Are we on the verge of an econmic's revolution.

Page 2 - Seeking answers about space? Join the Space community: the premier source of space exploration, innovation, and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Y

Yuri_Armstrong

Guest
What I don't understand is why we are funding private companies for them to make vehicles, instead of letting NASA design the vehicles they will be using on their own. They've been doing it great for 50 years, why should we let untested companies start doing it for us? I do believe there is a place for those companies to assist NASA especially in cargo but NASA should be designing the crew vehicle. What was the rationale behind this? Has anyone even brought this up yet?
 
O

oldAtlas_Eguy

Guest
I am not sure where people think that there will be a sudden demand surge for payload capability. When I modeled out the next 10 years of the demand in which Bigelow doing a robust 1 module a year addition as well as a small space tug somewhere toward the end of the 10 years which would have the effect of lowering costs to GEO and Lunar transfers, there was with all of that I see at most a times 4 increase almost all of which is cargo support for the new Bigelow modules. What is more probable is about a times 2 increase just about all of it to do with LEO cargo and HSF. Maybe they think a doubling of demand is a great surge.

We already know that when Dragon and Cygnus start the cargo resupply in earnest to replace Shuttle there will be no net gain in capability or demand. Bigelow’s Space Station will have the largest effect on demand more than the continuous creep of satellite size. By 2016 the normal GEO satellite may be larger than what will fit on a Falcon 9, such that Ariane 5 will be launching single satellites as well as the use of Atlas V 551 (in the 19MT config) and the Delta IV Heavy along with the Russian Proton for most of the GEO satellite launches. In fact we have seen the start of these commercial heavy sats already. Once Satellite size has outgrown the 10MT launchers there will be demand for payload capability of larger than the Delta IV Heavy. We know it is coming we don’t know exactly when.

Some of the problem of demand is that without a soon to occur capability, demand will not occur for the larger payload capacity because it becomes a very high risk to design a satellite for which there is no current boosters that can take it. So far it has taken nearly 15 years for the current crop of Medium-Heavy LV’s to be really used at launch rates of about a total of 3 to 4 18MT size single satellite payloads. This is still not enough to saturate the current capability. When usage gets to about 20 18+MT size single satellites a year then more or larger 30MT or 50MT launchers would be warranted to catch the overflow and overweight payloads. With the total equivalent payload to LEO in a year increasing by about 15% a year, that results in a factor of 4 by the end of 10 years. The problem is that the 15% has not been a steady increase. There have been periods when there was a decrease over two or more years so this increase can be thought of as the most optimistic.
 
S

Skyskimmer

Guest
Are you kidding nasa have again and again have proven to get things done at about ten times cost as a private company can do, through competition, maintaining high productivity(no make work projects), by sticking to clear direct goals(no switching with every congress), no stubborn need to stick with tech's that aren't worth the cost( 500 mil/per launch shuttle anyone?), and the list goes on.


Regardless MW the demand will be a sharp increase, because of alot of potential clients that never ever considered going into orbit before.

Just think on average it costs about 1 bil a year for each person that's on the ISS, I strongly believe that within five years they will have a station launched into orbit with 6 people for less than 100 mil per person. Now if they can get down closer to 10 mil per year(I strongly believe is doable) than there will be more interest in it than you can believe.

Between sports companies like nike/rebook/adidas wanting to do zero g athletics promo's, hollywood studios wanting to do zero g movies, pharma/tech research, military apps, millionaires wanting to live there childhood dreams and of course the fact that pretty much ever major country on the planet can afford to have a permanent place in orbit.
 
V

vulture4

Guest
Between sports companies like nike/rebook/adidas wanting to do zero g athletics promo's, hollywood studios wanting to do zero g movies, pharma/tech research, military apps, millionaires wanting to live there childhood dreams and of course the fact that pretty much ever major country on the planet can afford to have a permanent place in orbit.
These are luxury markets, consequently there is a very high cost elasticity of demand. The supply curve must be shifted by a factor of 10 to make these markets viable for more than 1-2 flights per year. Government investment to shift the supply curve (COTS, RLV technology demonstrators) would be helpful. Government spending to simply increase demand (Constellation) will simply move the equilibrium price upward alone the supply curve, increasing prices.
 
B

bdewoody

Guest
Space hardware is never going to be cheap. The Yugo was a cheap car and look at what you got. Space hardware has to be built to the highest of standards and by people who know precisely what they are doing. The technicians who build space hardware cannot be pulled from labor force pools. This is why a long gap between the space shuttle and the next generation LEO delivery and retrieval craft will be devastating as the existing pool of skilled technicians will be retiring without training a new generation of technicians.
 
Y

Yuri_Armstrong

Guest
Skyskimmer":23lyj1nw said:
Are you kidding nasa have again and again have proven to get things done at about ten times cost as a private company can do, through competition, maintaining high productivity(no make work projects), by sticking to clear direct goals(no switching with every congress), no stubborn need to stick with tech's that aren't worth the cost( 500 mil/per launch shuttle anyone?), and the list goes on.


Regardless MW the demand will be a sharp increase, because of alot of potential clients that never ever considered going into orbit before.

Just think on average it costs about 1 bil a year for each person that's on the ISS, I strongly believe that within five years they will have a station launched into orbit with 6 people for less than 100 mil per person. Now if they can get down closer to 10 mil per year(I strongly believe is doable) than there will be more interest in it than you can believe.

Between sports companies like nike/rebook/adidas wanting to do zero g athletics promo's, hollywood studios wanting to do zero g movies, pharma/tech research, military apps, millionaires wanting to live there childhood dreams and of course the fact that pretty much ever major country on the planet can afford to have a permanent place in orbit.
First off I'd like to say that it's not really "private" spaceflight as NASA is providing them with plenty of government assistance especially in the way of funding. Now I hope these private companies can make good on what they intend to do, I would be very happy to see it. But at the same time you must respect NASA's incredible accomplishments over the past 50 years. I haven't seen any private company man a space station, bring men to the moon and save an almost certainly doomed spaceship from certain destruction and the deaths of three astronauts.

What I do not understand is why part of NASA's budget is being scooped away and given to these companies instead of giving NASA more money in its budget and setting aside a seperate budget for assisting those companies. I would also like to know whose bright idea it was to cancel the shuttle program 6 years before any clear replacement is actually ready. And finally, while I am sure these companies have a lot to bring to the table, why should we have to wait for them to develop their vehicles before we have a manned spaceflight program relying on its own vehicles instead of letting NASA do what it has been doing for the past 5 decades? While there have been some major errors almost all of these have been political and have nothing to do with the engineering and astronautical abilities of the space program, and they should not be penalized for the short sightedness of greedy politicians.

I agree that NASA is not 100% efficient, but what agency or company for that matter do you think can be? As far as I'm concerned, NASA should be given a clear goal- how about something along the lines of "we will land a man on the moon and bring him home safely before this decade is out!"- give them whatever kind of money they need and leave them the heck alone. How can we expect to get anywhere with a goal that changes with each new administration? And finally skyskimmer, what makes you think that these private companies can do more than suborbital and orbital flights better than NASA can?

No, while NASA has taken some bad hits this past year we must protect and support our space program so we can get out there and start exploring.
 
R

rcsplinters

Guest
MeteorWayne":inbh1wbe said:
I just don't see a demand surge. For what? How many businesses need to launch stuff into space? For what?

This is key.

Nobody has confidence that demand for transport to LEO is going to grow significantly. If that expectation was there, you'd have investors lined up around the block with pockets bursting. Aviation had drivers like mail, crop dusting and . . . WAR! LEO has communication and the odd weather satellite or two. Economically, its easier increase bandwidth than increase launches.

If the demand were to increase, maybe an order of magnitude, then we'd see paradigms starting to change. That demand has to be real though and not some speculation from a CEO looking to rally the troops. I have to agree with Wayne, I don't see it.

One other note on the thread in general. You can't have a realistic discussion by just assigning arbitrary numbers to costs per person and inflated demand. That's like saying space flight would be a lot easier if we just ignored gravity, which is a true statement but not of much practical significance.
 
D

DarkenedOne

Guest
Yuri_Armstrong":129klgnp said:
First off I'd like to say that it's not really "private" spaceflight as NASA is providing them with plenty of government assistance especially in the way of funding. Now I hope these private companies can make good on what they intend to do, I would be very happy to see it. But at the same time you must respect NASA's incredible accomplishments over the past 50 years. I haven't seen any private company man a space station, bring men to the moon and save an almost certainly doomed spaceship from certain destruction and the deaths of three astronauts.
If we defined a "private company" as a company that has never received any financial assistance from the government at any point in time than practically every company in the world would not fulfill that definition. Private simply means that the organization is privately owned as in not owned by the government.

What I do not understand is why part of NASA's budget is being scooped away and given to these companies instead of giving NASA more money in its budget and setting aside a seperate budget for assisting those companies. I would also like to know whose bright idea it was to cancel the shuttle program 6 years before any clear replacement is actually ready. And finally, while I am sure these companies have a lot to bring to the table, why should we have to wait for them to develop their vehicles before we have a manned spaceflight program relying on its own vehicles instead of letting NASA do what it has been doing for the past 5 decades? While there have been some major errors almost all of these have been political and have nothing to do with the engineering and astronautical abilities of the space program, and they should not be penalized for the short sightedness of greedy politicians.
First of all lets face it. We would not be in this situation is NASA was doing such a great job. If they were able to accomplish their goals on time and on budget, and deliver all the promises it has made than we would not be relying on the Russians for transport to our space station right now. Instead for the past 30-40 years every project in human spaceflight NASA has been involved in has taken far more money and time than was initially promised causing many projects most recently Constellation to be dropped all together. For those projects that have been completed while they were technological marvels they failed to deliver on the promises that got them approved in the first place.

Second of all the major errors were not political. If it was the case that the Space Shuttle achieved its original performance specification with regards to cost and reliability, then there would be no doubt that it would of served as the US's principle launch vehicle, and we would probably have a newer and improved version right now. Instead the Shuttle had comparable reliability to the best of the expendables, but cost several times as much. The ISS was the space programs greatest enduring achievement, but even that came at a cost many times greater than its original allocation and almost a decade late.

Had NASA been a company they would of gone bankrupt decades ago.

I agree that NASA is not 100% efficient, but what agency or company for that matter do you think can be? As far as I'm concerned, NASA should be given a clear goal- how about something along the lines of "we will land a man on the moon and bring him home safely before this decade is out!"- give them whatever kind of money they need and leave them the heck alone. How can we expect to get anywhere with a goal that changes with each new administration? And finally skyskimmer, what makes you think that these private companies can do more than suborbital and orbital flights better than NASA can?

No, while NASA has taken some bad hits this past year we must protect and support our space program so we can get out there and start exploring.
The exploration directive is also another huge problem.

Any good initiative starts out with a goal or purpose with clear measurable benefits for completion then all efforts are directed to accomplishing that goal. When NASA send a probe to another planet first they start out with an objective that the scientific community believes would further their research and answer an important question, then they design the spacecraft and plan the mission to achieve this objective, then they build the spacecraft in conjunction with a commercial satellite company, and then they launch it on a commercial rocket.

Human spaceflight on the other hand tries to work it the other way around. It is devoid of any real objective and lacks any measurable benefits, which is why it is failing to achieve anything and why it is endanger of being canceled. When given an objective engineers and mission planners can figure out what they need to achieve that objective. Without one you have the situation we are in right now with Congress just directing NASA to build a heavy lift without anything to put on it.

At the same time the exploration directive that many people are pushing is the ultimate waste of human spaceflights resources. Fact of the matter is that of all the things that humans can do in space from building space stations, to repairing and upgrading satellites, exploration is the most expensive and risky activity that humans can engage in.

Sure you can direct NASA to put a man on the moon just like JFK, however without clear benefits to justify such an expensive endeavor such an enterprise will not be sustained as we saw with Apollo. It is unfortunate, but true that politicians are not elected by saying that they put a man on the Moon or Mars. Right now they are elected to create jobs and boost the economy. NASA goes a great job at doing that by building giant rockets to nowhere.

Private commercial spaceflight is the answer to many of these problems. If private companies can turn human spaceflight from the financial black hole it is right now under NASA to profitable enterprise than human spaceflight will have a bright future.
 
D

DarkenedOne

Guest
rcsplinters":2kqesmaj said:
MeteorWayne":2kqesmaj said:
I just don't see a demand surge. For what? How many businesses need to launch stuff into space? For what?

This is key.

Nobody has confidence that demand for transport to LEO is going to grow significantly. If that expectation was there, you'd have investors lined up around the block with pockets bursting. Aviation had drivers like mail, crop dusting and . . . WAR! LEO has communication and the odd weather satellite or two. Economically, its easier increase bandwidth than increase launches.

If the demand were to increase, maybe an order of magnitude, then we'd see paradigms starting to change. That demand has to be real though and not some speculation from a CEO looking to rally the troops. I have to agree with Wayne, I don't see it.

One other note on the thread in general. You can't have a realistic discussion by just assigning arbitrary numbers to costs per person and inflated demand. That's like saying space flight would be a lot easier if we just ignored gravity, which is a true statement but not of much practical significance.
First of all demand is expected to increase over the next decade from a number of sources. The military being the more prominent one is deploying new constellations for new applications. The commercial sector is also growing as the traditional satellite service providers in satellite TV and radio are looking to replace old satellites, while new players such as Geoeye are offering new satellite services in commercial imagery and satellite internet. At the same time other countries such as the EU, China, Russia, and China are following in our foot steps and building their own GPS and military systems.

Of course that is just for the unmanned market. For the human spaceflight we have SpaceX, Bigelow Aerospace, Space Adventures (the company that put private people on the ISS), and you have Virgin Galactic.

Secondly there is a great amount of investment going in to new rockets, so I do not know what you are talking about. You have SpaceX with the Falcon 9. You have Orbital with the Taurus II. You have Sea Launch emerging from bankruptcy. Overseas you have the new Vega and Soyuz systems in Europe. You have the Angara system in Russia.
 
S

Skyskimmer

Guest
rcsplinters":2q8ceo1o said:
MeteorWayne":2q8ceo1o said:
I just don't see a demand surge. For what? How many businesses need to launch stuff into space? For what?

This is key.

Nobody has confidence that demand for transport to LEO is going to grow significantly. If that expectation was there, you'd have investors lined up around the block with pockets bursting. Aviation had drivers like mail, crop dusting and . . . WAR! LEO has communication and the odd weather satellite or two. Economically, its easier increase bandwidth than increase launches.

If the demand were to increase, maybe an order of magnitude, then we'd see paradigms starting to change. That demand has to be real though and not some speculation from a CEO looking to rally the troops. I have to agree with Wayne, I don't see it.

One other note on the thread in general. You can't have a realistic discussion by just assigning arbitrary numbers to costs per person and inflated demand. That's like saying space flight would be a lot easier if we just ignored gravity, which is a true statement but not of much practical significance.
First off I'd agree that no one is willing to touch space right now, as it's there's far too much instability and uncertainty's. But this reinforces my point in 2-3 years time once there has been confirmation and validation of companies like spacex, interest will serge greatly, it will appear to come out of no where.

Secondly gov's need to be the hand that creates something that isn't able to happen naturally, at least not at a rate, that will get anyone in space for atleast another 100 years.

The problem with Nasa is that A man exploration is nonsense, robots can to far more for far less cost. The objective cannot be this or you will never get support, this desire to flag plant is meaningless. Space colinization must be based on survival of the bio shere or it will never get support.

Nasa other main problem is that it ignores some fundamental features of industrial society, that have been known for 200 year(they ignore 200 year old tech and you know they will have problems). They ignore all idea's of efficiency, supply and demand, comparative advantage, and the list goes on the fact that this isn't blatantly obvious really scares me. They function like a marxist/monarch style enterprise.

As far as the point of me wanting to talk about supposed price per kilo, etc, it's all about selling a product, if you got something and no one wants it, your wasting your time(again something nasa should get). If you can sell the dream of populating space like we did the america's you got a deal, if you can't sell it were sunk as a species.


Furthermore I don't think space will ever be cheap, however it don't need to be. Were to self centered to realize that even if it cost 1 mil for someone to migrate to orbit, there are many that can afford to do so. This is the part I think people don't realize, the cost of coming to USA, can cost a person upwards of 100k plus, yet million of people attempt to do so, obviously they don't pay that amount but we don't need migration number's in the millions we need it in the thousands.
 
R

rcsplinters

Guest
Dark, I don't think anyone disputes that commercial cargo in on the cusp of a breakthrough, hence the booster development. There's signed contracts for many missions already. Business is so good for SpaceX that rumor has it that they are major focused on just meeting their supply contracts for now. That said, most of these booster development efforts are going to splutter. I doubt cargo has room for more than 2 - 4 major players, two of which will likely be Russia and ESA. Delta and Atlas taught hard lessons in this market.

We know that you have the head cheerleader position for privatized HSF, but come sit with us in the stands for a second. Assuming that the US achieves its BEO objectives, there's about 4 seats a year (though HEFT suggested that private crew delivery didn't make a lot of sense). The ISS will account for what? 12 - 18 seats a year on average? Russia will fly most of those as they'll simply undercut any competitor. There will be perhaps 1 more supplier in the commercial realm to avoid being single sourced. So where's this order of magnitude increase that will drive the new dawn of privatized HSF and dispell the evils of federal research? Apart from the glossy slides from like likes of Bigelow and SpaceX, I don't see it. At best we hear of a few joy riders looking for carnival thrills. Maybe in 10 years or 15, though I still believe the predominate human experience will be exploration and research with the occasional joy ride for the rich and famous.

Ironically, I truly wish you were correct. However, there's not an objective bone in my body that has seen any evidence that substantiates such latent demand is out there. There sure isn't much private seed money lined up to exploit this demand, hence the hats begging for NASA's already sparse resources. The book on economic revolution for HSF can still be found in the fiction section.
 
S

Skyskimmer

Guest
rcsplinters":s0n080cv said:
Dark, I don't think anyone disputes that commercial cargo in on the cusp of a breakthrough, hence the booster development. There's signed contracts for many missions already. Business is so good for SpaceX that rumor has it that they are major focused on just meeting their supply contracts for now. That said, most of these booster development efforts are going to splutter. I doubt cargo has room for more than 2 - 4 major players, two of which will likely be Russia and ESA. Delta and Atlas taught hard lessons in this market.

We know that you have the head cheerleader position for privatized HSF, but come sit with us in the stands for a second. Assuming that the US achieves its BEO objectives, there's about 4 seats a year (though HEFT suggested that private crew delivery didn't make a lot of sense). The ISS will account for what? 12 - 18 seats a year on average? Russia will fly most of those as they'll simply undercut any competitor. There will be perhaps 1 more supplier in the commercial realm to avoid being single sourced. So where's this order of magnitude increase that will drive the new dawn of privatized HSF and dispell the evils of federal research? Apart from the glossy slides from like likes of Bigelow and SpaceX, I don't see it. At best we hear of a few joy riders looking for carnival thrills. Maybe in 10 years or 15, though I still believe the predominate human experience will be exploration and research with the occasional joy ride for the rich and famous.

Ironically, I truly wish you were correct. However, there's not an objective bone in my body that has seen any evidence that substantiates such latent demand is out there. There sure isn't much private seed money lined up to exploit this demand, hence the hats begging for NASA's already sparse resources. The book on economic revolution for HSF can still be found in the fiction section.
As I've said there's no concrete interest right now because like in any other industry, their is no concrete examples. In two year or so spacex will have demostrated that there is money to be made in private spaceflights. Along with bigelow of course, once it has been proven, spacex will have to start uping it's supply to meat the surge in demand, on top of that I strongly believe you will get interest from other government looking to buy station time.

I would somewhat agree HSF is lagging compared to everything else, however I think it is just a matter of time, before major improvements are made.

Also the ESA/Russia thing really pointed out a common viewpoint, that is everywhere else don't matter. It's the third world that will drive private I strongly believe that. Countries like india have a massive space budget and it's economy is only starting to get off the ground add to that they're economy doubles about once a decade therefore there space budget will most likely doubles once a decade, it's likely that they will be a major player along with china.

Then there are countries like UAE who would think nothing of spending 30 mil to send someone in orbit for a year.
 
D

DarkenedOne

Guest
rcsplinters":mzd4c5bc said:
Dark, I don't think anyone disputes that commercial cargo in on the cusp of a breakthrough, hence the booster development. There's signed contracts for many missions already. Business is so good for SpaceX that rumor has it that they are major focused on just meeting their supply contracts for now. That said, most of these booster development efforts are going to splutter. I doubt cargo has room for more than 2 - 4 major players, two of which will likely be Russia and ESA. Delta and Atlas taught hard lessons in this market.

We know that you have the head cheerleader position for privatized HSF, but come sit with us in the stands for a second. Assuming that the US achieves its BEO objectives, there's about 4 seats a year (though HEFT suggested that private crew delivery didn't make a lot of sense). The ISS will account for what? 12 - 18 seats a year on average? Russia will fly most of those as they'll simply undercut any competitor. There will be perhaps 1 more supplier in the commercial realm to avoid being single sourced. So where's this order of magnitude increase that will drive the new dawn of privatized HSF and dispell the evils of federal research? Apart from the glossy slides from like likes of Bigelow and SpaceX, I don't see it. At best we hear of a few joy riders looking for carnival thrills. Maybe in 10 years or 15, though I still believe the predominate human experience will be exploration and research with the occasional joy ride for the rich and famous.
The key is using the same rockets to launch both manned and unmanned payloads.

For NASA human spaceflight is expensive. Why? Well because they insist on building every rocket themselves from scratch. The result is extremely expensive rockets that are used only a few times a year at most.

SpaceX, Boeing as well as practically every national space agency that does human spaceflight simply use rockets derived from successful and relatively cheap unmanned rockets. The results are rockets that rely on very well tested components that are produced in quantities that result in economics of scale.

Ironically, I truly wish you were correct. However, there's not an objective bone in my body that has seen any evidence that substantiates such latent demand is out there. There sure isn't much private seed money lined up to exploit this demand, hence the hats begging for NASA's already sparse resources. The book on economic revolution for HSF can still be found in the fiction section.
RC I wish there was a better place to put our hope, but there is not.

I have followed NASA since I was a little boy. I went to space camp, and even interned at NASA. Unfortunately during all of that time I realized that NASA was not going anywhere with human spaceflight. One sign that still is apparent today is the lack of investment in any new technology specific to human spaceflight. Another was the lack of reasons to conduct human spaceflight at all. When Constellation came out I knew within a matter of months that it was going to be cancelled. While I predicted it was going to be cancelled I did not predict that it would be so before the vehicles were even built. Things were even worse than I thought, and now we have this deficit crisis. When you see the military start cutting back left and right there is no way we are going to embark on another ambitious human spaceflight endeavor.

While commercial human spaceflight is not as glamorous as "going beyond for the sake of all humanity", it does have a solid reason behind it. It has simple objectives that will produce measurable benefits with technology that has been around for decades.
 
S

Skyskimmer

Guest
DarkenedOne":moheoorj said:
I have followed NASA since I was a little boy. I went to space camp, and even interned at NASA. Unfortunately during all of that time I realized that NASA was not going anywhere with human spaceflight. One sign that still is apparent today is the lack of investment in any new technology specific to human spaceflight. Another was the lack of reasons to conduct human spaceflight at all. When Constellation came out I knew within a matter of months that it was going to be cancelled. While I predicted it was going to be cancelled I did not predict that it would be so before the vehicles were even built. Things were even worse than I thought, and now we have this deficit crisis. When you see the military start cutting back left and right there is no way we are going to embark on another ambitious human spaceflight endeavor.

While commercial human spaceflight is not as glamorous as "going beyond for the sake of all humanity", it does have a solid reason behind it. It has simple objectives that will produce measurable benefits with technology that has been around for decades.
I would agree with the nasa deal they have sunk themselves by simply being out of touch. It's not even debatable.

As far as the goal it has to be to back up the biosphere go beyond the limits of the planet etc.
 
D

dryson

Guest
The only way that there will be an economic revolution on Earth is when humanity settles on Mars the Moon and begins mining the asteroid belts in the Solar System which would create new industries new problems to solve as well as new competitive bases for companies to either fall or grow upon.

The only way for an economic revolution to occur would be is the old system's such as the oil based systems used to power cars, factors, ships ect it changed to use non-fossil fueled sources of fuel.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts