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Ok, I'm getting pissed here.

I acknowledge I'm not at Elon's level of over achieving but does that really result in him getting to play with all the fun toys all the time???????

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZDkItO-0a4&feature=youtu.be

link pulled from Elon's twitter feed.

Yes

Elon has been player with his SpaceX toys for a very long time. There videos of previous successful launches/landing at a lower height.

The reusable vertical landing is awesome. Why couldn't NASA or any other agencies achieve the same feats as SpaceX / Elon???

Hey you are good at trying to modify the car Elon designed. Perhaps you should do something about that rocket too? ;-)

Mathew,

I'll take a poke that that one...

For the same reason BMW and MB can not build a decent BEV? I'm seeing a trend here :)

lola. I thought you were an oval kind of guy, not so much an up and down sort.

@petero - elliptical orbit for lola

concrete walls at 200+ mph scare the begeesus out of me. Road course please. I can deal with the blue bushes.

Tell that to the folks who wound up in the woods of Nurburg or ate the pines of Monza:)

@Matthew98
' Why couldn't NASA or any other agencies achieve the same feats as SpaceX / Elon???'

Unfortunately, most projects required funding through Congress.

Elon really does make normal overachievers look bad, doesn't he?

@hsadler - NASA had been launching rockets / space shuttles for decades. They had the funding they needed but was never able to design a reusable rocket let alone one that lands vertically back to the starting platform.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNqs_S-zEBY

and the list of toys goes on and on

I can handle looking pedestrian provided I can drive the results of genius.

Is that hum/roar sound normal? Might want to get that checked.

NASA did design a rocket that did roughly the same thing as Grasshopper. It was in the 90s but funding was cancelled.

http://www.space.com/22351-delta-clipper-experimental-dc-x-photos.html

It did a few test flights, then crashed after the 3rd or 4th test.
Here is one of the successful flights.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv9n9Casp1o

They did not rebuild it after the crash due to budgets.

@JamesM: Exactly. It's not that NASA couldn't do it, it's that they didn't have the money to do it. For all the stuff that NASA's responsible for, they really operate on a shoestring budget.

That said, my friends said most of the talent left NASA when we grounded the shuttles, so it might be true that NASA can't do it *now*.

Spacex has naturally hired a much of that NASA talent. You can see how NASA is directing all sorts of aid to Spacex in the form of knowledge transfer. It is easy to read between the lines that Spacex is becoming our national space program.

It will be really interesting to watch what happens with the United Launch Alliance (ULA). That is the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed that launches satellites for the defense department. Atlas and Delta rockets. They are very reliable, but also VERY expensive.

ULA doesn't get any commercial satellite launches because their costs are 2x higher than anyone else. So now that Spacex is coming in so much lower on price, (50+ commercial satellites in the backlog) ULA is really at risk. The defense department is now certifying Spacex for military payloads.

If Spacex starts taking that business from ULA, then Boeing and Lockheed might be out of the launch business in about 5 years when their current contract is up for renewal.

It's true. A few of my friends from college who went on to work at NASA are now at SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. Haven't talked to them in awhile though. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if there's some behind-the-scenes collaboration given everyone's strong ties back to NASA.

Even China admits that they cannot do launches cheaper than SpaceX. But it is not all in the price. SpaceX applies all the latest tech, while following the KISS principle. Tesla too.

Mars here we come. Go Elon! I want to look at earth through a telescope from Mars.Go SpaceX! Public offering please.

WHAT??? MIND... BLOWN! I though this was all theory on paper. While watching the video I was like... how the hell that chopper catch up to a rocket. My mind couldn't process what I was seeing until I read the comments section!!

@Gizmotoy
'That said, my friends said most of the talent left NASA when we grounded the shuttles'

No.... most of the good talent left when NASA was forced to go settle for the Shuttle. Writing was on the wall.

Bah, I can't believe you guys fell for those videos. It's as fake as the moon landing. They just ran the video backwards after it reached altitude. And the Iron Man thing? Just spliced scenes from "The Lawnmower Man". So obvious!

NoMo;
I can usually tell when someone's kidding. But you don't sound like you are...

The helicopter-camera rig, btw, was a hexacopter drone. 6 rotors on extended arms, remote controlled.

Mathew98 wrote:
"(…) The reusable vertical landing is awesome. Why couldn't NASA or any other agencies achieve the same feats as SpaceX / Elon???"

Government agencies will tend towards activities that increase their funding, and tend away from activities that reduce it. If the US government has a need for, say, 100 launches a year and most of these are performed by NASA then the more expensive each launch the better for the agency. (To a limit, of course: there is a point at which a launch will become too expensive for the govt to want to put stuff into orbit anymore.)

This really is moving forward. Again, I still think many don't really know how to most accurately value/appreciate Elon. Instead of as being an inventor of everything, which he is not (he mainly uses known designs and tech), he is one of those rare people who really get things done. NASA, Roscosmos, etc has extremely rich amounts of tech which they developed but did not commit to, often for political of supplier lobbying reasons, so the best way to view him is as an extremely intelligent and capable Jap :)

Much like Japanese and later Koreans and now Chinese, he learns from others, skips the steps which were mistakes done by predecessors and really gets things done. It is still important to note though that it is only based on
previous cost, research and expensive failures, he can now create cars and
rockets at acceptable cost. And hire talent which was expensive to train and teach. So it is all a big big subsidy from what was done previously but really
used correctly and optimally.

The man is capable enough to be celebrated for his actual remarkable properties so no need to credit him with inventing the world. He simply
really is an excellent mix of intelligent, respectful, so far thankfully not politically or otherwise dumbed down, etc.

Just great work. Exactly the way things should be done in the private sector, but still, don't bash the governmental agencies as having done
nothing. This is cheap now, because they covered the expensive part of
the costs.

There is merit to the idea that more will always get done in a dictatorship than in a democracy.

As for Elon, I hear a lot of people talk about how great America is and most of the time it sounds like hollow chest thumping. Were we did get a lot of things right was in the area of personal freedom/responsibility combined with an acceptable dose of greater good. For many years we struck a good balance and thus had an environment where bright, capable people could create and thrive.

I'm guessing the theory of entropy has been at work and we have not been putting enough energy into defending/maintaining that system. It has been eroded by self interest, nepotism, and moral rent seekers such that everything is now someone else's fault (and there is someone standing by to sue for the wrong that was done).

Elon was not raised as part of the Pepsi generation thus the personal responsibility and greater good elements are still intact.

Great things can be done. We just need to defend the common ground to allow for it.

I NEED an edit button.....

You're spot on there. The problem is that in a market environment, everything is suddenly for sale and for profit only, so the news are no longer something one reports but one creates, makes up, sells, etc.. With politicians it is not what should be done but weird mutations of micro level game theories, etc..

There is a way to use capital, capabilities, etc.. positively or negatively and it is simply wise to reward with support, purchases, etc.. those who do
it positively.

As far as entrepreneurs go, Elon is pretty much top notch and while a guy like Richard Branson has some positive traits worth noting (being and expecting to be addresses as sir isn't one of those for myself), it is 90% gimmicks and little actual substance. With Elon there is substance. One would expect to
see that among top 500 CEOs but in reality...

Do you all think NASA is a democracy? It's a hierarchical government bureaucracy. SpaceX has done more in less time than any NASA program in the last 30 years.

I can't believe that fans of SpaceX and Tesla are slamming the market and capitalism. Why do you think these companies can be as innovative and revolutionary as they are?

@Lola - didn't you get one of these rockets? My MS came with a rocket strapped to the top of the car. Double check you due bill list, maybe you did order the P85r and they're backed up (just like my spoiler for the last year). The neighbors really love when I fire this up at night.


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