What impact will the economy have on space? 2.08

11 Comments

  • time_miner says:

    CONGRATULATIONS on the 1 year Anniversary!

    Although our world faces extremely difficult economic times, I am optimistic that the human desire (and necessity) to venture into space will continue to spur innovation and progress. Perhaps, as we cut out the waste, this “crisis” will propel our advances further and faster! Our civilization is going through the growing pains of a new millennium. Almost overnight we have become aware of the truly sensitive nature of our world. We see the fragility of a global economy, the delicate balance of our environment, and the potential hostility of humanity. Never before have we understood so much and the need to explore been so great. It’s true we face a global economic crises, but economics is a matter of supply and demand. The human spirit provides the demand, and we will re-engineer the supply to meet that demand. It is a new age, the information age, and information is FREE for all. We have merely scratched the surface of our space fairing potential. The space economy is booming, and I want a piece!!

    Happy Birthday Spacevidcast.com….and many more!!

  • usko says:

    Hey all,
    happy 1st birthday to SVC.

    did you guys know that SpaceVidcast was in the examiner on the 6th?

    link
    http://www.examiner.com/x-504-Space-News-Examiner~y2009m3d6-Spacevidcast-first-year-celebration-lst-50-honoree#comments

  • Rick Boozer says:

    I accidentally posted the following in the Kepler blog when I meant to put it in this one. Because I have so little time, goof ups like that happen!

    I’m sorry to say that my research into the variability of quasars is taking up too much of my time to allow me to continue addressing the ideas posted on this blog. I’m going to be too occupied with relativistic physics and quantum mechanics for me to take the hours I sometimes take in formulating my posts to this blog. I leave Robert to express the opinions of the NewSpace community, because if you look back at previous posts (though, yes Ben, he and I have had some disagreements on minor points), on the main points we agree. But I’m also going to leave you with a few other points to chew over.

    Go to the SpaceX website and you will see that there is no red ink on their balance sheet. In fact they are way into the black from already purchased launches on Falcon I and Falcon 9 that have not occurred yet! The orders are still pouring in because their launch prices are cheaper than anyone else’s! Elon, has more money than he needs to continue operating SpaceX, developing new hardware and building it. That goes for both now and well into the future.

    The shortage of money means that Ares I is more likely to be cancelled because of the many billions yet needed. Also, even with the new vibration dampers, shaking of Ares I will be so bad during launch that NASA is moving many controls on the Orion spacecraft (that the astronauts would have had to strain to reach) much closer to the astronauts because they are afraid that the shaking would be so bad that it would keep them from using the controls! http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2009/02/nasa-kicks-off-orion-cev-cockp.html
    You don’t have as bad of a vibration problem on a liquid fueled rocket because the harmonic vibrations stay at the same frequency throughout the flight since the combustion chamber of a liquid fueled rocket stays the same size. The combustion chamber of a solid fueled rocket gets bigger as the fuel is burned, leading to constantly changing vibration frequency harmonics that cannot be fully compensated for. I’m not joking when I say that if Ares I ever launches, I hope there isn’t a large number of astronaut hernias! The Shuttle had no serious vibration issues from the solids because the enormous mass of the external fuel tank and orbiter was an extremely effective vibration damper.

    My generation grew up seeing the mighty Saturn V. It was an AWESOME thing and so many younger people now feel slighted! But the romance and ground shaking launches from a BMFR (Big M___ F___ Rocket) is not a good enough reason to waste billions in the worst economy since the Great Depression when there are cheaper alternatives. In fact, I think there is nothing that could increase the possibility of the cancellation of Constellation faster than the continuation of Ares V!

    Congratulations on your first year. BTW, March 6 was my birthday! Also the birthday of Michelangelo!

    • I think fundamentally we disagree as I don’t think it is just technology but politics, jobs, politics, economy, politics, egos and politics. In my opinion the technology is just a problem to be solved. Given, sometimes a very complex and hard problem that can take a lot of time and money leading to budget overruns and slips in the timeline, but fixable nonetheless. The politics on the other hand… Well, they are a lot more complex with hidden factors that we can’t always see. There are a ton of people working on Constellation and with the Space Shuttle shutting down, most people having never HEARD of SpaceX before I think a vocal group of Americans will demand that we keep up with Space Race 2.0. Not a majority per say, but a loud and very vocal group. The rest just fall in line. Keep in mind, we know names like SpaceX because we are in the thick of it. I could walk outside with my Mino camera, ask 10 people who SpaceX is and what they do and I bet nearly all of them would get it wrong. Rinse and repeat for XCOR, Armadillo and possibly Virgin Galactic.

      According to my guys on the inside, while SpaceX is not bleeding money they are also not as well off as you make them. A couple bad steps and that could spell disaster for this young company. This was before the $1.6 billion that NASA awarded SpaceX and I have not yet heard what impact that will have. Obviously a big one, so my data is out of date. I heard that the hard cost for a SpaceX Falcon 1 launch is $7MM. That is insane crazy low compared to other vehicles, so with $1.6 Billion in their pocket they can now afford to screw up a bit more. This is assuming the numbers I got were accurate and I have no idea how much the Falcon 9 development is costing them.

      I’m not for or against NASA. I am for private space though, but I think right now NASA needs private space and private space needs NASA. I just think there are a TON of factors that will make these projects flourish or die, few of which are based on who is the better company, who has a better vehicle and who will do it first. It comes down to money, marketing and politics. And for that reason I think Ares I, Ares V and Orion will all fly. Too many egos on the line to let it fail at this point. I also worry about private space. I want them to succeed because frankly that’s the only way us mere mortals will ever make it to space. But I worry.

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Had I known we would have said something in the show! By the way, I was getting to the idea that you and I would get in to a huge debate, not you and Robert. We will all be sad to see you go, you have added a great deal to the community and will be missed. I sometimes don’t agree with your assessment of the future, but I do respect that you have done a ton of research, clearly know what the heck you’re talking about, and there is a good chance you’re right. In many if not most cases I hope you are. But at the same time I want my Ares V to kick the pants off your Saturn V (hey, it’s a cool rocket generation ego thing).

      Good luck with your research. Remember to pop on back if you learn anything cool or win any nifty awards. We’ll all throw you an online party of sorts!

  • KaiYves says:

    Congratulations on the anniversary! I agree with you in that both NASA and NewSpace are needed. A lot of people on other sites just support one and flame the other. But I believe in both. Everybody who’s flying into space is in this together.

    • Rick Boozer says:

      Kai,

      I can’t leave without correcting this false impression that many of you have. I too am pro-NASA, I and many others just think they’re going about getting back to the moon in the wrong way. By essentially redoing Apollo (even with capsules and an hulking big booster for God’s sake!), it’s like a pitiful old man trying to relive his glory years while ignoring 40 years of progress.

      This is absolutely the last I am going to say about it. I want NASA to conduct exploration, but not by abusing the American taxpayer.

  • KaiYves says:

    I didn’t say that you were anti-NASA, and I don’t think you are. Some people on other sites are, however, and I was talking about them. I certainly don’t think you “flame” it.

  • DadDog says:

    Congratulations B & C on your one-year anniversary with SpaceVidCast.

    Ben, I think you nailed it on the head when you mentioned above that politics will play a big part in the future of NASA. But while many think the NASA budget may be one of the first places to eliminate in this dramatic economic downturn, there is the point that to many of our representatives and senators NASA means jobs. High tech jobs. The kind of jobs President Obama is trying to save and promote.

    A lot will depend on how imaginative Congress and the Administration will be in budgeting. I believe President Obama is very serious when he says he wants to reduce the national deficit. He is looking at making some serious changes to the current tax code, which many believe is long overdue, and he is looking to make some serious cuts in the budget, too. With the various bailout and stimulus packages already in place, and the President’s promise to fix our health care problems, something is obviously going to have to give.

    I believe (okay, hope) he will succeed in ensuring that NASA will be a survivor, but my fear is it will receive a significantly lower level of funding after the political wrangling and compromising is finally over. They might decide to maintain NASA at minimal or near minimal levels until the economy (i.e. tax revenues) turns around again. We don’t want to lose our talent base entirely.

    Unfortunately, as events are beginning to prove, it appears this economic downturn is so significant that deep cuts will be necessary, and it may be a number of years before NASA returns to what it was in its heyday.

  • chris says:

    watching all your shows from start.what a marathon!

  • MingerOne says:

    watching all your shows from start.what a marathon!

  • MingerOne says:

    watching all your shows from start.what a marathon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.