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RetardedChimpanzee t1_j0ls0ot wrote

Why call out just SpaceX and Blue Origin? Also includes Northrop, Boeing, Lockheed, ULA, and more.


Menirz t1_j0lv8zr wrote

Because classic aerospace isn't flashy to the mainstream public.


GaLaXY_N7 t1_j0lykj4 wrote

Which is funny because Northrop specifically, is mostly responsible (being the main contractor) for engineering the worlds most powerful and technologically advanced telescope. It doesn’t get any more flashy than that.


kairotechnics t1_j0me28v wrote

Hmmm I think you’re forgetting the whole thing where SpaceX lands supersonic skyscrapers from space


GaLaXY_N7 t1_j0mebbx wrote

James Webb to me personally is one of the greatest feats of engineering in the 21st century (thus far). Space X has made strides and innovation in the realm of rocketry, but they’re not the only ones pushing boundaries in the aerospace industry. They just get the most media attention because of Elon.


upyoars t1_j0oeouz wrote

James Webb is amazing but it should have been launched in 2011, I really want the LUVOIR telescope to be out ASAP, it’s going to dwarf James Webb


toodroot t1_j0of13o wrote

JWST's budget overrun delayed the entire astronomy program. So here we are.


SpaceInMyBrain t1_j0nb7hx wrote

>they’re not the only ones pushing boundaries in the aerospace industry.

They've pushed the boundaries far more than anyone else and far ahead of anyone else. They get media attention for that, and that's a big part of why Elon started getting media attention, along with Tesla. A big chunk of his wealth that made him the world's richest person is in SpaceX. Then for the last ~3 years things snowballed. World's richest made him highly visible and also an automatic target for every word he said. Then all his media attention became bigger than the attention SpaceX got. The sequence is different from your statement. (All this precedes the Twitter disaster.


GaLaXY_N7 t1_j0nbsvu wrote

“They’ve pushed the boundaries far more than anyone else, and far ahead of anyone else”. That’s obviously highly debatable from the statement I just listed above. Have they innovated and pushed the field of rocketry forward? Absolutely they have. But to say they’ve pushed the boundaries far more than anyone else, tells me you don’t pay attention all that much to what actually goes on inside the aerospace industry. The Space industry is way more than just Rockets.


SpaceInMyBrain t1_j0o0kvw wrote

>tells me you don’t pay attention all that much to what actually goes on inside the aerospace industry.

Be careful about making judgements based on one paragraph. I've followed aerospace for decades, since Gemini, since the X-15, and since communications satellites made transcontinental communications possible as an exotic occurrence and then more and more commonplace. Saw the first Landsat images and have followed how it and its successors and offshoots have improved the understanding of land use and climate change and eco-disasters. It's impossible to overstate the extent of the changes to the understanding of ecology. Saw the pale blue dot photo when it was made. Watched Hubble launch and followed the details of the mirror misfortune, the deep reasons, not the popular press ones. All along with the spy satellite connection to the mirror. And yes, the magnificent photos and increase of knowledge about galaxy formation and black holes - and the first exoplanets. Well, enough on me paying attention to the broader achievements.

SpaceX didn't just impress me with the rocketry of the reusable Falcon 9 - and landing boosters 150+ times is especially impressive since no one else has done it once. Deploying Starlink is something that's having a tremendous impact in many fields. Setting up a production line that produces thousands of satellites is unprecedented. OneWeb is doing pretty well with hundreds, I haven't ignored others in aerospace. SpaceX developed the Dragon spacecraft, which includes innovations others inside the aerospace industry did not manage - the Starliner has a lot of compromises and not a lot of innovation. The need for 28 thrusters, some from different suppliers, is the opposite of elegant design. Idk if you include spacecraft with rocketry, I'm just demonstrating that I pay more attention to what's going on inside the space industry than you thought.

I say far more than anyone else, and far ahead, because the F9 has been landing 1st stages for 7 years and the next credible competitor will be Rocket Lab with Neutron. If we posit 2025 for its successful landings that puts SpaceX a decade ahead of the rest. (China is hard to guess about, but I'd be surprised at a landing with reuse before 2024.) SpaceX has developed the first flightworthy full-flow staged combustion engine, with an insanely high chamber pressure. The closest anyone has come with a new engine is Blue Origin with BE-4, a partial flow staged combustion engine with a remarkably low chamber pressure. Tbf, it was the proper goal to set themselves for their 1st powerful engine - but it does help contrast the Raptor with the rest of industry. (I separate its success from Starship's because the latter's is far from assured and would be distracting.) (The legacy aerospace companies worked on full flow staged combustion but didn't progress from what were essentially bench top versions.) Yes, this is all about rocketry but I am once again proving I do pay attention to what goes on within the aerospace industry. I'm also aware Skylon is chasing the SSTO dream. Some company is pursuing suppressed-sound supersonic commercial aircraft. All sorts of stuff is going on. The sensitivity and pixel count of sensors for the next space telescopes, and the supporting data storage, etc, increases incredibly year by year.

The deep science JWST will produce and the various impacts of cheap access to LEO and beyond are to an extent apples and oranges. You said "to me personally", and that's fine, you prefer apples. I pay more attention to the oranges of rocketry and human spacecraft, but I'm definitely aware of the rest. At the end of the day, to me personally what SpaceX has done is a sequence of engineering that's the greatest feat of the last 5-7 years.

Edit: OK, maybe I went a little overboard here...


toodroot t1_j0nz6yx wrote

> The Space industry is way more than just Rockets.


Who's the #1 satellite manufacturer by mass?

It's great that you like your employer, but if someone disagrees with you, it's not very polite to tell them that they aren't paying attention.


GaLaXY_N7 t1_j0o6qqq wrote

If you’re taking into account StarLink, probably space x. We’re talking about being innovative though, not the mass production of satellites that give you a better internet connection in rural area’s. That’s not being innovative, Space x’s innovation has come from their rocketry.


toodroot t1_j0oawfx wrote

Mass production isn't an innovation? What happened to that Springfield Rifle assembly line I learned about when I was a child?


GaLaXY_N7 t1_j0ob84s wrote

The idea of mass producing satellites to give people better internet connections in rural areas is not a wild concept my guy. Space-x wasn’t the first to think of that, they just managed to execute it before anyone else because of how much money they have.


toodroot t1_j0oc5or wrote

My guy, Space-x doesn't exist. SpaceX never claimed to be the first to think of it: Iridium and Globalstar are the pioneers who went bankrupt with a ton of arrows in their backs. SpaceX launched IridiumNEXT. Iridium was happy that they had the first satellite assembly line. Then OneWeb Airbus built a bigger one, now SpaceX has the biggest. In short, it's a history of rapid innovation.


Hershieboy t1_j0nevo1 wrote

So what you're saying is Space X has amazing engineers and they're really good. Elon has little to do with their progress. He doesn't actually know how to make rockets fly or how cars work. He's only this wealthy because of carbon credits, government contracts, and an apartheid Era emerald mine. Stop giving Elon credit. It's the staff that puts up with all his ego that should be getting the credit.


MyaheeMyastone t1_j0nvl4m wrote

Yeah but their engineers have come out and said that Elon was essential to the production process? I really don’t get why people don’t just give proper credit where it’s due. The guy may not be manufacturing rockets himself, but if the engineers of Space X say that he has an essential role in the process, I believe them


Hershieboy t1_j0qzhgy wrote

I mean yeah capital is essential, securing deals for government funding was essential, it's why he appeared liberal during the Obama administration.


dilletaunty t1_j0nz26e wrote

You believe employees praising their (volatile and petty) employer?


MyaheeMyastone t1_j0o09fn wrote

I mean they’ve gone out of their way to do it when they could have said nothing?


toodroot t1_j0o1f1k wrote

One of the employees with a very positive opinion is retired.


Hershieboy t1_j0qzkvz wrote

Exactly, he has no problem firing people who say anything different from himself.


SpaceInMyBrain t1_j0nu6dy wrote

Where in what I wrote did I say whether Elon deserved a small, medium, large, or minuscule amount of credit? I simply reviewed the sequence of how he became prominent, with no reference to the issues you bring up. You'll note I gave the sequence as "they (SpaceX)" got media attention for advanced rocketry and that added to why Elon got more media attention.


BeerPoweredNonsense t1_j0pim97 wrote

>an apartheid Era emerald mine

The emerald mine is a Reddit favorite, but if you dig into it there's very little to prove it ever existed e.g. Snopes could not find anything.


Hershieboy t1_j0psecm wrote I mean you have to use the way back machine due to scrubbing. But he claims to have full knowledge of the mine. It's almost like the man what's to write his own history to make himself more palatable to the public.


BeerPoweredNonsense t1_j0q3age wrote

He "claims" his dad had a mine.

That's the thing about this story - it's just a couple of "claims" in interviews, from either Elon Musk - a man who is, ahem, known for making outlandish claims. Or else an interview with his dad, a man who's busy fucking his own step-daughter and getting her pregnant. Unless someone can actually show me the name and location of the mine - which shouldn't be that difficult, mines are not exactly easy to hide - I'll remain dubious.


Hershieboy t1_j0qza7r wrote

So why believe anything he says? I just know the Panama papers showed all kinds of ways the wealthy hide their money and shelter themselves from taxes. I'm willing to bet it was hidden to fit his narrative of being self-made. It's well within a reasonable doubt that he'd hide evidence of it. So I'm also very dubious.


[deleted] t1_j0mkyph wrote



GaLaXY_N7 t1_j0mlbdu wrote

Again, I think space-x does good stuff with respect to rocketry, they’re innovative on that forefront. But, they’re the not the only players in the game that are innovating. As someone who works for Northrop Grumman, I can ensure that from experience. Especially within the business sector I currently work in.


[deleted] t1_j0mm06b wrote



GaLaXY_N7 t1_j0mmjix wrote

I’m not underselling their innovative success, I’m saying a lot of the attention the company brings to themselves is because of Elon. He’s the richest man in the world, and currently a huge figure head. Companies like Northrop, Boeing, etc don’t get 10x the publicity that space-x does. A lot of that is because of Elon. How many people actually know that Northrop built JWST? Most people would tell you it was NASA.


rdrast t1_j0nhbnj wrote

Don't forget SpaceX global point to point travel! Coming in 2017, er, 2019, er, 2021, er, wait, no more government billions pouring in to the non-existent program?

Stop advertising it!


toodroot t1_j0ng4au wrote

Even better, Northrop acquired Orbital, which was the first New Space launcher company (with the air-launched Pegasus). Northrop also operates Antares/Cygnus, which is proof that NASA's Commercial Resupply program actually worked: on budget, and having redundancy.


RetardedChimpanzee t1_j0niguz wrote

Except for Cygnus now launching on Falcon 9. Though it does mean it will complete the trifecta of Antares, Atlas V, and Falcon 9.


toodroot t1_j0nkjie wrote

For 3 launches, yes. Cygnus and Dragon Cargo are still redundant systems, during this short period of time.


ondono t1_j0mp8g5 wrote

But they don’t have the flashy Spacex marketing with everyone celebrating two boosters landing in parallel, and the video cutting before people realize it’s just a marketing stunt that saved 0 dollars.


-Darkmyth_ t1_j0mrbra wrote

Can you explain how reusing rockets rather than just tossing them in an ocean is "just a marketing stunt"? Not only is it more sustainable, less wasteful it also saves money and reduces turn around time for launches.


ondono t1_j0mryz4 wrote

> Can you explain how reusing rockets rather than just tossing them in an ocean is “just a marketing stunt”?

Simple, if refurbishing those boosters costs more than new boosters, recovering them is just a cool stunt.

EDIT: Don’t worry about the downvotes, I’m totally aware that being even remotely critical of Elon Musk gets you downvoted to hell on this sub.


-Darkmyth_ t1_j0n3ojs wrote

But it doesn't cost more, so it's not a stunt.


trollmylove t1_j0n060a wrote

We're talking about SpaceX not the shuttle ;)


ondono t1_j0n0ten wrote

And yet we haven’t seen real evidence that they aren’t tripping on the same rock


toodroot t1_j0n3ykv wrote

I see you're working your way down the usual list of talking points.


Allnamestaken69 t1_j0nyidf wrote

You can’t be this delusional? It’s one thing to dislike a man but to rewrite reality to the point that you discredit SpaceX achievements in this way is hilarious.


Adeldor t1_j0mvujp wrote

> ... it’s just a marketing stunt that saved 0 dollars.

According to Musk, the marginal cost of launching a used Falcon 9 (ie, used booster and fairings) is around $15 million. Apparently, refurbishing the booster costs just $250,000. Based on these numbers, there's no longer any reasonable argument saying reuse is not cost effective.


ondono t1_j0mywwo wrote

According to Musk we all have tesla robotaxis that pay themselves and crewed missions to mars launch in less than 2 years.

Curiously, if you average what SpaceX charges in government + commercial launches, you get a number that’s a bit higher than the rest of it’s competitors. Almost as if certain claims of price dumping hold water!


Adeldor t1_j0n4el1 wrote

Can you provide a credible reference for your assertion that reuse saves SpaceX 0 dollars?


krackastix t1_j0n3r4n wrote

You are ignorant, spacex isnt theranos lmao


ondono t1_j0ndjqm wrote

I didn’t said they’re Theranos, I said SpaceX to this day isn’t saving any costs on reusable boosters, and it’s price reduction is suspiciously consistent with price dumping (charging NASA up to 4x the rated price, and using that money to subsidize their commercial launches).

This wouldn’t be even be a first for SpaceX, that used NASAs money to buy SolarCity’s “Solar Bonds”, and then got their money back when Tesla acquired SolarCity.


krackastix t1_j0nghxx wrote

Either way that makes zero mathmatical sense considering what they charge nasa and private companies per lb per launch.


ondono t1_j0orsaw wrote

NASA pays way more than the stated rate, in some cases ridiculously more.

Just look up the deals and do the numbers.


toodroot t1_j0os1t6 wrote

They do not, and it would be illegal if they did. NASA and Space Force require additional mission assurance paperwork, which SpaceX charges extra for. Sometimes they buy an extended fairing, which costs extra. But you can point to some cases, like Europa Clipper, where the contract amount is quite close to SpaceX's announced commercial price.

Halo+PPE was a lot more, but it it requires an extended fairing.

Also, check out IXPE.


ondono t1_j0os5mw wrote

Those are some amazing fairings if they increase the cost by more than 50%!


toodroot t1_j0osdof wrote

Development is expensive, and no doubt NASA wants a lot of oversight for a new piece of hardware.


toodroot t1_j0nf3be wrote

Still going down the usual list of talking points, I see.

Edit: spelling


toodroot t1_j0nddh8 wrote

> Curiously, if you average what SpaceX charges in government + commercial launches, you get a number that’s a bit higher than the rest of it’s [sic] competitors.

This is actually known to be false.


routerg0d t1_j0nuycz wrote

Ahh you mean the ones who Hoover taxpayer dollars and are never on time nor budget.


Rapsca t1_j0q7cxd wrote

When was Blue Orgin ever on time or on budget? How's that BE-4 coming along? SpaceX also rarely is on time and has taken billions of taxpayer dollars. The bigs are garbage but SpaceX and Blue Orgin aren't perfect.


diablosinmusica t1_j0n7qmm wrote

Because the cargo haulers have very good PR firms and the others focus on innovation.


Lego_Eagle t1_j0lwyo6 wrote

Apparently this is a hot take, but SpaceX execs are a good pick for the US space council. They’re are arguably the most advanced rocket manufacturer in the world, and put the country back into manned Spaceflight.

As much as people hate the company’s CEO, their technical achievements are impressive, and would be of great value to the council.


anon0937 t1_j0mm0ic wrote

People hate Gwynne Shotwell??? Since when?

Edit: My bad, she's COO and president. Too many titles floating around.


toodroot t1_j0n4avu wrote

Here you go, an attack on her from later in this discussion:

> And yet Shotwell sounds completely unaware of the basics of space in every public appearance.


jivatman t1_j0ndodr wrote

Weird stuff. Bezos actually put in huge effort to poach her for Blue Origin while he hangs out on his superyacht.. Wonder what that says about his space knowledge.


toodroot t1_j0nfoa6 wrote

Bezos has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science. He probably knows enough to do what he's doing with Blue Origin -- he hired Rob Meyerson to lead Blue Origin in 2003, 3 years after founding it.


swords-and-boreds t1_j0nk2gu wrote

What do those have to do with aeronautics? Bezos has no formal training in rocketry. He’s about as qualified as I am with my computer engineering undergrad degree.


Soupjoe5 OP t1_j0ll8d1 wrote


Executives from SpaceX and Blue Origin LLC were among the business, academic and non-profit leaders Vice President Kamala Harris named to serve on a National Space Council advisory group.

Harris said Friday that SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell, Blue Origin Chief Executive Officer Robert Smith and Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security were selected for the council’s Users Advisory Group, pending their official appointment by National Aeronautics and Space Administration chief, Bill Nelson.

The group will provide advice and recommendations to the National Space Council, which seeks to encourage government and private-sector cooperation to boost the nation’s space industry. The advisers are intended to ensure that the interests of industry and other non-government stakeholders have a voice on the council.

CEOs Jim Taiclet of Lockheed Martin Corp., Kathy Warden of Northrop Grumman Corp. and Salvatore Bruno of United Launch Alliance LLC will also be on the advisory panel, along with Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology at Amazon Project Kuiper, Daniel Hastings, who heads the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Women in Aerospace Chairwoman Bridget Chatman.

President Joe Biden tasked the vice president with chairing the National Space Council last year.


Aleyla t1_j0lq0hm wrote

Glad to see biden didn’t try and leave SpaceX out of it.


Aizseeker t1_j0lt11f wrote

Does Biden never mention them often?


jivatman t1_j0lunfb wrote

He's referring to Tesla, for a long time Biden sorta pretended they didn't exist and conspicuously failed to mention them when while mentioning Ford, GM and other companies making electric cars.

Can't really do that with SpaceX though as they bring Astronauts and Cargo to the ISS and are making the lunar lander, and Starlink is important for Ukraine.


frodosbitch t1_j0lzdkr wrote

What has Blue Origin done except take tourists on sub orbital hops?


ausnee t1_j0n7fxe wrote

They've made the BE-4s that power ULA's new Vulcan rocket.

My thoughts is that they'll let that fly for a bit to work out the kinks then go fully in on New Glenn afterwards.


CannaCosmonaut t1_j0pwt6q wrote

SpaceX may make it look easy, but designing and building flight-ready full-flow staged combustion cycle engines is no joke. These people need more Tim Dodd in their lives so they can fully appreciate the gravity (pun intended) of that accomplishment.

They also have New Glenn coming up, and as slow as that's going, I bet it will fly sooner or later and have it's place on the market. Orbital Reef is also really exciting, if for no other reason than the fact that a lot of young and talented engineers will get to cut their teeth on those projects and take that invaluable experience to bigger and more advanced structures.


littlebitsofspider t1_j0mg194 wrote

Filed a bunch of legal nonsense so they'll be included. It's the "my dad will sue you" approach.


A_Vandalay t1_j0n5fk1 wrote

As of now nothing, but They are working on a number of high profile contracts for both launch and in space operations for the government and private industry. In essence they are the closest thing to a competitor that SpaceX has (in terms of future potentate) as such they get included as the honorary second place. And to be perfectly honest I’m not even sure that’s wrong. In terms of existing completion SpaceX has ULA but they have shown little willingness to innovate from a tried and true method. The Vulcan is barley competitive with falcon 9, let alone starship. Likewise rocketlab is currently developing a rocket that might be superior to falcon in some metrics but likely won’t be competitive against starship. Relativity space has the same problem but is in a worse position as they haven’t launched once. So if you were looking to make an inclusive panel of representatives from various space launch companies who would you pick


toodroot t1_j0ngdv6 wrote

> ULA but they have shown little willingness to innovate from a tried and true method.

ACES and on-orbit refueling is an awesome concept, too bad NASA has shown very little interest in it.


A_Vandalay t1_j0nxed7 wrote

They have long since abandoned ACES in favor of incremental upgrades to centaur such as improved performance and on orbit lifetime. These are primarily geared towards national security payloads and don’t really offer much in the way of revolutionary change.


vibrunazo t1_j0n87gp wrote

They won key contracts with NASA. They're already an important part of CLD and KSC. So it makes sense their input is taken into account when discussing these.

Whether they'll deliver and make good use of those is another story..


SpaceInMyBrain t1_j0nbu9x wrote

An interesting non-executive will also be part of the panel, Sian Proctor. She was part of the Inspiration4 mission, the first fully private orbital mission. She brings a needed perspective of commercial space and the use of it by private individuals and non-traditional users.


Almatsliah t1_j0mmrha wrote

I read it is 'trapped', I was what? How? Did they get stuck in a spaceship?

I need to get some sleep.


SeaAndSkyForever t1_j0nx0vu wrote

I wonder if RocketLab will join those ranks when Neutron proves successful...


ondono t1_j0ms5eq wrote

If that doesn’t scream regulatory capture to you, nothing else will.


0belvedere t1_j0mx9k8 wrote

You mean this part? >The group will provide advice and recommendations to the National Space Council, which seeks to encourage government and private-sector cooperation to boost the nation’s space industry. The advisers are intended to ensure that the interests of industry and other non-government stakeholders have a voice on the council.


ausnee t1_j0n7srj wrote

Good point, you should be the one on the council instead.


ondono t1_j0ncwqm wrote

I’m not even American, so probably no.

But when you only pick people from select companies, and leave other well known competitors out of it, something tells me those companies will get the short end of the stick when it comes to new regulations.


ausnee t1_j0nd8vp wrote

Which well known competitor do you think was left out?


I_Heart_Astronomy t1_j0mxnvl wrote

Awesome! So glad to have private industry who have a vested economic interest in turning Earth orbit into the equivalent of the Vegas Strip, on the US Space Council.


[deleted] t1_j0mie4x wrote



toodroot t1_j0n21jb wrote

No need to bring up that former guy, but no, this advisory committee did exist in the previous administration, and John Cena and Ted Nugent were not members.


Hickersonia t1_j0lsdzj wrote

So the council is a bunch of people who know more about making money than they probably do about space, right?


Morsigil t1_j0mf2th wrote

These are the people all the experts in space travel report to, so theoretically they should have knowledge of their companies capabilities and limits and they are also able to access and leverage those experts most easily. That is my assumption on these decisions.


ondono t1_j0msiwb wrote

> These are the people all the experts in space travel report to

And yet Shotwell sounds completely unaware of the basics of space in every public appearance.


toodroot t1_j0n1x7e wrote

I've seen her speak at Stanford -- a recruiting talk, basically -- and she sounded totally in command of the necessary aerospace engineering and space science to me.


seanflyon t1_j0nrlac wrote

Can you give an example of something she doesn't seem to understand, other than how to make a $400 million dollar rocket?


ondono t1_j0ore6g wrote

Sure, passenger earth to earth travel with rockets makes no sense.

No matter how good your tech, a rocket is still a small capsule on top of an explosion. There are hard limits to your reliability, and a full explosion is always in the cards.


seanflyon t1_j0os7bs wrote

Your own failure to understand is not a mark against Shotwell. It is incredibly obvious that there is not a "hard limit" on rocket reliability, unless by "hard limit" you are talking about asymptotically approaching 100%. Difficult problems are difficult, but that does not make them impossible. People said the same thing about air travel. People said the same thing about speedy ground travel.

When you have an idea that makes sense intuitively, try to think about it rationally and see if it makes sense logically as well.


[deleted] t1_j0ot3b3 wrote



[deleted] t1_j0qwzzx wrote



[deleted] t1_j0rw8eg wrote



glorylyfe t1_j0ss3s8 wrote

An unstable system balanced at local energy maxima could be used to describe any unstable system, like a fighter jet, which is aerodynamically unstable because it gains a lot of maneuverability by being in that regime.

Rockets are stabilized by throttling and vectoring their engines. Not very different from fighter planes that use flaps to steer and stay on course.

If you are imagining that rockets are somehow uniquely close to being blown up as opposed to all other human endeavours you are both right in wrong. They are close to blowing up, maybe closer than anything else we have done yet. But wouldn't say they are so dangerous that the idea they could be done safely should be written off


jivatman t1_j0ne5ax wrote

What does that say about Bezos who put in enormous effort to poach her for Blue Origin?


ondono t1_j0oru95 wrote

That in the space business is more important who you know that what you know?


nsfwtttt t1_j0mgqow wrote

They know how to make space stuff happen. That’s what the gov’t needs. Harris doesn’t need to know how rockets works, she needs to know how to strategize.