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Clawsickle t1_j1sbodg wrote

You wonder how Musk got rich, he got billions for this mystery craft.


darkwalrus25 t1_j1sdbdd wrote

Northrop Grumman designed and built the satellite and purchased and tested the payload adapter (that was the likely point of failure) and charged the billions of dollars. All SpaceX did was launch it, and they claim the rocket performed how it should have.


2wheels30 t1_j1sd4ij wrote

Most of his wealth came from ownership in Tesla and the massive rise in share price, not from a lost SpaceX satellite. Now he did utilize a ton of government grant money and government backed loans (ultimately forgiven) to get Tesla off the ground, and you could say that his manipulation of the market around Tesla (and other things) was wrong, but this satellite is small potatoes.


noncongruent t1_j1spryo wrote

> government backed loans (ultimately forgiven)

Minor correction, those loans weren't forgiven, they were paid back a decade early, with a prepayment penalty:

Tesla wasn't the only company to get loans from the DOE program created by Bush intended to help kick start certain technologies in this country.


2wheels30 t1_j1sqawx wrote

My bad, I thought some of the title 17 loans were forgiven. I'm happy for any group that is eligible to use them. Rather that money go towards clean(er) tech than our inflated defense budget.


Shawnj2 t1_j1tc4z4 wrote

Elon actually provided the launch for a reasonably good price. If you went to any other launch provider, you would have gotten a quote over 2x the price of a SpaceX launch. SpaceX has its flaws, like poor working hours, but the price to put things in orbit has gone down massively because of them, not the other way around. It’s the least bad of Elon’s companies by a long shot.


Mmmblop69420 t1_j1tzye3 wrote

If I can play devils advocate, because I fucking love space and our 13.8Byo collective history lesson, buuuuut: when you say "least bad," that comes with the assumption that putting stuff in orbit for cheaps is a net-good thing.

Is it?


Shawnj2 t1_j1uzp9d wrote

Mostly. There are some downsides, like I increased emissions from more launches, a risk of Kessler syndrome happening (this is mostly overblown unless two satellites hit each other and even then that will just increase the price temporarily as less LEO orbits are available) but IMO things like Starlink/swarm are a net benefit for humanity (while Musk isn’t being a jackass and trying to stop Ukrainian people from using it) because it’s incredibly useful to people in rural areas who would otherwise never have good internet, and there’s other benefits like being able to restock the ISS/send new crew/send new scientific missions into space for cheaper, which means NASA and other space agencies can stretch their thin budgets a bit more. The biggest real downside is probably increased carbon emissions from more launches, which sucks but rockets are also an incredibly tiny contributor to global warming and the physics involved make it difficult to use non fossil fuel sources other than hydrogen produced from electrolysis, and also to a lesser extent mad astronomers since more satellites = less of the night sky being visible and more artificial star looking things they need to filter out.


Mmmblop69420 t1_j1wmuvx wrote

I agree with every point you make. They are logistical efficiencies. I guess my question was leaning more into why we need and want space colonialism to be cheap.

The star point for instance, where everyone in the world can eventually have cheap access to internet. Isn't that also giving data mining access to more low cost resources? I hate to be pessimistic, but I don't love how we're currently utilizing the power of internet.

If we can't handle our shit at home, why should we affordably be able to throw more trash into space? Hasn't the scarcity been somewhat of a blessing until now?

I dunno, thanks for letting me get that off my chest if anything.