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SpaceX's Rising Tide - Discussion of non-SpaceX launch companies

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by bxr140, May 22, 2019.

  1. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

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    I guess we kind of need one non-SpaceX thread to merge all the non-SpaceX launcher discussion, but in lieu of that...

    Proton launch provider ILS embraces closer relationship with Roscosmos – Spaceflight Now

    Basically: ILS, who is essentially the commercial arm of KhSC, is [again] essentially (this is Russia after all, nothing is concise...) transferring its governance away from KhSC--the manufacturer of Proton (and Angara, should that thing ever get off the ground)--to Roscosmos, who is kind of the Russian NASA.

    Obviously they're really suffering from the SpaceX effect and, as one would hope from any company faced with such a competitive challenge, they're trying to make a change for the better to regain some relevance in the launcher industry. While going state-run typically is frowned upon, I think its actually a strong play in this case when you factor things like Russian politics, the way money flows in Russia, and the general non-western-ness of how it all works over there. I could imagine ILS launches being heavily subsidized in order to maintain a relevant price point.

    Sidenote, tip of the hat to me for the ridiculous punctuation effort upthread. :p


    IN other news, its a crazy rest of May for the global launch industry. PSLV went off last night and there's 4 more launches before the end of the month! Its good to be a fan of Space!
     
  2. Electroman

    Electroman Well-Known Member

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  3. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

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    Yeah, I figured that, despite non-video discussion in there, the spirit of that thread is based specifically in launch footage.
     
  4. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    I expanded your headline to distinguish this thread from the non-SpaceX launch videos.

    Personally, I'm getting into Rocket Lab as the mini-SpaceX company. They aren't reusable but no one but SpaceX is.
     
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  5. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

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    Yeah, reusability requires such a massive amount of capital to develop that its hard for anyone to make that leap, let alone the smaller startups who are scraping what they can from the VC community. Generally, the major problem with the smaller launchers is that development costs don't scale proportionally to launcher capability...you know, the lesson SpaceX learned with F1 like 10 years ago (or more?). Even if reusability development was financially in the cards, there's other factors like

    In any case RL is obviously in the lead as far as actually having a launcher, though rumor has it they're running into cost vs pricing problems.

    Either way, Firefly, Vector, Virgin...even though they're the 'big players' on the small launcher field they're all pretty scrappy/innovative...because they have to be. Its going to be interesting to see who actually makes it and who drops out, and then its really going to be interesting to see who from the minor leagues is going to step up. Zero 2 Infinity, Gilmour, ISRO will no doubt get SSLV up and running, there's a couple of Chinese companies...

    Whatever happens in the future, I'm confident that someone's going to crack the small launcher egg that SpaceX passed over in favor of bigger and better things. It will be a sad day for humanity if we only have one launcher solution. :(
     
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  6. A2be

    A2be Member

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    Since SpaceX brought real economic-driven competition into the global launch industry since ~2015, they have been eating the commercial launch market. See the graph in this article about how SpaceX went from zero commercial launches in 2010-2012 to near parity in 2015 and then more than any other competitor by 2017 and again in 2018. That article explains quite a bit more about the recent new competitive pressures in the launch service provider industry and some of the causes, and is well sourced.

    SpaceX seems to be frequently mentioned by competitors, and by payload owners who buy launch services, as the cause for much of this.
     
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