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SpaceX Makes It Into Space Answered

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Yesterday, SpaceX became the first private company to launch a rocket into orbit.

An Internet entrepreneur's latest effort to make space launch more affordable paid off Sunday when his commercial rocket, carrying a dummy payload, was lofted into orbit from the South Pacific.

It was the fourth attempt by Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to launch its two-stage Falcon 1 rocket into orbit.

"Fourth time's a charm," said Elon Musk, the multimillionaire who started up SpaceX after making his fortune as the co-founder of PayPal Inc., the electronic payment system.

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user
___ (author)2010-02-13

My inttention was not to be rude soryy

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randomray (author)___2010-02-13

Accepted , I would like to know what reasons or sources you have that forms your opinion . I certainly am not an expert and kiteman has pointed out many of the problems with a space elevator aka beanstalk . It's a good idea that is being worked on , but will it ever work , I can only hope so . Or something better .

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___ (author)___2010-02-13
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Kiteman (author)2010-02-13

(Plus, he's dug back over a year to make those comments.)

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Full Frontal Graphic (author)2008-10-02

If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we put a man on the moon?

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user

We can, but we don't, mainly because it is stupidly expensive and will have very little financial return. Orbit is a lot more profitable, both for satellites and tourism.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-10-08

. And there were those that thought exploring the New World was "stupidly expensive." Judging by your remark about launching GWBjr, I'm guessing you still do. ;)

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-10-08

I was speaking comparatively - businesses tend to go for options with more chance of profit. The Moon would be useful as a science base, but unlikely to generate actual cash profit for quite some time.

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user

If it cost 3 billion per person round trip, a million per kilo for luggage, and 25 million a night for hotel fee, there are people who could and would pay it. I would personally pay 100 bucks for a piece of moon rock the size of a mustard seed.

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user

Haha! My Dad owns one acre of the moon, he brought it for like $30. Unfortunately, we don't have any rocks from the moon...

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___ (author)Plasmana2010-02-12

That would be sweet i wonder how much that would be worth if we do colonize the moon
considering its size it might be worth 100000%  its original cost
actually it probally would be worth more than that

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randomray (author)Kiteman2008-12-04

How about if we just loan NASA 500 billion dollars to just build a bean stalk "space elevator " if thats not quite enough what about an extra 45 billion dollars .We just gave that much to some greedy self centered liars that are just going to waste it . At least a Bean Stalk would make space flight affordable .

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Kiteman (author)randomray2008-12-05

Beanstalk? Whoa, flashback to seventies SciFi...

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randomray (author)Kiteman2008-12-05

Hey man ,I'm clean no flashbacks for me . Honestly I was reading Sci Fi back then but the first time I'd heard the term was about 2 years ago .Frankly with a workable material for it a Beanstalk would be a hugely profitable venture .Because you use most of your energy to get to orbit .Then space travel gets reasonablely affordable . If you had a Beanstalk every country would have a space program and alot of companies .

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Kiteman (author)randomray2008-12-06

Oh, I'm all for a beanstalk, there are just three problems: 1. Materials. It would be under incredible tension, and not even carbon nano-tubes are up to that yet. 2. Political (1). Raising the money would be a nightmare - 500 billion would only be a start. 3. Political (2). Location - it would have to be on the equator, and there are very few reliably-stable nations on the equator.

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randomray (author)Kiteman2008-12-07

FYI, 3:a beanstalk doesn't need to be at the equator it could be anywhere except one of the poles. Best place would be at sea off the west coast of any continent. So if anything comes down it lands in the ocean . 2:If we can can waste 500 billion I'm sure if the right people see a benefit , the money will be there .Is there some study on the cost of one ? The cost will depend on who is doing the study , if they have a steak in getting it done or preventing it and who they figure will be building it.As great as NASA is they are under the microscope of public opion , that means no body can get hurt ,when you're doing something incredably risky everything gets insanely expenive .If people would realize that to do anything in space people will die and then work from there to to make it as few as possible .Without checking I bet that tens times as many astronauts die driving to and from work as have died in space . 1:I think you maybe over estamating the forces involed . Regardless if nano-tubes are not strong enought then , if we wanted to build it then someone would come up with something that did work and then ten years later someone would find something that worked even better .

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randomray (author)randomray2008-12-07

Sorry about the bad spelling ,my spell check isn't working and I can't spell either .

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Goodhart (author)randomray2008-12-08

Hmm, it appears that you spelled either correctly ;-)

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randomray (author)Goodhart2008-12-09

Well, maybe I can spell either ,but only by accident . Sometimes I'm more random then others .

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Goodhart (author)randomray2008-12-09

I was just kidding....you wrote and I can't spell either. ;-)

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randomray (author)Goodhart2008-12-09

LOL , yes , I did take it as humor . It was a bit of an eye roller .The random is referring to all my different interests.

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Goodhart (author)randomray2008-12-09

Oh ok, I didn't want to offend :-)

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Kiteman (author)randomray2008-12-07

The closer to the equator, the easier it is to build, since it needs to pass through a geosynchronous orbit. Anything past a few degrees north or south, and you will have to make the whole thing shimmy and wiggle to avoid hitting all the hundred of other satellites in other orbits. Since it will be upwards of 100,000km long, it doesn't matter which side of a country it is on - it will be long enough to wrap around continents. A beanstalk is different to any other building, though - it is not being pulled down by gravity. Instead, the lower end is pulled down, whilst the outer end is flung outwards by centripetal forces. It will end up subject to around 60+ gigapascals of tension. Although a single, perfect nanotube can easily withstand that, a single misplaced carbon-atom cuts its strnegth by around 30%. Weave them into a cable, and the maximum tension such a cable could support is around one gigapascal. No where near enough yet. (Oh, and you don't build it on earth - you build it in orbit, then lower the end to an anchor point.)

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randomray (author)Kiteman2008-12-08

You bring up some good points ,some are over estimates and some under .The price estimates I have seen are around 10 billion US dollars .Still the " cable " has not been fully developed so who can really tell what the cost would be yet .When I said anything coming down I was thinking of much more then just the Beanstalk ,like the elevator and cargo . If the Beanstalk breaks anything below the break falls to earth and above the break takes a long trip .The equator would be best but not nesscary and I don't see how it would help with satellites .They could be a problem as there are about 3,100 "only around 1,000 are working "plus the total goes up to 10,036 including space junk .We need to remember that not all satellites are in geosychronous orbits there polar orbits and anything in between and the length of orbit depends distance from earth . So there are all kinds of variables in orbits .Right now one of the thoughts for the beanstalk is a flat band of nano-tubes reaching to a astroid in geosynchronous orbit .There is a lot of info out there .One of the fun ones is a contest NASA is runing called the Spaceward Foundation at http://www.spaceward.org/. There is 4 million dollars in prizes for meeting certain goals over the next 5 years. Any ideas , check it out .

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catsnw (author)Kiteman2009-08-17

there is very little in financial return but look what came out of the Apollo missions (look at your computer)

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Kiteman (author)catsnw2009-08-17

But did the people who put in the money (USG) earn from them?

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lordofthedonuts (author)2008-09-29

wasn't it Speceship one who went to orbit first ? In any case, that's really cool!

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bemanos (author)lordofthedonuts2009-07-16

nah spaceship one is suborbital it just reach about 110km and then returns.(same thing for space ship two too) spaceship 3 is going to be orbital :)

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Kiteman (author)lordofthedonuts2008-09-30

SpaceShipOne went to space, not orbit - that challenge was to carry a passenger to a certain altitude and be ready to go again with the same vehicle within a tight deadline. Two weeks, I think.

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AnarchistAsian (author)Kiteman2008-10-03

wait, so it's for presidents???

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Kiteman (author)AnarchistAsian2008-10-04

It's for anybody rich enough to pay $200,000 for a ticket. Have a look:

http://www.virgingalactic.com/

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kelseymh (author)Kiteman2008-12-12

New Scientist is reporting that the carrier plane for SpaceShipTwo will take its first test flight before the end of the year, with payload flight testing in 2009.

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AnarchistAsian (author)Kiteman2008-10-04

oh, that space ship... In america, we have airforce one (a plane), and marine one (a helicopter) for the president to use, so i got confused...

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Nicepolicy16 (author)2009-07-11

Its OK for private companies to Launch rockets, so long as the payload is not a Nuke War head . Make sure your within the rules and regulations of launching ICBM's or garage built cruse missiles .

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cheeseboy (author)2008-10-08

on the discovery channel I saw a group of people designing a way to send ultra thin lenses into space using a coilgun wouldn't it be safer and cheaper just to scale it up as there is no need for fuel? because that would have a higher profit margin and so on still this is pretty cool

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NachoMahma (author)cheeseboy2008-10-08

. It's not that easy.
. Railguns tend to tear themselves apart, due to the strong magnetic fields involved.
. There is a fuel - electricity - and it takes quite a bit. No matter how you launch, it takes the same amount of energy to accelerate the same mass. Albeit, not having to carry your fuel does reduce mass dramatically.
. In order to achieve escape velocity in a very short distance, g-forces will destroy most of your payload and all humans.
. All that doesn't mean that it won't eventually be done, just that it's not going to be easy.

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Phoghat (author)2008-10-05

Wasn't Space X originally using a 1 stage to spacew rocket, or am I thinking of someone else?

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AnarchistAsian (author)2008-10-04

lol, i can't think of anyone really...

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omnibot (author)2008-09-29

But why are we still using rockets?

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Kiteman (author)omnibot2008-09-29

Because nobody's built the elevator yet.

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killerjackalope (author)Kiteman2008-09-29

I still see using new forms of rope technology as a viable and reasonable way to get to space and back, the only issue is the fact that you'd keep dragging it out of orbit, so I propose the moon be used as an anchor, then we just chase the rope to use it...

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user

my anarchist puppy would be happy to oblige chasing it...

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Kiteman (author)killerjackalope2008-09-30

That's the elevator - google for it, it's a cool idea.

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killerjackalope (author)Kiteman2008-09-30

Oh it's them, I'd gotten them mixed up with another space attempt thing...

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Keith-Kid (author)2008-09-29

Hooray! Stick it to the man! DIY! DIY! DIY!

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NachoMahma (author)2008-09-29

. I guess politics (and paying ppl for following poor business practices) is keeping this out of the limelight. I've had the news channels on all day and they haven't even mentioned it yet.

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