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Space exploration: Where do we go from here?

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  • Jimjamesak
    replied
    Originally posted by Kepler View Post
    How do you do fewer engines and get the same thrust? More powerful engines? Or can you "work smarter, not harder"?
    More powerful engines. Saturn V used five massive engines, the Soviet N1 used a cluster of 30.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kepler
    replied
    How do you do fewer engines and get the same thrust? More powerful engines? Or can you "work smarter, not harder"?

    Leave a comment:


  • MichVandal
    replied
    Originally posted by aparch View Post

    It's an issue the Russians once had and they abandoned themselves: less engines is better.

    They also saw many rockets fail with their excess of engines and found they had to cut down on them.

    Musk thinks the more the better despite 80 years of rocket history.
    Isn't the F-1 in the public domain? And NASA developed a 3d printed version of that, too- which should also be available. For enough years now that it could be developed into a usable motor. Use 6 of them instead of Saturn's 5. Done.

    (that's purely speculation, BTW- but more frustration with X and elon.

    Leave a comment:


  • aparch
    replied
    Originally posted by MichVandal View Post

    For the starship, sure. But the thing that really, really bothers me is how many successful Falcon and Falcon Heavy launches they have had and they have these kinds of problems? Did they not learn anything, or are those rockets just as risky as these?

    The actual engines are the same ones they use- the only real difference is the heat in the middle of the array. So when the booster tipped over to return, they have had so many launches that they should very well know the fluid dynamics they are dealing with. As for the upper stage- same thing.
    It's an issue the Russians once had and they abandoned themselves: less engines is better.

    They also saw many rockets fail with their excess of engines and found they had to cut down on them.

    Musk thinks the more the better despite 80 years of rocket history.

    Leave a comment:


  • Handyman
    replied
    Originally posted by Jimjamesak View Post
    Apollo started in 1961, JFK’s “We Choose To Go To The Moon” speech was in September 1962, NASA was regularly going to the Moon by 1968.

    SpaceX was founded in 2002, still can’t get out of orbit in 2023.
    Imagine this...there are people lining up to fly to Mars on one of his death traps! Probably sad they missed their chance to see the Titanic!

    Leave a comment:


  • MichVandal
    replied
    Originally posted by Jimjamesak View Post
    Apollo started in 1961, JFK’s “We Choose To Go To The Moon” speech was in September 1962, NASA was regularly going to the Moon by 1968.

    SpaceX was founded in 2002, still can’t get out of orbit in 2023.
    For the starship, sure. But the thing that really, really bothers me is how many successful Falcon and Falcon Heavy launches they have had and they have these kinds of problems? Did they not learn anything, or are those rockets just as risky as these?

    The actual engines are the same ones they use- the only real difference is the heat in the middle of the array. So when the booster tipped over to return, they have had so many launches that they should very well know the fluid dynamics they are dealing with. As for the upper stage- same thing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jimjamesak
    replied
    Apollo started in 1961, JFK’s “We Choose To Go To The Moon” speech was in September 1962, NASA was regularly going to the Moon by 1968.

    SpaceX was founded in 2002, still can’t get out of orbit in 2023.

    Leave a comment:


  • MichVandal
    replied
    I want to clarify my point a little- I tried to find a history of all NASA attempts, and found this record- https://history.nasa.gov/pocketstats/sect%20B/MLR.pdf

    If I read that right, up until the first Saturn launch, there were 24 failures- listed as "Did not achieve orbit". The last two were Gemini.

    And, naturally, most of those failures were early in rocket development, as NASA learned how to fly into space. They learned from every launch, and tried to eliminate reasons that rockets failed.

    We know that Mercury and Gemini were very much a lead up to Saturn and Apollo.

    So why isn't the same thing happening with SpaceX? Why are they repeating the failures that they have already had? Everyone loves to say how SpaceX is breaking the model, going quickly to develop fast, finding mistakes quickly, and moving on quickly. A quick look at history pretty much shows NASA was doing that back in the 60s. The only real pause was between Apollo 1 and the next manned launch. Even the experimental launches to test various features of the rocket went well.

    NASA's model was fast, too, and yet when it came to the most critical human launch platform to get to the moon, none of them failed in flight. SpaceX can't do that?

    Maybe I'm reading that wrong. But I certainly don't admire SpaceX for doing pretty much what NASA did in the 60's, but at this point failing.

    Leave a comment:


  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    I've been thinking about this a lot today and I think I'm now actively rooting against spacex. They are a bad company run by a nazi. It ain't worth it.

    Leave a comment:


  • MichVandal
    replied
    Here's what I don't get about the "reasons"- it's as if they are starting totally fresh from nothing.

    Like I heard one speculator of why the first stage failed, two main theories- fuel slosh and/or fuel hammer. As if either of those is brand new- they have had how many other rockets fire with the exact same engines? And now they don't know how to turn them off and prevent a failure? Or do they not have basic fluid dynamics models to predict when the fuel will not be near the pump inlet? BOTH of those issues is pretty darned easy to model and set up jigs on the ground to experiment and develop.

    And the second stage failure- LOX leak. Again, same as above- this is an easy thing to make up simulations on the ground to test.

    Other fans of Musk say that they are expecting the stages to crash, anyway, as if they've never testing landing any of this. Or landed anything- again, the engines are well known, and have been used for many launches and landings. So by now, I would expect they would be really good at it. Sure, it's a lot bigger than the other rocket- but, again, that's known, should be easy to model, and easy to predict how much different it would be.

    Had this been a Boeing launch, every one would really criticize that they can't do it- heck, they have already for other systems. Boeing didn't go through a ton of failed launches to get it- which costs a lot of money to do.

    I get the "idea" of fast development and being different. And when you are doing a Falcon, the cost of each launch may be doable. This is totally another scale. The cost of these launches are considerably more expensive than Falcons were. How many unmanned successful launches will be required before people are allowed to fly? It will be more than Saturn, that's for sure.

    Leave a comment:


  • Handyman
    replied
    Apollo 1 is a different beast...but they also never pretended it was supposed to explode on the ground!

    Apollo 12 was struck by lightning and still made it to the moon! Think about that in comparison to what gappened.

    You get the feeling the smart people who really made SpaceX go have left or don't care anymore.

    Leave a comment:


  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Originally posted by bronconick View Post
    The Saturn V's first test launch made it to its third stage, and that was 55 years ago. I'm really wondering if they're trying to be too cute with the design.
    The entire Saturn program only had one major failure post lift-off* in its history, Apollo 13. Even Apollo 6, which was described as a failed mission, still made it to full orbit and the command modules itself reentered safely. Apollo 13 still returned everyone home despite its mission being a failure.

    And I'm including the Saturn I and IB programs.

    *Obviously Apollo 1 was a massive failure.

    Leave a comment:


  • MichVandal
    replied
    Originally posted by Handyman View Post

    They didn't set a bar...it exploded and they came up with BS spin. Same thing all of his companies do when they fail at something. I guarantee no one involved in this is cheering about what happened or is looking forward to their meetings Monday Morning.
    I certainly appreciate the enthusiasm that they mic into on the launch, but I'm wondering now if it's even real. Sucks to be that jaded, but seeing how they spin these terrible failures, it's hard not to be.

    Leave a comment:


  • bronconick
    replied
    The Saturn V's first test launch made it to its third stage, and that was 55 years ago. I'm really wondering if they're trying to be too cute with the design.

    Leave a comment:


  • Handyman
    replied
    Originally posted by MichVandal View Post

    I know the official answer is that the flight was a success, but, man, are these incredibly expensive successes.

    And it's interesting they set the bar so low for success for the amount of time, effort, and money that goes into a launch like that.
    They didn't set a bar...it exploded and they came up with BS spin. Same thing all of his companies do when they fail at something. I guarantee no one involved in this is cheering about what happened or is looking forward to their meetings Monday Morning.

    Leave a comment:

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