What's with space x

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Josh Kellogg, Mar 18, 2020.

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  1. Mar 18, 2020 #1

    Josh Kellogg

    Josh Kellogg

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    Im very new to world of rocketry, but in any of the research I've been doing, and videos I've been watching. One thing keeps coming up. Space x.

    What is everyone's obsession with space x. Its almost like its a fandom. And maybe I'm just too dumb to get it. But it seems kind of weird how many people rah rah space x, and elon. Anyone else notice?
     
  2. Mar 18, 2020 #2

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    I'm guilty of being one of those rah rah about space X people myself. But it's because boosters landing have blown everyone's brains out including mine. It's only natural to get obsessed. Kind of like how all the people who grew up during the Apollo days are with the Saturn V. Like when your born in a era where you get to see it, it's really different. Also their engagement to the public is very impressive. Their livestream for example. The graphics, hosting, camera angles are all very engaging and cool. It's not like they post plain footage and be like "here was todays launch".
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
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  3. Mar 18, 2020 #3

    PatD

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    WOW!!!! I almost started my reply in a denigrating manner, but I remember a time in the late 50s when I was amazed by news of rocketry. Try something simple like https://www.spacex.com/ as a start. Look at the timeline from "that's crazy you can't land a booster on its tail" to it happens almost every time. I assume I am feeding a troll, but hey, everybody has to eat. :angiefavorite:
     
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  4. Mar 18, 2020 #4

    Josh Kellogg

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    Im genuinely not trying to troll. I was genuinely curious. I know its interesting, but it just didn't seem to me like some to be on the fandom level is all. But to each their own I guess.
     
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  5. Mar 18, 2020 #5

    Josh Kellogg

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    That is true. Its pretty cool. I think I just didn't quite get the fandom levels of geeking I constantly see lol. And I don't mean it in a derogatory way. I geek out all the time. I guess there's something for everyone. But I just want to see semi affordable vacation flights to space by them [emoji1787]. I'd fanboy over that any day.
     
  6. Mar 18, 2020 #6

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    I understand. I have freinds who dislike space X just because of their fan base. I think the root reason is Space X has captured a large portion of the younger audience like me (teenagers and young adults). We're hyper, and when we like something, we're loud about it ;)
     
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  7. Mar 18, 2020 #7

    Josh Kellogg

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    Hey, fair enough! I'd love to start seeing them do manned missions to other bodies, or perhaps more probes to asteroids with all the great video capabilities they know have. It would be amazing, and I would definitely get behind it!
     
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  8. Mar 18, 2020 #8

    Peartree

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    Yes, there is definitely a fan-boy fandom element to SpaceX, but in general, many of us are just super impressed that they are consistently doing things that scientists and engineers said were impossible for generations right up until SpaceX started pulling it off. They said recovering a first stage, let alone reusing it was impossible, then they said that there was no way that it could be reused more than once (the record is now five, I think), then they said that recovering the fairings was impossible, and SpaceX has done all those things and is constantly getting better at doing them. A couple years ago, SpaceX launched more rockets than any other *country* on the planet. Moreover, they're not only launching rockets more inexpensively than their competitors, they're developing entirely new rocket systems for a tenth of the money spent by our government to develop new rockets by other companies. Even if you aren't a geeked out fan-boy, their accomplishments are darn impressive.
     
  9. Mar 18, 2020 #9

    neil_w

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    There are a few aspects to this. What Peartree says above is a big part: SpaceX has made things seem routine that were once considered impossible. Also, they are always pushing the envelope. And finally they work fast compared to what we are used to seeing in the space industry.

    But, at least for the older folks, there's a deeper issue: we went decades without seeing very much progress on launch vehicles. Now it seems like SpaceX is giving us something new to cheer about almost every day, with a long and exciting roadmap ahead of them. It feels like they have single-handedly woken up the entire industry from a long slumber. That makes *me* a fan, to be sure.
     
  10. Mar 18, 2020 #10

    jadebox

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    I sometimes have a problem with overzealous fans of SpaceX when they point to something SpaceX has done and ask sarcastically why NASA can't do the same thing.

    The truth is often that NASA has done it - many times forty or fifty years earlier. And SpaceX has certainly benefited from the knowledge accumulated and shared by NASA as well direct funding from NASA.
     
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  11. Mar 18, 2020 #11

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    Yes Space X really got a lot of help from NASA, but I will say Space X being a private company, not run by the government, they're methods of development is fast, reliable, cheap, and just not what anyone has seen before. NASA is busy due to all the red tape and budget cuts they get caught up in to get a single project done. Also NASA has never done a propulsive landing of a orbital launch vehicle. DC-X is kind of a lame excuse, it dosen't count
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  12. Mar 18, 2020 #12

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    Yup! Will be cool if NASA contracts them
     
  13. Mar 18, 2020 #13

    Josh Kellogg

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    Yeah I definitely think they have done many impressive things. I think what made me want to ask about is that it just floods the airways. I drive full time for a living, so since I can use Bluetooth headphones, I listen to tons of podcasts. So lately I've been listening to rocketry podcasts and am trying to learn in an audio form some of the science and tricks behind models rocket building. But what has been making it hard, is that it quickly goes from model rockets and the science of them, to the speaker just going on and on about space x. And though it is cool, it just seems to dominate everything, even if it isn't related.
     
  14. Mar 18, 2020 #14

    jadebox

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    That is like the statements that bother me. You qualified it a bit more than most people, though. So, while true, it still overlooks NASA's accomplishments such as creating a reusable launch system and landing spacecraft, many times, on other worlds.

    Another thing people don't often give NASA credit for is providing support and infrastructure to SpaceX and others.

    Don't get me wrong. SpaceX has done and continues to do cool things. I love how they have helped inspire many younger people to get excited about space and rockets and to look forward to the future with optimism. But, I think we can support SpaceX without disparaging NASA's accomplishments.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
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  15. Mar 18, 2020 #15

    Peartree

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    I don't listen to the radio, but really, that's sort of understandable. What it comes down to, I think, is that SpaceX is doing a bang-up job of self promotion, but also that while it is launching rocket after rocket, after rocket, their competitors are a) launching far less frequently, b) say less about it (and, in the case of military launches, sometimes saying almost nothing), or the news is pretty much the same for months, and even years, at a time (we're building the next moon rocket, but it isn't finished yet). Meanwhile, SpaceX is not only launching at an incredible tempo, they're doing lots of other things at the same time. In the end, it just seems like SpaceX gets talked about more often simply because there is more to talk about. Then tie that in to all the talk about Tesla, and many of *those* conversations end up drifting toward SpaceX too. :)
     
  16. Mar 18, 2020 #16

    Dipstick

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    Interesting question. I would put myself in the SpaceX fan camp. As a teacher I recently had a talk with my gr. 8 (13-14 year old) students and asked if they ever saw or heard about things that gave them a sense of wonder...as in, wow that's amazing! And if you think about what is available to them, from a tech/innovation standpoint, they are hard to impress :)

    I gave them a little bit of a rundown on Elon's history, showing how he's an example of someone living his life looking 100 years ahead. The naysayers are actually just noise in his wake (of remarkable success). I used that to spearhead a little discussion on goal focused learning, building a base of knowledge for a future that doesn't exist, etc.

    There is a really nice video that snips together the first Falcon Heavy test launch with his car inside that I showed them...the booster landings did create a sense of awe in class...
     
  17. Mar 18, 2020 #17

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    Well true, Nasa never needed to do a propulsive landing of an orbital booster. Also, don't get me wrong, I mentioned NASA's support for Space x in one of the posts above. Without NASA Space X would not exist. Like the design of the Dragon Capsule, PECA X ablative recipe, Launch site lease, etc.
     
  18. Mar 18, 2020 #18

    jqavins

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    I must quibble a little bit. Most of the time, things like recovering the boosters and fairings were not stated to be impossible, just impractical. Not worth the effort. Not profitable. Those are the statements that SpaceX has shown were wrong. And that is an impressive accomplishment, no doubt. Yet they have this reputation for doing "the impossible" which is not quite accurate, unless you say that doing these things profitably is the impossible.

    Yeah, I'll buy that.

    Boeing is a private company. Lockheed Martin is a private company. Rockwell, Orbital Sciences, Grumman, Northrop, and other companies that were or are involved in building and launching rockets and their payloads are or were private companies. NASA designs and builds almost nothing; it creates plans and goals, contracts out the hard parts, and oversees the execution. This is not to knock NASA, it's the way government agencies to pretty much everything, and it has worked. A good deal of SpaceX's work has been done under NASA contracts, just like the others. SpaceX uses a different mind set which works in many (most?) ways better than their "predecessors" in the business, but to say it's because they're private is a part of the SpaceX mystique that's just not so.

    And, we haaaave a winner! Yes, SpaceX is doing remarkable and exciting things. And WOW does Elon love to talk about it!

    I was working for Orbital Sciences on development of its Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) vehicle, the space truck that brings material up to the ISS. SpaceX was developing the same thing, a very similar vehicle, under a virtually identical NASA contract. When the development, and later the missions, were mentioned in mass media it was always the SpaceX vehicle, with Orbital's as a footnote if mentioned at all. Why? Because Musk just loves the sound of his own voice.
     
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  19. Mar 18, 2020 #19

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    You do have to weigh in the factor that other companies have more experience so NASA does favor other corporations. Plus they work more closely with NASA than anyone else. Not saying they're bad, just adding another point of view
     
  20. Mar 18, 2020 #20

    aerostadt

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    I would not consider Boeing a "private" country. Of course, it is in the private sector. By "private" I think most economists would say that the company is privately owned by one individual or partnership. Boeing is publicly owned through common stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In fact, Boeing is one of the components in the DJIA (although it was not always in the Dow Jones). In fact, prior to the Covid-19 problem Boeing was doing its part to pull the Dow down due its plane problems (Was it the 737?).

    Musk has gotten a lot of help from NASA. As I remember a lot of the basic design of the original engine in the Falcon-9 came from NASA (It was either the X-34 or X-37 program). Having worked with a major aerospace company before retiring I know that NASA works very closely with aerospace manufacturing companies. I think Musk is indeed a darling of a lot of internet followers. There has been times over the years when you could see this phenomena here on TRF. But Musk has done great things. I can't help but think some of that is because Space-X has been privately owned and Musk does not need to account to Space-X stockholders. Boeing on the other hand charges top dollar as can be seen on the Artemis program and has no problem with having cost over-runs and long program delays.
     
  21. Mar 19, 2020 #21

    CoyoteNumber2

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    People complain about the SpaceX fandom, and yet...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The point: If something exists, there is probably a group of people that are really enthusiastic about it.
     
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  22. Mar 19, 2020 #22

    OverTheTop

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    SpaceX is swimming against the stream:
    [sarcasm on]
    Fly a rocket back to the ground for reuse? Why would you?
    Use ultrachilled Kero and LOX to improve engine performance by 10%? Why bother
    Catch the fairings? Beyond comprehension.
    [sarcasm off]

    They deserve every success they achieve, which has been done with hard work and engineering by their team. It took insight and money, both provided by Elon Musk. It is really a confluence of many things that have come together at the right time. It makes now the most exciting time for rocketry since the '60s.

    Where would we be if we had stayed with the usual big players in the government/industrial/military complex? Nowhere where we are now.

    SpaceX is stirring the pot and achieving greatness, based on solid engineering and vision.

    Yeah, I am a fan too.
     
  23. Mar 19, 2020 #23

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    Except the last one, all of them are cringe
     
  24. Mar 19, 2020 #24

    dr wogz

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    I'm sure Windows 10 has a fan-base.. (Not too sure why, or who, but I'm sure they have one..)
     
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  25. Mar 19, 2020 #25

    jqavins

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    Bottom row, second from the left: how come she has both a light saber and elf ears?
     
  26. Mar 19, 2020 #26

    dr wogz

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    Why can't Elves be space people?! or maybe they're called Ooluwans or something (but still look like Elves..)

    maybe she got caught up in the fandom, that her [D&D, WoW, Runequest, etc..] elf character just happens to have a glowing sword, and that the character is a mage or priest, and can only wear robes.. (And, only after, did someone tel her she's in the wrong fan photo..)
     
  27. Mar 19, 2020 #27

    Josh Kellogg

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    Sports fans are definitely cancer
     
  28. Mar 20, 2020 #28

    aerostadt

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    Space-X launched another 60 satellites in their Star Link series yesterday. There is a good article in the latest monthly issue of Aerospace America on these Mega Constellations. It has been reported in several sources including this one that the number of Star Link satellites could be 12,000. Reportedly, Space-X plans to make 24 such launches this year. To reach the 12,000 will take 200 launches, which is an excellent opportunity for the Falcon-9 re-usable first stage and Elon Musk knows it. One saving grace is advanced that this is a communications system that will bring the internet to the poor and uneducated all over the world. It is hard to oppose something like that. And so, Space-X becomes our "Space-Darling", again. As Space-X continues to launch they say that they are looking for solutions to make their satellites dark. However, the philosophy could be construed as launch first and ask questions later. Someone could argue that this is somewhat akin to having an industrial polluter continue to dump something into a river and say that they are looking for a solution as they continue to do business as usual. Evidently, there is no authority anywhere to tell Space-X to stop. Obviously, they want to launch as much as they can as fast as they can, so they can succeed where no one else has before. It will be another feather in their cap that everyone will admire. (There are 4 other companies in the U.S. that are planning to do this, but their Mega-Constellations are not as big as Star Link. Imagine if other countries decide to do the same thing.)
     
  29. Mar 20, 2020 #29

    jqavins

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    And virtually no one talks about them.

    My comments about their (Musk's) self promotion do not negate that SpaceX is doing amazing things. I have zero internet connectivity at home because the current satellite offerings suck, and I would love to get onto the StarLink beta test list. But it's a lot like when it seems the whole world picks one very talented and very beautiful actress who is on all the talk shows, and they ignore the other very talented, very attractive A-list stars. As Josh said, there are lots of fan boys. We look at that actress on a talk show and say "She must have a really good agent"; Musk is his own really good agent.
     
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  30. Mar 20, 2020 #30

    dhbarr

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    Well, SpaceX has actually launched real rockets and satellites, and continues to do so.... most of the rest of the players talk a good slide deck.
     
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