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When I showed him this vid, he said -- I saw many launches like that. [Long pause] That was an expensive explosion.
He's almost 91 and explained to me in great detail how similar launches like this failed, back in the day.
@7: Probably around $200 million plus damages to the launch pad. Much of this will probably be covered by insurance.
While generally I'm against privatization of stuff like this I'm very for it with space launches. I don't believe NASA is wasteful, but it has far too much red tape in its way. I wish this launch had gone better, but then I'm also a big proponent of Space X, OSC's biggest competitor.
Musk: So, I thought, we should be able to make a much cheaper rocket given those materials costs. There must be some pretty silly things going on in the market. And there are!
Anderson: Like what?
Musk: One is the incredible aversion to risk within big aerospace firms. Even if better technology is available, they’re still using legacy components, often ones that were developed in the 1960s.
Anderson: I’ve heard that the attitude is essentially that you can’t fly a component that hasn’t already flown.
Musk: Right, which is obviously a catch-22, right? There should be a Groucho Marx joke about that. So, yeah, there’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering.
Anderson: That’s a nice phrase.
Musk: The results are pretty crazy. One of our competitors, Orbital Sciences, has a contract to resupply the International Space Station, and their rocket honestly sounds like the punch line to a joke. It uses Russian rocket engines that were made in the ’60s. I don’t mean their design is from the ’60s—I mean they start with engines that were literally made in the ’60s and, like, packed away in Siberia somewhere.
It's a shame, it's expensive, but thankfully no one was hurt and the ISS folks have plenty of supplies.
Sorry, watched Iron Man the other day so all my references are Iron Man related.
If that were the case then the photog deserves a double-slap for being such a clueless moron; NASA hasn't launched a manned spacecraft since STS-135 back in July of 2011.
Honestly, I get the sense that NASA and Roscosmos are both sick of politics getting in the way of research.
But I'm sure that Orbital Sciences, with its $1.9 billion contract, would never skimp out on materials or safety checks in order to pad their bottom line. Because if there's one thing government contracting is known for, it's being not totally corrupt.