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Mars Society Conference has Elon Musk on tomorrow: SpaceX, Moon and Mars updates

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by e-FTW, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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  2. ggies07

    ggies07 Supporting Member

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    thanks for the heads-up!
     
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  3. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    And there is a LOT more going on right now on there. Lots of very interesting topics on habitation, human rights, power systems. Super varied.
     
  4. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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  5. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    So I managed to mess up the time and only caught a little bit of what Elon said. Anyone else listen in?
     
  6. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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  7. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    In the end, nothing earth shattering or even Mars moving.
     
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  8. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    If you follow Elon at all then you know that this is a mantra with him. It's fluid to an extent but the goal remains the same. Starship and Super Heavy are moving along a similar long term restructuring as we saw on Tesla's battery day. Elon sees his goal and is willing to adjust as necessary to get to the desired goal. Discovering the best way based on what is possible now that he has the resources at his disposal based on past successes. In the case of batteries you need terawatt hours worth of batteries: millions to hundreds of million battery packs. In the case of Starship and Super Heavy you need thousands of these rockets to do what he wants done. That means they will need probably a hundred thousand Raptor engines or more. That is an enormous expense in both cases and an equally enormous amount of work/manufacturing that needs to be done. Once you see that is what is necessary then it becomes what is the very best path needed to get to your newest goal.
     
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  9. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    I know, but it was still frustrating to listen to. The very first question was how did you come up with the innovative Starship design. In hindsight the interviewer should have asked a much more focused question, like, how did you end up even considering stainless steel for starship construction? Eh, I guess I even know the answer to that question too.

    I think I’m following Elon too much, most of what he says are repeats!
     
  10. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    I'm still blown away by how Elon is actually making progress on building a Martian civilization. I remember several years ago, before Starlink, before Starship, Elon mentioning that he was super excited because he had figured out how to fund Starship development. No one was smart enough to ask him what he meant at the time.

    In 2015, it was clear that SpaceX was going to hit a growth wall. The launch market was only so big and SpaceX's revenues were actually going to decline no matter how much market share they could grab. Without increasing revenues, SpaceX couldn't make enough profits and/or raise enough money to fund a large R&D project like Starship.

    So Elon made the market bigger. Much bigger. Starlink was the answer to how SpaceX was going to fund Starship. Starlink was hugely ambitious, some 7,000 satellites initially, increasing to something like 40,000 planned now. Falcon 9 could loft 60 at a time into orbit, but the real workhorse was going to be a super heavy lift vehicle like Starship. Right now, whether or not Starlink eventually makes money or not is irrelevant (and still up in the air, Elon frequently "jokes" that he wants to be the first telecom constellation that doesn't go bankrupt ... he isn't joking, it is a real concern) since the business is so compelling. He is able to raise billions of $ on ever increasing valuations on the promise of Starlink.

    People see various government contracts that SpaceX grabs and think that's how they are getting funded. Not really. Oh, these contracts are nice and they help (especially their first NASA contract for commercial cargo!), but these days, SpaceX is largely privately funded.
     
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  11. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    Actually, about three or four years ago, the plan to pay for Mars transport development was P2P transport using Starship. Showing how Elon can fluidly adjust to something better is that Starlink (which was still in it's early conceptual phase) is much better for Mars funding. P2P is still likely to happen but it isn't going to make money until an enormous amounts of money is spent on infrastructure to support it. I don't see P2P making truckloads of cash either compared to Starlink.
     
  12. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    I enjoyed the details he provided on the drivers behind the decisions on size. How explained how longer rockets have to be stronger to deal with forces that a “fat” rocket does not need to deal with as much. How that drives the thickness of the skin, and how a larger diameter rocket is not as concerned with extreme precision in the thickness of the skin itself.
     

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