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New Photos of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Assembly

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the this-is-sorta-like-lame-porn dept.

Space 122

RobGoldsmith writes "New images are now available of SpaceX's Falcon 9 being assembled. The images are accompanied with a small update from SpaceX. If there are no unexpected delays, it's possible Falcon 9 will be completely integrated by the end of the year. This update shows real flight hardware and really brings the rocket alive. View images of the Falcon 9 nearing completion now!"

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122 comments

by the end of the year? (5, Insightful)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268077)

as in the end of 2009? or tomorrow? Or somewhere in between, like the Chinese new year or Rosh Hashanah?

Re:by the end of the year? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26268109)

Yeah, that's an odd turn of phrase to use when the end of the year is tomorrow. The article says "before December 31st", and it was posted on Dec 30. Um.

Re:by the end of the year? (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26272521)

Actually, it was posted in the SpaceX website on Dec 29.. It took a day to get to the spacefellowship, then another day to get to Slashdot.. so I'm surprised it isn't 2009 already.

Re:by the end of the year? (3, Informative)

bornyesterday (888994) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268349)

according to previous releases and a note in the NYT either today or yesterday, falcon 9 is supposed to be fully assembled by dec 31, 2008

Re:by the end of the year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26269439)

"If there are no unexpected delays, its possible Falcon 9 will be integrated before December 31st â" certainly a great way to start off the New Year." -- from the official SpaceX page

first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26268087)

yay space?

Re:first? (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268171)

Yay, newly-created organization which hasn't accumulated a work-impeding bureaucracy.

SpaceX is doing great work. Let's hope they don't become another bloated military-industrial dependency anytime soon.

-jcr

Let's see these guys launch something first (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268375)

I wouldn't be so quick to give them accolades until they accomplish something. Like, let's see Falcon 9 actually get off the pad first without blowing up.

Re:Let's see these guys launch something first (4, Informative)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268639)

They've already put the Falcon 1 into orbit. I'd say that's an accomplishment.

Re:Let's see these guys launch something first (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268727)

Yeah, but the Falcon 2 through Falcon 8 all blew up.

Re:Let's see these guys launch something first (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268781)

Um, there was only a Falcon 1 and a Falcon 9...

Re:Let's see these guys launch something first (1)

BranMan (29917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26272163)

Ahem! I think what you meant to say was that Falcon 2 through 8 were not entirely successful.

Re:Let's see these guys launch something first (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269021)

I'd have to agree. Besides getting to orbit, they've also built an extremely impressive in-house fabrication capability. Aerospace isn't my field, but if it was, I'd love to work there.

-jcr

Re:Let's see these guys launch something first (4, Funny)

shess (31691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269917)

let's see Falcon 9 actually get off the pad first without blowing up.

Hell, I'd pay to see either option.

Re:first? (1)

Helldesk Hound (981604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270763)

> Yay, newly-created organization which hasn't accumulated a
> work-impeding bureaucracy. ... yet!

Given a little time I'm sure it will. ;o)

So close (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268095)

Just think, next year everyone on earth will be able to fly into space on of these mean machines!! hurrah! oh wait... well we even have a space program(U.S.A.) then?

no photos of corepirate nazi holycost available (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26268101)

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(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080918/ap_on_re_us/tent_cities;_ylt=A0wNcyS6yNJIZBoBSxKs0NUE
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Re:no photos of corepirate nazi holycost available (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26268211)

TL:DR could you put a summary into this??

btw i like chocolate.

Re:tinfoil conspiracy nutjob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26268275)

I thought this guy had been admitted into a home. No-one here is interested in these cut'n'paste rantings. Please stop already.

Re:tinfoil conspiracy nutjob (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268741)

What I find sad is the fact that lots of websites still are using machine-generated URLs instead of readable ones.

Re:tinfoil conspiracy nutjob (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268933)

What I find sad is the fact that lots of websites still are using machine-generated URLs instead of readable ones.

You mean like this [slashdot.org] ? Of course it's going to be machine generated. It's a link to a record in a database.

Re:tinfoil conspiracy nutjob (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269185)

So what? That record points to a text that has a title, doesn't it?

I'd rather see http://science.slashdot.org/new_photos_of_spacex_falcon_9_assembly/ [slashdot.org]

Not to mention that having the backend language in the URL itself is also a bad thing.

Re:tinfoil conspiracy nutjob (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270959)

Yes, that record points to a text that has a title. However, that title is shared by at least five other pieces of text. So which piece of text do you want http://url/title [url] to point to?

Re:tinfoil conspiracy nutjob (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26271263)

Since Slashdot publishes what is essentially daily news, you can add the date in front of it, in ISO-8601 format of course.

It's TROLL TUESDAY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26268133)

I'm bringing troll tuesday back!

The Power of Capitalism (2, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268273)

This really shows the power of capitalism in this time of government failing. Yes, although the Congress and administration would like you to believe that the current "crisis" is a result of greed, the bottom line is that the money had to come from someplace, and it came from them. Anyway, by looking at Scaled Composites and SpaceX and seeing what they can do when freed from the binders of government "fairness" (corruption, really, since nothing is truely fair) has simply been fascinating. Space flight is finally coming of age.

Look at this project in comparison to "Orion". A small team vs. thousands. A few designers vs. hundreds of engineers using bulky project management. It goes to show that you really only need project management to do something the first time (IE, not knowing where the major failing points will be). After that, you need something lightweight and agile so that you aren't throwing away the experience of your people by second guessing them until they are unable to make quick decisions.

Will the NASA craft be somehow safer as a result of this rigor? I doubt it. Because the project is so tedious it's probably likely some things were just given up on. SpaceX will get it through testing, trial and error, and will find out more in two throw-away tests than NASA will in 10 years of rigorous development. And because they are only supporting one application, a proprietary one, they don't have to be "fair", and spend 10x as much to ensure compatibility with vendor specifications.

Now I'm not saying the government should get out of the space business, but I do think they need to lean it out and put more on the contractors, and open it up to more competition. The fact that this is finally possible is in large part due to the decrease in cost of computers. From project management software to CAD to anything else, it's now possible to wield the same level of computational and data harnessing power on your desktop that was previously limited to only government-sized resources. The gap is closing because there's really not a lot they can do that we can't (with computers). In fact, the increase in the size of government recently seems to be it trying to preserve itself by creating more jobs. "Let's move those computers to something the private industry will never be trusted to do", they think, "such as listening to all the telephone and internet traffic or studying weapons."

All that NASA is good at doing these days is burning money. Obama, if you're listening, clean it out. In fact, delete it entirely and create a new space agency with modern roots! Imagine what we could do with 500 billion over 10 years with a modern and efficient CIVILIAN organization.

The power of government... (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268413)

Next time free enterprise puts a man on the moon, you let me know.

If you capitalists hadn't have f--- up with your stupid lending decisions and dumb investments, there wouldn't be a government bailout now, would there? There was no need for government to momentarily take control of everything, until the people that previously controlled things utterly screwed up.

(Capitalism vs. Government debate) == airboxing (2, Interesting)

anticlimate (1093749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268631)

What do you mean by "capitalist"? Someone who has capital (how much?)? Someone who blindly believes in an "ism" which promotes free market as the cure for everything? Someone who generally favours market friendly solutions to economic problems? And the meaning of "free market" have many interpretations too. Especially when applied to the financial sector. At least you didn't use the word globalization... :)

Re:The power of government... (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269037)

I've got a bit of news for you, sport. Google for "Federal Reserve", and try to figure out what effect they've had when they made an unlimited amount of credit available at an interest rate below the inflation rate.

Capitalism didn't get us into this mess. We were regulated into it, just like we were in 1929.

-jcr

Re:The power of government... (4, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269485)

the Federal Reserve had nothing to do with predatory lending practices (which had been going on in the credit industry long before the mortgage crisis). and for the most part, the investment banking industry has been self-regulated--which is an inherent conflict of interest.

do a little research into the history of industry regulations in the U.S., and you'll see exactly why these regulations are necessary. anyone who thinks a laissez-faire free market economy is the solution to all the world's problems is clearly ignorant of our past and needs a reality check.

despite what many libertarians seem to believe, greed does not inherently promote public welfare or ethical/responsible behavior. the truth is quite the opposite, which is historically why regulations have been legislated in the first place.

Re:The power of government... (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270435)

the Federal Reserve had nothing to do with predatory lending practices

Guess again.

No matter how slipshod a mortgage lender is, it's the endless supply of credit from the Fed that makes it possible for him to hand out those loans. In a free market for credit, the more loans are made, the less money is available for lending, and the interest rates go up.

anyone who thinks a laissez-faire free market economy is the solution to all the world's problems is clearly ignorant of our past and needs a reality check.

Anyone who thinks government interference in the economy can improve it is indulging in wishful thinking. As for reality checks, we're in the midst of one right now, but sadly there are far too many people who believe it's possible to extinguish a fire by flooding it with gasoline.

-jcr

Re:The power of government... (3, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270473)

despite what many libertarians seem to believe, greed does not inherently promote public welfare or ethical/responsible behavior.

What a bizarre strawman you've built there. I don't know any libertarian who's made any claim to that effect. What we do claim, is that in a free market with the rule of law, the way to prosper is to offer what people want to buy. Doing business ethically is conducive to getting repeat business. People who fuck over their customers will suffer damage to their reputation, and their business will suffer as a result.

-jcr

(off-topic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26271313)

Thank you, jcr, for fighting the good fight. Nearly every time I see posts blaming the free market for our problems, you are there pointing out the larger historical picture and the meddlesome hand of government. Whenever libertarian ideals are misunderstood or misconstrued, you respond with corrections and clarifications. I have yet to see you tackle some of the tougher questions, but that is because they are not being asked.

As we sink deeper into the depression and all the horrible stuff that Austrian economists have predicted continues to become manifest, you will begin to get more responses that are supportive instead of antagonistic. Your audience hasn't seen enough to get the hook yet, except for those of us who are already with you. As long as you continue to post quality content and refrain from sliding into the invective that is often directed at you, your voice will grow. I look forward to it.

Best of luck,
A fan

Re:The power of government... (0, Redundant)

Poingggg (103097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26271855)

People who fuck over their customers will suffer damage to their reputation, and their business will suffer as a result.

True...but people who fuck over their employees and/or the environment to get things done cheaper, especially if they do it in places the customer is not (directly) affected by it, will only suffer from a bad concience and the problem how to spend all that money they earn, while their businesses flourish because they help their customers so well with their low prices. That has NOTHING to do with promoting ethical business, but just the contrary. But if the rule of law says that what you are doing is unethical, you can (at least in the US) always buy yourself some congress-critters to change the laws for you.

Re:The power of government... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26271349)

Not that I'm a fan of 'the system', but IMHO saying that "we were regulated into it" is plain stupid.

Banks are, or were, institutions that collect (smallish) savings from many and use it to lend (largish) sums to those who temporarily need it, be it to get a house, start a company or bridge a financial gap etc... Charging a slightly higher interest rate for the loans than is given for the savings makes them money doing so. In theory, everybody wins.

However, having worked for banks the past 10+ years I've learned that
* banks indeed do what's described above using marketing to squeeze every drop out it making sure (higher) management gets its bonuses.
* banks deviate from their 'historical raison-d'etre' in order to 'maximize' profit. To do so, they "invented" the weirdest schemes that somehow 'miraculously' makes them money. (Derivatives etc) Maybe that originally those started of as a method to mitigate the risk but they quickly sparked a whole new business-line of well... speculative banking.

"Regulation" should have foreseen that part 2 was outgrowing part 1. In fact, "Regulation" tried to put this to a halt (eg Basel II), but since given regulation allows for so many "interpretations", banks will go to serious lengths to bend as much as possible towards the 'more profit' side, away from the 'as safe as possible' side =/

What governments did wrong IMHO is that they intervened and saved the ass of those that were at the base of this whole debacle. It's like patting them on the shoulder saying "well, well, congratulations, you screwed us over fantastically, here's some money."

(Posting anonymously as I don't want to put my employer in a bad daylight, we're in the business of financial reporting and implement software that should have avoided the whole financial mess ... ironically the software works fine but they tend to 'tweak' the source data a little bit here and there if possible, and then the same happens with the output before it goes out into the real world. Fraud ? Not quite, but grayish IMHO)

Re:The power of government... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270179)

There was no need for government to momentarily take control of everything, until the people that previously controlled things utterly screwed up.

Which must be why the government forced banks that didn't want or need bailouts to take them. Or don't you remember that part?

Re:The power of government... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26271021)

Umm.. a quick google search will tell you that Fannie Mae, the institution that started this whole bail out debacle is a government sponsored enterprise. You blame the banking crisis on the 'Free Market' but the sad truth is that we haven't had anything close to a free banking market since the new deal. What has happened:
1. A creature of government was formed to give out loans to bad creditors (bad idea)
2. Then it was privatised in the name of supposed free market principles (worse idea)
3. And finally after it doesn't survive in the real world it's subsidised and the beuracrats holding the reigns are further de-regulated (worst idea).

Your comparing Apples to Oranges, what we have now is neither libertarian or socialist but rather a form of corporatism where large corporations are all scrambling for a piece of the tax loot. It's Pay to play government corruption at it's finest. Democrats (and now Republican's) start government monopolies in the name of the common good then Republican's (and now Democrats) privatise them by essentially handing the keys to this government monopoly over to the highest bidder. The fact that all of this is refered to as the 'Free Market' just makes me sick.

Re:The power of government... (2, Insightful)

Logic and Reason (952833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26271685)

Next time free enterprise puts a man on the moon, you let me know.

Part of the reason it hasn't happened yet is that there's nothing to be gained from putting another man on the moon right now. Most of the scientifically valuable data either has been gathered already or can be gathered by remote-controlled probes; and other uses for the moon (mining, colonization) are economically or technically infeasible right now.

Governments, on the other hand, are mostly free from such constraints. They can (for example) spend fantastic amounts of taxpayer money to send men to the Moon, just so they can gain bragging rights over a certain rival country.

I'm not denying that the manned Moon missions had value, by the way; I just think there were better ways to spend that money, including unmanned probes or other types of research. Once the benefits of sending a man to the Moon exceeded the costs, free enterprise would have done so, and more cheaply than NASA ever could.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (4, Insightful)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268443)

All that NASA is good at doing these days is burning money.

Deary me - isn't that a little unfair? The only thing they can do is burn money? You don't see any value at all in the various Mars missions, the fascinating output of Cassini-Huygens, or SOHO, or...? And so on.

Check out the NASA Current Missions [nasa.gov] for a bit of an overview of some of the amazing work that NASA are doing.

Whilst I don't disagree with your main point that small, nimble, commercial outfits can often work smarter and quicker than monolithic government departments, I don't think it's fair cast NASA as nothing but a bottomless sinkhole for cash.

It might also be worth considering how many of those current projects would never even get to the drawing board stage if the only space enterprises we had were entirely commercial.

Pork barrell... (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270557)

Small, nimble is a bit idyllic anyway. A lot of what the private sector does with government contracts can be called a lot of things, but smarter and/or quicker might not be it.

Spacex is kind of an oddity and certainly inspiring but lets not get so inspired that we begin to believe all private sector ventures have the public good at heart.

Re:Pork barrell... (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 5 years ago | (#26272437)

Where did the parent say anything about the "public good"?

There is no public good. It is merely the aggregate of all of the individuals' good.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268525)

Yes, although the Congress and administration would like you to believe that the current "crisis" is a result of greed, the bottom line is that the money had to come from someplace, and it came from them.

Yes, in a way it did come from the government -- it's called deregulation. IOW, "freer" free enterprise. Since the bad boys in the banks didn't have Big Brother looking over their shoulder, they were free to do very risky things -- bordering on outright fraud -- with other people's money. That's what caused the bailout, that's what caused the economic collapse. Don't just take my word for it -- read what's been coming out of the mouths of economists.

Look at this project in comparison to "Orion". A small team vs. thousands. A few designers vs. hundreds of engineers using bulky project management. It goes to show that you really only need project management to do something the first time (IE, not knowing where the major failing points will be). After that, you need something lightweight and agile so that you aren't throwing away the experience of your people by second guessing them until they are unable to make quick decisions.

You can't compare the two. Orion's eventual goal is go to Mars. First Orion will go back to the moon to 'practice', and what is learned there will be used to further develop the Orion program for a manned mission to Mars. Let me know when Elan Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are even remotely planning anything on that scale. Then we can compare.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (0, Offtopic)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269079)

Yes, in a way it did come from the government -- it's called deregulation.

I see that you're swallowing the party line. The fact of the matter is, regulations grew just as much under Bush as under any president before him. The key factor to this bubble was the unlimited credit that the Federal Reserve issued, and the Fed is a government-established monopoly. The lesson here is that central planning is a recipe for disaster, whether it's the Soviet bureaucracy setting grain quotas and prices, or the Federal Reserve setting interest rates for fiat currency.

-jcr

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26272195)

I'm afraid that you're the one swallowing the 'party line'.

Here's what really happened: Banks started giving out mortgages to lenders who didn't qualify from a credit score (risk) standpoint. They then packaged these into securities and traded them foreign investors. Understand that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act [wikipedia.org] allowed them to do this and that's the key to the whole thing.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26272463)

>or the Federal Reserve setting interest rates for fiat currency.

Just a quick clarification; The U.S. currency is not a "fiat" currency. A fiat currency is based on nothing. If you want an example of that, google "zimbabwe economy."

The U.S. dollar is based on debt. I'd go into further detail, but I am technically supposed to be working right now.

Also, the key factor was legislature mandating that credit be given out to bad risks, not that credit be given out in and of itself.

A debt based economy is more than workable so long as the people manning the helm don't fall into the trap of thinking that exponential growth rates are sustainable. Unfortunately, convincing economists otherwise is a task only accomplished by things like recent events. Even then, such an event only reminds them of this fact for a short period of time.

Quite the opposite (0, Offtopic)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269127)

Since the bad boys in the banks didn't have Big Brother looking over their shoulder, they were free to do very risky things -- bordering on outright fraud -- with other people's money.

No, the current crisis wasn't created by deregulation, it was created by regulation that prohibited banks from denying credit to people based on the neighborhood where they live. That's what the "sub-prime" market is all about, people who borrow money to buy houses without the means to pay their loans.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (2, Insightful)

CommandoCody (1154955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268567)

Of course, the 50 years of accumulated NASA research and experience has been completely useless to SpaceX, an organization that has accomplished everything so far by starting from Newtonian first principles.

I mean, think about it. "Delete it entirely and create a new space agency" - so, where shall we get experienced scientists and engineers to man this agency? And, where shall we find contractors to build everything this agency designs? Hey, this is all looking kinda familiar...

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

suzerain79 (1441559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268643)

You are aware that there are government mandates that require NASA to use private enterprise if that private enterprise can do it cheaper than NASA can? Unfortunately, there are not a ton of companies chomping at the bit to take on the risk to make use of this mandate. Hopefully, this is the start.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (3, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269033)

I knew clicking on these thread it would be full of libertarians mentally wanking themselves off.

This really shows the power of capitalism in this time of government failing. Yes, although the Congress and administration would like you to believe that the current "crisis" is a result of greed, the bottom line is that the money had to come from someplace, and it came from them. Anyway, by looking at Scaled Composites and SpaceX and seeing what they can do when freed from the binders of government "fairness" (corruption, really, since nothing is truely fair) has simply been fascinating. Space flight is finally coming of age.

The "power" of capitalism is what caused the current financial crisis, not teh evil government. Banking institutions collapsed after regulations were removed, not whilst they were in place. To go from that to claiming that a 50-years-behind corporate spaceflight program (that is hardly capitalist anyway as it is driven largely by Musk's cash and optimism, not genuine returns) shows a lack of grasp of reality.

Oh, and never forget that his only real customer is the government. Its practically socialism!

Look at this project in comparison to "Orion". A small team vs. thousands. A few designers vs. hundreds of engineers using bulky project management. It goes to show that you really only need project management to do something the first time (IE, not knowing where the major failing points will be). After that, you need something lightweight and agile so that you aren't throwing away the experience of your people by second guessing them until they are unable to make quick decisions.

Retard. Their "small team" and "quick decisions" are what caused them to blow up the first 3 rockets they launch with hilariously simple mistakes. Your beloved capitalist market tends to interpret redundancy and quality control as waste and bureaucracy, when in fact they are necessary for space flight.

Will the NASA craft be somehow safer as a result of this rigor? I doubt it. Because the project is so tedious it's probably likely some things were just given up on. SpaceX will get it through testing, trial and error, and will find out more in two throw-away tests than NASA will in 10 years of rigorous development. And because they are only supporting one application, a proprietary one, they don't have to be "fair", and spend 10x as much to ensure compatibility with vendor specifications.

Thanks, but I'd rather take facts over the uninformed ranting of a teenage Ayn Rand fanboy. The facts are, SpaceX have a 75% failure rate and NASA have been putting people into space for decades with relatively few mistakes.

Now I'm not saying the government should get out of the space business, but I do think they need to lean it out and put more on the contractors, and open it up to more competition. The fact that this is finally possible is in large part due to the decrease in cost of computers. From project management software to CAD to anything else, it's now possible to wield the same level of computational and data harnessing power on your desktop that was previously limited to only government-sized resources. The gap is closing because there's really not a lot they can do that we can't (with computers). In fact, the increase in the size of government recently seems to be it trying to preserve itself by creating more jobs. "Let's move those computers to something the private industry will never be trusted to do", they think, "such as listening to all the telephone and internet traffic or studying weapons."

If you actually approached some kind of understanding of the subject and weren't just trotting out capitalist dogma like a mindless drone, you might know that a lot of the early problems NASA had were due to competition between contractors and insufficient (government, gasp!) management of them. Sorry if the facts interrupt your little dream world, but there they are.

The idea that computers can magically make your stupid ideology work is pathetic. They had plenty of computers in the banking industry and we still sleepwalked into an economic crisis because of people blindly believing the bullshit you believe.

All that NASA is good at doing these days is burning money. Obama, if you're listening, clean it out. In fact, delete it entirely and create a new space agency with modern roots! Imagine what we could do with 500 billion over 10 years with a modern and efficient CIVILIAN organization.

NASA is still doing plenty of good work, you are just too dumb to notice.

One last point: NASA is a civilian organisation. I believe the word you are looking for is 'corporate' - because as much as you lie and pretend you are looking out for the little guy, your utopia is one where billionaires control everything, can do as they please without democratic accountability, and everyone else works for slave wages and can't afford their mortages.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (0, Offtopic)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269351)

The "power" of capitalism is what caused the current financial crisis, not teh evil government. Banking institutions collapsed after regulations were removed, not whilst they were in place.

You mean, when the congress (see Barney Frank's ranting assurances that Fannie and Freddie were no risk at all, and perfectly well capitalized, etc) - for entirely political reasons, essentially forces the capital market to make irrational loans to people who cannot possibly afford them, that's regulations being removed? Hardly. Those institutions would never had made those loans, or invested in them, without that heavy dose of wrong-headed government involvement in the market.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269365)

Capitalism retard misses the point once more. If what you claim is true, what is happening now would've happened a long time ago. You fail.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269751)

If what you claim is true, what is happening now would've happened a long time ago.

Wrong. The risk was accumulating (which is why the representatives from the administration are seen in congressional hearings, in front of Franks, telling him there's a serious problem looming). The only thing that delayed the results was the unusually long period of time that property values continued to go up on the market. When that stopped, as it always does, the empty loan values - the ones backed up by vague government promises and pressure on the market - came home to roost.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269915)

You've got a nice little thought-stopper there. By claiming that causative events are radically separated in time from their consequences, you can pin the global crisis on 'teh gubment' just as easily as you could pin global warming on a lack of pirates. You do not understand logic or reason, you ignorant little cretin. You also seem to fail to understand that every respected economic expert on the planet disagrees with your amateur assessment. Idiot.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (0, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270561)

You've got a nice little thought-stopper there

If he does, you're the one it's affecting.

Read and learn [mises.org]

The Federal Reserve is the root of the problem. When you inflate the currency, it causes market distortions. In this case, the biggest distortion was the housing bubble. Fannie and Freddie are their chief accomplices, and the mortgage originators are like the corner drug dealers.

every respected economic expert on the planet disagrees

When you try to argue ad veracundiam, you might want to cite specific economists who happen to have been correct in their predictions. Just waving your hands like this makes you the idiot.

-jcr

Re:The Power of Capitalism (0, Flamebait)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273457)

mises.org? Are you shitting me? Fringe lunatic economics don't impress me one bit. If you want a respected commentator on the situation try Robert Peston

Oh, and don't throw around the Latin like it makes you look smart. I learned that shit at school and it doesn't impress me at all.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26270863)

Heaven forbid anyone not agreeing with you.

If you cannot have a rational discussion without resorting to childish rants and insults, then I suggest you take a pill and log off. Seriously, any point you try to make is lost behind your 4th grade insults. You are essentially getting all worked up over a silly debate. Hell, you may even be right, but you have managed to be a troll and flamebait at once.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273431)

I am perfectly rational, I also feel people who are stupid need to have this pointed out sometimes. The two aren't mutually exclusive. I do not suffer fools gladly.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273789)

Thinking someone is stupid instead of misguided/naive/ignorant/whatever, and also thinking that insulting people isn't a bad thing makes you look like a fool. What is your reason for posting? Righteous indignation? Or a genuine desire to change another persons mind? Surely you've learned somewhere insults do anything but make a person receptive.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273903)

I do not suffer fools gladly.

But you sure like to make one of yourself. Why should anyone consider your rantings to be in any way credible when you can't manage to deliver them without acting like a spoiled, jerky grade school punk? Do you even read your own posts?

Re:The Power of Capitalism (2, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269535)

Of course, as has been mentioned by other posters here, SpaceX (like all the other companies in the industry) has only been able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time because they have had 50+ years of government funded rocket/space reasearch at their disposal (not just NASA or US reasearch, but also German reasearch funded during WWII as well as Russian research released after the end of the Cold War). Nothing ever stopped private companies from developing spacecraft. The reason they didn't was that the cost-benefit analysis said that even if they could afford to develop the tech it would have a pay-off to make the capital investment worth while or that pay-off was to far off in the future to sell the idea to investors. Thats one of the things government funding of research is good for. Governments can think in the long-term and do the unprofitable early research that make the technology more profitable for later private enterprise. They also do things for national defense reasons that serve the same effect, trickling down to non-military applications once the tech is cheaper to produce.

You say that all NASA is good for, these days, is burning money but you ignore all the incredible things they've achieved such as the reacent Mars explorers that not only succeeded in their mission but ran for far far longer than their planned operational lives. What you aren't accounting for is the fact that, even with those 50+ years of research, space exploration is still extremely expensive because of the extreme nature of the environment. Try looking up the total cost of the Apollo program and converting that number to 2008 dollars. The price was astronomical. Compared to what it took to put people on the moon, what NASA has today is nothing.

Now is the time for private companies to start looking at exploiting space, but we aren't ready yet to just get rid of NASA. Maybe, when one or two of these companies has a fully operational spacecraft capable of intra-solarsystem travel we could concider it. Right now we have nothing that could even come close to taking the place of NASA.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269585)

inKubus,

I couldn't agree with you more, however I would like to point out the reasons why the bureaucracies exist and why we pay so much more on government programs than private ones. Having worked in both sectors I understand what's going on and the advantages and disadvantages on both sides.

The reason government programs are so costly is accountability. Unlike private organizations, government institutions are nothing more than organizational structures. Therefore their setup must assume minimal competency at each point in the decision tree. Because of this decisions are split up into sub responsibilities with each sub responsibility being sent off to separate nodes in the tree. Those nodes each send their assessments (most of the time a simple pass/fail type system) up the chain where someone else signs off. Funding allocations are determined on how effective the whole unit is and the point of the process is not only to produce an item, but to additionally produce an accountability trail that is thorough enough that any failure can be re-examined and the root causes for failure can be brought out and blame can be properly assigned. When government partners with industry the bureaucracy doubles, because the government part of the process has to justify all the changes, expenses and performances that the industrial partner makes. On the gov side the motto is "Trust But Verify". The partner has to keep nearly identical records in case they fail and the funding they've been provided gets clawed back.

The fact that this problem gets in it's own way is an issue, but the thought behind it isn't a bad one. There's something to be said about having a trace for the thought process behind development. That said, currently despite that every decision and discussion is documented and recorded, the volume the government produces acts most effectively as camouflage and the sheer volume of reporting makes it difficult to track back to root causes when stuff goes bad.

To increases efficiency, you must assume more liability at each node in the tree. You improve competency at each node, and things move faster. Making nodes more competent, you can eliminate redundant nodes and stream line the process. On top of that they're only preforming half the function in that they aren't producing the same accountability trail that is required in government work.

I'm not saying that the government way of doing things is correct, but I would say that there is a philosophy behind it that isn't totally worthless, even if the implementation is screwed up. I'm willing to bet that if SpaceX exhibits a failure, you'll have to turn to one of their senior engineers to understand and what went wrong and why. And if you're going to invest lots of public money into the system, there should be some assurance that if that happens, you don't just get a "shrug, idontkonw" in return. There should be a way of confirming that what he says the day after the failure is consistent with what he said before the failure.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

Karrde45 (772180) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269819)

ISO 9000 and ISO 9001 are not limited to the government. There are many industry standards regarding record keeping and paper trails of critical hardware.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

sgage (109086) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270637)

"This really shows the power of capitalism in this time of government failing."

It is capitalism that is failing.

Re:The Power of Capitalism (1)

kwikrick (755625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26271167)

On the other hand, commercial space flight, especially in its development stage, needs investors. The economy is currently in a bit of a depresession, and commercial space flight is quite a risky investment (engineers make a mistake somewhere, booom, millions of dollars up in smoke). So I expect things will progress quite slowly in commercial space flight for a while.

Capitalist economies are inherently unstable, and therefore, I'm glad that there are government sponsored space agencies.

When was the last time NASA did anything like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26268299)

Ya know... design and manufacture a new rocket or anything?

here's a spec. sheet (4, Informative)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268335)

http://www.spacex.com/falcon9.php [spacex.com] (Please make source articles more complete)

Re:here's a spec. sheet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26269925)

LEO missions: $36.75M
TLI missions: $46.75M

Pricing reflects US dollars Paid-In-Full at Authority-to-Proceed, January 1, 2008.
SpaceX offers milestone-based financing at 5% APR.

5% APR? Where's the "No money down, No payments until 2012" option I'm seeing at all the OTHER commercial spacecraft delivery services?

Better Link (3, Informative)

tibman (623933) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268353)

The offical site and news: http://www.spacex.com/updates.php [spacex.com] It says exactly what the article links to, just a bit more offical ;)

I know a lot of people never thought SpaceX would get this far. I watched the first three Falcon1's explode like everyone else before this last successful launch in Sept (even though it had no real payload). I'm hopeful their Falcon9 starts out successful.

NASA isn't that bad. (2, Interesting)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268365)

But how much of this rocket is cherry picked from NASA devolpments. Their rockets probably are. And I would imagine that most of the whole project came from the NASA/Military complex in this country. They are standing on the shoulders of NASA and the Military to get to where they are. As for NASA they really do a lot with the money they get. They get peanuts compared to Army/Navy/Airforce and produce so much more. Probably because the A/N/AF is in the business of destroying stuff. They are pieceing together (from parts) a rocket that can go into space. NASA is desigining a rocket that goes into space. This would be like me going to a parts house and building a car from Ford/GM/Chrysler parts and saying my devolpment costs are so much less. They aren't because I didn't devolp a car. I pieced together a car. For my car to get better I have to get GM to devolp me a better engine.

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (1)

NameIsDavid (945872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268499)

Actually, much of the rocket design is fresh thinking with extreme reliability in mind. This includes reducing failure modes by design but also extreme monitoring of each of the rocket's systems. Of course, the very nature of technological advance is building on the shoulders of what came before. It's why every generation doesn't start with stone tools and move up from there. NASA had German V2 rocket technology and its designers at its disposal, for instance.

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269047)

75% failure is not extreme reliability

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26269693)

75% failure is not extreme reliability

"If at first you don't succeed, give up."

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (0, Flamebait)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269835)

"If at first you don't succeed because you were dumb, then second and third you still don't succeed because you are still being dumb, you probably shouldn't be handed big NASA contracts"

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26270383)

"If at first you don't succeed because you were dumb, then second and third you still don't succeed because you are still being dumb, you probably shouldn't be handed big NASA contracts"

It's easy to call SpaceX "dumb", but none of the failures were traced to basic design flaws in the engine or rocket itself.

All the failures were traced to problems that would be almost impossible to detect with computer models or ground tests.

And NASA has had virtually the same or similar problems developing rockets and rocket engines in the past. Perhaps NASA shouldn't be handed NASA contracts either.

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273383)

Bullshit. All the mistakes they made were schoolboy stuff that would've been spotted with proper quality control.

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270605)

"75% failure" isn't a very enlightening statistic. If that's the rate of failure over their entire development program, and they've been steadily improving then it's rather better than NASA did over the same amount of time when they started.

-jcr

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26273409)

When NASA started they were working with transistors and no clue if what they were doing was possible. SpaceX gets to draw on all the decades of work done by bad old government and they still fuck it up the first few times.

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (2, Informative)

Karrde45 (772180) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268509)

SpaceX has developed their own engines. 4 at last count: Merlin, Merlin Vac, Kestrel, and Draco. They are using common dome tanks, which NASA (as far as I know) is not using in their current programs. SpaceX started as little more than an assembler of outsourced and off the shelf parts, but these days they pretty much design and build as much in house as they can. They may be relying on a lot of NASA's theoretical research of years past, but they are definitely designing their own rocket rather than just slapping NASA parts together.

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26268873)

But how much of this rocket is cherry picked from NASA devolpments. [...] For my car to get better I have to get GM to devolp me a better engine.

Depends on what you mean by "better", which is of course relative to your goals. I think that, given the goals we're shooting for here, what you actually mean above is "worse". It will be worse if it doesn't make use of cheap, proven, and most importantly, off-the-shelf parts I can get from my local auto store.

The "Space Renaissance" doesn't come from developing new rockets. It comes from making them cheap and relatively common. The world didn't change the day the Wright Brothers flew. It changed the day you could go to the local airport and catch a flight to London.

Re:NASA isn't that bad. (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26270867)

It changed the day you could go to the local airport and catch a flight to London.

I'd rather go to the Greek Islands. Maybe even live there, drinking coffee, eating souvlaki, pouring retsina down the drain and sampling their myriad forms of Ouzo. Although I appreciate Rembetika from a distance, I'd be listening to Bonzo Dog instead while watching Falcon 9 pass overhead.

mod 0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26269205)

move forward, propAganda and take a look at the

T%a3o (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26269361)

this very moment, A 7osing baatle; AND EXECUTES A

If they could only get things to work ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26269413)

So far, the Falcon rocket has being nothing but failure. Every single one of their rocket has either exploited or the cargo has failed to reach the target orbit.

With that kind of record, I would wait until they have at least 5 successful consecutive launches before I consider this company as viable/reliable for a civil/private space program.

A vision with nothing but failures is not a vision at all. It is just a dream implemented by people who don't know what they are doing.

Still no decent pics of the interesting bits (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269663)

neither in TFA nor on SpaceX's own site are there any pictures of the 9-engine cluster, just loads of boring photos of large cylinders.

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