable test.

The number of engines SpaceX will use for the one Starship test will be more than all the Space Shuttle engines ever made.

Mike C.

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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2021, 20:48 
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I hope to attend the first Starship launch.

SpaceX will learn a lot trying to fly a booster core with that many engines. It did not work so well for N-1’s 30 engines/core, but that was decades ago …

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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2021, 11:26 
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Musk has opined that colonizing Mars will require 1 million tons of gear on the surface. His winning proposal to deliver 100 tons to the lunar surface requires 17 Starship launches.

Colonizing Mars is gonna require a lot of launche$.

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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2021, 12:02 
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Username Protected wrote:
Musk has opined that colonizing Mars will require 1 million tons of gear on the surface. His winning proposal to deliver 100 tons to the lunar surface requires 17 Starship launches.

Colonizing Mars is gonna require a lot of launche$.


When he has some large percentage of the global telecommunications market to fund it with that won’t be a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2021, 12:39 
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Username Protected wrote:
Northrop Grumman just got a contract to supply boosters for SLS launches.

$3.19B for 9 launches, $355M per launch.

Using OLD shuttle booster segments! They don't even have to build new ones. The boosters are not even recovered, thrown away after each use.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is aiming for Starship launches to cost a fraction of that for the entire mission.

SLS cost per launch, all in, about $2B each. This is with using old shuttle parts, too!

SLS represents obsolete thinking. It is becoming increasingly embarrassing how expensive and late SLS is.

When Starship does a successful orbital flight, the questions about why we have SLS will become very hard to ignore.

Mike C.

probably related to the reason we have 2 shipbuilders in different states/congressional districts making the same destroyers


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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2021, 17:53 
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Username Protected wrote:

Colonizing Mars is gonna require a lot of launche$.


When he has some large percentage of the global telecommunications market to fund it with that won’t be a problem.


Except that starlink is making it harder and harder to find windows for a launch, and the more satellites he puts in lower orbit to fund it, the more difficult it will be.
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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2021, 18:01 
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Username Protected wrote:
Musk has opined that colonizing Mars will require 1 million tons of gear on the surface. His winning proposal to deliver 100 tons to the lunar surface requires 17 Starship launches.

Colonizing Mars is gonna require a lot of launche$.

Good news- it'll weigh only 16 something tons on the moon!


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 Post subject: Re: Starship & Moon Landing Complexity …
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2021, 18:13 
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Username Protected wrote:
Except that starlink is making it harder and harder to find windows for a launch, and the more satellites he puts in lower orbit to fund it, the more difficult it will be.

It is not as crowded as it seems. There are 50 billion cubic miles of volume for LEO satellites. Presently, there are 35,000 such objects, only 6% are Starlink satellites. Each thing has 1.5 million cubic miles of volume.

The narrative that Musk is blocking space is put out by competitors who can't keep up. SpaceX has changed the game and can launch more satellites for less money than anyone and now they are cry babies that can't keep up.

If you really want to talk about who is blocking space, ask the Russians about blowing up a satellite. That creates hugely more issues than the Starlink system with lots of random debris in all directions and some of it too small to track but having enough kinetic energy to kill a satellite.

Mike C.

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