Author Topic: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space  (Read 809 times)

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2018, 03:00:41 PM »
Hey, if you know how to put a drydock up in orbit just using maglev technology then I'm all ears!

Yes it's called Startram gen-1. You shoot the freight into space and then send humans up to construct it through the regular method. Then once it pays for itself you create Startram gen-2 and get rid of the fossil fuel component completely. The weight of getting freight into space costs a LOT more fossil fuels, over all, than getting humans into space. (because we need a lot more freight up there than we need humans up there)
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Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2018, 03:07:48 PM »
Could he have done it differently and loaded the thing with experiments? Sure. But guaranteed he would have gotten 1/10 the amount of press coverage. So put experiments on board and maybe this flight leads to one or two more flights. Or make it a press event like he did and this flight leads to ten or twenty more. Which is better? Elon is a big picture guy and he hasn't failed much so far. There are certainly worse horses you could bet on.

I think you are exaggerating the advertising effect of the publicity stunt as well as the belief that 10 times advertising equates to 10 times as many flights. I'll give you that sending the car created a bigger buzz about SpaceX, but those experiments could have created more capital rather than just brand recognition, and at this point I don't think there are any rich elite on the planet who didn't know that Musk was running SpaceX and are now going to invest because they heard about him sending a Tesla into space.
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Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2018, 03:21:28 PM »
I disagree with that method. It would be easy to send up expendable experiments that created the useable weight, and I'm sure people would freely accept the risk of it blowing up.
But they don't. Any experiment that has designers who don't mind it blowing up isn't really worth it, and is probably dubiously designed for launch to boot. The dummy payloads usually have devices in them to record all the data they can grab, but that's not mandatory.  Goddard was happy if the chute deployed.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2018, 03:50:06 PM »
But they don't. Any experiment that has designers who don't mind it blowing up isn't really worth it, and is probably dubiously designed for launch to boot. The dummy payloads usually have devices in them to record all the data they can grab, but that's not mandatory.  Goddard was happy if the chute deployed.

So your stance is that 100s of low cost high quality camera probes that aren't a big deal if they blow up isn't feasible? Because everything we have taking pictures out and about in the universe is OLD and doesn't have very good quality. If they blew up it wouldn't be a big deal, but if they made it you'd have 100s of live feeds across the universe sending back data and expanding human knowledge.
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Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 03:58:55 PM »
So your stance is that 100s of low cost high quality camera probes that aren't a big deal if they blow up isn't feasible? Because everything we have taking pictures out and about in the universe is OLD and doesn't have very good quality. If they blew up it wouldn't be a big deal, but if they made it you'd have 100s of live feeds across the universe sending back data and expanding human knowledge.
Thanks for the strawman. I won't be repeating this across the internet.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2018, 05:43:02 PM »
Thanks for the strawman. I won't be repeating this across the internet.

The whole post is about a useful payload over a dummy payload, there's no straw here...
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Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2018, 05:51:58 PM »
The whole post is about a useful payload over a dummy payload, there's no straw here...
OF

COURSE

NOT
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline trdsf

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2018, 05:56:50 PM »
I’ve always been a big fan of magnetic levitation trains in vacuum tubes like the Virgin hyperloop. This project is inspiring. It could bring the globe together and better the lives of everyone on the planet. The concept is from Musk and it’s awesome on many different levels, but he’s not backing that horse. He wants to go to space, but rather than working with the maglev technology of a Startram he’s trying to re-invent the wheel with fossil fuel based rockets. To add insult to injury for his first package into space he sent a Tesla as a publicity stunt. I share the sadness for the waste of an opportunity for research and advancement that this represents.
http://www.iflscience.com/space/not-everyone-is-happy-about-elon-musk-sending-his-car-into-space/

And it’s not like Musk isn’t renewable energy conscious. His solar collecting shingles are very nice, and pretty cool. Even if I’m his Powerwall is un-inspiring it’s at least an attempt to move away from fossil fuels.

Now I tried to think positively about this. I tried to convince myself that this is just advertising, and it’s working. I should admit that a lot of people are talking about it. I’ll also admit that as this was the maiden voyage so as Musk said, “there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up”, but the whole thing just seems like such a waste to me. He could have easily sent up expendable experiments, or I’m sure he could have gotten some investors to take a risk with a contingency that if the rocket blew up they wouldn’t have to pay for the trip, but if it was successful they had to pay him and he could have recouped some much-needed capital on his passion project.

I get the infatuation with space, but it just seems like to me that he’s throwing reason out the window in pursue of his dreams.
I don't mind at all that it's a publicity stunt.  The American space program has needed a good one for a long time.

We'll dispense with the fossil fuel canard right now—what do you expect them to use?  Yes, yes, you're going to say liquid hydrogen, but there are stability and safety issues to keep in mind as well.  And you're not going to get to space on solar power.  They have to burn something.  RP-1 is a stable and powerful rocket fuel.  Keep in mind that it's the fuel of choice for the most successful rocket families -- the Delta II and III, the Soyuz-FG and Zenit, the privately-built Antares, which delivers the Cygnus supply modules to the ISS.

As to the payload, it's simple: on the trial flight of a rocket, you don't put experiments.  That's someone's career that gets derailed, delayed or detoured if the launch fails.  Furthermore, if an experiment is 'expendable', is it really worth doing?  'Expendable' means you don't really care if it works or not.  If I were going to commit to the years necessary to design, build and test a space-based experiment, you damn skippy betcha I'm going to care if it ever returns data and I am not putting that on top of a test flight.

Now normally, they use just basically a large lump of cheap and expendable matter.  Musk opted to use his old Tesla.  That qualifies—certainly by the measure of his personal net worth—as cheap and expendable.  There's nothing unreasonable about using a Tesla as the inert payload on a rocket's test flight: the only job it has to do is is sit there and have mass.

I don't know if you're old enough to remember the Apollo missions.  I am.  Moonbase by 1980 and Mars by 1990 were serious things, and the only reason we were unable to meet those goals was a failure of political will, not of technology.  It was an unfortunate combination of a Congress who failed to see what NASA investment was doing for the economy (an estimated $7 to $14 returned to the economy for every $1 spent—most money managers would spit and roast their own grandmothers for an ROI like that), and a president, Richard Nixon, who was happy to crush a program that was closely associated with his late political rival, John F Kennedy.  The technology was there.  We could've built a functional moon base on the technology in hand in 1980, and we did not, not because we couldn't, but because our representatives chose not to and we didn't punish them for that short-sightedness.

If the public was fully engaged, politicians would not have felt safe gutting NASA the way they did.  Remember what happened in 2004 when they started talking about not servicing Hubble again and letting the space telescope die: there was a massive public outpouring of support, and NASA okayed a further servicing mission.  It's now projected to last until 2030, perhaps even 2040.

So public support for space exploration is there.  Clearly, Musk knows that, and he's determined to get the public engaged in thinking outward again.  So I'm not going to fault him for a publicity stunt on the maiden flight of his new rocket.  This is the best time to do it.

Later, when he's moving personnel and material for pay, then it would be inappropriate.

For now: mission accomplished.  Everyone is talking about how over-the-top cool that was... although for my money, the synchronized landing of the two boosters next to each other was even more amazing.
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"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2018, 06:10:15 PM »
I don't mind at all that it's a publicity stunt.  The American space program has needed a good one for a long time.

We'll dispense with the fossil fuel canard right now—what do you expect them to use?  Yes, yes, you're going to say liquid hydrogen, but there are stability and safety issues to keep in mind as well.  And you're not going to get to space on solar power.  They have to burn something.  RP-1 is a stable and powerful rocket fuel.  Keep in mind that it's the fuel of choice for the most successful rocket families -- the Delta II and III, the Soyuz-FG and Zenit, the privately-built Antares, which delivers the Cygnus supply modules to the ISS.

As to the payload, it's simple: on the trial flight of a rocket, you don't put experiments.  That's someone's career that gets derailed, delayed or detoured if the launch fails.  Furthermore, if an experiment is 'expendable', is it really worth doing?  'Expendable' means you don't really care if it works or not.  If I were going to commit to the years necessary to design, build and test a space-based experiment, you damn skippy betcha I'm going to care if it ever returns data and I am not putting that on top of a test flight.

Now normally, they use just basically a large lump of cheap and expendable matter.  Musk opted to use his old Tesla.  That qualifies—certainly by the measure of his personal net worth—as cheap and expendable.  There's nothing unreasonable about using a Tesla as the inert payload on a rocket's test flight: the only job it has to do is is sit there and have mass.

I don't know if you're old enough to remember the Apollo missions.  I am.  Moonbase by 1980 and Mars by 1990 were serious things, and the only reason we were unable to meet those goals was a failure of political will, not of technology.  It was an unfortunate combination of a Congress who failed to see what NASA investment was doing for the economy (an estimated $7 to $14 returned to the economy for every $1 spent—most money managers would spit and roast their own grandmothers for an ROI like that), and a president, Richard Nixon, who was happy to crush a program that was closely associated with his late political rival, John F Kennedy.  The technology was there.  We could've built a functional moon base on the technology in hand in 1980, and we did not, not because we couldn't, but because our representatives chose not to and we didn't punish them for that short-sightedness.

If the public was fully engaged, politicians would not have felt safe gutting NASA the way they did.  Remember what happened in 2004 when they started talking about not servicing Hubble again and letting the space telescope die: there was a massive public outpouring of support, and NASA okayed a further servicing mission.  It's now projected to last until 2030, perhaps even 2040.

So public support for space exploration is there.  Clearly, Musk knows that, and he's determined to get the public engaged in thinking outward again.  So I'm not going to fault him for a publicity stunt on the maiden flight of his new rocket.  This is the best time to do it.

Later, when he's moving personnel and material for pay, then it would be inappropriate.

For now: mission accomplished.  Everyone is talking about how over-the-top cool that was... although for my money, the synchronized landing of the two boosters next to each other was even more amazing.

No I'm not "going to say liquid hydrogen" I'm going to say electricity. (because that's what I've already said in the OP when I stated he should be using Maglev vacuum tube of the Startram.

Sending that care into space cost 6 million dollars. Now you may feel like that's not a lot of money, but I do. You may feel like no scientist would risk an experiment, but I do. (most scientist risk failure on a regular basis it's basically the job) I get you think sending a car into space is "cool", but how cool would it have been to send 100s of high quality cameras that sent back live feed from the various corners of space? Next question, if you designed the experiment to send $2 camera probes through space would you lose your job/career if the rocket blew up? Me thinks you wouldn't, and it would have been better than a car in all regards.
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Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2018, 06:55:15 PM »
An actual rocket scientist made the decision.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2018, 06:57:14 PM »
An actual rocket scientist made the decision.

Yes, Von Braun, for the Nazi missile program!
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Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2018, 07:13:35 PM »
Yes, Von Braun, for the Nazi missile program!
Every V2 that landed on London can be laid at the feet of Robert Goddard.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2018, 07:47:29 PM »
Every V2 that landed on London can be laid at the feet of Robert Goddard.

That would have required a much longer range rocket (he was mostly in New Mexico during WWII, not Peenemunde.  And you are ignoring the Russian contribution ... eh Ensign Checkov?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_Tsiolkovsky

It was seriously considered, to put Von Braun and others on trial for war crimes, but Operation Paperclip prevented that.  More insidiously the US inherited the German biological weapons program.
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Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2018, 08:26:59 PM »
That would have required a much longer range rocket (he was mostly in New Mexico during WWII, not Peenemunde.  And you are ignoring the Russian contribution ... eh Ensign Checkov?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_Tsiolkovsky

It was seriously considered, to put Von Braun and others on trial for war crimes, but Operation Paperclip prevented that.  More insidiously the US inherited the German biological weapons program.
You really don't have any filters, do you.

When the US rocket people ask von Braun about his missiles he said he'd taken everything from Goddard.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline trdsf

Re: My issue with Musk sending a Tesla into space
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2018, 04:37:57 AM »
No I'm not "going to say liquid hydrogen" I'm going to say electricity. (because that's what I've already said in the OP when I stated he should be using Maglev vacuum tube of the Startram.
Maglev doesn't get you to space.

Also, have you stopped to think where the capital is going to come from for a maglev infrastructure that does not currently exist?  This isn't a project he can just piggyback on top of an Amtrak line.

So, SpaceX and the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and the $1.9 billion contract to deliver supplies to the ISS.  Musk isn't interested in space, maglev trains and electric cars for their own sake.  He plans for all of these to be very profitable.  Space is what's going to have to pay for maglevs.

Basically, you've got the cart before the horse.  Hyperloop is the least certain to be profitable.  Space and cars are known markets with pre-existing infrastructure.  Musk didn't need to build a new launchpad to put the Falcon Heavy up, nor does he need special roads for the Tesla to drive on.  High speed rail—and that's fundamentally what Hyperloop is—does not have a successful history in the United States, and it's likely to be a money pit for a long time.  There aren't pre-existing tunnels under partial vacuum that he can just lease the use of.  SpaceX and Tesla are going to have to pay Hyperloop's way for quite some time.

Sending that care into space cost 6 million dollars. Now you may feel like that's not a lot of money, but I do. You may feel like no scientist would risk an experiment, but I do. (most scientist risk failure on a regular basis it's basically the job) I get you think sending a car into space is "cool", but how cool would it have been to send 100s of high quality cameras that sent back live feed from the various corners of space? Next question, if you designed the experiment to send $2 camera probes through space would you lose your job/career if the rocket blew up? Me thinks you wouldn't, and it would have been better than a car in all regards.
There's a difference between risking the failure of a theory to meet an experimental test, and the failure of the experiment entirely.  Again, it's not just a matter of sticking an experiment into the fairing of a rocket.  It needs to be developed for space, capable of surviving not just the harsh conditions of space but also the physical punishment of the launch itself.  You're not going to kit-bash that together in your garage and run it out to Canaveral in the back seat of your car.

That's the point of this: the entire launch was already an experiment.  They had every other aspect of the flight to look at; the SpaceX ground crew had enough to do without the distraction of putting a functional payload into space.

And if you can develop a camera that can survive the launch, survive space itself, orient itself in space, *and* send back high quality images from as far as the Moon, much less Mars and beyond and do it for $2 a unit, I'll nominate you for a Physics Nobel myself.  Even taking maneuverability out of it, I don't think you can send a unit capable of returning images from even low Earth orbit for $2 a unit.  If you want to posit an experiment to waste on top of what's already an experiment, at least pose a plausible one.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

 

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