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Archive for the ‘SpaceX’ tag

Feb 1, 2016

MIT team wins Hyperloop competition, Elon Musk predicts global transportation network — By Adagio Strange | Mashable

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, transportation

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“The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition crowned a winner on Sunday, naming the MIT Hyperloop Team as the group with the best look at what the Hyperloop transportation pod system might look like in the future.”

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Jan 14, 2016

NASA to Make Major Space Station Cargo Transport Announcement Today | NASA

Posted by in category: space

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“NASA will make a major announcement today at 4 p.m. EST regarding the future of commercial resupply launches to the International Space Station (ISS). The announcement will be made during a news conference from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv."

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Oct 19, 2015

SpaceX Changes Its Falcon 9 Rocket Return-to-Flight Plans — By Peter B. de Selding | SPACE.com

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, satellites

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“SpaceX on Oct. 16 said it had changed its Falcon 9 return-to-flight plans and would first launch 11 small Orbcomm messaging satellites into low Earth orbit, and then test reignition of the rocket’s redesigned second-stage engine during the same flight before launching SES’s heavier telecommunications satellite into higher orbit, a mission that will need the reignition capability

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Jun 15, 2015

SpaceX just launched a Hyperloop pod-racing competition By Sean O’Kane | The Verge

Posted by in categories: business, sustainability, transportation

“SpaceX just announced an official contest open to university students and independent engineering teams. The company will release detailed rules, criteria, and tube specifications in August. … The challenge will be to build “human-scale pods” to be tested on the Hawthorne, California test track that will be built next to the SpaceX headquarters, but the company is careful to note that no humans will ride in the pods. All the designs submitted must be open source.”

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Jun 3, 2015

Elon Musk Rebuffs Critics with Fundamentals

Posted by in categories: business, economics, environmental, government, innovation, policy, science, solar power, space, transportation

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“If he was paid by the oil and gas industry lobby he couldn’t have written a more favorable article for them.”—Elon Musk

Video & Article on Criticism about Incentives

Apr 16, 2015

SpaceX’s Success

Posted by in categories: complex systems, disruptive technology, engineering, innovation, space, space travel

I read all the news about SpaceX’s Falcon 9 latest “failure” to land on an autonomous spaceport drone ship aka barge. I view these as trials to success. Here’s why.

1. Grasshopper Successes: The two videos below show that the early landing trials aka Grasshopper from several heights between 250m and 1,000m.

The lessons here are:

a) Pinpoint landing of a 1st stage rocket is technologically feasible.

Continue reading “SpaceX's Success” »

May 9, 2014

The Realistic Cost Of The Next Space Race

Posted by in categories: business, economics, engineering, finance, hardware, innovation, policy, space, space travel

Based on the Bloomberg TV program “The Next Space Race” and other reliable sources, I determine the realistic payload costs goals for the next generation of private space companies.

I review NASA’s Space Shuttle Program costs and compare these with SpaceX costs, and then extrapolate to Planetary Resources, Inc.‘s cost structure.

Three important conclusions are derived. And for those viewing this video at my blog postings, the link to the Excel Spreadsheet is here (.xlsx file).

May 8, 2014

The Next Space Race

Posted by in categories: engineering, finance, innovation, physics, science, space, space travel

Yesterday’s program, The Next Space Race, on Bloomberg TV was an excellent introduction to the commercial aerospace companies, SpaceX, the Sierra Nevada Company (SNC), and Boeing. The following are important points, at the stated times, in the program:

0.33 mins: The cost of space travel has clipped our wings.
5:18 mins: How many people knew Google before they started?
7:40 mins: SpaceX costs, full compliment, 4x per year at $20 million per astronaut.
11:59 mins: Noisy rocket launch, notice also the length of the hot exhaust is several times the length of the rocket.
12:31 mins: One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
12:37 mins: Noisy shuttle launch, notice also the length of the hot exhaust is several times the length of the rocket.
13:47 mins: OPF-3, at one time the largest building in the world at 129 million cubic feet.
16:04 mins: States are luring private companies to start up in their states.
16:32 mins: NASA should be spending its money on exploration and missions and not maintenance and operations.
17:12 mins: The fair market value of OPF-3 is about $13.5 million.
17:19 mins: Maintenance cost is $100,000 per month
17:47 mins: Why Florida?
18:55 mins: International Space Station (ISS) cost $60B and if including the Shuttle program, it cost $150B.
19:17 mins: The size of the commercial space launch business.
21:04 mins: Elon Musk has put $100 million of his own money into SpaceX.
21:23 mins: The goals of NASA and private space do not conflict.

Summary:
1. Cost of ISS is $60B, total cost including the Shuttle program is $150B.

2. SpaceX cost is $20M per astronaut (for 7 astronauts) or a launch cost of $140 million per launch at $560 million per year for 4 launches per year.

Continue reading “The Next Space Race” »

Oct 14, 2012

The Kline Directive: Economic Viability

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, defense, economics, education, engineering, finance, military, nuclear weapons, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space, sustainability

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Economic Viability. I have proposed the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later. Let us review the costs estimates of the various star drives just to reach the velocity of 0.1c, as detailed in previous blog posts:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

Propulsion Mechanism Legal? Costs Estimates
Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes Greater than US$1.19E+14
Antimatter Propulsion: Do Not Know. Between US$1.25E+20 and US$6.25E+21
Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: Illegal. This technology was illegal as of 1963 per Partial Test Ban Treaty Between $2.6E12 and $25.6E12 . These are Project Orion original costs converted back to 2012 dollar. Requires anywhere between 300,000 and 30,000,000 bombs!!
Time Travel: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Small Black Hole Propulsion: Most Probably Illegal in the Future Using CERN to estimate. At least US$9E+9 per annual budget. CERN was founded 58 years ago in 1954. Therefore a guestimate of the total expenditure required to reach its current technological standing is US$1.4E11.

Note Atomic Bomb numbers were updated on 10/18/2012 after Robert Steinhaus commented that costs estimates “are excessively high and unrealistic”. I researched the topic and found Project Orion details the costs, of $2.6E12 to $25.6E12, which are worse than my estimates.

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Economic Viability” »

Oct 9, 2012

The Kline Directive: Introduction

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, defense, economics, engineering, ethics, finance, philosophy, physics, policy, space

Science and engineering are hard to do. If it wasn’t we would have a space bridge from here to the Moon by now. If you don’t have the real world practical experience doing either science or engineering you won’t understand this, or the effort and resources companies like Boeing, Lockheed, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corp, Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic, and the Ad Astra Rocket Company have put into their innovations and products to get to where they are, today.

If we are to achieve interstellar travel, we have to be bold.
We have to explore what others have not.
We have to seek what others will not.
We have to change what others dare not.

The dictionary definition of a directive is, an instruction or order, tending to direct or directing, and indicating direction.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, US Department of Defense 2005, provides three similar meanings,

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Introduction” »

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