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herrointment
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: groz]
      #6262232 - 12/19/13 04:12 PM

Lobbyists are the portal to power. No scandal there.

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rockethead26
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Starlon]
      #6262348 - 12/19/13 05:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Has anyone seen this video yet? I'm amazed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGimzB5QM1M&feature=player_embedded




Yes, I've watched it a few times. It is basically a take-off on NASA's DC-XA, aka: 'Delta Clipper' Experimental, Advanced edition. See flight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzXcTFfV3Ls

SpaceX arrived upon the scene after our nation's, NASA's, years of blood, sweat and tears blazing the trail and engineering the spacecraft. We built the infrastructure too.

It seems important to understand how Mr Musk arrived at the position he is today. He hired Lobbyists. See: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2012/05/22/spacex-blasts-literally-and-pol...

Excerpted from link:

Quote:

Since its inception in 2002, SpaceX was fuelled by a decade-long, multi-million-dollar political effort to pry funding from a sometimes skeptical Congress. SpaceX has spent more than $4 million lobbying Congress and given more than $800,000 in political contributions, according to data compiled from Sunlight's Influence Explorer. Many of the company's campaign donations went to key members of Congress in charge of the budget for NASA, which has mothballed the space shuttle in favor of commercial rockets for carrying payloads to the space station.

SpaceX's campaign to win political support has been systematic and sophisticated. Elon Musk, a founder of the wildly successful PayPal, does not surface as a political contributor in Influence Explorer records until 2002, the year he founded his commercial rocket company. Since then, he has donated nearly $725,000 to a politically disparate group of politicians. Last year, Musk gave the maximum legally allowed -- $35,800 -- to President Obama's reelection committee. But he also gave $15,000 to the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and $5,000 to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a tea party hero who is much mentioned as a potential vice presidential nominee on the GOP ticket opposing Obama this year. In 2010, Musk gave identical amounts -- $25,900 -- to California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and his unsuccessful Republican opponent, Meg Whitman.





There is more at the link, quite interesting.

But wait, this just from last Friday:
Quote:

"SpaceX Launches Second Lobbying Team"




See: http://blogs.rollcall.com/moneyline/spacex-launches-second-lobbying-team/

Excerpt:

"After 12 launches, and 50 on its manifest, the world’s fastest growing launch services provider has launched a second team of lobbyists to orbit Congress and the federal government.

SpaceX, a private space transport company that manufacturers and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft, has hired the Nickles Group LLC to lobby on general issues related to aerospace, budget, intellectual property, defense, labor, science/technology and tax. The Nickles lobbyists include Cynthia Merifield Tripodi, and Hazen Marshall, former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee, and former deputy chief of staff to then Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles, R-Okla."

Quote:

SpaceX already uses Patton Boggs LLP for lobbying the federal government. They reported paying Patton Boggs $90,000 in the third quarter of 2013. View multi-year lobbying profile. Patton Boggs lobbies on FY 2014 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations; NASA re-authorization; NASA COTS and commercial crew programs; FAA indemnification; and space launch regulatory issues. Patton Boggs lobbyists include former Senators John Breaux, D-La., and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. Also lobbying are Bret Boyles, Norma Krayem, John Flynn, Matthew Cutts, and Alexis Early.






I guess he's played his ace in the hole card. This since he just aced out his competition for the launch pad 39A.

Also, here: http://www.spacenews.com/article/spacex-lobbyist-bitterman-abruptly-resigns-p... ..you can read where Musk gets his expertise, even though some have since walked out on SpaceX.

So - in the end.. I am not amazed at all. It all looks like a big business operation. Elon Musk's rocket shop.

You can see his fees here: http://www.spacex.com/about Look under 'capabilities and services'

But wait! There's more: http://shop.spacex.com/ You can buy a SpaceX coffee mug or a cap.. or T-shirts & more..




Sorry you have such a sour taste in your mouth for all of the private space business going on, but I suggest that you get used to it. It IS the future of space travel, as it should be.


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Jay_Bird
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: rockethead26]
      #6262528 - 12/19/13 07:34 PM

Gee I'm ticked off about how this rocketry is all derivative from Goddard who was funded by Guggenheim and encouraged by Lindbergh. No, wait, it's all derivative from Congreve who helped with 'and the rockets red glare' lyrics. No, wait, from some ingenious Chinese paper-glue-sticks-gunpowder experimenter lost to history. No, no, wait, from the ape in "2001".

I'm also shocked - shocked! - that *private* launch companies like Space-X, Pegasus, Orbital Science, Sea-Launch, Ariannespace, etc., are actually in business to make a profit. Just like the private companies in the NASA golden-age Mercury-Gemini-Apollo-STS supply chain.

Space-X hired some lobbysists to help if get off the ground - literally - and not become a Tucker Motors of space tying to compete with entrenched firms. Those lobbying dollars are peanuts to establisment business as usual: Want to rue lobbying? A news story just ran about pork-barrel politics and lobbying leading to an act by Congress to build 3 more Global Hawk drones at >$200 Million each, after the Air Force grounded about 15 of its Global Hawk fleet because the USAF says that the U-2s that are still flying are much more effective. Protecting constituent jobs won out over actual military needs for the better part of a Billion dollars (many times the Space-X annual budget I'm sure), in this one small example.


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choran
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Reged: 12/28/12

Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: rockethead26]
      #6262757 - 12/19/13 10:28 PM

If the goal is to curb lobbying, the only way to do that is to curtail the power of the federal government to pick winners and losers. That, IMHO, is the real problem.

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Starlon
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Reged: 04/18/06

Loc: desert, USA
Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: rockethead26]
      #6262913 - 12/20/13 12:49 AM

rockethead26 said:

Quote:

Sorry you have such a sour taste in your mouth for all of the private space business going on, but I suggest that you get used to it. It IS the future of space travel, as it should be.




Hey - don't be sorry for me. Those articles aren't by me, I'm just the messenger. I think the private space industry has been around for awhile before Musk. The commsat's and others. But I also think everyone should know how Musk uses lobbyists to twist our governments arm to get his way. I can't say much good about lobbyists - most of which are lawyers.

Someday a company will offer flights to an orbital hotel. Good! And maybe to the Moon. Good again.


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Starlon
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6262938 - 12/20/13 01:22 AM

It was actually - as I stated - the DC-XA. It was the small model of what eventually would be the one stage to orbit vehicle - a much larger version. Also, you didn't mention the reason for the last flight, when it landed but tipped over and burned. Someone.. 'didn't attach the hydraulic line' so that strut didn't extend.

Yes, I do know Musk used different vehicles. It is the idea, in general that is similar. He only uses the theme plus the engineers hired ex NASA people, mostly. And sure, he has his heavy lifters coming along too. But he learned from the Titan IV also.

I don't care about his Texas launching facilities. Only the historic NASA pads, essentially 39A. That was where the Apollo flights launched from - as well as the shuttle & Skylab. It should be preserved for posterity.

Quote:

No, NASA had nothing to do with the work of designing and engineering either the Falcon rockets or the Dragon Spacecraft.


I did not say they did. Only that Musk gleaned a huge amount of test data and engineering data from decades of work that NASA did. If Musk could do what he is doing without NASA's help - he would do so. He can't.

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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Starlon]
      #6262985 - 12/20/13 02:42 AM

Starlon posted:

Quote:

Also, you didn't mention the reason for the last flight, when it landed but tipped over and burned. Someone.. 'didn't attach the hydraulic line' so that strut didn't extend.




Why do I need to mention that? It has nothing to do with the fact that the DCX was designed as a reference test vehicle for single stage to orbit, which is different than the Grasshopper test bed for the reusable version of the 2-stage SpaceX Falcon 9.

Quote:

He only uses the theme plus the engineers hired ex NASA people, mostly




Really? I am certain that there are a number of people who formerly worked for NASA that now work for SpaceX after the shuttle program shut down, but at least in the beginning, I strongly doubt that a lot of them did. I just went through the 15 bios of the Leadership section of SpaceX, and none actually formally worked for NASA. Looks like a lot of people with backgrounds away from NASA work there as well.

Quote:

And sure, he has his heavy lifters coming along too. But he learned from the Titan IV also.




Musk doesn't do the direct designing! He has little to "learn" from the Titan IV (other than that it was very expensive and failed four times). The Titan IV was a completely different launch vehicle that used solid strap-on boosters and a Titan II core (single-engine, twin chamber) that burned toxic hypergolic fuel/oxidizers. The Falcon 9 uses nine engines burning rocket-grade Kerosene (RP-1) for fuel with liquid oxygen oxidizer, and is not designed to use solid boosters. The idea behind the strap-on boosters had been suggested long before the Titan IV. Ever hear of the Soyuz rocket? It first flew in 1966 and uses strap-on liquid boosters. Unlike the Titan IV's solids, the proposed Falcon-heavy uses liquid fueled Falcon 9 side boosters and an extended Falcon 9 liquid-fueled core, somewhat similar to the way the Delta IV Heavy works. Indeed, the Falcon-heavy boosters have a cross-feed propellant system which allow fuel flow from the side boosters to the center core so that the center core retains a significant amount of fuel after the boosters separate. In short, they aren't "stealing" anything. It is a new design, period!

Quote:

I don't care about his Texas launching facilities. Only the historic NASA pads, essentially 39A. That was where the Apollo flights launched from - as well as the shuttle & Skylab. It should be preserved for posterity.




Pads 39a and 39b were heavily modified for the shuttle program and have already been modified to act as launch platforms for a variety of vehicles. They can never be "preserved for posterity", nor should they be. They need to be USED and not just set up as static memorials to the past. An active launch facility that features real rockets roaring into the sky time after time is a lot more inspiring to the young than a dusty old pile of concrete and steel that just sits in the Florida sun.

Quote:

Quote:
No, NASA had nothing to do with the work of designing and engineering either the Falcon rockets or the Dragon Spacecraft.

I did not say they did.




You kind of implied it with your statement, "SpaceX arrived upon the scene after our nation's, NASA's, years of blood, sweat and tears blazing the trail and engineering the spacecraft. We built the infrastructure too.". With your statements, you give the impression that you feel that NASA did most of the work and SpaceX is just kind of ripping-off their stuff. Sorry, that isn't quite the truth here.


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Starlon
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6264117 - 12/20/13 04:49 PM

David Knisely says:


Quote:

..I just went through the 15 bios of the Leadership section of SpaceX, and none actually formally worked for NASA. Looks like a lot of people with backgrounds away from NASA work there as well.




That's no surprise. These people are fungible. The 'leadership' section - your words - is typically the motivators aka: 'Human Resource Dep't' & accountants. Everything comes down to the bottom line and the accountants are the people that tell a company if they'll make it or break it. So when the accountants & HRD get together and look at the graph re: Investments v Profits - then the 'leadership section' decides who gets axed and which ones get the motivation speeches (again) and get to stay IF they bust their buns.

But really, what is the point? We could go back & forth interminably.

My main point is that all the years back to the beginning of NASA in 1958, it was our space program. It belonged to us, the citizens. My parents paid taxes, I paid taxes - all of us, collectively, have bought and own NASA. It belongs to us. It was our Mercury program. And our Gemini program.. etc. And 45 years ago tomorrow as of 7.51a est: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCyfTLnINv0

This was all ours. We the people - all of us paid and most of us cheered NASA and the people that made up NASA and the companies that built the hardware & software and the minds that conceived it.

I ran across this SpaceX Dragon Triumph: Only the beginning:
http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/25/spacex-orbital-mission-just-the-be...

I skimmed through and found people with various opinions, just like ours. This one could have taken my thoughts and posted it there, "Pepinium" wrote:
Quote:

Don't fool yourself My Take, private industry only gets involved in R&D after the government has done most of the dirty work and demonstrated that an idea has high probability of being profitable. That is what happened with Nuclear Power, the Internet, and now the space program. Remember, the accountants who normally run corporations have to show a quick return on investment for the stockholders. Everyone knows that fusion power represents a potentially inexhaustible source of energy but the only research going on in this field over the last 50 years all over the world is happening in government sponsored labs and universities for this same reason. I know that the "private industry should always take the lead" idea is very much in vogue among the "keep government small" crowd but I hope there is still enough objectivity in your mind to do a little research on this points I have made. You will conclude I am right. Accountants have NO VISION !!! Complex research and development projects may go for decades before they can show that a profit is possible. These two concepts don't play well together !!!


I agree!


Another one, "Bill" wrote:
Quote:

The idea that this (or any other space endeavor) is really solely "commercial" is a fallacy. First of all, NASA gave SpaceX a contract for nearly $400 Million to develop the Dragon capsule. They didn't do it without significant Government investment. Secondly, SpaceX was able to draw upon THOUSANDS of U.S. Government studies, experiments, and tests dating back to the Apollo program which made it SIGNIFICANTLY easier for SpaceX to develop the Dragon spacecraft. These include NASA's development of capsule shapes and heat shield technologies, reentry mathematics and methods, orbital dynamics and rendezvous procedures, rocket engines and staging techniques, and tons of other widgets, reports, studies, and results that SpaceX didn't have to do themselves thanks to decades of work by Government engineers and scientists. Finally, a large fraction of the SpaceX workforce *IS* former NASA employees and NASA contractors who learned how to do this stuff the hard way and came to SpaceX only because the Government has prevented NASA from doing the things the Government used to let it do (you can thank Lori Garver for that one, by the way). My point is that, to a very large extent, this is not just SpaceX doing this...it's the long blue line of space professionals in NASA going back decades who gave them the technology and, in many cases, the very people they hired to do this.




Yep.

Everyone has their own viewpoint. Might as well leave it go at that!


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Mister T
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Starlon]
      #6264910 - 12/21/13 08:11 AM

Space Sex is amazing

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llanitedave
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! [Re: Starlon]
      #6265286 - 12/21/13 01:22 PM

Quote:


I don't care about his Texas launching facilities. Only the historic NASA pads, essentially 39A. That was where the Apollo flights launched from - as well as the shuttle & Skylab. It should be preserved for posterity.





Then pay for it!

NASA can't afford to, and part of their mandate is to enable and encourage the commercial use of space. They put out an RFP for any company to bid to provide the maintenance, upkeep, and operation of the pad. Only SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin bid on it. ULA was not interested. Orbital Sciences was not interested.

SpaceX won the bid simply because it has real rockets, a real manifest, and will actually use the pad. Nobody else has the capacity or desire to do so.

If you think pad 39A should be preserved as a monument to the golden age that will never be again, then you should lobby(Isn't that ironic!) your representatives to give either NASA or the National Park Service the authority and money to do that. Alternatively, you should be glad that the pad will not fall totally into ruin, and will be continually used and updated for the latest generation of launchers and new missions.

There is a good chance that within a decade or so SpaceX will be building a vehicle with more lift capacity than the Saturn V had, for far lower cost than the currently under development SLS. It sure would be cool to see both heavy lift designs side by side on adjacent pads at KSC.

Even the Falcon heavy, which should begin launching late next year, will have a payload capacity greater than that of the Saturn IB. If the stages become fully reusable as planned, it will still have greater payload to low earth orbit than any current launcher on the market. But that's not their final iteration. They've also entered into a contract with the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to handle the test program for their upcoming methane-powered Raptor engines, which will have some 650,000 lbs of thrust.


I hate the necessity of lobbying as much as you do, but I do recognize its necessity in our current political system. You don't fight the battles you want, you fight the battles that you're faced with. And right now, you're faced with reality, and not recognizing it.

The reality is, if SpaceX doesn't use pad 39A, no one will. And if no one will, it will decay into complete ruin. Take a look some time on Google Earth at all the other pads along the seashore at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Look for the pad that John Glenn launched from. Will you recognize it? There's a lot of neglect on that stretch of beach.

Personally, I'm a big fan of any entity, public or private, that has real ambition and a tangible action plan to further our presence in space. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences are right now the two leaders in that effort. ULA is resting on its laurels supporting the status quo, and Blue Origin is still talking about someday.

Of the group, SpaceX has the ambition and timetable to actually revolutionize what it means to go into space. Say what you want about Musk, but he's doing what nobody else seems to even want to do, and I for one am glad of it.


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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6275854 - 12/27/13 06:20 PM

Looks like SpaceX is going to be busy in 2014 (no wonder they are looking to use Pad 39A):

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/008/131220date/#.Ur4KAPuaZMg


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rockethead26
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6275887 - 12/27/13 06:38 PM



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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6297466 - 01/07/14 06:24 AM

Looks like another success with the Falcon 9 vs. 1.1 launching of the Thaicom 6 satellite:

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/008/140106launch/#.Usvh-vuaZMg

And a nice video of the launch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnSNRzMEmCU

(go to 39:00 if you just want to see the launch). Clear skies to you.


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gmartin02
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6304947 - 01/10/14 08:21 PM

Go SpaceX! Elon, you rock(et)!

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