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If there never was a shuttle.

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Skyskimmer

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If there was never a shuttle program in the past and lets pretend that rocketry went private as it is going now, do you think they could of given spacex pricing starting in 1980.

Just pondering, I mean could you imagine the world we'd live in if by 1980 they were launching at prices of 3000 per kilogram.
 
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flyer456654

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I don't think that a spacex type company could have survived during the 1980's and I totally doubt that they could have achieved success. The 1980's were a decade of change, the major change coming from ready accessability to the computer. Obviously, we all know what happened in the 1990's but what people don't understand is the complications of this. This increase in productivity, particularily in the high science and math related jobs, is what allowed SpaceX's existance. They had to be able to lower the sunk costs (development costs) of a rocket. In particular, the rocket motor that is probably one of the most complicated things I have ever seen. In the 1980's, this meant one thing...run the number...build it...test it. Private companies did not have the shear resources (or computing strength) to run complicated simulations. Thus the costs of a private company developing a rocket by themselves (spacex style) were WAY to high. Also, there was less traffic needing to go to space. There wasn't the potential revenue stream there is now. Basically, if rocketry went private in 1980 there wouldn't be a space program.

Let me explain. When making business decisions there is one factor that ALWAYS comes up eventually. Yes, there are a million assumptions that go into it but thats what analysts are for. This factor is NPV (Net Present Value). This number needs to be sufficiently high in order to partake in the business (how high is sufficient is up to your utility). Space rocketry has been a negative NPV project for years and has just recently increased to the point where investors are willing to take on the risks. There was no profitability in the 1980's for a private company...if there was it would have been developed.

But aside from the reasons there wasn't a private company doing it, I'll answer your question. I think we would have a sizeable amount of rovers on multiple bodies. I also believe we would have a relatively robust infrastructure in space (tugs, fuel depots, even habitats). I believe that if there had been Spacex in the 80's, it would have spurred on the development of a Bigelow. This utter lowering of costs would have caused NASA to completely rethink its direction. Because they could put up large habitats in space, they would have started to develop these ideas. I believe that we would have an ISS that is 10times the size of the current one. I also think it would have profitable purposes (satelite garage anyone). But this is all wishful thinking...alas we are stuck with what we have now. But man does the future look bright :D
 
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Skyskimmer

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flyer456654":2r8u2k41 said:
I don't think that a spacex type company could have survived during the 1980's and I totally doubt that they could have achieved success. The 1980's were a decade of change, the major change coming from ready accessability to the computer. Obviously, we all know what happened in the 1990's but what people don't understand is the complications of this. This increase in productivity, particularily in the high science and math related jobs, is what allowed SpaceX's existance. They had to be able to lower the sunk costs (development costs) of a rocket. In particular, the rocket motor that is probably one of the most complicated things I have ever seen. In the 1980's, this meant one thing...run the number...build it...test it. Private companies did not have the shear resources (or computing strength) to run complicated simulations. Thus the costs of a private company developing a rocket by themselves (spacex style) were WAY to high. Also, there was less traffic needing to go to space. There wasn't the potential revenue stream there is now. Basically, if rocketry went private in 1980 there wouldn't be a space program.

Let me explain. When making business decisions there is one factor that ALWAYS comes up eventually. Yes, there are a million assumptions that go into it but thats what analysts are for. This factor is NPV (Net Present Value). This number needs to be sufficiently high in order to partake in the business (how high is sufficient is up to your utility). Space rocketry has been a negative NPV project for years and has just recently increased to the point where investors are willing to take on the risks. There was no profitability in the 1980's for a private company...if there was it would have been developed.

But aside from the reasons there wasn't a private company doing it, I'll answer your question. I think we would have a sizeable amount of rovers on multiple bodies. I also believe we would have a relatively robust infrastructure in space (tugs, fuel depots, even habitats). I believe that if there had been Spacex in the 80's, it would have spurred on the development of a Bigelow. This utter lowering of costs would have caused NASA to completely rethink its direction. Because they could put up large habitats in space, they would have started to develop these ideas. I believe that we would have an ISS that is 10times the size of the current one. I also think it would have profitable purposes (satelite garage anyone). But this is all wishful thinking...alas we are stuck with what we have now. But man does the future look bright :D
Quality post. And I pretty much agree with everything you said. Your right the future looks amazingly bright, it's the bright future that got me into this(I had zero interest in space until I heard of spacex).
What amazes me is that most people are still caught up on nasa, we need to go back to the 1950's watch disneys intro to space or whatever it was called, it's a much more accurate and optimistic view than you would ever get 55 years later.
 
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defiant101

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back few years ago i was very disappointed and angry about space in general. but now i am very enthusiastic, it use to be only government but now private and just regular people can contribute. if i can say one thing all i would wanna say is......the potential is better than what it use to be by farrrrr. :).
 
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Skyskimmer

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defiant101":33sx1lxe said:
back few years ago i was very disappointed and angry about space in general. but now i am very enthusiastic, it use to be only government but now private and just regular people can contribute. if i can say one thing all i would wanna say is......the potential is better than what it use to be by farrrrr. :).
I think another thing that often get's overlooked is the economic growth in asia. India and china economies are doubling every decade, which mean's their ability to fund space travel doubles every decade. they both currently have 1/10 nasa's budget each. But there's society and culture is very different, they both have very optimisitc outlooks and space colinization is an interest to them. I strongly believe that by 2050 the majoirty of spaces permanent residents will be asians.
 
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flyer456654

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Skyskimmer":2at6rpe5 said:
I think another thing that often get's overlooked is the economic growth in asia. India and china economies are doubling every decade.
India and China are two of the countries we should be worried about...but all the rage is about the BRIC countries. Brazil, Russia, India, China. These countries have seen rapid growth in the last 10 years and show no sign of slowing (yes the global recession hurt them but this year China has still grown by 9%). Here is a fun little data tool from Google that you can look at it in graph form :D

http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb- ... ND:BRA:RUS
 
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Skyskimmer

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flyer456654":qmvfzv69 said:
Skyskimmer":qmvfzv69 said:
I think another thing that often get's overlooked is the economic growth in asia. India and china economies are doubling every decade.
India and China are two of the countries we should be worried about...but all the rage is about the BRIC countries. Brazil, Russia, India, China. These countries have seen rapid growth in the last 10 years and show no sign of slowing (yes the global recession hurt them but this year China has still grown by 9%). Here is a fun little data tool from Google that you can look at it in graph form :D

http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb- ... ND:BRA:RUS
Why does it have to be a worry, this is what I don't understand about american's. Europe is not fond of conflict, but they see that American cause conflicts just as often as russians or chinese, or indians. There no good and bad, anyhow that's more than I wanna say about these types of petty politics.
The enemy isn't other countries it never has the conflict is between people who wanna goto the stars, and people who don't want progress. The more people around the world unite for a common goal the better, as china and india have a huge supply of capital availble for space, and on a cultural level, it's their best way to compete with the west. There not burned out from 50 years of post modern pestimism that we suffer from, they're much closer to the generation that was driving for the stars in the 50's.
 
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flyer456654

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Skyskimmer":3dvhffq8 said:
Why does it have to be a worry, this is what I don't understand about american's. Europe is not fond of conflict, but they see that American cause conflicts just as often as russians or chinese, or indians. There no good and bad, anyhow that's more than I wanna say about these types of petty politics.
The enemy isn't other countries it never has the conflict is between people who wanna goto the stars, and people who don't want progress. The more people around the world unite for a common goal the better, as china and india have a huge supply of capital availble for space, and on a cultural level, it's their best way to compete with the west. There not burned out from 50 years of post modern pestimism that we suffer from, they're much closer to the generation that was driving for the stars in the 50's.
It comes from the culture of Americans thinking they are superior. It is reinforced by comments like "I found this online, A French WW2 Pristine Gun, Never Fired only dropped once." While I agree that international cooperation is definately one way to get to the stars...I do not believe it is the best way. The last giant boom in space technology came during the Russia/US space race. This is evidence that competition is what drives us. Humans are competitive and structural. We have structured ourselves into teams (Nations). Those teams want to always beat out the other teams. Hence we worry about the other teams getting progress and "beating" us.

Cooperation got us the ISS...in a bad orbit...over budget....and under performing. Competition got us Apollo. I'm putting my money on competition being the best way to get to the stars. This means nations organizing into teams and fighting to get to the stars first. Its basic Psych and Economics at work. Personally, I am hoping for another spacerace in direct competition with China, India and Russia (no one mentions them anymore, yet they have the tech already). This will spur such rapid development of space.

If you need a historic example of competition causing rapid growth in exploration, just look at the Age of Exploration. You had all the European nations battling eachother for resources in North America, Asia, and South America. The victors had tremendous economic development (I remember reading that Spain's economy was sustained by Incan gold for 100 years). So bring on the competition and bring on another friendly (as in no threat of Nuclear war, just a war for prestige) cold war, we need some rapid tech development.
 
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Skyskimmer

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Agreed but I hope the competition isn't a do it alone stradegy, I'd rather work together compete for the top. Basically the olympics instead of a seperate league for each continent. I'd think international corps will get us there, It's be a competition of nations of who can have the most people on orbit, or a on colony on planet X
 
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flyer456654

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Skyskimmer":391scvvo said:
Agreed but I hope the competition isn't a do it alone stradegy, I'd rather work together compete for the top. Basically the olympics instead of a seperate league for each continent. I'd think international corps will get us there, It's be a competition of nations of who can have the most people on orbit, or a on colony on planet X
I love competition and I love cooperation. What I see happening is blocs occuring and competition developing between these blocs. The North American Continent and Europe will probably combine into one bloc (Similar to NATO during the Cold War). These two continants and the nations in them already have great repoir with each other. While they might not always agree, they seem to be able to hash out their differences eventually. I also see a thirdworld bloc occuring. This bloc will involve most of the third world countries (developing nations if you want to be politically correct). You will have Iran, Venezula and the other nations associated with them developing programs together to pool their resources. Ultimately, the two biggest nations that currently "worry" the United States, China and India, will end up going on their own (perhaps partnering with smaller nations). India and China will more than likely never work together because of the various disputes they have against each other. They simply do not have the same repoir needed to develop cooperation. Maybe it will happen in the future but I doubt it. I really hope this happens because it will be the perfect mix of cooperation and competition. We have pooled resources with other nations while still competeing with the other blocs. Unfortunately, I doubt that it will happen.

You are right about the private industry coming in and competeing. I doubt though that the private industry will take on the risks of a colony, large spaceship, or advanced research. It is simply to risky to do. The current companies are not taking the initial development risks. Bigilow used NASA tech and SpaceX relied on NASA data. I forsee great advancement in LEO, GSO, possibly even Lunar orbit, but the cost of developing permanant colonies is simply to great for private industries to take on. This is where governments come in to share the risks.
 
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Skyskimmer

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flyer456654":v60uadhg said:
Skyskimmer":v60uadhg said:
Agreed but I hope the competition isn't a do it alone stradegy, I'd rather work together compete for the top. Basically the olympics instead of a seperate league for each continent. I'd think international corps will get us there, It's be a competition of nations of who can have the most people on orbit, or a on colony on planet X
You are right about the private industry coming in and competeing. I doubt though that the private industry will take on the risks of a colony, large spaceship, or advanced research. It is simply to risky to do. The current companies are not taking the initial development risks. Bigilow used NASA tech and SpaceX relied on NASA data. I forsee great advancement in LEO, GSO, possibly even Lunar orbit, but the cost of developing permanant colonies is simply to great for private industries to take on. This is where governments come in to share the risks.
The way I put it is, did the worlds first exployers dedicate the majority of time on ship building canoe building, axe building and shelter building. No they paid people along the way to do the parts that aren't relavent to their interests. Even when the europeans came to the ameica's, there was Italians leading brits, natives guiding everyone, ships bought from the dutch, colinist, that were french in british zones etc.


Also to add I think guess the patch work of the worlds space flight is very tricky, each country has different relations with each other depending on if you mean, space, goverment, culter/tranfer of people, and economic/bussiness relations.
 
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