SpaceX Does It Again

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JLP1

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Looks like Elon's SpaceX just won the NASA contract to build the next Lunar Lander. It's being reported the contract is worth 2.9B
 

Dipstick

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Dragon capsule with landing legs 😁
 

georgegassaway

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Dragon capsule with landing legs 😁
Nope. A unique version of Starship. Musk said that SS would make *hundreds* of landings before humans flew in it.

Loophole....he may not have said hundreds of *safe* landings.

This is good for SpaceX, not so good for NASA's scheduling. Not that 2024 was realistic anyway, but now NASA is directly tied into Musk's "time reality ELONgation effect".
 

Dotini

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I'll admit I'm not a big fan of Elon Musk. But I have to agree that NASA and the traditional industry need his competition very badly.

Anyone want to bet on the actual date of a successful manned lunar landing? I would bet this decade, but only barely.
 

rharshberger

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As always, much depends on how much $$$ Congress actually comes up with.

No bucks... no Buck Rogers.
Maybe Elon has one secretly in the works and will let NASA have a version of it, Space X probably puts people on the moon before NASA.
 

teepot

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Based off the lack of funding NASA has got in the past I don't see Congress coming up with the money any time soon. Maybe Space X will fund it themselves. Or they could crowd source some of it.
 

MetricRocketeer

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Hi everyone,

I will say this much in favor of SpaceX. It uses the metric system wall to wall. I ask my rocketeer colleagues to take note of that. SpaceX measures lengths in kilometres, metres, centimetres, or millimetres -- never miles, feet, or inches, it measures speed in kilometres per hour or metres per second -- never miles per hour or feet per second, and it measures weight in kilograms or grams -- never pounds or ounces.

Stanley
 
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JohnCoker

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I will say this much in favor of SpaceX. It uses the metric system wall to wall. I ask my rocketeer colleagues to take note of that.
Good point. ThrustCurve.org already supports metric units, but I guess I could add more alternatives, like "cubits." There's a oddroc idea in there somewhere...
 

boatgeek

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Nope. A unique version of Starship. Musk said that SS would make *hundreds* of landings before humans flew in it.

Loophole....he may not have said hundreds of *safe* landings.

This is good for SpaceX, not so good for NASA's scheduling. Not that 2024 was realistic anyway, but now NASA is directly tied into Musk's "time reality ELONgation effect".
I think there are many valid criticisms of Elon but I don’t think that schedule is really one of them in comparison to peers. I’d be more receptive to that criticism if SLS and New Glenn were flying and Starliner and New Shepard were flying with crew.
 

Mushtang

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It doesn't surprise me that SpaceX got the contract over other companies either. They've actually performed a LOT of successful flights to orbit, to the space station, a couple with crew, etc. They're miles ahead of anyone else it's not even a race at this point. I mean, kilometers ahead.

Not to slam Blue Origin, honestly, but I don't understand how they were seriously in the competition to win this contract having never entered a rocket into orbit at this point. Or if they have I haven't heard about it. As far as I know they've only done test flights up and down again and landed. Those are significant sure, and difficult yes, but they're still just tests and no actual missions flown. Maybe their inclusion in the consideration was political and they weren't really ever an option?
 

Peartree

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It doesn't surprise me that SpaceX got the contract over other companies either. They've actually performed a LOT of successful flights to orbit, to the space station, a couple with crew, etc. They're miles ahead of anyone else it's not even a race at this point. I mean, kilometers ahead.

Not to slam Blue Origin, honestly, but I don't understand how they were seriously in the competition to win this contract having never entered a rocket into orbit at this point. Or if they have I haven't heard about it. As far as I know they've only done test flights up and down again and landed. Those are significant sure, and difficult yes, but they're still just tests and no actual missions flown. Maybe their inclusion in the consideration was political and they weren't really ever an option?
Yeah, but they were bidding on building a LANDER. They do have some knowledge on how to take off and land in a gravity well.
 

Antares JS

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Sounds like most of the reason for the selection came down to price. NASA has only gotten a fraction of the money they asked for to develop a lander and SpaceX was the only proposal they could afford. BO's team's proposal was too expensive and Dynetics was even more expensive and carried technical risk they didn't want.
 

Reinhard

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Not sure about Blue Origin, but I doubt Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman would have entered a bid that would have turned out unprofitable for them. Dynetics is also a classical government contractor, and much smaller. They aren't in a good position to make a low offer either.

For SpaceX though, the project might make sense even as a kind of loss leader. They can develop lot's of technology paid by NASA that can later be re-purposed for Mars. And there will be some synergies with the rest of the Starship program, whereas the other teams would build it completely from the ground up.

Reinhard
 

Huxter

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So is the SLS rocket and Orion still going up as one, then SpaceX launches Starship separately? Do they dock in Earth orbit... Just how does this work?

seems like all you need is a fully fueled Starship to go to the moon's surface and back to Earth - no?
 

Antares JS

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So is the SLS rocket and Orion still going up as one, then SpaceX launches Starship separately? Do they dock in Earth orbit... Just how does this work?

seems like all you need is a fully fueled Starship to go to the moon's surface and back to Earth - no?
The plan seems to be to move a starship to the gateway and use it as a shuttle to and from the lunar surface. The lunar starship won't have the aero control surfaces.
 

Peartree

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As I understand it, I think that the Starship would be flown to orbit, and then, over the course of several additional flights, be refueled before proceeding to the gateway.
 
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