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  1. #16
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    Good. Do it. Don't rely on government money. Show us how.
    I think that's the plan, gunnut.

    NASA shrugged him aside when he first came onto the scene, and today SpaceX seems to be leaving NASA in the dust.

    They told him that it was not possible to build a plausibly competitive electric car, and he's left many of his early critics in the dust with the Tesla Model S.

    Now, he claims that he's got a faster, cheaper and safer alternative to the proposed $10 billion USD California high-speed rail project, and I'm not going to brush him aside.

    Musk is usually the one to put his money where his mouth is: Musk announces plans to build Hyperloop demonstrator

    I can tell you how this will fail.

    1. environmentalists
    2. farmers
    3. consumer safety advocates

    We can't even build a pipeline that transports oil at low speed. Environmentalists will ask for study after study to make sure not a fly will be hurt by this rail line, and then will sue for more studies.

    Farmers will not give up their land. Good luck buying up all the land needed to build this line.
    It won't need much land if they build it alongside the Interstate 5 highway.

    As for environmentalists; as one of my professors used to say; all they need is to "accidentally" flip over a couple of oil bogeys to show the environmentalists how much better of an option a pipeline truly is.

    If you think airline security is tough, what's gonna happen when someone sabotages an object traveling at 800 mph carrying hundreds of passengers, literally within reach of someone standing on the ground? Or how about just an accident? There's lots of room in the sky in case if a jetliner needs more space. This thing traveling at 800 mph within a tube?
    That's open to debate gunnie. No one's going to be diverting this capsule into buildings.
    Last edited by Tronic; 18 Aug 13, at 21:59.
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  2. #17
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    I think that's the plan, gunnut.

    NASA shrugged him aside when he first came onto the scene, and today SpaceX seems to be leaving NASA in the dust.
    There is no set pricing schedule for space travel, yet. SpaceX is free to set its price. Not so with public transport. People have a certain price in mind when they travel from one city to another. Usually this price is factored into the time and distance traveled, compared that to existing form of transportation.

    Take a look at the old Concorde pricing model. It moved people from London to New York in about 2 hours. Good deal, right? Not at 6 times the cost. I'll take a journey that's 3 times longer by at less than 20% of the cost. My time isn't worth THAT much. How about a family of 4 traveling? Now we're talking a significant chunk of change. Concorde was never profitable and was propped up by UK and French government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    They told him that it was not possible to build a plausibly competitive electric car, and he's left many of his early critics in the dust with the Tesla Model S.
    How much government money and "tax incentives" were involved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    Now, he claims that he's got a faster, cheaper and safer alternative to the proposed $10 billion USD California high-speed rail project, and I'm not going to brush him aside.
    I will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    Musk is usually the one to put his money where his mouth is: Musk announces plans to build Hyperloop demonstrator
    I applaud him for that. It's his money. He can do whatever he wants with it. I do, however, have a problem if he asks for government "investment" or "tax credit." Both of which means money out of my pocket and rendering another product/service less competitive because it didn't get the preferrential treatment from the government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    It won't need much land if they build it alongside the Interstate 5 highway.
    "Much" is a subjective term. It needs just as much land no matter where you put a railroad. It has a physical dimention. Here's the thing though. I5 runs through many towns between SD and SF. Many towns sprang up because of it. Will this "high speed rail" stop at each of these towns so the inhabitants can enjoy this high tech wonder? If so, then factor in all the stops along the way, what is the average speed of this "high speed rail" running between SD and SF? If this rail road doesn't stop in my town, why should I allow it to go through my town, disrupting traffic, generating noise pollution, and take away my land?

    Let's say this rail starts from just north of San Diego and ends at the outskirts of San Francisco. Will it stop in Los Angeles to pick up people? If not, then I and a few million other people will need to drive south 2 hours to board a train to SF. Add loading and unloading stuff, work our way through the lines, deal with boarding the train and security checks, I would be more than half way to SF already in my own car.

    Let's say this train stops around downtown LA to pick up people (or even start), I will still need to drive almost an hour to the station, loading and unloading stuff, work our way through the lines, deal with boarding the train and security checks, I would be almost half way to SF already in my own car.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    As for environmentalists; as one of my professors used to say; all they need is to "accidentally" flip over a couple of oil bogeys to show the environmentalists how much better of an option a pipeline truly is.
    Are you saying the oil laden rail car accident in Canada recently was a conspiracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    That's open to debate gunnie. No one's going to be diverting this capsule into buildings.
    This is a society that freaks out over a single death. What happens when a few hundred people die in an accident? People will call for congressional hearings. NTSB will get involved. New regulations will be issued. Training manual updated. More inspector hired, both private and public employees. There will be layers and layers of safety protocol to ensure near 100% safety rating. When all's said and done, this "hyper rail" is no longer economical compared to airliners.
    Last edited by gunnut; 21 Aug 13, at 01:07.
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  3. #18
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    It won't need much land if they build it alongside the Interstate 5 highway.
    I, too, was wondering where they'd end up building it. Actually, building it along I-5 would be too congested, there would be too many right-of-way issues; it would make more sense to build it next to an EXISTING conventional rail line for two reasons: existing rail lines usually go through some sparsely populated areas, especially out here in the Central Valley, so there would be fewer right-of-way issues.

    The other reason is, IIRC, railroad companies actually own the land the railways are built upon (for the most part); it would probably be a lot easier for a private company to purchase private land rather than public lands.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  4. #19
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    There is no set pricing schedule for space travel, yet. SpaceX is free to set its price.
    Yet, SpaceX is stealing NASA's commercial launch contracts by doing what NASA does, but at a much cheaper price!


    Not so with public transport. People have a certain price in mind when they travel from one city to another. Usually this price is factored into the time and distance traveled, compared that to existing form of transportation.

    Take a look at the old Concorde pricing model. It moved people from London to New York in about 2 hours. Good deal, right? Not at 6 times the cost. I'll take a journey that's 3 times longer by at less than 20% of the cost. My time isn't worth THAT much. How about a family of 4 traveling? Now we're talking a significant chunk of change. Concorde was never profitable and was propped up by UK and French government.
    See gunnut, this is a case of being skeptical without hearing the whole story... Hyperloop isn't the Concorde. It's suppose to get you places faster and cheaper. San Francisco to LA for $20 (not accounting for inflation whenever it's built).


    How much government money and "tax incentives" were involved?
    Far, far less than those given to the failed hydrogen fuel cell technology. The big auto companies are all milking the tax-payers billions of dollars for a totally unreliable, un-matured and unsuccessful fuel cell technology without receiving any flak. Musk introduces an electric that outdoes all cars in terms of efficiency and performance; and he gets flak for it? Not fair.


    I applaud him for that. It's his money. He can do whatever he wants with it. I do, however, have a problem if he asks for government "investment" or "tax credit." Both of which means money out of my pocket and rendering another product/service less competitive because it didn't get the preferrential treatment from the government.
    So you'd rather allow the air and rail carriers to milk you, and the government, for more money when you, and the government, could pay a lot less for a better service? From where I stand, I see two US carriers struggling even without the hyperloop anywhere in sight. Infact, your tax money was already used to save US Airways from bankruptcy a decade ago; and if the need arises again, we know this still exists: Air Transportation Stabilization Board - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So whose getting the preferential treatment here, gun?

    "Much" is a subjective term. It needs just as much land no matter where you put a railroad. It has a physical dimention. Here's the thing though. I5 runs through many towns between SD and SF. Many towns sprang up because of it. Will this "high speed rail" stop at each of these towns so the inhabitants can enjoy this high tech wonder? If so, then factor in all the stops along the way, what is the average speed of this "high speed rail" running between SD and SF? If this rail road doesn't stop in my town, why should I allow it to go through my town, disrupting traffic, generating noise pollution, and take away my land?
    No, it won't stop in all those towns and will detour to avoid them (and follow a linear path). That said, then why allow any rail line to be built? Why not de-rail all high speed rail projects in the future? That's exactly what the commies in India do in their states, and that's probably why the infrastructure in the Indian commie states lags so much behind the non-commie states.


    Let's say this rail starts from just north of San Diego and ends at the outskirts of San Francisco. Will it stop in Los Angeles to pick up people? If not, then I and a few million other people will need to drive south 2 hours to board a train to SF. Add loading and unloading stuff, work our way through the lines, deal with boarding the train and security checks, I would be more than half way to SF already in my own car.
    People will do whatever they feel is better for them. If your car will get you places more efficiently, why would you even bother driving over to board this thing? That said, you are criticizing this thing without knowing the planned routes, junctions or stations.

    Let's say this train stops around downtown LA to pick up people (or even start), I will still need to drive almost an hour to the station, loading and unloading stuff, work our way through the lines, deal with boarding the train and security checks, I would be almost half way to SF already in my own car.
    And yet, with a $20 ticket; it remains commercially viable.


    Are you saying the oil laden rail car accident in Canada recently was a conspiracy?
    It derailed in the middle of a populated town instead of a forest, so the environmentalists probably don't care as much.


    This is a society that freaks out over a single death. What happens when a few hundred people die in an accident? People will call for congressional hearings. NTSB will get involved. New regulations will be issued. Training manual updated. More inspector hired, both private and public employees. There will be layers and layers of safety protocol to ensure near 100% safety rating. When all's said and done, this "hyper rail" is no longer economical compared to airliners.
    Meaning it will cost more than air fair? I highly doubt so. That said, with such pessimism, you really can't progress. Since when did the US start turning into Europe?
    Last edited by Tronic; 21 Aug 13, at 20:40.
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  5. #20
    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    I, too, was wondering where they'd end up building it. Actually, building it along I-5 would be too congested, there would be too many right-of-way issues; it would make more sense to build it next to an EXISTING conventional rail line for two reasons: existing rail lines usually go through some sparsely populated areas, especially out here in the Central Valley, so there would be fewer right-of-way issues.

    The other reason is, IIRC, railroad companies actually own the land the railways are built upon (for the most part); it would probably be a lot easier for a private company to purchase private land rather than public lands.
    I agree; though the I-5 route is merely one proposal. All options would probably need to be studied more thoroughly to come up with the best solution.
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

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    Space X unveils Dragon v2 REUSABLE capsule




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    Someone mentioned something about the US needing to get to the ISS using a trampoline?

    Hahah, hahah, ahhahaAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHA.

    http://defensetech.org/2014/05/30/mu...-a-helicopter/

    Musk: Spacecraft Will Land Like a Helicopter

    by Brendan McGarry on May 30, 2014

    Attachment 36967

    The head of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. said his company’s new spacecraft is designed to fly from outer space to Earth and, like a helicopter, touch down safely on the ground.

    “You’ll be able to land anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a helicopter,” Elon Musk, chief executive officer of SpaceX, said on Thursday during an unveiling ceremony for the craft at the company’s California headquarters. “That is how a 21st century spaceship should land.”

    In a brief but sleek roll-out of the so-called Dragon V2, Musk took to a stage on the factory floor to highlight the spacecraft’s next-generation technologies, including the new SuperDraco engine system that allows for propulsive landings, touch-screen controls and a more durable heat shield.

    Unlike existing versions of the spacecraft that fly as unmanned cargo ships to resupply the International Space Station, the new model will be able to carry as many as seven astronauts to the orbital outpost. It’s designed to dock at the site autonomously or under piloted control — without assistance from the station’s robotic arm.

    While the latest version of the Dragon will, like its predecessors, be able to deploy parachutes after re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and splash down into the ocean in an emergency, it’s primarily designed to touch down on land using the new SuperDraco engines.

    Attachment 36968

    The propulsion system is composed of eight SuperDraco engines installed as pairs along the module’s walls. Each is capable of producing almost 16,000 pounds of thrust, for a combined total of 120,000 pounds of axial thrust. The engine is essentially an upgraded version of the standard Draco, which produces 100 pounds of thrust for attitude control.

    Apart from the convenience of landing on the ground, the new propulsion system will make the spacecraft more reusable and help to lower launch costs, Musk said.

    “You can just reload propellant and fly again,” he said. “This is extremely important for revolutionizing access to space because so long as we continue to throw away rockets and spacecraft we will never have true access to space. It will always be incredibly expensive.”

    He added, “If aircraft were thrown away with each flight, then nobody would be able to fly.”

    The engine chamber is made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using a process called direct metal laser sintering, a form of 3-D printing. When the company tests the spacecraft — an unmanned mission scheduled for 2016 — it will mark the “first time that a printed rocket engine sees flight,” Musk said.

    The spacecraft also features the third iteration of the company’s heat-shield technology, designed to improve re-usability by ablating less as it re-enters the atmosphere, Musk said.

    Inside, the spacecraft is designed to have a “very clean, very simple” aesthetic, with touch-screen controls that pilots pull down from overhead and lock into place, Musk said. Manuel buttons needed to perform critical functions in an emergency are located on the center console, he said.



    SpaceX has a contract with NASA to resupply the space station and is competing against Boeing Co., Sierra Nevada Corp. and Blue Origin LLC to design hardware that can eventually fly astronauts there. That may not happen until 2017, at the earliest, due in part to federal budget cuts.

    The company is also trying to break into the military launch market and has sued the Air Force to open more missions to competition. It was recently accused of straining U.S.-Russia space relations by a Lockheed Martin Corp.-Boeing Co. joint venture that dominates the military market.

    The U.S. retired its shuttle fleet in 2011 and relies on Russia for rides to space at a cost of more than $60 million per astronaut.

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    "You can just reload propellant and fly again," he said.
    Wasn't that pretty much what they said about the Space Shuttle? The more interesting thing is whether, like on the Shuttle, the heat shield will have to be replaced. Because that's the only thing that isn't reusable about the current Dragon capsule either.

    It’s designed to dock at the site autonomously or under piloted control — without assistance from the station’s robotic arm.
    SSRMS is only used by the Space Shuttle, Cygnus and Dragon, all of which need "capturing". HTV uses SSRMS for undocking in order to get away from the station, but not for docking. Neither Soyuz nor Progress nor ATV need it, so this isn't really anything special.

    it will mark the "first time that a printed rocket engine sees flight"
    Provided it actually launches on time. Because otherwise NASA's J2X / RS25 using printed parts will be faster.

    Besides, who cares about launching printed systems from the ground? NASA is putting a 3D polymer printer on ISS this month, and ESA plans to put a 3D metal printer up there in the next couple years to manufacture metal parts up to six feet length. Right there in space.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Wasn't that pretty much what they said about the Space Shuttle? The more interesting thing is whether, like on the Shuttle, the heat shield will have to be replaced. Because that's the only thing that isn't reusable about the current Dragon capsule either.
    The heat shield on the capsule is supposed to be reusable over multiple launches.

    SSRMS is only used by the Space Shuttle, Cygnus and Dragon, all of which need "capturing". HTV uses SSRMS for undocking in order to get away from the station, but not for docking. Neither Soyuz nor Progress nor ATV need it, so this isn't really anything special.


    Provided it actually launches on time. Because otherwise NASA's J2X / RS25 using printed parts will be faster.
    None of these things are all that impressive individually. It's the putting them all together into a low cost system part that's hard. We will have to see how this turns out. In the least it should be much much cheaper than the shuttle because of how much simpler the launch system is. The shuttle was dangerous and expensive because of the flight profile, the huge size of the vehicle, and the fact that it was designed to carry and do everything that both NASA and the Air Force had wanted at the time of it's conception. This capsule is designed to do one thing and do it well. If it works, it will be a leap forward in launch capability. It'd do for manned launches what JDAM guidance kits did for precision air strikes.

    Besides, who cares about launching printed systems from the ground? NASA is putting a 3D polymer printer on ISS this month, and ESA plans to put a 3D metal printer up there in the next couple years to manufacture metal parts up to six feet length. Right there in space.
    3D printing is not hard anymore. A polymer printer is basically a glue gun on a 3d plotter. The metal one will be.... interesting on the ISS. They will need to be very very careful with that one. You don't want metal powder floating everywhere. In fact, I'd wager they won't go through with it.

    What Space X did with the engine, however, is impressive, if only to illustrate how far the industrial use side of 3D printing has come.

    1. Printing an Inconel piece at full strength using laser sintering and managed to make it lower cost than a corresponding cast part.
    2. Designed an advanced engine to take advantage of the manufacturing technique.
    3. Probably lots of interesting features in that engine for controllability, etc.
    4. Put that on a low cost manned launch system.


    If they manage all that it is a notable achievement. 10 years ago you couldn't laser sinter any structural parts. The technology has come a long way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    What Space X did with the engine, however, is impressive, if only to illustrate how far the industrial use side of 3D printing has come.
    NASA has been experimenting with printed parts on a J2X engine for two years, and test-fired one with printed parts last July.

    SpaceX is about at the same stage there. They're just promising to actually launch something using that technology six months before NASA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    NASA has been experimenting with printed parts on a J2X engine for two years, and test-fired one with printed parts last July.

    SpaceX is about at the same stage there. They're just promising to actually launch something using that technology six months before NASA.
    I suspect a lot more of the SuperDraco engine is printed than the J2X. J2X is an enormous engine. Typically on those things you'd have certain components printed for greater efficiency. It's hard to imaging printing the major assemblies. Space X's Super Draco is a much smaller engine and I could see that almost entirely printed. It's a pretty different thing in that case, and a neat concept for building small rockets.

    Edit: on the Super Draco engine the main combustion chamber is 3D printed. You can do that with a 17,000 lb thruster, not so much for a >100,000 lb monster. Sadly, the J2X program seems to have been mothballed.

    NASA is a huge bureaucratic labyrinth of internal politics, competing parochial interests, and government regulations. Space X and other commercial companies are going to be able to make things happen much faster and much cheaper. The administration made a good decision when it decided turn LEO crew transport over to private companies.
    Last edited by citanon; 31 May 14, at 22:50.

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    The Falcon has landed!!!!


  14. #29
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    Like^^
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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    I thought you meant the Aluminum Falcon.
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