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Reuse was recognized as a means to reduce launch costs, long before SpaceX. The Shuttle achieved reuse, but turning it around was so expensive, it never achieved lower launch costs. Replacement models were proposed (like VentureStar), but they either had astronomical development costs, or failed to address the operating costs problem.
It didn't help that the traditional big aerospace companies had little motivation to cut costs. Like military suppliers, they were used to large government contracts covering everything. Including any cost overruns. Without a gov contract, they rarely developed anything with their own money. I'm angry with them - they squandered decades of space development. They were comfortable with the expensive contracts, and didn't rock the boat. So we've all been getting old waiting for them to do something.
With SpaceX giving real competition today, those same companies are scrambling to not go bankrupt. Couldn't happen to a nicer group of chair sitters.
Well, the whole turnaround cost was rather higher than expected. The idea was to have a regular service, almost like a space truck service, with a quick check and refurb of the necessary bits after each mission, and off she goes.
The idea was to have a regular service, almost like a space truck service, with a quick check and refurb of the necessary bits after each mission, and off she goes.
Yeah. I got that memo.
Near the end, the launch cost to put a kilo in orbit on the Shuttle was an appalling $18,000.
At the same time, shit we designed in the 60s was doing it for $5,000.
Even if three-quarters of the Shuttle launch cost could get chopped off with volume, it’s still only barely competitive. Now let’s address all the loss we had to eat to get there, and the part where the fleet itself costs an extra 10 billion dollars.
Last edited by subego; Feb 26, 2018 at 03:52 PM.
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Mar 14, 2018, 12:21 PM
TIL of the "Steel Man" argument technique.
The traditional "Straw Man" fallacy is where you present a weak, probably inaccurate, and likely misrepresented form of your opponent's argument, then attack that argument.
The "Steel Man" technique is where, before sharing your view, you present the best, most robust form of your opponent's argument. This demonstrates to your opponent that you thoroughly understand his or her point of view. This forces you to take on your opponent's perspective and understand his or her way of thinking. This builds rapport between you and your opponent, because you've demonstrated that you've done a good job of listening to and understanding your opponent's beliefs.
Taken to the extreme, a "Steel Man" debate would require that each participant reiterate their opponent's views to their opponent's satisfaction before continuing with their own response.
I'm probably more guilty than most of taking pithy potshots at viewpoints I don't appreciate, so I find this concept challenging and intriguing. Can you imagine a Steel-Man-Only PWL?