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The billionaire space race


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1 hour ago, Gee SCREAMER !! said:

As none of these lot are actually going into orbit there not actually going into space anyway are they.

Bit like the fella who holds the longest free fall record of about 30.000 metres.  He had some kind of parachute attached to him to manipulate descent so surely that can't be classed as genuine freefall.

Maybe he should stop being a big girls blouse and try it without a parachute next time.

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15 hours ago, TigerTedd said:

So @Carl Sagan, do these space rockets work in the same way as the SpaceX rocket? Ie are they resuseable, landing back on their fins on the landing pad in the same way?

apart from SpaceX being massive and designed for carrying lots and lots of people, the jumbo jet of the space world, what are the key differences?

Yes both the Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic efforts are fully reusable. Branson has an issue in that his space-place technology will really struggle to scale up. They've pushed it hard but they don't even go high enough to cross that 100km threshold. You can argue that Bezos did the right thing by experimenting with a small rocket first (this New Shepard) which is "suborbital" but does briefly reach 105km. It was meant to be the precursor for New Glenn, a much more powerful reusable rocket that would compete with the Falcon Heavy from SpaceX. But New Glenn is years late, not expected to fly until 2023 earliest and now there are rumours they want to try to copy SpaceX's Starship and switch to stainless steel construction, which will delay it years more.

But the main difference is just the scale, which leads to how high you can go. SpaceX already sends astronauts to the International Space Station (orbiting at 400km) and has launched a Roadster towards Mars. With Starlink it also owns and operates more satellites than any country let alone company. Neither Virgin nor Blue have even reached orbit. Landing from orbit is way harder than landing these new suborbital rockets because you have many times the energy to dissipate on the way down, and SpaceX has already landed more than 100 orbital class rockets. No one else has ever landed one. They're a decade ahead and innovating faster than anyone else.

What surprised most people about the Branson and Bezos flights is how short they were. Later this year SpaceX launches what could be considered a space tourism flight of its Crew Dragon spaceship, on the Inspiration4 mission. However, this crew of 4 will fly around Earth in orbit for several days rather than just touch the edge of space for 3 or 4 minutes.

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22 minutes ago, Carl Sagan said:

Yes both the Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic efforts are fully reusable. Branson has an issue in that his space-place technology will really struggle to scale up. They've pushed it hard but they don't even go high enough to cross that 100km threshold. You can argue that Bezos did the right thing by experimenting with a small rocket first (this New Shepard) which is "suborbital" but does briefly reach 105km. It was meant to be the precursor for New Glenn, a much more powerful reusable rocket that would compete with the Falcon Heavy from SpaceX. But New Glenn is years late, not expected to fly until 2023 earliest and now there are rumours they want to try to copy SpaceX's Starship and switch to stainless steel construction, which will delay it years more.

But the main difference is just the scale, which leads to how high you can go. SpaceX already sends astronauts to the International Space Station (orbiting at 400km) and has launched a Roadster towards Mars. With Starlink it also owns and operates more satellites than any country let alone company. Neither Virgin nor Blue have even reached orbit. Landing from orbit is way harder than landing these new suborbital rockets because you have many times the energy to dissipate on the way down, and SpaceX has already landed more than 100 orbital class rockets. No one else has ever landed one. They're a decade ahead and innovating faster than anyone else.

What surprised most people about the Branson and Bezos flights is how short they were. Later this year SpaceX launches what could be considered a space tourism flight of its Crew Dragon spaceship, on the Inspiration4 mission. However, this crew of 4 will fly around Earth in orbit for several days rather than just touch the edge of space for 3 or 4 minutes.

Where do I get tickets for that flight?

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2 minutes ago, TigerTedd said:

Where do I get tickets for that flight?

Entrepreneur and one-time test pilot Jared Isaacman bought all four seats and asked people to make a case for why they should go. The flight is probably 15 September so I'm sorry to report you're too late and I didn't get selected. The crew's now in training.

But this reminds me I must update one astronaut application at the weekend where I'm through to the next stage, with an organization called Space for Humanity. I made some progress with ESA when they eventually chose Tim Peake last time around, but was too old for their recent recruitment. Did you apply? Hope so! If not I think dearMoon is still taking sign-ups. 

https://dearmoon.earth/

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5 minutes ago, Carl Sagan said:

Entrepreneur and one-time test pilot Jared Isaacman bought all four seats and asked people to make a case for why they should go. The flight is probably 15 September so I'm sorry to report you're too late and I didn't get selected. The crew's now in training.

But this reminds me I must update one astronaut application at the weekend where I'm through to the next stage, with an organization called Space for Humanity. I made some progress with ESA when they eventually chose Tim Peake last time around, but was too old for their recent recruitment. Did you apply? Hope so! If not I think dearMoon is still taking sign-ups. 

https://dearmoon.earth/

I am all over that. Why the hell not?! I’d rather win this than the lottery. And there’s probably more chance of winning this. 
 

… aargh!! Applications are now closed. Damn you for getting my hopes up. I’ll just have to stick with plan a, and get on with making my own billions. 

Edited by TigerTedd
Expressing crippling disappointment.
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Is this all not a little bit….erm….pointless?

Don’t get me wrong, would be great to go into space, but the cost will limit these trips to very wealthy people or being extremely lucky in some kind of competition.

Even then, surely these trips would be run at a loss until they find ways to reduce costs, I get we have to start somewhere but should we not be focusing attention on things like climate change?

We have cars being sent into space, landing robots on Mars, now billionaires competing to launch a handful of tourists into space, can’t help but feel we are seeing a hell of a lot of money being dare I say wasted on projects like this, money that could change the planet we all live on. 

All the poverty and homelessness around the world and we’ve got Bozo, Musk and Branson locking horns, just feels wrong.

Saying that, I did watch the Branson trip, which was a terrible stream production it has to be said, so I guess I am fascinated by it all whilst being slightly irritated by it. 

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1 hour ago, TigerTedd said:

I am all over that. Why the hell not?! I’d rather win this than the lottery. And there’s probably more chance of winning this. 
 

… aargh!! Applications are now closed. Damn you for getting my hopes up. I’ll just have to stick with plan a, and get on with making my own billions. 

Oh no! I didn't realize. Genuinely so sorry. 

Like the sound of your Plan A. If I had billions I would spend it on space rather than Derby County. Though that would be a difficult call in the current climate, but as we see with Mel, owning a club is a mug's game.

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6 hours ago, Carl Sagan said:

Oh no! I didn't realize. Genuinely so sorry. 

Like the sound of your Plan A. If I had billions I would spend it on space rather than Derby County. Though that would be a difficult call in the current climate, but as we see with Mel, owning a club is a mug's game.

Got to spend you’re money on something. I’ll have enough for both, don’t worry. 

image.jpeg.27cf93e53d17e3114b9b87a20cde8140.jpeg

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7 hours ago, David said:

Is this all not a little bit….erm….pointless?

Don’t get me wrong, would be great to go into space, but the cost will limit these trips to very wealthy people or being extremely lucky in some kind of competition.

Even then, surely these trips would be run at a loss until they find ways to reduce costs, I get we have to start somewhere but should we not be focusing attention on things like climate change?

We have cars being sent into space, landing robots on Mars, now billionaires competing to launch a handful of tourists into space, can’t help but feel we are seeing a hell of a lot of money being dare I say wasted on projects like this, money that could change the planet we all live on. 

All the poverty and homelessness around the world and we’ve got Bozo, Musk and Branson locking horns, just feels wrong.

Saying that, I did watch the Branson trip, which was a terrible stream production it has to be said, so I guess I am fascinated by it all whilst being slightly irritated by it. 

This is why I like musk out of all of them. He’s a little weird, but you can’t say he’s not doing his bit for the environment too with massive investment in electric cars and solar power. 

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10 hours ago, David said:

Is this all not a little bit….erm….pointless?

Don’t get me wrong, would be great to go into space, but the cost will limit these trips to very wealthy people or being extremely lucky in some kind of competition.

Even then, surely these trips would be run at a loss until they find ways to reduce costs, I get we have to start somewhere but should we not be focusing attention on things like climate change?

We have cars being sent into space, landing robots on Mars, now billionaires competing to launch a handful of tourists into space, can’t help but feel we are seeing a hell of a lot of money being dare I say wasted on projects like this, money that could change the planet we all live on. 

All the poverty and homelessness around the world and we’ve got Bozo, Musk and Branson locking horns, just feels wrong.

Saying that, I did watch the Branson trip, which was a terrible stream production it has to be said, so I guess I am fascinated by it all whilst being slightly irritated by it. 

How do we know about climate change, emissions, ice melting, and so on? Our precise knowledge comes through satellites, by going into space and building the space-based infrastructure. How will we solve climate change? Much the same way. Space-based solar power is likely to play a major role in our energy future, and other geoengineering projects to mitigate climate effects. And, longer term, moving more industry off-planet will make for a healthier planet. Plus if we don't continue to focus on space and learn how to leave Earth, we'll go extinct as a species anyway. Bezos apparently has a genuine interest in this, although he's not done anything to demonstrate it. Musk is all in on saving the planet and the species. Single-handedly he has transitioned the world from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles a couple of decades faster than would have otherwise happened. Branson is a charlatan publicity seeker in it for a quick buck.

Branson and Bezos are charging more for 4 minutes on the edge of space than Musk wants to charge for a return ticket to Mars. And once Musk's Starship is built the capacity changes and access to space becomes democratized and potentially affordable for all. Instead of paying a million dollars for a 10 minute ride to the edge of space and back down, you'll pay ten thousand dollars for a 30 minute flight from the UK to Australia that takes you to your destination via space.

How do we lift people out of poverty? In the future SpaceX's Starlink system will be able to bring the 3 billion without internet access into the modern world, able to generate their own wealth.

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3 minutes ago, Carl Sagan said:

How do we know about climate change, emissions, ice melting, and so on? Our precise knowledge comes through satellites, by going into space and building the space-based infrastructure. How will we solve climate change? Much the same way. Space-based solar power is likely to play a major role in our energy future, and other geoengineering projects to mitigate climate effects. And, longer term, moving more industry off-planet will make for a healthier planet. Plus if we don't continue to focus on space and learn how to leave Earth, we'll go extinct as a species anyway. Bezos apparently has a genuine interest in this, although he's not done anything to demonstrate it. Musk is all in on saving the planet and the species. Single-handedly he has transitioned the world from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles a couple of decades faster than would have otherwise happened. Branson is a charlatan publicity seeker in it for a quick buck.

Branson and Bezos are charging more for 4 minutes on the edge of space than Musk wants to charge for a return ticket to Mars. And once Musk's Starship is built the capacity changes and access to space becomes democratized and potentially affordable for all. Instead of paying a million dollars for a 10 minute ride to the edge of space and back down, you'll pay ten thousand dollars for a 30 minute flight from the UK to Australia that takes you to your destination via space.

How do we lift people out of poverty? In the future SpaceX's Starlink system will be able to bring the 3 billion without internet access into the modern world, able to generate their own wealth.

Space tourism and exploration are 2 different things are they not? 

I’m not suggesting exploration is a bad thing, but tourism I can’t get my head around.

And Musk for all the good he’s doing, there’s some also daft stuff like launching the Tesla into space which was nothing more than a publicity stunt.
 

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1 hour ago, Carl Sagan said:

How do we know about climate change, emissions, ice melting, and so on? Our precise knowledge comes through satellites, by going into space and building the space-based infrastructure. How will we solve climate change? Much the same way. Space-based solar power is likely to play a major role in our energy future, and other geoengineering projects to mitigate climate effects. And, longer term, moving more industry off-planet will make for a healthier planet. Plus if we don't continue to focus on space and learn how to leave Earth, we'll go extinct as a species anyway. Bezos apparently has a genuine interest in this, although he's not done anything to demonstrate it. Musk is all in on saving the planet and the species. Single-handedly he has transitioned the world from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles a couple of decades faster than would have otherwise happened. Branson is a charlatan publicity seeker in it for a quick buck.

Branson and Bezos are charging more for 4 minutes on the edge of space than Musk wants to charge for a return ticket to Mars. And once Musk's Starship is built the capacity changes and access to space becomes democratized and potentially affordable for all. Instead of paying a million dollars for a 10 minute ride to the edge of space and back down, you'll pay ten thousand dollars for a 30 minute flight from the UK to Australia that takes you to your destination via space.

How do we lift people out of poverty? In the future SpaceX's Starlink system will be able to bring the 3 billion without internet access into the modern world, able to generate their own wealth.

I love this idea. I have a life plan that includes doing a masters at some point in the information divide (I studied it at university as part of an information science degree). At some point I would love to start a project enabling remote communities to access the internet and use it to create enterprise within their communities, selling local wares and produce internationally.

ive got a plan to create self sustaining pods that are roughly ISO container size that can be chinooked into remote communities and act as a one stop shop education centre, craft centre, water filtration, charging point, etc. 

im just worried by the time I get round to it, there won’t be any remote communities left. 

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2 hours ago, David said:

Space tourism and exploration are 2 different things are they not? 

I’m not suggesting exploration is a bad thing, but tourism I can’t get my head around.

And Musk for all the good he’s doing, there’s some also daft stuff like launching the Tesla into space which was nothing more than a publicity stunt.
 

The point is space will be hard to monetize until the space-based economy matures, but we need to fund innovation and development. Space tourism is seen as a way of doing that. But I agree in the grand scheme of things it's a bit of a red herring.

The launch of the Roadster was to test the Falcon Heavy on its maiden flight. It needed a payload but it's hard to get someone to pay to have their satellites launched on an untried rocket. So normally engineers put a slab of concrete of the desired mass in the top of the rocket to test it. How much better to launch the Tesla to inspire, excite and entertain people with what SpaceX is doing? It's a wonderful thing that Musk is also trying to make space cool and fun.

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1 hour ago, Carl Sagan said:

The point is space will be hard to monetize until the space-based economy matures, but we need to fund innovation and development. Space tourism is seen as a way of doing that. But I agree in the grand scheme of things it's a bit of a red herring.

The launch of the Roadster was to test the Falcon Heavy on its maiden flight. It needed a payload but it's hard to get someone to pay to have their satellites launched on an untried rocket. So normally engineers put a slab of concrete of the desired mass in the top of the rocket to test it. How much better to launch the Tesla to inspire, excite and entertain people with what SpaceX is doing? It's a wonderful thing that Musk is also trying to make space cool and fun.

I think Musk could strap a puppy to a rocket and launch it into space and you would be praising him 😜

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