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Space Shuttle To Be Replaced By SpaceX For ISS Resupply

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the how-to-squelch-space-mercantilism? dept.

NASA 297

destinyland writes "Next year SpaceX will perform resupply missions for the International Space Station after the Space Shuttle is grounded, as part of a $3.5 billion NASA resupply contract. 'The fledgling space industry is reminiscent of the early days of the personal computer,' notes one technology reporter, 'when a number of established vendors and startups reversed-engineered Microsoft's DOS and manufactured PCs using the Intel 8080 chip set. We're likely to see a similar industry shakeout in the private space vehicle market segment in the coming decades.'"

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Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29279569)

LMFAO!!!

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (5, Informative)

Bill Currie (487) | about 5 years ago | (#29279577)

Yeah, I noticed that too. It was IBM's bios that was reversed engineered, not MS DOS.

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (4, Insightful)

iocat (572367) | about 5 years ago | (#29280597)

Just to add to the horse-shit, there was a key difference between the early computer industry and the nascent private space industry. Two guys in a garage could start a small hardware or software company and have a shot of success. Getting a rocket to orbit or manned flight takes a few more resources than maxxing out your credit card to buy an Altair or even an Apple II.

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | about 5 years ago | (#29280637)

They didn't 'max out their credit card' to design the Apple 1. They resold stolen long distance time from the phone company.

The early PC clones used the 8088 chip. The 8080 chip was what grown up hardware enthusiasts were using in their S-100 computers. The kiddies had the weaker, cheaper 6502 parts.

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (1)

Sensiblemonkey (1539543) | about 5 years ago | (#29280665)

Yeah, I noticed that too. It was IBM's bios that was reversed engineered, not MS DOS.

IBM's PC BIOS didn't need to be reverse engineered; it was published and sold by IBM along with the PC's schematics in the technical docs for the machine.

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29279611)

And built computers using the 8080, no less. I actually used a computer with an 8080, but they were much less common than machines using the Z80, which was 8080 compatible and also included a number of other instructions. I suspect this 'technology reporter' wasn't around in the '80s and hasn't read any history of technology, which makes me wonder how he or she is considered qualified for the title.

If this is like the computer revolution of the '80s, I wonder who will be claiming that we need a rocket on every desk...

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#29279941)

"There will be a world market for about five space transporters."

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280469)

Transporter 2012 - Jason Statham in Space

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280627)

another Jason Statham fan I see

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280747)

I wouldn't say that I'm a fan persay, but I would definitely suck him off if he stuck his cock in my face.

640 (5, Funny)

interactive_civilian (205158) | about 5 years ago | (#29280117)

640 tonnes of lift capacity ought to be enough for anyone. ;)

Re:640 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280691)

Standard: Metric: or LT (long Ton)

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280191)

And built computers using the 8080, no less. I actually used a computer with an 8080

I actually built a computer with a 1337!

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 5 years ago | (#29280215)

If this is like the computer revolution of the '80s, I wonder who will be claiming that we need a rocket on every desk...

A stark contrast to when it was like the computer revolution of the '60s.

<glayven> I predict that in a hundred years, rockets will be twice as powerful, ten thousand times larger, and so expensive only the five riches CEOs in the West will be able to afford them! <glayven>

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 5 years ago | (#29280581)

I predict that by the year 1992 computers will have become so advanced that we'll only need a single blinking light for I/O

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (1, Interesting)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 5 years ago | (#29279843)

LMFAO!!!

Yes I agree it is laughable that our government is thinking it appropriate to move basic space endeavors to the private sector. I might have more faith in this move if we were pursuing greater feats while leaving the left overs to the private sector. Seams to me that since the abandoning the Apollo kit for the Space Shuttle we have been on a steady downward decline at NASA.

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (3, Informative)

that this is not und (1026860) | about 5 years ago | (#29280661)

The Space Shuttle was designed (badly) as a low cost re-launchable vehicle. However, when it was discovered that it would need to be stripped down to the bare airframe and totally rebuilt for each relaunch that idea sort of fizzled. Then it simply became a funding mechanism for the aerospace industry, which it remained for the remainder of it's use life. Thank goodness most of the airframes are ash now, so we don't have to continue that particular bit of 'earmark' funding any longer.

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (4, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 years ago | (#29280363)

Sorry for hijacking the first post. However, this story appears to be completely false. There is a report which recommends this as an alternative. However, I can find not reputable news source that is suggesting this will happen. So, either I cannot find the right sources, or we have another example of shoddy Slashdot journalism.

Re:Reverse Engineered Microsoft DOS??? (2, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 5 years ago | (#29280601)

shoddy Slashdot journalism

A perfect example of a Pleonasm [wikipedia.org] .

If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (-1, Troll)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | about 5 years ago | (#29279571)

This is a great idea. Since NASA has lost the last 40 years on good scientific research but no exploration, I think it's time for somebody else to take those dollars and try to see if they can make money. It's the same as we have in good IT shops. You have the roving team of experts who design and build your systems [the NASA guys] but you don't waste your best on maintenance. For that, you have another team that lives with each app. This will also force the NASA people to actually DO something.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 5 years ago | (#29279627)

This is a great idea. Since NASA has lost the last 40 years on good scientific research but no exploration

Seriously, what it is with the insane, ingorant NASA hate around here these days. No exploration? What about spirit and opprtunity?

Don't they count?

And when it comes to rocketry, sure, the shuttle is getting a little long in the tooth, but is there any other vehicle capable of either servising Hubble, or bringing anything down?

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (4, Funny)

mweather (1089505) | about 5 years ago | (#29279687)

I explored Paris via Google Maps, but it's just not the same as being there.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (5, Funny)

solevita (967690) | about 5 years ago | (#29279923)

Problem is that all that stuff in space is much harder to get to than Paris, although probably less hostile to foreigners.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (1, Insightful)

ImaLamer (260199) | about 5 years ago | (#29280413)

I can see the moon from my front porch. I can't see Paris. So, which is closer?

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (3, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | about 5 years ago | (#29280071)

I explored Paris via Google Maps, but it's just not the same as being there.

No, but it *is* about the same as looking at someone else's holiday photos.

Don't forget the #1 rule of manned space flight: *you* don't get to go. And if you're stuck on earth, does it really matter if the pictures you're looking at were taken by man or machine?

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29280161)

does it really matter if the pictures you're looking at were taken by man or machine?

What do you mean, an african or european man?

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (2, Funny)

maino82 (851720) | about 5 years ago | (#29280417)

Are these unladen men?

fuck you (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280717)

your such a nigger jew raclst

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (4, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#29280131)

I explored Paris via Google Maps, but it's just not the same as being there.

Actually you were checking out Paris on a completely different site, but the same principle applies.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (1, Interesting)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | about 5 years ago | (#29279937)

I meant no NASA hate--I have followed everything they have done. My hate is for our leaders since JFK who did not have the foresight to move maintenance off to dedicated resources. The rocket scientists at NASA should be spending their time dreaming up cooler stuff. Think of the innovations that came out of the Mercury-Gemini-Apollo missions. And in the intervening 40 years we have had no more of that innovation. The shuttle was designed in the 1970s. I think if our rocket scientists were put up to the challenge by giving them nothing else to do but invent new stuff--that innovations would come that would spur new technologies.

Only recently, I've gotten the idea that the space program, somehow, went on out of the public eye. I never used to think that but now I'm thinking the reason the public was not treated to the continuing space program was because they were all already preoccupied with the secret space program. Think about it. We designed the shuttle and all that in the 1970s. And in 40 years nobody has thought up a better way? So, innovation in space just stopped in 1970? I don't think so. I think they just classified it.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (2, Insightful)

yurtinus (1590157) | about 5 years ago | (#29280025)

Conspiracy theories are fun and all, but I think the more obvious explanation will suffice here-- We simply haven't had motivation to push our space programs as we have in the past. Certainly there have been innovations and rocket scientists dreaming up new and better propulsion systems, but there has been no grand scale programs to put them to the test. With any luck, China and India will be pushing their own space exploration programs to spur on a new space race, but short of that a lot of Americans simply don't care.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 5 years ago | (#29280335)

A major impetus (maybe the primary) of the 1950's - 1970's space program was the Soviet Union's space program. We couldn't let them out flank us in space. That isn't true now-a-days.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (2, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | about 5 years ago | (#29280105)

is there any other vehicle capable of either servising Hubble, or bringing anything down?

There are plenty of vehicles that can bring themselves down; most of them do, somewhere around South Pacific. If you mean "safely" then the list narrows, but a used satellite, well past its "use by" date, is just not worth of bringing down in one piece. The value is in data bits, not in bits of metal and silicon - and data can be easily sent over the radio.

Hubble is yet another issue. The original cost of Hubble was estimated at $400 million [wikipedia.org] , but it grew out of proportion because of endless delays with launch and because of the defective mirror. It would be probably cheaper and better today to build a copy of Hubble telescope, with all new cameras installed and all the improvements made, instead of replacing failed components one by one in a risky and limited servicing mission. Many components of Hubble telescope are not serviceable anyway. So while STS is a system capable of servicing Hubble, the overall value of such a service is debatable. Of course, if you have STS you use it, but I wouldn't say that without Shuttle the Hubble telescope project can't happen - there would be some other vehicle to launch it on, likely a cheaper one.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 years ago | (#29280639)

So while STS is a system capable of servicing Hubble, the overall value of such a service is debatable.

Not really. The really important thing about the Hubble servicing mission - and the various service and resupply missions to the ISS - is learning how to WORK in space. If we're planning on anything long term, we must have the capability to routinely get up out of bed, out the door and fix whatever broke (remember Murphy?).

Obviously, we aren't there yet. It took years of training and planning to fix the Hubble. It took years of training and planning to fix the solar cells on the ISS. We've got to get to the point where we can go 'oops, the widget broke, need to go out and replace it' without spending months choreographing every move. It's routine and boring but it's exactly what we need to do to STAY in space. That's why ISS is important and that's why the Hubble resupply missions were critically important.

Even if you're correct and it's cheaper to just chuck the old one and launch Hubble II.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280401)

No. NASA spent 50-100x what Spirit and Opportunity cost. Where did the rest of the money go? After the first two were so successful, why didn't they make more of them and explore further? They had the budget.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#29279705)

There is no money to be made directly from space exploration.

If mars had large wooded forests and a magic crystal that was trivial to turn into some paradigm shift technology, then yeah.

NASA's exploration allows us to better understand the universe, and gives focus to companies to develop RnD to accomplish goals. That RnD and it's results is the market payoff, and why the space program actually more then pays for itself.

Satellite launches? sure, that can go private.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | about 5 years ago | (#29279981)

The best thing NASA has done in the past 40 years is Hubble. That is a real treat for anybody with a pair of eyes and an imagination.

Did you really write that there was no money to be made in space exploration? There are an infinite number of ways to make money there. Sure, it takes huge investments but even as tourism and mining there's a lot out there. Wasn't Lebensraum ("living space") [wikipedia.org] one of the main justifications for World War II? People just want to explore.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280097)

No they don't. Most people just want to eat, get laid, and have fun. Very few want anything more then that, and the majority of this minority don't care about exploration but rather serving their own phantoms.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (0)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | about 5 years ago | (#29280325)

They explore what's in the TV Guide. (Not me! Stopped watching TV in 8th grade.)

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280139)

Lebensraum wasn't about exploration... it was about spreading the German people over the Asian continent, and making everybody else slaves or dead.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280253)

very timely comment given that it is the 70th anniversary of the start of ETO (european theatre of operations) for WWII (which had many starts depending on where in the world you live)

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 years ago | (#29280039)

There is no money to be made directly from space exploration.

Remember the old real estate salesman's pitch?:

Land! It's the ultimate investment. It's not like they'll be making more of it.

There are whole worlds to be had.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 years ago | (#29280347)

Yup. There are places on the earth that aren't worth developing. And they have an atmosphere. And they are close to resupply points. And definitely much less expensive than even getting to orbit, much less getting to another planet.

Why would I want to develop Mars? Venus? It would be far more expensive to get there and maintain than you wold ever get out of it.

Sure I am for exploration. But this fantasy that somehow we can make a self-supporting base on Mars or another planet is ridiculous. Fantasy. If we thought about some long-term terraforming project, then maybe some places might be habitable. But with today's technology this is laughable.

Some day we might do it, but not in this century.

Re:If You Can't Lead--Get Out Of the Way (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 years ago | (#29280653)

The first three settlements in what is now Southern California were never heard from again. But look at the place now...

Alternate History Much? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29279579)

I love how journalists rewrite history. So now the personal computer industry was founded upon stealing DOS from Microsoft and building PCs from 8080 chips?

Wow. Just wow.

Re:Alternate History Much? (4, Funny)

onkelonkel (560274) | about 5 years ago | (#29279671)

It's all true. If Steve Jobs hadn't been off flying his private plane the day IBM came to buy an OS PC's would have all been running MacDOS, and Bill Gates would be selling snow tires to Hutterites in Minot, North Dakota.

Re:Alternate History Much? (2, Funny)

yurtinus (1590157) | about 5 years ago | (#29280073)

Of course, if Wozniak were able to fly that plane things would have ended differently-- but as we all know, Wozniak will never set foot on an airplane because it reminds him of his days in the 'Nam.

Re:Alternate History Much? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29280393)

Jef Raskin was controlling the plane. The reason that Steve Jobs didn't get to the meeting was that Raskin got confused when the plane was coming towards him, turned right instead of left, and crashed it.

Re:Alternate History Much? (2, Funny)

that this is not und (1026860) | about 5 years ago | (#29280679)

The cool part about the story is that Steve Jobs wasn't flying kilos of coke around in the plane at the time.

He was such a nice boy.

oh no (2, Insightful)

ascari (1400977) | about 5 years ago | (#29279599)

Let's hope their wrong. Doesn't anybody remember how crappy the first PC clones were? And compatibility, compaq gear didn't work with tandy, whcich didn't work with... etc. etc.Not what you'd want to experience when you're trying to dock to a space station made by another manufacturer.

Re:oh no (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29279637)

Let's hope THEY'RE wrong.

You ignorant fuck.

Re:oh no (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 5 years ago | (#29279725)

Oh, grow up.

Re:oh no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280067)

Yes, let's not hurt the feelings of someone who doesn't know which word is the proper one. Hurting feelings is bad, especially when everyone knows just what they other person meant. /sarcasm

Re:oh no (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 5 years ago | (#29280277)

It is ironic that a post defending a grammar nazi contains several grammatical errors.

Re:oh no (2, Insightful)

magsol (1406749) | about 5 years ago | (#29279673)

But this is how the computer industry got going. Sure, those first few PC clones and Compaqs and Tandy graphics were horrendous in retrospect, but at the time they were leaps and bounds ahead of anything designed up until that point. If the space industry is going to be successful in the private sector, it will have to grow out of its infancy first, and that means (unfortunately) making mistakes along the way.

Re:oh no (4, Insightful)

snuf23 (182335) | about 5 years ago | (#29280607)

Really? Those crappy PC clones were leaps and bounds ahead of the Macs, Amigas and Atari STs available at the time?
It was not about being better. It was about being affordable and compatible with the software you ran on computers at your work place.

Re:oh no (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 years ago | (#29280659)

If the space industry is going to be successful in the private sector, it will have to grow out of its infancy first, and that means (unfortunately) making mistakes along the way.

The space industry is almost entirely in the private sector.
OTOH, it's also almost entirely gov't funded, which is why you get descriptions like "space-industrial complex".

You'd think one of the titans of aerospace would be designing the launch vehicle of the future,
but it looks like they're unwilling to do so unless it is on a federal cost plus contract.

Doesn't anybody remember how crappy the PC was? (1)

argent (18001) | about 5 years ago | (#29279993)

Doesn't anybody remember how crappy the first PC clones were?

Doesn't anybody remember how crappy the PC was? Crippled CPU (in too many ways to list), edge-triggered interrupts, no software (one of the most popular upgrades was a chip that let you run CP/M-80 on it), bizarre wasteful memory map, premium price for an entry-level product? Of course the clones were going to suck. Sheesh.

Re:Doesn't anybody remember how crappy the PC was? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | about 5 years ago | (#29280733)

What I remember about it was you could buy a 'grown up' computer for big bucks at a computer store. Or you could do as I did, and buy an 8088 motherboard at a swapmeet, used memory chips that had been sweated out in a solder pot, disk drives, a power supply that didn't match the case I also bought, a used keyboard with no enclosure and solder on my own cable, an open-frame CRT display salvaged out of a dumb terminal whose signal lines (horizontal, vertical, video, gnd) were figured out with some reverse engineering....

Or you could go to the toy department of big box stores and buy a plastic cased Commodore or Atari.

I love journalists. (4, Interesting)

B5_geek (638928) | about 5 years ago | (#29279605)

Yes it was JUST like the early computer days.

SpaceX bought a shuttle, worked on it in their parents garage, brought it to Berkley and got friends to help out.

I suggest an equally stupid title:
The fledgling Independant Space Industry is just like the Alaska Gold Rush; Folks are excited about getting up their and getting rich!

Re:I love journalists. (2)

Kratisto (1080113) | about 5 years ago | (#29279917)

And then a few of them decided to reverse engineer the Russian's rockets and distribute them as free and open source rocketry, starting a slow and powerful revolution for freer space travel?

Re:I love journalists. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#29280185)

I know you're joking, but if someone in the US did that, they'd be facing criminal sanctions under ITAR.

Re:I love journalists. (2, Interesting)

EdZ (755139) | about 5 years ago | (#29280331)

If somebody managed to reverse engineer and open-source the NK-33, a lot of people would be VERY happy indeed. Nearly 40 years old, and still the highest thrust-to-weight ratio chemical rocket engine ever created.

Re:I love journalists. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 5 years ago | (#29280173)

I agree, the analogy sucks. Any hobbyist could by a PC clone to experiment with and develop software or hardware peripherals for, while only huge corporations with multimillion-dollar deep pockets can get into the private space flight game. (E.g. all of Invisible Software's original hardware and software was developed by one person. I would like to see anybody outside of Burt Rutan do that with a spaceship.)

Re:I love journalists. (1)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#29280503)

I suggest an equally stupid title:
The fledgling Independant Space Industry is just like the Alaska Gold Rush; Folks are excited about getting up their and getting rich!

Too wordy! Try "Space is like a box of chocolates..."

Re:I love journalists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280569)

Getting up their what?

Re:I love journalists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280743)

Black diamonds can be $30,000 for 5 carats [ajediam.com] . 1 pound [google.com] is over 400 times 5 carats. Is a return value greater than $13 million/lb worth it? The shuttle can carry 50,000 lbs [wikipedia.org] if it can be brought to LEO for returning to the surface. One full load would almost make up for the stimulus at $650 billion.

Where's my mining ship?

Better Comparison... (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 5 years ago | (#29279625)

...Blackwater's security contracts in the Middle East.

I think Blackwater's rise to prevalence (or infamy) might be a little more analogous to this situation than DOS and the Intel 8080 chip set.

Slashdot is slowpoke again (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 5 years ago | (#29279633)

Last year, SpaceX, along with a rival in the private launch-vehicle business, Orbital Sciences, received a $3.5 billion NASA cargo resupply contract to provide payload deliveries to the International Space Station after the Shuttle fleet is grounding for good next year (and before NASA's own Orion is operational). SpaceX's share will be $1.6 billion for 12 launches of it Falcon 9 vehicle (numbers which could easily increase).

Most of the article is about Tesla anyway. Interesting, but I'd prefer to read about SpaceX in a NASA related /. story.

Yet another "technology" writer (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#29279669)

that doesn't understand computers, and why that revolution doesn't apply to every other technology.

A Better Article (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#29279675)

For anyone who would like to read a good article about SpaceX [popularmechanics.com] check out that link. And it's not just SpaceX that will be delivering cargo to the station under COTS, there's also Orbital Sciences.

Wait a second? (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 5 years ago | (#29279697)

'The fledgling space industry is reminiscent of the early days of the personal computer,' notes one technology reporter, 'when a number of established vendors and startups reversed-engineered Microsoft's DOS and manufactured PCs using the Intel 8080 chip set.

What, exactly, is it about the space industry today that is supposed to be reminiscent of those false memories of the early days of the personal computer? All the startups reverse engineering Space-Shuttle-compatible launch vehicles in their garages and undercutting the United Space Alliance on price?

Its hard to figure out which is worse, the analogy proposed or the recollection of history that it is in part based on.

Re:Wait a second? (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#29279775)

I think the dipshit author is trying to channel this article: A Netscape moment for the commercial space industry? [venturebeat.com] Which is actually quite a nice article, and if you were to remove Netscape from the title it might even be accurate.

Re:Wait a second? (1)

glwtta (532858) | about 5 years ago | (#29279971)

All the startups reverse engineering Space-Shuttle-compatible launch vehicles in their garages and undercutting the United Space Alliance on price?

They aren't so much reverse engineering as following established standards [wikipedia.org] , but yeah, basically that's exactly what's happening.

SpaceX is awesome (5, Insightful)

voss (52565) | about 5 years ago | (#29279783)

Theres a can-do attitude that NASA lost long ago.

Elon Musk is an amazing dude. At a time where rich people are not popular, here is a reason that people
should become rich , he uses his paypal money to do the stuff he wants to do like electric cars and spaceships
and in doing the stuff that makes him happy benefits us all.

What a loser! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280125)

Wait? There are 'Space X' fanboys???

What a fucking loser.

Those are the clowns who were having trouble even getting their crap to launch, let alone in orbit! What do they have? A 25 percent failure rate!

Let me guess! You're one of those dipshits who so fucking stupid they see the idiots from Space X as the 'teh private sektor' vs 'teh govermet'

Re:What a loser! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280441)

Oh shut the hell up troll.

How ironic (1)

chebucto (992517) | about 5 years ago | (#29279785)

After years of people confusing relatively simple computer concepts with unnecessary and imprecise analogies to "real-world" things, people are now confusing relatively simple space transport concepts with unnecessary and imprecise analogies to computers.

ATV? Progress? (1)

damburger (981828) | about 5 years ago | (#29279797)

Why is there a need for a SpaceX resupply? Where is the evidence that it will be cheaper per kg of cargo than these existing solutions?

Re:ATV? Progress? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29279891)

Hard for it to be more expensive than the shuttle.

Re:ATV? Progress? (5, Informative)

cyclone96 (129449) | about 5 years ago | (#29280047)

Disclaimer - I work for NASA.

I don't think the cost per kg of cargo is a driving factor on this decision. The US government has a vested interest in supporting both SpaceX and Orbital on the COTS contract. If successful the vehicle SpaceX is developing will provide a domestically produced launch vehicle that has shows some promise in having a lot of launch flexibility and much cheaper rides to orbit.

Additionally, if SpaceX is successful it will provide some negotiation power in getting upmass to ISS (the rides get more expensive when Progress is the only game in town) and will also provide some competition on government contracts to the United Launch Alliance consortium of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Re:ATV? Progress? (2, Interesting)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | about 5 years ago | (#29280459)

The biggest concern isn't the cost so much as the existence of a domestic supplier, whether it be Orbital, SpaceX or the big old guys.

Of course the other important part of COTS is encouraging the development of a fixed-price contract system for orbital launches instead of the cost-plus system that dominates vehicle development right now, a change that does have the implication of leading to lower costs.

Go SpaceX go (4, Informative)

steveha (103154) | about 5 years ago | (#29279949)

I'm happy to read that SpaceX will be taking over resupply. We should encourage private launch companies.

Having NASA handle all launch needs was putting all our eggs in a single basket, and killed any chance for private launch. It's already expensive and hard to develop a new space launch system; to do it when NASA is offering launches at cut-rate prices was impossible. (NASA has always been embarrassed by how expensive the Shuttle actually was, and never charged anywhere near a profitable amount for flying things on the Shuttle.)

Once we have several private companies flying things to orbit, we can expect the cost to orbit to come down drastically. And once you are in orbit, you are halfway to anywhere in the Solar System [nss.org] .

NASA is talking about a return to Mars 30 years from now. That's crazy; once we have cheap launch, we can assemble a Mars mission in pieces, rather than launching the whole mission on one giant rocket (as we did the Apollo missions). If you can cheaply and reliably launch dozens of launch vehicles, each ferrying up a tonne of fuel, you could make a Mars mission with lots of gear, lots of fuel, lots of safety margin.
steveha

How To Recognize The Idiots In A Space Story..Mars (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280157)

It's like how easy it is to cull the idiots from a political story by the posts that start off with "I'm a Libertarian..."

With space stories it is equally easy, just look for the posts babbling about Mars...

 

Re:Go SpaceX go (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 5 years ago | (#29280361)

Having NASA handle all launch needs was putting all our eggs in a single basket

NASA does not handle "all" US launch needs. In fact, NASA buys most of its launches from commercial providers. And the defense and commercial sectors-- both of which, I should remind you, has more funding than NASA-- buy all of their launches from commercial providers.

8088 not 8080 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280007)

The initial IBM PC used an intel 8088, which was an 8086 with an 8-bit (rather than 16-bit) data bus, and trailed the 8080 by several years. IBM wasn't sure that such a wide bus as the 8086 had would catch on...

Re:8088 not 8080 (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29280433)

IBM wasn't sure that such a wide bus as the 8086 had would catch on.

No, IBM decided that they wanted to cut costs by using cheap 8-bit components on the motherboard rather than the much more expensive 16-bit ones, and cut costs on the board itself by reducing the number of traces required.

Incorrect computer history (4, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | about 5 years ago | (#29280027)

It was the Intel 8088 chip not the 8080 chip used in the IBM PC and PC Clones.

MS-DOS was not reverse engineered, it was originally IBM PC-DOS and Microsoft released the MS-DOS to work with IBM PC clones that had reverse engineered the IBM PC BIOS. MS-DOS used GWBASIC.COM to replace the IBM BASICA.COM that used the IBM PC BIOS and wouldn't work on PC Clones.

Some say MS-DOS and IBM PC-DOS which was based on 86-DOS/Q-DOS was really a reverse engineered DRI CP/M-86 with some commands renamed to be more user friendly and moved into RAM instead of the floppy disk. DRI later on released DR-DOS to compete with MS-DOS. Anyway DRI lost the DOS wars and when they tried to make a competitor to Windows named GEM, they got sued by Apple and had to change the way it looked.

Re:Incorrect computer history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280351)

Ahh the GEM desktop. I vaguely remember lots of red.

Start the pod race... (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 5 years ago | (#29280135)

Are you sure about this? Trusting our fate to a rocket we hardly know? The Hill will not approve.

Recycling, With Gravy (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | about 5 years ago | (#29280179)

As far as I can see the only thing in TFA that wasn't covered months ago in http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/12/24/0151211 [slashdot.org] is the entirely useless analogy to the computer industry. I wonder if that section is replaced with say, an equally bogus analogy to automobiles so it can be sent to Car And Driver.

I just want someone to invent the capsuleer pod... (1)

LoganTeamX (738778) | about 5 years ago | (#29280221)

...so I can get up there and have the first Caldari control tower anchored off the Moon. Manufacturing, research, storage. I'll have it all.Now all I need to do is to make sure that the damn Minnies don't start throwing VWs at my station. Who wants to help build cruise missile batteries? Capital construction hangars?

Nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280337)

There is nothing in TFA that is news to slashdot readers. It's a gosh-wow summary of old news.

Please note that the original article headline is a question, not a statement.

SpaceX might get a contract to resupply space station. And they might not.

dammit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29280399)

Timothy, will you please, for once, actually R T F A before you POST it!

Reaction mass bounty (2, Insightful)

Baldrson (78598) | about 5 years ago | (#29280443)

1.6Gdollar;12launches;10ton_metric/launch ? dollar/kg = 13333.3 dollar/kg

Here come the parasites.

Could turn into a buy-off of a threat to big aerospace.

If NASA were serious they'd cut out all their launch technology development and just put up a $2000/kg bounty for reaction mass delivered to orbit, by any domestic system, at the desired inclination and altitude, starting immediately. Grab it with a tug later.

You can always use reaction mass.

Let the industrial learning curve do the rest.

Of course, if they did that, launch services would become so affordable, there would be private space stations and they'd lose their mandate for big bucks operational budgets and have to go back to science.

Old news (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 years ago | (#29280477)

This is news?

It was announced late last year, and has appeared on /. at least once already.

A lot of faith (2, Interesting)

amightywind (691887) | about 5 years ago | (#29280487)

Great idea! They are putting a lot of faith in an organisation that has exactly one successful orbital launch of a dummy spacecraft to their credit. SpaceX is an admirable organisation, but it is a decade away from being able to launch large payloads. The Falcon 9 has never flown. Given the track record of the Falcon 1 we can expect failures. And when they lose a mission to ISS, what then? Will failure be tolerated?

Re:A lot of faith (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 5 years ago | (#29280745)

They launched RazakSAT sucessfully. Sure beats Boeing Delta III uh?

antigravity (1)

sonchat (819093) | about 5 years ago | (#29280669)

instead of continuing to build chemical rockets, nasa should research advanced propulsion. The Large Hadron Collider will be the rosetta stone explaining the energy matter interface, allowing creation of psuedo matter, having the mass and "solidness" of matter that can be turned on and off like a switch, which in turn will lead to force fields which in turn will lead to antigravity.
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