By J. Kb

5 thoughts on “Why I’m not a rocket surgeon”
    1. That doesn’t surprise me. After launching his Telsa into space, I’m 100% convinced that Elon Musk created Space X just to find the Loc-Nar.

  1. SpaceX may have been the pioneer in reusable rockets and a bunch of other “It cannot be done” stuff, but I think the second/third companies will be the ones that end up being the biggest players.

    Ten years ago people thought that you could not safely land a rocket’s first stage. Doing so would require the rocket to be so heavy that it would not actually be able to take off. And, Elon Musk said “hold my beer.” Now, thinking that you should just throw the first stage away is considered sort of stupid, and an approach only to be used if you need to maximize payload to orbit.

    Blue Origin’s BE-4 Engine is looking to be significantly more powerful, but just as reliable as the Merlin engine SpaceX uses. Given that weight/thrust advantage, I would not be surprised at all if Blue Origin starts point to point services (NY to Tokyo in 40 minutes kind of stuff) years before SpaceX can. And, in reality, that is where the money will be. Do that for the cost of a business class ticket, and Wall Street will fill your seats. (It is well worth the cost to send an exec to the far east for a day, versus 24+ hours of travel time, plus lodging/food, etc…) Musk is focused on Mars, and his mission is to make money in space for that goal. Bezos if focused on making money.

    Interesting times in the space industry people.

    1. I’d argue that NASA and the USAF were actually the pioneers in reusable rocket technology.

      NASA had the space shuttle with reusable solid rocket boosters. And well before that, of course, there was the whole X-plane series. (That *should* have been our path to space, but that’s another discussion…)

      1. I could agree with your statement. And, you are correct. However, the cost to reuse was prohibitively expensive, and it excluded the exact markets that Bezos and Musk are aiming for. Launching the shuttle was around $450M, whereas launching a Falcon 9 is in the $60M range. Granted, there is a difference in payload capacity, but even taking that into account, SpaceX is significantly cheaper. (And, getting cheaper by the day. If they ever perfect the system to reuse the fairing, that can shave an additional $6M of the cost of a launch.)

        I guess I should have clarified my statement with the word economical.

Login or register to comment.