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billvon

Branson and Bezos flights

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I just don't get it.

So there were two suborbital flights last week.  Two tourist missions launched with fairly proven vehicles - one a single stage booster not much more advanced than the Redstone rocket that launched the first manned US flight, the other with a slightly more interesting two stage aerial launch system, with a hybrid rocket for the second stage.  Again, one that has been proven out over several years.

So what?  I honestly don't get the hoopla in both directions.  I mean, in terms of pollution/frivolous wastes of money/"not helping people here on Earth" the tourist launches were no worse than a trip on a billionaire's obscenely large yacht or a NASCAR race.  Why get more irate about this?

And the people replying showing a picture of the Wright Flyer, sarcastically saying "I bet you would have hated this too!" - those tourist flights were nothing like the first powered flight.  They're not doing any pioneering work.  They're not going to advance the cause of spaceflight, human or otherwise.  They're just going to make some money off tourists, which is what a good 10% of the people on the Earth work at. 

I mean, there's plenty of interesting stuff going on in space.  The Nakua module just docked.  The Boeing Starliner is going to try again tomorrow to see if it can catch up to the Dragon.  The Super Heavy fired its engines for the first time.  Those are significant - especially the Super Heavy, which if successful will not only take us back to the Moon but opens up Mars and other planetary missions to exploration.  

But these two guys with their "groundbreaking missions?"  Eh.

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I am vastly more impressed with Victor Vescovo, who funded the development of a submersible vehicle he then personally piloted to the deepest point in every ocean.  During these dives a lot of real science was done, including the discovery of over 50 new species of deep-sea animals.  For his ~$50 million investment we have a submersible capable of reaching and exploring every point in the world's oceans.

Don

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let's not forget alan eustice (sp?) who financed his own record setting jump and was first to pay his own way into space, if i recall correctly.  too early for looking shit up.  no fanfare to speak of, no corporate sponsors, just a rich guy doing rich guy shit.  or so i assume, i am not now, nor have i ever been, rich.

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(edited)
8 hours ago, billvon said:

But these two guys with their "groundbreaking missions?"  Eh.

Many moons ago, the military had a Joint Training Exercise at Ft. Bliss for special operations desert training which included SF, Rangers, Combat Controllers, Recon, et.al.

At the local bar, one of their guys squared off with one of ours and our guy said, "WAIT! (and, everyone stopped to listen) He went on . . . "Instead of beating the shit out of each other; I challenge you to a REAL MAN's contest!!'

"What say we go outside and rub penis heads and the first one to smile loses!"

Billionaires rubbing penis heads. 

Edited by BIGUN

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Some moderately prosperous folks ride airplanes up and jump out of them for no better reason than they want to and can afford it.  Those turbines produce a lot of greenhouse gases.

I am not going to judge Bezos and  Branson for doing what they can afford and what they want to do.

 

We didn't need to send humans to the Moon.  All the science they did could have been done by robotics.

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I'd agree allot of hoopla over not much. However it does generate more interest in "space". Personally if the flight doesn't reach orbit it isn't space and doesn't qualify you as being an astronaut. Just my opinion.

SpaceX seems to be doing more than all the national space agencies put together. Perhaps they will have orbital flights for tourists soon.

All in all, why not. It sees similar to a tandem student first jump.

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32 minutes ago, BIGUN said:

Many moons ago, the military had a Joint Training Exercise at Ft. Bliss for special operations desert training which included SF, Rangers, Combat Controllers, Recon, et.al.

At the local bar, one of their guys squared off with one of ours and our guy said, "WAIT! (and, everyone stopped to listen) He went on . . . "Instead of beating the shit out of each other; I challenge you to a REAL MAN's contest!!'

"What say we go outside and rub penis heads and the first one to smile loses!"

Billionaires rubbing penis heads. 

who won?

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On a more serious note; I'm with Don on this. I don't understand why we're not exploring more of the Ocean planet we have, than going to turn over rocks on a planet that we know has Martians on it and they want to eat us. 

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13 hours ago, billvon said:

I just don't get it.

So there were two suborbital flights last week.  Two tourist missions launched with fairly proven vehicles - one a single stage booster not much more advanced than the Redstone rocket that launched the first manned US flight, the other with a slightly more interesting two stage aerial launch system, with a hybrid rocket for the second stage.  Again, one that has been proven out over several years.

So what?  I honestly don't get the hoopla in both directions.  I mean, in terms of pollution/frivolous wastes of money/"not helping people here on Earth" the tourist launches were no worse than a trip on a billionaire's obscenely large yacht or a NASCAR race.  Why get more irate about this?

And the people replying showing a picture of the Wright Flyer, sarcastically saying "I bet you would have hated this too!" - those tourist flights were nothing like the first powered flight.  They're not doing any pioneering work.  They're not going to advance the cause of spaceflight, human or otherwise.  They're just going to make some money off tourists, which is what a good 10% of the people on the Earth work at. 

I mean, there's plenty of interesting stuff going on in space.  The Nakua module just docked.  The Boeing Starliner is going to try again tomorrow to see if it can catch up to the Dragon.  The Super Heavy fired its engines for the first time.  Those are significant - especially the Super Heavy, which if successful will not only take us back to the Moon but opens up Mars and other planetary missions to exploration.  

But these two guys with their "groundbreaking missions?"  Eh.

Hi Bill,

Re:  I just don't get it.

I bet that you do.  It is just capitalism, self-promotion, etc.  These things have been around for a long time.  'Nothing to see here, folks.'

Jerry Baumchen

PS)  Regarding a non-orbital flight:  Military pilots who flew their X-15 aircraft higher than 50 miles were awarded astronaut wings.

The X-15 Astronauts | Spaceline

Back in 60-61, when I was stationed at Edwards AFB, I was fortunate to actually see the X-15 fly; I was just on the ground looking up.  Sort of like watching skydivers.

 

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16 hours ago, billvon said:

I just don't get it.

So there were two suborbital flights last week.  Two tourist missions launched with fairly proven vehicles - one a single stage booster not much more advanced than the Redstone rocket that launched the first manned US flight, the other with a slightly more interesting two stage aerial launch system, with a hybrid rocket for the second stage.  Again, one that has been proven out over several years.

So what?  I honestly don't get the hoopla in both directions.  I mean, in terms of pollution/frivolous wastes of money/"not helping people here on Earth" the tourist launches were no worse than a trip on a billionaire's obscenely large yacht or a NASCAR race.  Why get more irate about this?

And the people replying showing a picture of the Wright Flyer, sarcastically saying "I bet you would have hated this too!" - those tourist flights were nothing like the first powered flight.  They're not doing any pioneering work.  They're not going to advance the cause of spaceflight, human or otherwise.  They're just going to make some money off tourists, which is what a good 10% of the people on the Earth work at. 

I mean, there's plenty of interesting stuff going on in space.  The Nakua module just docked.  The Boeing Starliner is going to try again tomorrow to see if it can catch up to the Dragon.  The Super Heavy fired its engines for the first time.  Those are significant - especially the Super Heavy, which if successful will not only take us back to the Moon but opens up Mars and other planetary missions to exploration.  

But these two guys with their "groundbreaking missions?"  Eh.

Good way to have "tourism" pay for the development of a private exploration company. Lot's of money to be made.

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I think some people see the headline and think that Branson and Bezos funded an entire rocket program just to get themselves into space. In reality, as others here noted, they are building a tourist business, and certainly in Bezos's mind, he is just using that tourist business as a way to finance his further space goals.

I doubt any news would have been made had they just sent the crew of paying passengers without themselves on board for the first passenger-ed flight.

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3 hours ago, Stumpy said:

I think "tourist business" is probably overselling it. At half a million dollars a ticket, it's more a rich people's mutual masturbation scheme.

I can poke fun all I want but if I had the dough, I’d go. I’d probably pick Bezos’ penis for the extra altitude even though I think Branson’s bird is a lot prettier. If a king air had a rocket instead of engines that’s what it should look like. Imagine pressure suit tech maturing to the point where you could one day be on jump run at 270k.

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12 hours ago, Stumpy said:

I think "tourist business" is probably overselling it. At half a million dollars a ticket

It's a start though. Every once in a while something happens that makes me feel I am actually living in the future, and turning space into a tourist destination is one of them. Maybe the cost will come down enough that I could ride one day, I got about 20-30 years or so to wait.

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12 hours ago, Stumpy said:

I think "tourist business" is probably overselling it. At half a million dollars a ticket, it's more a rich people's mutual masturbation scheme.

Disagree.

It's just a matter of where you draw the line.  If I were a multi-billionaire I would do things I can't afford to now.  Similarly I do things (scuba, skydiving, aviation) that a lot of people can't afford to and maybe they think I'm a wanker the same way you think Bezos and Branson are. 

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29 minutes ago, kallend said:

maybe they think I'm a wanker the same way you think Bezos and Branson are. 

Nope. I'm thinking they got a myriad of other reasons. Bwaaa haaa haa. Sometimes, I crack meself up. 

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