Politics_Observer wrote:Don't be so sure Elon won't suceed with building that Starship heavy rocket. I believe in Elon and I believe he can do it and it might be sooner than what you think it is.
I didn't say SpaceX won't succeed with building Starship. But it will take years until a version of it lands on the Moon, and longer until it lands on Mars. SpaceX might also run out of money before that, especially if NASA isn't willing to fund it (indirectly).
Atlantis wrote:I don't believe that space exploration or manned space flight will become a commercial option any time soon. The risk involved is far too high.
Not one that makes a lot of money anyway.
Atlantis wrote:But I don't want to stop American venture capitalism from pissing away tens of billions in space. It wouldn't be the first time either.
If SpaceX were a German company funded by German venture capitalists, you would be gushing praise and lecturing Americans about how they lost manufacturing due to Wall Street yadda yadda yadda.
ingliz wrote:32 years ago the Russians built a semi-reusable launcher known as the Energia-Buran, a better space shuttle. But that was not the end of it. They realised they had all the bits needed to make a fully reusable super heavy lift launcher by tweaking the Buran concept to make the orbital boosters fully steerable after separation, The core components of the Vulkan-Hercules, after shedding their payload (175 tonnes), would have been capable of re-entering and gliding to a landing on a conventional airfield. Unfortunately, the production of Energia rockets stopped with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Only the Buran orbiter was designed to be reusable. Theoretically, because it only flew a single time. All engines and tanks were discarded. They had a concept for a fully reusable vehicle, Energia 2, but all space agencies had such concepts. Making a rocket reusable isn't necessarily that difficult. What is difficult is to make it work economically, given the small demand for launches compared to other forms of transportation. NASA kept the Shuttle flying even though an expendable rocket would have been cheaper.
Whether SpaceX will find a market for its gigantic reusable rocket besides NASA is an open question. They're currently deploying a sat constellation called Starlink, but the success of that is uncertain.