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Old October 6 2012, 09:56 PM   #196
gturner
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

The astronauts keep the orbiter, you have an HLLV for BEO, and EELV type strap-ons. That would have been a true space transportation system.
Since the Shuttle is dead, I don't think it would be replicated for use in parallel with an existing HLLV because the large payload bay (a huge driver of the Shuttle's design) would be redundant. A reusable, landable, smaller craft might be extremely useful though, combining a large cabin and crew size (like the Shuttle offered), perhaps with a robotic arm, a much smaller payload bay. Basically the other route being pursued by Sierra Nevada with their Dream Chaser.

Here's a nice study on fuel depots, though it doesn't ask whether a near Earth asteroid mission really accomplishes anything if we aren't going to use the asteroid.

http://www.newspacewatch.com/docs/IA...-NASAStudy.pdf
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Old October 7 2012, 02:58 AM   #197
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post

sojourner wrote: View Post
Sounds like something Publiusr needs to view.
I'm not the one who thought kerosene (RP) was a hypergolic, remember? l
Yep, my one little mistake in terminology makes up for your huge self deception regarding HLV/shuttle. You still need to view that link.
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Old October 7 2012, 03:43 AM   #198
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Hypergolic RP-1 combinations are very interesting, usually using hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizer and adding catalysts and other compounds to the RP-1.

Here are some more interesting high-performance or non-toxic hypergols:

http://www.sps.aero/Key_ComSpace_Art...plications.pdf
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Old October 7 2012, 05:38 PM   #199
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
The failure of the Very Light Jet model makes me question privatization.
The Dot-com bubble and the housing market collapse makes EVERYONE question privatization. That doesn't mean that private companies shouldn't be involved in information technology or consumer finance, it simply means those industries need to be properly regulated to prevent weird things like this from happening.

Same goes for aerospace, same goes for space exploration. If spaceflight really is vital to our national security, privatization is still a better way of doing it, but the private operators need to be kept in line so they don't get too big for their britches. Keeping it under control of a government agency gives us more control than we really need and has a lot of other disadvantages.

Much more to the point: it's pretty much inevitable that private companies WILL carve out niche for themselves, sooner or later (probably sooner). At the rate NASA is going, their capabilities will not even be able to keep pace with private operators and they'll end up having to get all of their equipment from outside sources anyway. Even if the SLS becomes operational, in the end it's still a rebranding and minor upgrade of 1970s technology; its successor will probably be selected from platforms offered by SpaceX and Boeing and whoever else is in business at the time. By 2100, NASA will be reduced to a research agency that contracts with private operators to get anything done.
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Old October 7 2012, 06:58 PM   #200
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
publiusr wrote: View Post
The failure of the Very Light Jet model makes me question privatization.
The Dot-com bubble and the housing market collapse makes EVERYONE question privatization. That doesn't mean that private companies shouldn't be involved in information technology or consumer finance, it simply means those industries need to be properly regulated to prevent weird things like this from happening.
I'm unquestioningly in favor of the private route. It's true that without privatization there wouldn't have been a housing crash, but only because nobody would've owned houses in the first place.

Likewise, without private venture capital there wouldn't have been any dot coms to bust. The very light jet just illustrates how the free market won't long tolerate a bad business idea (thought up in part by NASA), whereas Amtrack will trundle along its loss-making way forever.

They key to making the very light jet model work is to cut the costs of having a pilot by not even paying them, and the best and largest untapped forcable labor supply for that is our prisons. Training convicts to fly planes shouldn't be all that hard (they all want to escape anyway), so I'm thinking of floating an IPO called "JetCon."

But more seriously, the key advantage of the private sector is that bad or inefficient ideas get weeded out much more quickly and efficiently than they would in a public funded bureaucracy, and when they don't get weeded out quickly the firm starts bleeding money until everyone realizes what a bad idea it is.

The Space Shuttle was so bad, from a financial perspective, that they actually banned (so to speak) launching government payloads on other rockets just to keep their flight rate up.
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Old October 7 2012, 08:25 PM   #201
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Don't you mean ConAir?

I'm convince Publiusr doesn't understand the advantages of private industry over government subsidy.
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Old October 7 2012, 09:42 PM   #202
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Guess you haven't heard of Airbus. Or this:
http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-o.../shipbuilding/

The heavy investment costs associated with shipbuilding and its role as an industrial flagship industry in China, Korea and Japan have made the shipbuilding sector an attractive target for government subsidy. Japan used shipbuilding in the 1950s and 1960s to rebuild its industrial structure; Korea made shipbuilding a strategic industry for its economic development in the 1970s. China's shipbuilding sector has enjoyed strong government support since the take-off of its industry at the end of the 1990s.

http://netherlands.westfalia-separat...88b5920b6.html

You have to have what many call 'pork' to keep things propped up until times get better. That worked for China quite well.

Cost cutting also can do damage:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...urozone-crisis
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-...b_1496020.html

Now let us suppose that we could put all NASA centers in Florida--not spread everything out like LBJ across the South, esp. Texas. Lay off a bunch of folks and privatize everything.

Then convincing the public to support space becomes harder. Space is the one thing many Southern right wingers will actually support with taxes, due to jobs, vested interests, and the like. But a streamlined NASA would only seem like one states pork, so there would be less of a brake to cut it. The "standing armies" alt.spacers decry have a place in that they vote and serve as a pro-space constituency. That is useful if a nation is to have any space footing--at all.

Let's say Musk put everyone out of business, wrecked NASA like some of you seem to want--then goes under. The damage has been done, the in-house capability lost, and America loses space infrastructure. Time to turn talk radio off, and to treat Ayn Rand as nothing but a fiction writer, folks.

gturner wrote: View Post

Since the Shuttle is dead, I don't think it would be replicated for use in parallel with an existing HLLV because the large payload bay (a huge driver of the Shuttle's design) would be redundant.
Oh, I'm not calling for that now--that was what STS should have been to start with. That way, ISS would have been launched with larger Polyus type modules and finished more easily. Buran, unlike the shuttle's hypergolic OMS pods, carried kerosene, and might even have been modified to have landing jets, as the analogue did. This means it could have done more in space. It had a 30 tons interior payload.

I think spaceflight would have been much farther along in that station construction would have been shorter, allow more actual science on ISS than construction using fewer, larger modules to hurry things along. Then separate modules could have had, say, space manufacturing. Then the orbiter would drop off a 30 ton ATV type craft at one end, and retrieve a 30 ton craft at the other end with finished goods. A separate, more roomy one piece free flyer would allow human studies without all the pedaling throwing off crystal growth in another. The craft could still dock in any emergency. That is where the Energiya's modularity could have gotten space operations up and running.

Later, as a certain hypersonic boilerplate launched Navaho style shows, promise, the Buran orbiter is phased out, and we have a real spaceplane now. Energiya itself is now just an HLV for outsized station/depot launch, and routine access comes from the spaceplane development allowed by full sized tests. Then the market follows after NASA has led the way. That was true with comsat, where gov't underwrote the sat's cost. Gov't military led the way with ICBMs, and then markets followed.

gturner wrote: View Post

But more seriously, the key advantage of the private sector is that bad or inefficient ideas get weeded out much more quickly and efficiently than they would in a public funded bureaucracy, and when they don't get weeded out quickly the firm starts bleeding money until everyone realizes what a bad idea it is.
Now that I have to question that. The problem with the tanker fiasco is that you had someone in Druyen's case who was batting for the company--Boeing. The F-35 fiasco is what happens when you don't have proper gov't oversight of a company (LockMart). That looks to be changing:

http://defense.aol.com/2012/09/17/f-...ive-ever-seen/

This is a case where the private company is inflating costs and the gov't has to step in. There was an Av Week blurb some months back about an Army man fighting contractors over chopper needs. It's always been my experience that contractors need to be kept on the short leash.

Last edited by publiusr; October 7 2012 at 10:19 PM.
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Old October 7 2012, 10:13 PM   #203
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

Yep. I am now definitely convinced you don't know how it works.
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Old October 7 2012, 10:27 PM   #204
publiusr
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

It doesn't work--unregulated.
Again: http://www.policymic.com/articles/22...private-sector

In terms of innovation, the private sector is not suited to long term projects. This is because corporations are based on quarterly reporting. If a project takes 20 years to complete, or even just to show some progress, that project is less likely to receive continual funding.

You can't do long term space exploration on for-profit means alone or folks will run just like they did from the Air Taxi idea--not because it was a bad idea necessarily. F-35 might wind up being a pretty good fighter. Venture vultures are drawn to computers because computer companies have less up-front costs than aviation. This serves as a brain drain to the point that we have profits without products.

Some things are more important than mere ferengi profit motive. Spaceflight is to be compared with the eradication of polio--it is the right thing to do--profits be damned.
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Old October 7 2012, 10:38 PM   #205
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
Guess you haven't heard of Airbus. Or this:
http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-o.../shipbuilding/

The heavy investment costs associated with shipbuilding and its role as an industrial flagship industry in China, Korea and Japan have made the shipbuilding sector an attractive target for government subsidy. Japan used shipbuilding in the 1950s and 1960s to rebuild its industrial structure; Korea made shipbuilding a strategic industry for its economic development in the 1970s. China's shipbuilding sector has enjoyed strong government support since the take-off of its industry at the end of the 1990s.

http://netherlands.westfalia-separat...88b5920b6.html

You have to have what many call 'pork' to keep things propped up until times get better. That worked for China quite well.
Note that Japan lost out to Korea, which had cheaper labor, and Korea lost out to China, which had even cheaper labor. Eventually China will probably lose out to India, and then India will lose out to someplace like Nigeria. Do you really want the government to subsidize welding hulls together out of cheap steel? If any of these countries really made a lot of money welding ships together, the government wouldn't have to subsidize it because the industry would be profitable, and thus attract private investment. Large transport ships, being inherently mobile, will always be built in the country with the lowest production costs, and the cost of a ship is just steel and semi-skilled labor. Breaking up a ship doesn't even depend on cheap steel, just ultra-cheap labor, so India has already beaten China in that market.

Let's say Musk put everyone out of business, wrecked NASA like some of you seem to want--then goes under. The damage has been done, the in-house capability lost, and America loses space infrastructure. Time to turn talk radio off, and to treat Ayn Rand as nothing but a fiction writer, folks.
What in-house cabability would we lose? NASA can't even put a man in orbit. If Musk puts everyone out of the launch business, guess what? He's established a monopoly. Guess what else? He's established it by providing launch services so cheaply that no one in the industry could possibly compete with him, not even in a niche. To maintain his monopoly he has to keep launch costs below what competitors could manage, otherwise venture capitalists would just create a new company, hire away a bunch of his employees, and beat him.


gturner wrote: View Post

Since the Shuttle is dead, I don't think it would be replicated for use in parallel with an existing HLLV because the large payload bay (a huge driver of the Shuttle's design) would be redundant.
Oh, I'm not calling for that now--that was what STS should have been to start with. That way, ISS would have been launched with larger Polyus type modules and finished more easily. Buran, unlike the shuttle's hypergolic OMS pods, carried kerosene, and might even have been modified to have landing jets, as the analogue did. This means it could have done more in space. It had a 30 tons interior payload.

I think spaceflight would have been much farther along in that station construction would have been shorter, allow more actual science on ISS than construction using fewer, larger modules to hurry things along. Then separate modules could have had, say, space manufacturing. Then the orbiter would drop off a 30 ton ATV type craft at one end, and retrieve a 30 ton craft at the other end with finished goods. A separate, more roomy one piece free flyer would allow human studies without all the pedaling throwing off crystal growth in another. The craft could still dock in any emergency. That is where the Energiya's modularity could have gotten space operations up and running.
But none of that happened because the Shuttle was a government program. The operating costs were due to its extremely high labor rrequirements, and their funding was dependent on that very inefficiency and the ability to use their government status to lock everyone else out of the space services business - indefinitely. This situation only changed because their vehicle kept exploding due to its many design flaws.
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Old October 7 2012, 10:54 PM   #206
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
It doesn't work--unregulated.
Again: http://www.policymic.com/articles/22...private-sector

In terms of innovation, the private sector is not suited to long term projects. This is because corporations are based on quarterly reporting. If a project takes 20 years to complete, or even just to show some progress, that project is less likely to receive continual funding.


Sorry, but corporations aren't based on quarterly reporting. That shows such a staggering lack of basic business knowledge that it boggles the mind. SpaceX has yet to file a quarterly report. It might not ever file one. Most corporations don't.

Some things are more important than mere ferengi profit motive. Spaceflight is to be compared with the eradication of polio--it is the right thing to do--profits be damned.
The eradication of polio came to a grinding halt when we exposed the details of our Bin Laden raid. Maybe one day we'll be able to restart it, perhaps in a decade or two. So yeah, if the long-term goal depends on the common sense of politicians, instead of their vanity and short-term desire for a bounce in the polls, space is screwed.
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Old October 8 2012, 01:01 AM   #207
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
It doesn't work--unregulated.
Again: http://www.policymic.com/articles/22...private-sector

In terms of innovation, the private sector is not suited to long term projects.
You just don't get it. I'm not saying that the government should just let the private sector do everything. I'm saying to let the private sector sell services to the government. The most efficient company gets the contract, the government saves money and accomplishes it's goal, everybody wins. When NASA is involved in telling how to build and run a system all you get is cost over runs and power point spaceships.
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Old October 8 2012, 06:58 PM   #208
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

gturner wrote: View Post
They key to making the very light jet model work is to cut the costs of having a pilot by not even paying them, and the best and largest untapped forcable labor supply for that is our prisons. Training convicts to fly planes shouldn't be all that hard (they all want to escape anyway), so I'm thinking of floating an IPO called "JetCon."
Interestingly, I had the very same thought about colonization of the moon. Seems to me the key problem with permanent human habitation is the need to transport your base personnel back to Earth every couple of years so they won't atrophy to the point of never being able to return. If you send up convicts, you don't have that problem; nobody WANTS them to return, and if you allow the convicts to homestead and work semi-autonomously you've got a nice Botany Bay thing going for you. The only real issue is covering up the fact that ALOT of those people are going to die up there... but then, the lack of media coverage relating to space travel, combined with the lack of media coverage relating to the prison systems, pretty much means you could suffer 90% casualty rate and nobody would notice.

But more seriously, the key advantage of the private sector is that bad or inefficient ideas get weeded out much more quickly and efficiently than they would in a public funded bureaucracy, and when they don't get weeded out quickly the firm starts bleeding money until everyone realizes what a bad idea it is.
That's the biggest argument against Heavy Lift I've ever seen. After all, any given HLV with specs like the SLS is going to be hemorrhaging money from the day it goes operational; it will never be profitable, or anywhere CLOSE to profitable, and will in fact turn into a multi-billion dollar status symbol for an agency that struggles to prove that it is still relevant in the age of commercial spaceflight. Private payloads will NEVER fly on the SLS as long as cheaper alternatives exist, and the supposed advantage of the larger payload capacity and higher shroud diameter is completely blown away by the vastly higher launch costs and restrictive flight schedule.
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Old October 8 2012, 07:27 PM   #209
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
You have to have what many call 'pork' to keep things propped up until times get better.
Pork is when you spend money on things nobody wants or needs to score political points with the locals. When you subsidize things you need when private industry can't or won't, that's considered to be an INVESTMENT.

So when you spend billions of dollars on a rocket you don't need, that's PORK.
When you spend half a billion dollars on a rocket you DO need, that's an INVESTMENT.

Now let us suppose that we could put all NASA centers in Florida--not spread everything out like LBJ across the South, esp. Texas. Lay off a bunch of folks and privatize everything.

Then convincing the public to support space becomes harder...
That's the thing about private industry: the public doesn't HAVE to support it. A sound business model is a sound business model and doesn't bend in the political winds.

Now that I have to question that. The problem with the tanker fiasco is that you had someone in Druyen's case who was batting for the company--Boeing. The F-35 fiasco is what happens when you don't have proper gov't oversight of a company (LockMart).
Quite the opposite, actually: the F-35 and systems like it are what happens when some politician says "We need a plane that can do X, Y, and Z. Let's find someone who wants to build one."

The private industry model is "We have developed a plane that can do X, Y, and Z. Let's find someone who wants to buy one."

It's a different approach to reaching the same goal. The difference is, private industry has an incentive to provide the best capabilities for minimal price and they don't need to attach a bunch of bells and whistles "Just because we can." Government has no such incentive; a 130 ton payload sounds like a really awesome idea in and of itself, and hell it's just taxpayer money, might as well build it.


But this whole discussion, I just realized, has now become academic. SpaceX has begun regular cargo flights to the ISS and is well on the way to development of a manned spacecraft. They have effectively proven you wrong already, and the most you can do now is keep shifting the goalposts on an ever-dwindling list of things you don't think private industry can do.
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Old October 9 2012, 12:27 AM   #210
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

sojourner wrote: View Post

When NASA is involved in telling how to build and run a system all you get is cost over runs and power point spaceships.
The contractor isn't supposed to tell the buyer what he needs.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post


But more seriously, the key advantage of the private sector is that bad or inefficient ideas get weeded out much more quickly and efficiently than they would in a public funded bureaucracy, and when they don't get weeded out quickly the firm starts bleeding money until everyone realizes what a bad idea it is.
That's the biggest argument against Heavy Lift I've ever seen. After all, any given HLV with specs like the SLS is going to be hemorrhaging money.
That is true with any space endeavor at first. Musk operated at a loss, and did so because profits were not his only goal--to defend him for a bit--but Apollos success is the biggest arguement for SLS in that it proves HLLVs are good ideas--because it worked

You doubted me when I said Griffin wrote AIAA textbooks--well here I back it up for you
http://www.amazon.com/Vehicle-Design.../dp/1563475391

The AIAA doesn't have fools write textbooks. There were valid engineering reasons Mike fought ULA.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post

Pork is when you spend money on things nobody wants.
Well to say that nobody wants SLS is just not true. ULA knows that NASA didn't want the EELV albatross on their neck, so they put all this anti-HLV nonsense out. The whole depot libration point deal that folks are carping on now was their idea as a way to kill Ares V that would eliminate depots for lunar returns

"Quite the opposite, actually: the F-35 and systems like it are what happens when some politician says 'We need a plane that can do X, Y, and Z. Let's find someone who wants to build one.'

Life cycle costs on F-35 are going to be over a trillion dollars. That's where I would focus on cuts.




newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
But this whole discussion, I just realized, has now become academic. SpaceX has begun regular cargo flights to the ISS and is well on the way to development of a manned spacecraft. They have effectively proven you wrong already, and the most you can do now is keep shifting the goalposts on an ever-dwindling list of things you don't think private industry can do.
Space X's Falcon Heavy isn't needed for just comsats but for BEO use--and is an entry level HLV--and in house--so it isn't just about profits with him.

They still have ULA to worry about--and in the same way they went after Ares Constellation--they are going after Musk. The October 1 2012 issue of Aviation week has a cover story on Dream Chaser with loads of private spaceflight coverage. Sadly, there was a nasty little op-ed piece on page 10 called "FALCON 9 CALLED INTO QUESTION." I believe this was the same guy who also called RS-68 inefficient. He called Falcon aerodynamically unstable--which I don't buy--then fusses about thousands of pounds of unused kerosene due to the engines 2.2 mixture ration when 3.45 would be better. The fuel rich mixture allows for cheap engines.

Then too, how often have jets dumped even more for landings? I think the writer Dale L. Jensen is probably a ULA man were I to hazard a guess. I remember a lot of his op-eds against Ares V. Now it seems Space X is the new target.
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