Author Topic: Commercial Manned Space flights  (Read 4796 times)

Alberon

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Commercial Manned Space flights
« on: December 20, 2019, 04:21:23 PM »
Commercial manned space flights.

They're almost here. SpaceX and Boeing are in the final stages of proving their vehicles are safe to take people to orbit. Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are preparing to do edge of space hops, but they're barely sub-orbital so can get to fuck. The real race is between SpaceX and Boeing.

Both have been contracted for vehicles to take people to the International Space Station so NASA doesn't have to keep paying for Soyuz seats. SpaceX has already sent an unmanned Dragon capsule to the ISS and back and will conduct a final launch abort test probably in January. In that, thrusters in the capsule will blast it clear of the Falcon-9 rocket and then parachute itself back to Earth.

Boeing launched their Starliner today on an unmanned mission to the ISS like SpaceX had already achieved. But the mission has had to be cut short and the ship will be returning to Earth in just two days.

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The Administrator of Nasa, Jim Bridenstine, said in a press conference that Starliner had experienced a timing "anomaly". This led the automated capsule to become confused over where it was in its mission sequence.

Flight controllers recognised the problem but were unable to intervene quickly enough to correct an engine burn because the capsule was passing between satellite links.

It might be a fairly minor issue that isn't a great problem, but it comes after a few problems and criticisms of Boeing in recent weeks.

Quote
Overdue for launch already, both Boeing's and SpaceX's commercial crew programs are also costing quite a bit more than planned. According to NASA figures, total Boeing funding related to commercial crew has already topped $4.8 billion, and SpaceX's funding has passed $3.1 billion.

On top of that, Inspector General's report zeroes in on delays in Boeing's Starliner program in particular. In a section of its report entitled "NASA Overpaid Boeing to Prepare for Multiple Crewed Missions," the IG notes that in order to ensure that Boeing has enough spacecraft built in time to meet its commitments to NASA, the agency offered Boeing an additional $287 million to accelerate its production of Starliners, raising Boeing's total take to $5.1 billion.

That's 64.5% more money to do exactly the same job that SpaceX was hired to do. And NASA offered this to Boeing "without offering similar opportunities to SpaceX."

Is that a problem? The characterization "NASA Overpaid Boeing" would seem to suggest it could be a problem for Boeing.

And yet, the IG goes on to acknowledge that its evaluation of the extra payments to Boeing come with "the benefit of hindsight," and the IG further acknowledges "the pressures faced by NASA managers at the time to keep the program on schedule to the extent possible."

Viewed in that context, the IG's report, while certainly critical of both NASA and Boeing, reads more like a stern finger-wagging, and an instruction to NASA to be more careful about its spending in the future (and in particular to look for "alternatives to achieve mission flexibility within established pricing" -- emphasis added) in the future. It sounds less like a threat to claw back unearned revenue from Boeing. Therefore I don't see any immediate risk to Boeing stock in this report.

Of more long-term concern are the IG's findings that future Boeing commercial crew missions will be priced at $90 million a seat, versus just $55 million for SpaceX flights. $90 million isn't just more expensive than SpaceX, after all. It's actually more expensive than what the Russians are charging!

Boeing doesn't agree with those numbers, but it still seems it will be more expensive per seat than SpaceX.

SpaceX has had big problems in testing as well, but at the moment it seems like it will be ready first and will be cheaper. Even though it's led by a twat.

SpaceX is also developing the Starship, a vessel that is claimed will be able to take 100 people to orbit at a time. Recently a prototype blew its top in a pressurising test. Work is continuing on another more advanced prototype, but the whole thing still looks like a 1950s special effects shot.



But will it ever be as cheap as Musk claims. Will it even fly?

Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2019, 04:56:04 PM »
I thought Boeing had fucked it and their ‘Starliner’ won’t make it to space station today?. Not a great week for Boeing.

Interesting that BoJo announced a UK national space council at cabinet level


Alberon

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 05:09:44 PM »
Yeah, Boeing’s problems inspired the post. It might be just a minor thing, but it is embarrassing for them especially after the financing questions and larger issues with their airplanes killing people.

Even with Musk leading them SpaceX does seem to be fairly ahead of Boeing.

Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2019, 05:20:02 PM »
It is a bit odd as Boeing would normally fight back if they thought they were ending in a dual supplier situation with the government. Maybe they haven’t had the cash to fight space x or are so far behind the curve technically.

shiftwork2

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2019, 05:31:55 PM »
What’s the big deal about space programs, Blofeld had one ffs.

Angrew Lloyg Wegger

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2019, 05:41:55 PM »
Why the tits would anyone want to go to space? Fuckall up there to do, complete waste of a holiday. Say what you will about Great Yarmouth, at least they've got adventure golf.

Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2019, 05:49:01 PM »
I thought we were all supposed to be living in domed cities on the moon by now, very unimpressed by the lack of progress on that front.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2019, 05:54:38 PM »
That's the Russians fault, if their manned space programme hadn't collapsed at the end of the sixties we could all be living on the Moon by now.

There's a series on Apple called For All Mankind which reimagines a 70s where the Russians got there first and the Space Race continues.

Blumf

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2019, 01:54:03 PM »
Why the tits would anyone want to go to space?

You said it. Tits. Zero G tits.

That's why they make such a big deal about female astronauts. So far, due to weight constraints and safety issues, they've only sent up fairly small chested ladies. But soon, as launch costs reduce, expect some fabulous double-Ds and more to make a permanent presence on the ISS.

This was 'the other things' mentioned in Kennedy's famous moon speech.


Gurke and Hare

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2019, 02:00:53 PM »
Are Virgin still six months from a test flight like they have been for the last twenty years?

Musk may be a twat as mentioned above, but those two re-usable boosters landing next to each other in formation on the launch that put the car into orbit was in the top 10 coolest things I've ever seen.

NoSleep

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2019, 02:10:27 PM »
You said it. Tits. Zero G tits.

In zero g, everyone shares your vomit.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2019, 02:11:30 PM »
I suppose it's good on the innovation front, and I suppose it's part of the path to being able to do actually interesting stuff like colonising planets.

But at the moment they're basically just hot air balloon rides for rich wankers aren't they?

NoSleep

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2019, 02:14:18 PM »
But at the moment they're basically just hot air balloon rides for Inners aren't they?

Alberon

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2019, 02:29:58 PM »
I think once commercial manned space travel gets off the ground (ahem) the price will drop and it will become more available.

NASA as an organisation is largely fucked these days, they're building their own heavy lifter system and its been budgeted at over $2 billion per launch.

NASA's problem is that their policy targets are decided by politicians, and I'm not talking so much of Trump's man on the moon by 2024 pledge (which may happen, but not by NASA) but more how senators mandate and maintain useless facilities to bring employment and funding to their states. It makes it impossible for NASA to achieve anything.

The idea of having Boeing and SpaceX take over the Earth to orbit runs was to leave NASA free to return to the Moon and Mars. But if SpaceX's Starship works they'll even be beaten there.

Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2019, 02:34:28 PM »
We still haven't sorted out world hunger, wars, the environment etc and we are trying to fuck about with commercial space flights.

Humanity needs dying, doesnt it?

Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2019, 02:36:20 PM »
Send bawris jawnson into the fucking oort cloud

oy vey

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2019, 02:40:34 PM »
Why the tits would anyone want to go to space?

I can think of 3 good reasons.


imitationleather

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2019, 03:05:55 PM »
What's the age of consent in space?

Lordofthefiles

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2019, 03:16:48 PM »
What's the age of consent in space?

‘Umpteen

oy vey

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2019, 03:28:51 PM »
Speed limit is 3 × 10^8 m/s in most jurisdictions.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2019, 04:16:22 PM »


Can't call us inners until we make outers.

Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2019, 04:21:59 PM »
What's the age of consent in space?

COME JOIN THE PAEDO PLANE

NoSleep

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2019, 04:38:06 PM »
Can't call us inners until we make beltalowda.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2019, 04:41:25 PM »
I genuinely wanted that English mercenary cunt to get shot. He reminded me of bad officers in Sharpe or something.

NoSleep

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2019, 05:04:21 PM »
I genuinely wanted that English mercenary cunt to get shot.

I want Drummer to space him (after a long telling off).

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2019, 05:10:20 PM »
Quite sad Ashford got spaced because the scenes between him and Drummer were the best. (I may have mentioned this in the telly subforum)

Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2019, 09:42:05 PM »
The fuck are these two on about? I came here to read about commercial space flights.

Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2019, 10:05:34 PM »
What's the age of consent in space?

true answer: you are subject to whatever laws of the country you are a national of. first tested this year with this case, of an astronaut accused of hacking her estranged wife's bank account from the ISS https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/23/us/nasa-astronaut-anne-mcclain.html

jocular answer: ORBITAL PAEDO RAPE CAMP

Re: Commercial Manned Space flights
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2019, 10:45:51 PM »
Lesbians? In space?

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