Pragmatic 84: Space X

8 December, 2017

CURRENT

Elon Musk is considered by many to be a technological visionary. In this, the third in a series of shows about Elons projects, we look at Space X, its history, its rockets, capsules and Elon’s dreams of going to Mars.
Transcript available
Welcome to pragmatic a discussion circling the practical application of technology by spoiling real trade-offs with great ideas of transforming product and services ensuring mindnumbing symbols it seems are on your host John Geagea and today I'm joined by Roderick Pietro shifts sorry production facility it does say to legally get very good very good at that thanks for coming and show us a book about are those them another episode about Alan musk and his ventures are but today we can talk about specifically about space acts so so yesterday given following armpit following on us for our own space X for quite a while now yes you are numb quite a rocketry note so I'm very happy that that you invade in your yellow problem are not appreciate your time and so I suppose just to get started before we did talk about space X arm just as awkward like startled all the basics about rockets and amounting a run as a rocket is but the funny thing I found is that is actually based on Italian word damages are rush it up are and loosely translated it means a bobbin or a small spindle and I guess that's probably it is thought to be named that way because it just the shape of what a rocket just tends to look like but anyway that was a bit strange but anyhow so originally they developed in the 13th century in China and other all solid fuel rockets are based on gunpowder are of course the knee of the Chinese invented gunpowder and fireworks and obviously that was when Albert drew they were first used used in our fireworks and nice and very pretty but some eventually towered now developed and adapted into incendiary weapons which is probably not quite so fun anyway are over next several decades so I'm not really were managed in the history of weapons because that's like really tedious and so are my Internet look at all about weapons and stuff the rockets and in rockets not in terms of weapons arm so yes are so dumb rockets also cabin used to sort of power stuff that stays on the ground so earthbound arm equipment shall we say and again when I like what about cars are rocket powered sleds not really interested in that either exist like while it doesn't take you very far I want rockets that actually take me off of the planet because that's cool arm we reckon is a fair discovery because fact in that unit is that that we deliver exactly what exactly right on a rocket powered slate on a rocket, rocketed to get me under space thank you one unless you are building one yourself which are recommending the front product than in the Indus River so you build rockets W try Tommy voices are your new drinker was going rockets that it sounds like it's a sort of project that makes me think of the Darwin awards like other guided strategy attention to is Karel is like but even now that's true love is not subject to the guilty but it's fun wound again wow okay fair enough then arm very good arrival will just keep all right you're so it was it was Robert Gothard actually 1920 who proposed our rocket technology refinements that would allow higher altitude rocketry and it was in 1923 at home and I both publish the rocket interplanetary space and subsequently arm Gothard adapted the nozzle of the rocket to allow combustion are of liquid fuel rockets and that improve the thrust by factor of 30 times and that sort of was the stepping stone for modern rocketry and so my specifically about space rockets because that's mostly most relevant to space X are broadly speaking a couple basics before we talk about space X so the kinds of rockets I like to think of rockets as terms of the fuel though as being the primary differentiators they got solid or liquid fuel and arm solid fuel is the basic that a chemical reaction that creates a hot gas exhausting through nozzle that creates your thrust and pushes rocket in the other direction hopefully upwards only really hopefully upwards and I am once it's lit most solid rocket fuels you really can't shut off once you twice we can start the five things anyway so once it's burning it's burning arm is much simpler in in a lot of ways so and you get a very good energy density for it because you solid fuels typically have better energy density but arm anyway liquid so because liquid is liquid can be pumped and is arm and such are then fuel can be pumped into a combustion chamber and let the same thing hot gases go to exhaust model does not the same thing solve your but the differences because you can pump a liquid you can also control its flow unlike a solid fuel so you could turn on and off to art making it more complicated but you can get better thrust control out of it so liquid is good arm and anyway beyond those differences as those like energy density the fuel how you manage your thrust and attitude control are rocket and so on which will talk a bit about how space X adopt that which is really fascinating so are in my biggest cost a lot in a space is the facts that I think up until recently arm the vast majority of the space hardware was not manufactured to order used once and then discarded thrown away or burnt up on re-entry and so on which is horribly wasteful and the longest, wondered about why that was and I think if you hear no kidding I must like this is just crazy and I was like yeah this is crazy anyway so are obviously centres around to issues like what I think it's over two issues first of all is the upper safe recovery of that use hardware can be problematic the world the majority world's water so if this stuff does in fact come back down to earth and sky land in the water and some probably are hopefully anyway listen Elisabeth on anyone's head if it's well I guess is a little more cruise ships have to wonder if anything from space to land on a cruise ship probably not statistically if we keep doing it then I think something re-entering from space landed until the car was something once treatments terrible and industry budget and that that there is often arm our lease that titanium balls are in a holding helium and whatnot and spacecraft that often land arm somewhere on the planet are usually just in the middle of nowhere and everything is just just brings up the asset so that's the other thing is obviously if you do if you have a parachute to slow down doesn't burn up on re-entry then went does land of course arm you if it looks a lantern in the water doesn't mean all the doesn't hurt anyone or county cows which is good arm but that that that the weightless strength of that material arm versus usability examine if that if that was our rocket and them it would land badly at a high speed or a bad angle than you could damage it so yay then you have a natural reusing it so why make it stronger to withstand the impact that makes it heavier so that is always interesting trade-offs of material so generally the lighter you make them the less strong they will be arm but then about withstand a single launch and then return so that you could then reuse them so that the lighter you make them the less able they are to handle multiple launches so I guess the thing is that in all a lot happened in recent decades with material science and basically that equations changed a bit so if you spend more money upfront and more expensive materials in the way design at our you should be able to reuse them quite a number of times rather than just saying I was to get bent out of shape mostly damaged or distorted during launch and an recovery so now we just won't bother trying but nowadays it is I think the equations changed and I know that's a bit of a simple vocational is always certain components can't reuse like things like asset and seals never got a rubber seal and Ross is good for one launcher Fighting to refit that generally speaking you can reuse a lot more but the problem is that arm you can truly fit a lot of extra hardware late in a car you have something like 5% of its mass will be fuel in our in an Jan Allen is going to be 50% but when there is going to be 95% and 87% fuel I and and it just has to deal with Howell how strongly the earth pulls on everything I knew you'll you can treat people allied health staff because the more our hurry have and the more fuel you have the more fuel you need to left at then the molecule delivered that Ray and see if it's it is really hard to sell it is not just a matter of investing upfront but you really needed are our computer-aided design and modern arm materials to be able to pull it off you exactly absolutely right and it is the that the thing I find arm interesting because that's April 1995 percent of the will of the mass of the rocket is the fuel and at an exponential problem because the more fuel you add you have to lift that the weight so you need to add more fuel if that fuel which then you need add more field with that Phyllis has a fascinating little problem you describe whether the Tchaikovsky rocket equation and if it is a simple thing but if you play with the numbers if they can quickly realise why this is so hard and why arm with all rockets lodging from our forest each witches you have the massive first aid and in the second sentence of the first stage because otherwise it just them have does not allow you exactly how great a product as I was giving us a thank you arm it some are just on the recovery benefit bar before a second as well II think also among the problems with recovering stuff from the ocean is that you'll get fouling arm because lots of other stuff in the ocean other than just water and even water on our rocket passes but were not good on you gotta clean that all often and make that all nice and a view plus you get out and find it's again in the boat and salvage it and anyway says it is the reusing in that fashion is sort of like our it's a difficult problem and I feel like they almost salvage things in the past the well-established things is putting a parachute I'm recovering later was bruised really not the best way of doing it and so you really reread British hardware properly you should need a you want a nice soft gentle landing was soft as possible and you really want to do that without getting wet in the process so landing on solid ground and down if you reduce your recovery costs even more if even nicer if you can return the same place that you took off so don't drive anywhere pick it up arm which would be good or going on a boat are and and the reason I was 1 to harp on a little bit about the whole recovery pieces that that's crucial to what's basics is trying to achieve so arm and I guests are the other thing if you reduce your costs further space is a proper construction hardware or assembler right next week and launch it is not always practical but the answer you should do and some finally arm you will launch from a point on the planet the service velocity is going to be the greatest are such that when the rockets off the ground is already travelling faster and can reach escape velocity a lot more quickly and that means obviously near a small rocket with less fuel for the same size of payload which is your ultimate goal arm which means you should be launching as close to the equator as possible this was funny things people don't don't think people maybe they intuitively intuitively realise that about the equator but maybe they'd never have thought about that arm went when you look at the earth first of all you is not perfect sphere and we have got bold around the equator and assess because the fact that as the DO the spinning arm if you draw dominant out on the equator and draw.arm you a few hundred metres out from one of the poles and look at how fast each of those points are spinning when you spin the globe around you the close together poll the slower your your moving on the surface of you standing on the pole technically it is like turning around as a poster of John the equator so if you launch something from the pole arm you get any assistance at all from the rotation of the earth but if you do from the equator you do and but unfortunately the reason why are all rockets are launched to the east and not to the west to the advantage of a virus are relation the the only are the only site except I can think of is Israel which can only launched the West but then you have to make up for the virus protection has been exactly right size like it's again a difference between getting a little bit of an express distance from the Earth's natural rotation or not you can fight against it just meant more fuel than an enormous more fuel so but yet bad that's a good point the Holy Spirit east-west thing are so I guess these are some of the reasons why an access on having spent equator is interesting as well is that's arm are at the at the equator you technically will have less slightly less gravity and is the finding that that is that Ashley means you end up deciding more atmosphere so it's kind of a bit weird but never mind arm as the atmosphere is active denser at the pop as it sees its denser of the poles and anyway my bottom line is it's more about the rotation the rest is relatively negligent negligible but the problem with that is that it's the prom of those at the equator the vast majority equator is water and are that the land that you can get to is either difficult to transport stuff to and from so as you like going through the top of farm north North Africa and parts of farm south South America I think in that the idea I don't have a globe in front of me our butts all those areas are either desert or rainforest and not very large soap is a getting a rocket to those launch locations is incredibly difficult if not impossible so that our countries tend to launch from the southernmost point if if in the northern hemisphere the southernmost point of the country that they can get away with which is why the reasons why you got Vandenberg and you've got arm the county space Centre arm there both is relatively far south as in the US that you can get and down they of course you I think you get close to the equator few launched from Hawaii but I think is a long way to ship a rocket launcher so they probably figured is not worth the money arm but anyway I am forwarding the tool march to the self if you want from Hawaii it still LC like 20 inclination here is from a notice from not worth the trouble and it's it's a long way to take a ship are to take a rocket on a ship just to get a little bit of extra boost you far better off to slot and this is why county space and is good enough right so it's all your Europeans still do it arm is in America about getting have to transport the ship over the rockets on a ship over the Atlantic to the different ground yet is a long way is on the in Europe we don't really have any spot to tilt to launch the chill fire up north yes true actually I had wondered if they actually launched many from Mum the Mediterranean arm but they don't do thou interesting are a renowned and they talk about having a spaceport in northern Queensland arm then my home states in Australia that's the problem that is that's arm well the economics and that the travel transportation costs and everything and it really took off A satisfying innovative and never mind Oracle so arm so that's all about why will launch from disguised equator as you can and obviously it's a lot easier to move a rocket around on land and is on a ship but then again arm the other has advantages so maybe a ship sausage about idea and will have to weather about what's basics did about that and are a little bit arm anyway so there's another little fingers to quickly talk about as well that I think people may again have heard all know but just to make it arm absently clear is there's a big difference in terms of payloads and payload delivery are in terms of the destination you try to deliver it to is of the rockets try to get into space was not space into space arm there's different kinds of space arm and the two were the most talked about our low earth orbit are which is a 90 minute or thereabouts earth orbit and that has sorts of all sorts of other advantages because you can get low earth orbit and arm with a little bit of trust correction you can stay up there for quite a while was not a heck of a lot of propellants and is so a lot of things i.e. national space station and that a lot of the side the iridium satellites the GPS satellites are all in low earth orbit and so they're whizzing around the earth once every 90 minutes are which is arm which is conical and accented to guesses in the middle earth orbit would just like a drug but not as far as as our as just a share of it myself thank you quite I think yes thank you, right eye arm is running out of things in low earth orbit is arm by now iridium is arm there's a lot of farm imaging satellites by satellites haplessly we don't know there was beyond where were pretty sure the work we don't know that they're there or they're not there but they probably are arm but then of course that you do the thing about the arm geostationary orbit was the other one that typically is quoted as I say how long how much does it take to get payload to GS stationery gestation is a magical distance where you're basically travelling at the same rotational rates and following the same rate that you don't actually move your stationery above the earth as it spins and that's the magic spot where people put my cable TV satellites and is because they are always over an area they never move something anything about the mechanics there are a few of the interesting orbits which have his medical properties like your stationery from the perspective of the earth you'll have something that on one point at this table anything about it that actually that's the scan of amazing break but just because you you are so high up the tab the same rotational speed and you are right above the equator so we also need to have the 0 inclination arm because of half of its lake arm one L3 which are in the spots between RF and the son that are your satellite earth and the sun are always in the same way so we always see the sun or earth from Canada that the same prospective arm and in that that but also a magical arm spot and there is one satellite that is called disc this cover of abbreviated which literally takes a picture of tariff from that spot every hour and posted on Twitter which is incredible that's that is conical should subscribe to that sense, please see the earth spinning and as the day passes and its perspective is always exactly the same that's that's very cool why once an hour almost every minute once every 30 seconds mine we have the technology Oracle that some yes the bottom line is that some it's important to understand the differences between a because obviously geostationary or maybe not obviously but your stationery is is far much further out arm and so it takes a lot more energy to get a payload from low earth orbit to GS stationery so are an entity and also that's obviously also very different from going somewhere like the moon which is a lot further out than that and you obviously different from going to someone like Mars which is even further out so there's quite a this quite a big difference as to how much energy you need and that that makes a big difference so arm and that is also just again to reiterate knowledge than talk about rockets that never intend to reach orbit but there are these things right so there are you deliver passengers between two points on the earth's surface very very quickly on a rocket but then again traditionally that hasn't been what they were used for values to deliver other things that were perhaps less friendly things like bombs and things and so intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs for short arm not interested in that access is not nice not less than until some people until people start actually travelling that way like on the Concord can find that interesting if were delivering weapons unlisted weapon so no the only interesting about it is how much of our rocketry for exploration comes from ICBMs like the this lawyers rocket would still like at the moment is the only operational rocket capable of lifting people to orbit it derives from the world's first ICBM from six years ago grimacing and the the delta family of rockets and the other from your rockets are also in long been a very thorough derivatives from ICBMs with the same names yet is true I suppose is one of those nice things where military our knowledge was actually put towards something useful and constructive for a change which is good arm but yes I am so bottom line arm that's the basics about some summer stuff that is relevant to what's basics is try to do there is a heck of a lot more obviously arm is rocket science obviously assess quite a lot quite a lot to it arm butts those the basics at least about rockets and the cost drivers are for example and launch sites and and so on and when you be thinking about in terms of reducing costs are now we can finally talk about Alan mask and what he's actually trying to do to attack this are rather interesting problem and I guess it's just a little bit of history about space programs and is the sort of thing that's arm between Russia and United States for the longest time from the 50s onwards when a space race and that they were trying to gag so Sputnik was the first satellite that went up into arm into orbit and then it was a race to get the first arm people up in orbit and then it was the first space station orbit there was first person of the moon after which orders, like dissipated and there is there a handful of countries in the world that had space launch capability was very very expensive and I said previously was all based on use it once burned up there some stuff that was kinda reused but it was really more a token gesture and was a massive cost saving and the are that they had a special program for a while as an attempt to be reusable with a special I wasn't really all that reusable there was still a lot of it like the tiles need to be redone after every launch and it was quite expensive and didn't deliver on the promise so arm is a space X and Ella Musto came in to this point because Arnell must always wanted to arm he had this concept of the Mars oasis which was psycho greenhouse delivered to Mars you know and are he he went around the world looking for our low-cost technology to try and get our to make that happen and is a legal orbit frustrated because he apparent that the so the story goes he was travelling around the world and the visited Russia as well hoping to get low-cost are launch capability for his little his dream and arm became quite disappointed and it was more or less after that apparently so the story goes that in 2002 arm he was able to join up with some Tom Mueller are sorry you and Dar are basically he's been quite quite a arm a well-known rocket engineer and is arm into thousand two that was nice of founded space X and it was after three years they had about hundred 50 employees and then in 2013 it jumped over thousand and now there are over 5000 employees today so they've grown significantly in recent years and their goal was to reduce the cost of launching things whatever they may be in a space by a factor of 10 over our current conventional space launch technology and the fundamental goal to achieve it was to develop a is fully a reusable rocket as possible could launch and return to its own launchpad once the payload and delivered that was their goal and everything in there doing has been focused on that is the end goal to reduce that cost because if you could do that then you could completely revolutionise how because it was right now sensing space is incredibly expensive and so satellites cost a fortune when you put up there that they'll build and test satellites for years and the engineering effort that goes into them is is is huge this is massive program and a cause of the rocket fails on launcher on on as it's trying to ascend the oaths and you could lose millions and millions and millions of dollars at that poor little satellite and just got burnt up as I our that's right was put on the next rocket art was 89 through four years to build another one so that it slows down technological innovation and that's a and that's just holds us back basically so near the ground all of your mask is he really wants to put people Maurice and Inna world when he talks about is the patent conduct about it people would not thinking very seriously because visitors so outlandish to talk about colonising wires when we verily have six people orbiting the planet at the moment and in a 50 years later we we can get back to the moon but his pretty serious about it and he style that the only way to do it is to really drastically arm in or eventually by orders of magnitude reduce the cost of access to space and at the beginning it satellites and it still satellites and servicing ISS but over time with reusability that the only way were ever going to get to this point where it will be feasible to not just put in of two people Maurice but actually put a lot of people Maurice yet it was that seems to have been his goal from the very beginning and yet it's interesting arm about the whole Weimar sling and is I know that I guess that the problem is Mars is the closest arm easy to live on and I say easy and air quotes it's not really easier and easier than Venus because Venus is just the other is this so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is so hot arm the surface pressure is just off the charts it's just horrible and this acid rain and it's not just not pleasant it looks awfully pretty in the pictures but no it's not a nice place to stay so not go on their mercury is way too hot sits too close to the sons that's no good arm yes outside of the moon the moon first and then Mars next night that Internet habitable place habitable places you really got Gotto rely on moons arm orbiting Saturn and Jupiter and it's pretty much it there really aren't all that many nice spots and in the thing is on earth was she got a good gig here on earth as it is nice so you know I'm was not resolutely honest exactly has but you are but yet it is nice yes I do like the weather so arm generally arts anyhow here so that that that's their goal and is interesting I love it when people grown in goal and are rather like the way they've approached Haslar starting of the roaster and then progressing up to arm the model three is a model three was actually their goal to start with but you know they had enough somewhere and they've that the progression is obvious and logical and they've been very methodical about Aspen through relatively well executed and an space X is the same so was Robert or better vehicles of a maker that can sorta show the progression as they've learnt more and more about how to do this and how do it well so all their rockets are they all refer to as the Falcon series of rockets which are eyesight think it's kind of control understand the etymology of it I think it's about how that the the idea is that the Falcon glides and maybe glides back to earth maybe that was why they needed Falcon arm ably with reference to the millennium Falcon are fine of course because Alan musk is the near sci-fi guy that's why that they have insane and ludicrous mode because a throwback to spandrels which is awesome being Oracle that eager millennium Falcon it does looking like the millennium Falcon understanding quality consist it's okay it's fine and rights of the Falcon one arm which is aptly named because it was the first one in its first successful flight was in 2008 and yes they were learning curve because it had three failed launchers are prior to that which is a shame but this is rocket science that is nonsense not easy people so anyway it was a two-stage rocket arm fuelled by a liquid oxygen and RP one fuel might be worth mentioning arm so liquid oxygen is liquefied oxygen not much else to arm RP one there are semi debates over RP one and what actually stands for it's like an umbrella terminology that has a couple of C got rocket propellant one propellant number one arm suburb or court refined petroleum one first of all I do know the ones for it's kind just like the name that they've given it and it doesn't seem to have much of a direct derivation anyway it, get a refined kerosene think like that the kerosene is essentially the preferred jet fuel are but it's a denser higher energy per mass arm so higher energy density version of kerosene are essentially is rocket fuel fuel justice clarity and also cleaner the problem is an important thing because you will have insane temperatures in rocket engines and you don't want impurities in the kerosene artillery to start cooking the entrance would be neglected to leave this scanners seek revenue which would then our inner eventually clog up are the other the plumbing offer broker and you would definitely do not want that you do recall action has been quite a lot of rocket failures because of impurities in the early days and even though in recent times arm because of that arm is a wax to wax like kind of farm exactly yeah and it and it tends to because what will happen as it seems to change is not as necessary the fuel injection into the combustion chamber is also arm the thrust arm distribution because of that trust is that the if the thrust distribution isn't correct then the rocket won't stay on its correct attitude and it all basically spin out of control at that's my understanding that a lot of rockets have really good at correcting arts of the minute they have a close look at system worriedly they will monitor are the actual position and all the angles and on most modern rockets you will have engine gambling so essentially the Benton Bell can darken moves into access until you have the result is solely different ways of doing at would you assume that on the sole use when you have fixed and analysis and then just tiny rocket engines that can spin that can more than one axis yes quite a few different ways of doing it since it is interesting and dumb the yard the Falcon one arm I don't think was particularly ill use hates a proof of concept but when Icahn was really was not in it was it was it was sent assess some of the dimensions executor first fail version actually for this already engines briefly induced melon one a engines and the second version used arm once these and are the second version of the Falcon one would that use the melon one sees actually had two out of three successful launches so it was actually a version of the Falcon one that that actually did work and the use love and that those learnings into the next the next version the next model and as it is only was there it was 20 just a couple of ear facts and stats about was 22.25 m high are 1.7 m in diameter and it can only really reach low earth orbit and the maximum payload it can handle you could carry was four and 50 kg which really isn't a heck of a lot so not sizing saying it was a proof of concept is I think is fair enough and and and not being to mean anything it was their first rocket so get there and upfront about the time and when the second developing it was 2002 and the tourism builder the first successful our lunch and in these days we have more and more arm smaller satellites in constellations of satellites and we have arm we have this can tiny nano sides which can actually do useful things in orbit but that's really relatively recent so now we have new are rockets and development which can lift even less than Falcon one and I are and have been a large backless of voters but especially back then there were fewer users to it and you can see that there had two successful launches and then they moved on to the Falcon nine X-Acto agreement to a concert there yet exactly but it's it's interesting point about the nano satellites on and so on are because obviously with militarisation and arm the technology that we've got is improving all atomic problems only much more powerful that uses much less energy less energy means you need less solar panels arm the whole thing can be smaller and yet still do usable things and is and is fantastic so I think that's arm it's a good point and it is still useful rocket in that size range but from their point of view and certainly from the point of your going some of the Mars yet deftly present proof of concept without think it's interesting that Falcon one was fully privately funded a cost them $70 million to develop that which sounds like a lot of money but really isn't in the grand scheme analysis it selling space now that's insanely cheap actually is not appropriate for a for a program to develop an annual rockets are amended there was pressure like first of its kind arm and it is very characteristic of of of species to be too late confused clever engineering and one technology to do for the same things just watch much more cheaply than in the past absolutely so you mentioned before and to arm this is the next big one and sound the Falcon nine and also the Falcon nine series because it's been quite a few of them three primary models I suppose you call them arm and in rather little bit like the roads today, had officially artificial naming or numbering I guess you'd call it bitter arm so there is the 1.0 the 1.1 and 1.2 also known as the full thrust and in the 1.2 there is different block models and it's just like a gap so apart from the crazy naming and numbering scheme let's just start the beginning which is the version 1.0 of the Falcon nine and isn't funny when it comes to project product names they say arm this is the iPhone all this is the Falcon nine but they never called the one point out the time is something that they retrospectively name or think the expression these days is they read comment and call it 1.0 after the fact this is not want to call their brand shiny new amazing product there 1.0 but at some point in time like the iPhone X or iPhone 10 or 10 excavator next it up that that's going to be eventually called the iPhone 10 1.0 or something like that retrospectively lead all Willits who knows sorry AppleTalk there was a mass basics right now and anyway so am I a course at the Falcon 91.0 was arm the first successful launches in June over 2010 and the final flight was in March 2013 4/5 success ratio which you know I think the rocket not too bad censoring as a second rocket was pretty damn good arm now it was or is two-stage to our launch vehicle and once again to student used standard liquid oxygen and RP one fuel are it was 47.8 m high 3.66 m in diameter which is a common theme for all the Falcon nines are and can reach our low earth orbit with a maximum payload of over 10,450 kg and geostationary orbit with a maximum payload of 4450 solicitor go always your stationery if you wanted to it was partly arm private funded but there was a lot fair bit of government backing I'm not sure the split was by do not cost them 300 million US to develop that the Falcon on 1.0 are including the Dragon enabling equipment as part of the data the government funding NASA give them a lot of money to develop the Dragon capsule and then our servers are international speciation with that sell the probably use some of that money to also find the fault and they product yet it was my understanding as well at all the more matter Dragon later but absolutely and I think it was funny at the time that's arm writing is a lot of debate are amongst well most people I guess with opinions which should be primitive anybody but there was debate about whether the US government should be paying for our private companies to develop space technology are when it was Yahya Ware was considered all that matters force a wise was your scum and funding this right and the thing is that the payoff comes shortly so so skipping along to the 1.1 art its first lot was in September 2013 and a final flight was in January 2016 and had 14/15 successes now that's again pretty exceptional as the number of launches increases that's pretty good it was again two-stage vehicle again liquid oxygen RP one fuel but it was 68.4 m high again 3.66 m in diameter and it could do low earth orbit payloads of about 10,886 kg geostationary as well as up to 4850 but this is where it starts to get all the more interesting several of the one-point ones had extendable landing legs and grid fence to control their descent however the one-point one never successfully completed a landing of its first stage if I remember correctly that it was a very close it got very very close but not technically so arm the next one is where it did get you go some very into high cornice factor so anyway but the interesting part was the one part one was when the cost per launch was becoming very compelling at that point because even without the reusability because of the space X design arm the cost per launch so in late 2015 free and that they did the quote they did the maths and figured out that while a Falcon nine launch would sell about $90 million to the US government raise a non-space X equivalent to the same payload would cost about 400 million to the US government and US government being a special customer so clearly and that point arm the Falcon nine one-point one was making are making quite a dent in the way that they used to know launch softer space so then people saw start to see I think that's why NASA is funding a private company which begs the question how come space X could do it so much cheaper than NASA and then you're a listener that are than a million prices with Dragon for nicer hour and a lead the charge about 6 million 65 million me before after most commercial customers Yannis writes cheers more expensive for the government arm trouble was that why that was I just know that it is but you so that the thing is that some II always believed that NASA was sort of a bill was a bit bureaucratic arm based on from wherever you have lots of people your eyes can have bureaucracy that's just a fundamental reality of the human condition at sucks but that seems to be the way it is our and I do believe also the space X was more motivated and not much really happened my say not mature that is a very fair NASA but yet apart from the push to go to the moon there wasn't a heck of a lot of like real political drive and pressure for NASA to arm iterate evolve and innovate in in the space arm space space space Michael that was terrible anyway mean it's like there was no driving force not there wasn't south of the National space station was distributed amongst multiple countries and whilst the US put in the vast majority of the money and funding out of funding and drive for it there is no question that it was meant to be national effort and in that was different to them to the space race where they put all their money getting someone to the moon you so I know I feel like space X was more motivated are in recent times and when you're motivated plus technology plus talent you seem to get a much better result so in any case space X were start to make a bit of a dent at this point is only recently right is 2015 Internet so now we start talking about what I think is the course up because this is where I see the game changer are so the 1.2 was also called the full throws and full thrust or the FT model arm that anyway arm so get interesting so the first launch was in December 2015 and is still flying today seats if you talk about the Falcon nine today that the woman talk about and again is a two-stage vehicle so the second stage young users liquid oxygen RP one feel the first stage now he is a sub called liquid oxygen and shield RP one which is like the next iteration of our of the technology that they're using wealthy are actually are have the subject of a balance among the that that that you say that after version 1.1 it gets maximum coolness because it literally does's Christmas because you are quite right arm yes I my my mistake was both stages so arm so a little bit about some cooling in the chilling of the RP one arm daughter will be about that is basically the idea is that if you will not normally you have proper propellants at close today arm to their boiling temperature to it if you poorer look at oxygen indices at this temperature and continues to evaporate under want and then you just drop it off but it's these at the same temperature is easy rate but you can suck call liquid at oxygen to around -203 Celsius and then it's something I can present more dense it is more dense you will you will fit more in the think tanks you have more propellant and have moderate trust because the scene are missing volume of propellants arm in a will fluid the engines but you have more of the propellant anything our volume the problem with that is you will have two cylinder tanks really quickly because you cant wait because it will warm up quite quickly yet exactly and also the video installation requirements and is additional energy required to maintain that and so it is it is a slightly more exposed I think is Sonia expensive way of doing it but you get a far better result terms the thrust awaits our ratio and that obviously the big payoff so that any particular arm insulation on on the rockets but they do this crazy fast style propellant low building sequence that there will load all of the propellant in 30 minutes and that's actually what cars are most recent failure a very complicated arm are in that the exact reason was very completed but it had to do with with that insane arm in an insanely low temperature close to the freezing temperature of of oxygen so that some of the recent failure referring to that was sampled for remember if that happened before launch or not arm yet it was just that standing on the stand and lock which is extremely rare if it promotes never happens yet exactly MS technically why arm that was encounters a launch attempts because it didn't actually fail on the law should fail before launch was attempted so because if you look at the stats arm today technically it's had 21 successful launches at 21 attempts but they didn't discount the opposite flop on the on before you what it wanted the long failure in the lead bosses long failure so it wasn't long to know technically not still yeah and and and freezing point of our of oxygen is our is very very cold so yes, you can give your frostbite so anyway so that's that I think thank you for about the cooling of the arm the fuel that the thing is though this the launch attempts are one thing and that the energy density of the of the fuel is another thing but work is interesting as it is the landing so this is where we start counting successful landings are so out of the 18 attempted landings of the first stage XVI have been successful of the Falcon 91.2 for thrusting and that is awesome that is absolutely incredible and is the rock itself is a little bit taller about 70 m high again 3.66 m in diameter and it can reach low earth orbit with a maximum payload of 10,886 kg geostationary can do 8300 kg if it's not landing are so it's expendable but if you want a land that because you carry extra fuel to land again arm it can only handle 5 1/2 thousand kilograms addition ideas you've got basically three tons of fuel and there are which probably shouldn't be too surprising I don't think our economic sense because wetland is a power landing right so now you need to keep your for that arm anyway but the design changes in this particular model to the first stage included that something things are going of fuel improve the thrust to weight ratio Roy mentioned that the overall improvement efficiency was approximately 30% over the version 1.1 and is a measure before blocks and is the part where I kind of just I'm tangentially aware of it maybe you can provide more detail on this but this three primary block numbers on this one block 34 and five arm those are the ones we know of and yet there's been some speculation that have read that there is an block one and like block tool inside the version 1.2 which is then annihilated because they didn't mention is an insult to this very terrible at needing things you can but mostly arm the changes are a balance that them is the most important things are about operating the The Entrance are again the steam engines were just tweaking the thrust higher and higher arm and is just results are like that because the Falcon nine has nine engines on the first stage and in another and hinges assessing the steam engine on the second stage their first 10 engines on every hour flight endorsement are 41 arm flight of the focal none still be tested like 400 engines which is a lot like because of this architecture bigoted tests their engines over in much much larger numbers than other was common in the pattern because of that they can push push them higher higher and higher because in the overtime have more confidence about what the actual our safety margins are as free as something that that's worth discussing as well is that the architecture of the arm of the engines on these there is this this summer to 2 components arm rockets will always Omar my understanding is that the rocks always have a central is in the exact centre point of the rocket there will always be an engineer arm but the consolation of the structure of the engines around that arm had varies and arm you want to have it even equally distributed as much as possible and I think that the first Falcon nines had like a grid pattern agreed shape arm so that like nine dots arm in a square shape whereas the more recent versions had them in a circle around the outside from quickly of the structure of the consolation of them the quality of the web it's eat engines around the perimeter and one in the centre and it is more efficient actually it's our thanks less it is this literally less unable to fit them together this way cool because one of the tricks with that obviously is when you've got more than one engine is that you need to control the rate of arm of burn on each of those engines to get an equal thrust from each of them and whether or not you use those arm because our I think that part of the difficulty with raw arm with rocketry and in that in that context is balancing those flows so that's the rocket stays on track and whether or not you using that entirely that for attitude adjustments or whether not using thrusters or arm yet it's quite you can get depends on how you want to do it and I and I wasn't's token little bit about that with with moderate arm computers it's it's not that difficult African and Ashley has in an engine out capabilities so if one of the engines stops working are the artist can compensate for that and then they will have to can of Gimbel and correct so that the rocket stays pointing in the right direction even though you don't have arm in a engines are in all pointing down arm but it can be done and if either the one failure of mention in the version 1.0 was because of that one engine blew out and the rocker continued working and delivered the primary payload which was a our servicing mission to the International seek speciation are but because now so the primary because the customer didn't want any new photo deviations they didn't allow are the second stage to Dan are in our stay on for longer or something my dad so that they could delivered at the second field so that the engine blew out and the rocket would be at a total our success in principle and that's only because they have nine engines and so they can lose one and as long as you're not on the edge of capability are idly it can actually lose to engines and it can still perform is pretty impressive art one of the things that I isolate me either one of things I think about a thing about the other 75 total ballet around that artist for comparative purposes but arm yet rather than having lots of engines it hands only it had fewer but are much larger engines are so it's it's it's an interesting idea is that in theory if if you have more engines than you can lose one or two are and if you had enough of the maybe even three and still have enough thrust to reach escape velocity in end and deliver the payload but are obviously the more engines you add the more complicated it becomes to control your your thrust so it some yeah it's an interesting problem and it also has to do with a specific history that the structure of the Falcon one which had one of those modem lenders and then the continued arm developing those engines and the version we have on the folder name it's still the same basic architecture and so will you we went from Falcon 1 to 59 has nine of those engines and an exacting version of the steam engine on the second stage so you have just one model of an engine that that makes things simpler from manufacturing perspective which is also a are a big arm advantage but one thing about this architecture which is unique cell for a 4 to 59 is the fact that it stinks very little thrusts to land in your empty rockets and it was a consideration before because no one landed right compulsively but now they do and sell when the land a Falcon nine it has just one of those engines from way down to the minimal lodges are 40% in most rocket engines can throttle back down and that 40% of just one engine is still more thrusts it is still arm in a more energy than the necessary cell lately have to stop before and being just the perfect moment because otherwise there was still dodgy going up you it's interesting is that because when you think about there was no need to throttle back and engine to only 40% big because you want maximum thrust he didn't want minimum thrusts arm that China launched previously so it is a fascinating problem when you turn around and the thing that the familiar so impressive is watching arm what I particularly enjoy this that there was a tile time-lapse video that showed the launch trial and of of AM of a space X launch and in the first stage coming back to read to land again and it was to exactly the same spot and sexist absolutely beautiful thing to watch and just incredible and I love the fact that arm they recognise that some the full reuse and so of the equipment is is the best way to reduce costs in the long-term and dumped it just it makes semi-things easier you can actually produce a yard to produce as many in order to have the same number of launchers and that if they can get the turnaround time are down our tour to basically scrub them up clean up get them resealed and refitted and ready for launch again arm then it should in theory mean that you can increase the rate at which you can launch things into space so at all lump at all pretty awesome and honestly it is very very impressive but is that that is the current current model that they've got Falcon 94 thrust is their current one and are the cost of it arm in terms of development was similar to the 1.1 the cost for launch is very similar as well but that the cost reductions will start to be realised in incoming years and I think the price is coming down so the next thing to talk about that is sometimes referred to and has been for quite some time is the Falcon heavy and I think the problem with the Falcon heavy is that it's been delayed for quite a long time arm and I yes you are right I say delayed because you Alan musk has this thing where he says yeah optimistically speaking but doesn't say optimistically he says are you not with Scobee is going to happen by this time so anyway is correct for the lost undertone is exactly right arm dear anyway so arm it's all good but yes I think it's been left about five years but the thing is interesting so that was a funny chart on the web are showing the difference between the schedule time and the current home that is in Wikipedia because for the last five years we are about six months click here from long irons and it still hasn't happened yet I know another 20 to billing the show notes that on and it is hilarious but at the same time I can can't understand why because if you read through arm the history they're focusing on getting the other technology right first and so Bartlett's of surrender Falcon everyone is so it's first was intent to be a lot launch vehicle to could lift payloads to the moon Mars and other planets and so is the ultimate realisation of what else trying to achieve but the design of it is still based on the Falcon nine platform so a Falcon on a beta core rocket and that there be two additional Falcon nine first stage as our operating as boosters and may be attached arm just horrid like horizontally opposed to each other opposite each other have you think about it so rather like the Falcon 91.2 is arguably it's expected to be 70 m high again the main section B3 .66 m in diameter but with the additional boosters be 12.2 m wide and arm it should reach low earth orbit with a maximum payload of 63,800 kg which is quite a bit more and idea stationary or the maximum payload of two 26,700 kg which is again quite a bit more but things get a little bit more interesting and when you have a look at the suggested launch payloads to get to arm Mars had suggested it could do 16,800 kg to Mars and Pluto is even quoted I don't know why I can't about that they're launching anything with the intent to go to Pluto over 3500 kg but I think it is therefore fun and I thinly mentioned because the updated are the numbers at one point which was just around the new Horizons mission to Pluto and the reason because he was in people's minds yeah I just I faced I couldn't who launches stuff to go to Pluto and how often does haven't really been anyway I decipher the role of the okay thanks thanks anyways all good mum so yes lifting a hell of a lot more and arm I guess the problem is that some that the reinforced Falcon nine at the core are and then of course attaching on the boosters and such there is no intention in the in the initial version of the Falcon heavy for it to be reusable although the technology exists on the Falcon nine it's been pretty well tested pretty thoroughly at this point and as been quite successful arm there is the initial stages of Falcon heavy it's not gonna be reusable they just standing I keep that out of it is to keep it simple but then in future versions it's intended to be again first ages will be fully reusable that's the intent but where they don't think that's true or not only unfreeze sugar are going to reuse at least the same blisters are the the latest plan that I know of is to land the two sides was service on the demolition on the two are ground pads and in the day that the centre require on a borage archaic mob blast I May be misunderstood but my understanding was that the young that they were gonna try and do that until the arm until of the few flights in our maybe I misunderstood arm I hope that is true I hope you're right arm mom that was just my understanding so I I do I do think that's the Falcon heavy supposedly going to have that that demonstration that he just mentioned are that supposed to be happening later this year I think we are supposed to be next year next year is going to be next to first-time work wisher it's happening because all of the frequent blisters.that the Demon building been tested are the work and accented to arm our same blisters are converted Falcon names which have landed the doors are unused rockets already arm so it's really the first time in the five years were it may be a few months away but we actually have flight time waiting for the that the pads to be ready and whatnot awesome Alta will be Mattapan a few minutes as well so that is potentially very exciting but it also can be very nerve racking and I think watching the Falcon heavy launches can be a very nerve racking experience arm so yes to be interesting so in terms of the milestones and I think that it's our it's important to touch on some of the are some of the firsts for office space X with their rockets are the rocket programs so the Falcon one flight number four was the first privately funded liquid fuel rocket to reach orbit that was on 20 September 2008 and the Falcon nine second flight was the first privately funded company to launch orbit and recover a space vehicle that was 9 December 2010 and that's like to sneer recover not lend itself arm after one of the three was the first proper commerce centre space vehicle to the national space station that was 25 May 2012 one of seven of the Falcon nine was the first private coming to deliver a payload to Geo stationary orbit was 3 December 2013/not long ago is only about four years one and 20 was the first landing of oral rockets primary stage on land that was 22 December 2015 it was a big one and then our flight 23 was the first landing in all rocket primary stage on a sea-based platform that was 8 April of 2016 flight number 32 was the first relaunch and landing are used all rocket and control flowback and recovery of a payload fairing that was on the 20 30th of March this year 2017 and then arm most recently our flight 35 arm the first relight of a commercial armoury Reef light I should say of a commercial cargo spacecraft as 1/3 of June 2017 so honestly arm it's annexed it just is just very impressive how what they've achieved in such a short period of time truly impressive you very much though and I remember abutting the delay thing for the omission that that first landed there was also a first launch after a failure when the Falcon nine blue op are doing flight and it was actually putting my time and was great nerve racking arm for a fresh fan because they maybe were blocked again and initially landed and it was he was immediately and then says then we had to reinflate so we had to use rockets fly again and that has worked and at the time of the recording and believed to this are from today there will be deferred mission to do so arm to the amazing art, no one is arm have actually had a flight yet dissolves are not sure about maybe know if they've actually flown and re-flown a primary stage are more than once our own and note arm that you haven't done anything that the problem is that there are so successful with our good landings these days that lived on what 1015 successful and et cetera rheumatic 1116 he had given it so many stages that have anything then have a use for it and because there are and that many customers yet willing to deflate people are as character but there are expensive farm salivate on top of the use rockets that we will take a while until people are convinced that's why there is only been 2 to the Garrison in a perfectly good rockets which have flailed and successfully landed that these trips the engines from them rather the core in in late arm in a shrink-wrapped interest put it outside because it didn't even have a place to store all those rockets you said that that's the funny thing is that they has had such a high success ratio recently that I had heard that they were having trouble storing the arm there sites are crazy but the thing is, AA literally side of the Falcon nine format from a bustling mill on the Cantonese bases that are central to just sitting there like a perfectly good rockets which cost 60 million and is just Grafton plastic consents crazy and the thing is at the funny thing is there will come a time are and maybe we were closer this time than people realise that people look at the used are rocket as being somehow lesser than a brand-new one and it if once your mind shifts from arm this idea that new is better think of it as a used rocket is proven so use rockets proven that it can survive Garth and back more than once makes it more reliable than something is brand-new potentially in what she saw a cross that bridge in your mind you will realise okay arm this is the way we should be doing things rather than the old method which was well it's too difficult to reuse it so because we can't land it neatly so let's just not worry in order straightaway and hey lots of money and who cares so now but of course there is lots of money in the try revolutionise the cost of launch then this is this guy has just the way has to be from now on so hopefully the attitudes of the commercial satellite launch arm of Bob's commercial seller manufactures will change incomes of such trust them or were not quite there yet are the 2009 that have are we launched to several months of refurbishment and my understanding from everything they've said is that there is there is nothing like fundamental doubts in a fundamentally there's not that much work to be to be done to reflash is just sad because we were still in such early stages are extremely cautious and seldom they will take anything to write a pipe to the to every nut and bolt to verify it in a just out of caution because it would really in it would be a PR disaster to have one of you is right with the blowup in the air arm but fundamentally late in there in a few years there will be actually the case of retail space extending on the world will talk about later proven rockets that's the actual freezer use can funny but will get to that point very soon and in thinking of a an aeroplane and will in all feel much safer on the plane that has flown 100 times than a plane which is flying the first time and use rockets hopefully soon enough they will be the same thing yet and that's a great analogy once a flame has been flying for 30 years and is done have many hundreds of thousands of kilometres of flight around the world are flight hours around the world then you would say okay time to retire because the airframes will be full of far from full of the dislocations in everything from all the vibrations and flexing over the years it's time to retire the aircraft and that's fine and rockets will be I think eventually no different it will be thou have arm the high risk. When it first flies for the first flight may be the first two flights and then after that it'll be that'll be my preferred kind of rocket it will be unlike rocket it's been up at least a couple of times please I'll have one of those and after it had about 200 300 launches whatever the number turns out to be based on the materials used and so on failure analysis and all that then I say why no longer want to user this is now too old and but even that concept apply to rockets is mind blowing to me because my whole life it's all been up goes the rocket and then burn up on re-entry and at the end of it so it's like wow okay this is just amazing so thoroughly thoroughly impressed and I can't wait to see how this goes to the next five years as can be crucial so talked a little bit about launch and launch sites and I do want about arm arm the launchpad that are 39 a at some just in a minute but also at about the space launch because they talk about the drone ship is I took a little bit a little bit about how what what's basics of done and that's our inner space in our nursery go out and converted a fuel barges neatly and its arm thrusters to collect or all four arm are also conscious of the barge so that it can stay in one place and the will you know when are we trying to land landing on land is preferable because it simpler because you don't have to like you just get a crane and you started on hangar someone that said arm but it sticks it takes more she would explore energy to land the land itself when it can do that because of our how heavy the pillow is because of the energy requirements of the mission there will try to land on the marriage are that's Inolex I think 300 and 500 km arm in a down from from the long side and notice takes less energy but it's amazing because arm what one of the interesting things about it is that the rocket and the and the laboratory of the eponymous species drone ship as the collar because it's it stays in one place is that arm doesn't communicate with the rockets the all the bulls use GPS to point at the scene coordinates and Dan be happy know it when everything works the rocket will just appear on the barge but they don't even see each other until like the last second when rather our ultimate can concealing the exact altitude from from from the back and just inner also is space technology for a very high precision our location is interesting how much we've come to rely on GPS because as I understand it as well the Dragon arm so not drag arm the Falcon rockets also use GPS for as part of their launch arm are positioning our control and because because the rocket they have access to the higher our precision videos than the new models do so I believe UPS is arm precise to communities all over one year and they believe the panel along with a version is our precision to 10 cm they seem very precise yet exactly right they do actually have a distortion arm impact such that you can't achieve that level of precision unless you are certified by the by the military so you only the United States military and who they give it out to have that level of precision although you could argue that other competing technologies arm that exist as well I think Linus for example arm that's our dead it's a different situation but yes only for GPS but what I find fascinating is how our how that technology has just made such an enormous difference disposition being aware of a precise precision position in three-dimensional space on the planet and even in between the surface of the planet and space has turned out to be such a game changer and revolutionise the world and semi-different ways that I don't think anyone could have ever foreseen a find fascinating and it's just something we rely on and we forgot that it soaks it took the rockets and very complicated engineering and a lot of science arm to be able to do that and there is a constellation of what like 2014 GPS satellites out there would have to correct constantly and taken into account pain relation it's really insane for it to just work and it has works the avocet and our life I find the time dilation effect to be quite fascinating and has all the have got atomic clocks on them and the atomic clocks or synchronised arm on on earth before they were launched and just thinking through the mechanics of that in its to it is truly incredible so that the GPS satellites that we've got arm if they were to fail then there would be a massive series ratification to me people I realise actually that are that the mobile mobile phone or cellular networks or synchronised by GPS clock and done with and without that they would not work at all and hence just yet it would be a massive meltdown hey if we lost the GPS satellites so all right also now we talk a lot about that launch launchpad little settle orbit about the actual launchpad at arm at the in Florida so arm LC 30 9AR space X recently signed a thing recently was only a few years ago a 20 year lease on that launchpad and the thing that I found interesting is that the way in which they do their integration of their rocket so assembling all the pieces prior to launch arm vertical versus horizontal integration and your total about that so arm historically for all of the big NASA projects the rockets that the stages of the rocket have been arm mounted together vertically and sell when you had the dissatisfied the Apollo program rocket it had three stages and then guard the Apollo capsule and the longest escape arm and power is been a lot of pieces and they will all fit together while on top of the other initially difficult because five is are about 100 m tall and is and so you needed an insane amount of our infrastructure for that you needed that the really egg arm vehicle assembly building which is an insanely big building out you needed are these really long our crawler away's sake 7 km of in a really precise track and this massive our crawler dad also our service as a launch platform for that rocket and you need cranes and it just is really complicated arm but that's how things were done and what's basics is doing is Ed arm it does horizontal integration and so you have the two stages of the rocket and down into a dragon capsule or appeals very and in IBB builders rockets horizontally and then they truck them in into the hangar and only fit them together again horizontally and then put them on what is called a transporter director so it's is in it goes into the hangar upon RL tracks and a small simple crane will just lift horizontally the rocket on onto the transporter director and it will go out what 200 m lead to launchpad and you will outlive the rockets are up since transporter director arm you will are in and it will just hold the rocket in place until watch but only at the very last stage when you are at the actual launchpad all the rocket be listed into vertical position and it is just so much simpler and so much deeper yet it is an interesting art it's funny I think that's back to why they did vertical art integration historically I suppose in that it made a lot of things easier and and maybe it was the the concern about going from horizontal to vertical and whether or not something would be damaged in that are in that process maybe that was what drove it but if you look at the by the buildings that they had to have in order to do had integration those things are in your enormous just enormous and likely set 100 m is he is very very high after the Saturn five arm the space shuttle wasn't I don't think quite that high armour know but it was still significantly be a large building so it's interesting because I think arm because basics of actually built their own their own building for the horizontal integration of things in the right disassemble anger and get special about it radiate the Tango soundtrack and a simple or had correctly there are the details 405 and space shuttle are but I know that for example the LSI rocket which lifts are mostly US military pillars also does a vertical integration and it also has this arm pretty insane integration building and that the company she has 21 4/5 and one from the Delta for Larimer which is weird but one of them has the the launch platform will along track and in the order has the that integration building will along track it is for not having a what our 50 6070 m are not sure Paul building move along rail tracks is pretty insane but aren't able if part of the reason why D to S for some of the military pillars are a blend that there are some arm in a person's tax isolates you have very delicate optics which do not speak very well though the move from horizontal to vertical arm now of course they want see that in but there will still do that for all of the lunches because you don't want to arm you don't want to in a shoal which launches mean that slushy space X will all build a small crane on annuity launched our tools vertically integrated just appealed ferrying for arm from military contracts because of that because they require adaptive ability is just a crane for an appeal of and not the whole rockets and still much to be much simpler here the whole the whole final assembly and integration pieces is really quite fascinating and it is interesting because the rockets it sells you think of the rocket's art is where all the technology is but it's it's just about how you is as much about how you integrated before you launch as well that makes a huge difference is as well some of the designs of the other payloads payload covers and so on and on and the capsules which I think we should property to move onto at this point that the and particularly mentioned earlier only upset about the dragon capsule and that was originally developed the original one was for arm was the cargo I think it was that it was originally Lorna the first was lost in 2010 I think there about and arm the more recent versions is far more interesting the dragon that the version 2 and its Cahaba different names are some of the call the Dragon to some people caught the arm the crew dragon and that anyway and it can handle up to 7 people and it's it's designed to carry a crew are all cargo I believe it can also be fit out the cargo you so arm so you wasn't sure how much there was to say about that the that the crew won an Oscar bigger windows arm where has windows it has windows arm it has a different door it's more advanced in its it's a small complected to the rocket but it still close to as expensive and they still much time to develop and the fact that crew is supposed to be either is is not part of the most interesting thing about Dragon to is that it has these pretty powerful Arsenal projector engines and are the ADR was that they would surf for arm want to escape so in case the rocket is about to blow up than are the comfortable separate from the rocket and are the dead engines on the council Deb were a small and not very powerful compared to the rocket because the capsule doesn't way too much it has much higher acceleration rockets we would be able to get away from the fireball are very quickly and it's a novel way of approaching it's our traditionally good have a power on top of the capsule with our solid rock and Morrison this is a slick with propellants but also the idea was arm and this has been delayed and may be scrubbed but the idea was that there was engines would also allow a propulsive landing in a soft loss of landing on land just like the Falcon rocket instead of opening parachute our patients and landing somewhere in the ocean you have either parachute method has some that the problem is the cost of recovery if you have a nice soft landing than obvious it is less impact damage to the vehicle and is an and you know you can have a much more control precise location and I a forever correctly this article is arm to the site is four pairs of super Draco engines I think on the V2 area here so are its it's certainly arm and the whole ability to escape is arm are on a launch failure is that is very very technically complicated you have to figure out very quickly that you needed to detach and then to separate yourself from that what you said from the fireball arm not easy to pull off the arm but in this this is something in in the hall of Islam are space exploration like olive spaceflights arm on the belief eating people have died 14 of which onto speech at this special about arm failures and guess what space shuttle could not really bought it did not have such capability because it smarts a capsule arm but all of Europe tax was dead and namely there is some arm if you examples of Sawyer's missions where arm the estimates would be saved because of our because of the The Lodge mosquito yes all right your silhouettes Dragon arm I think that's arm that will be inching to see because I haven't find of the two arm I don't believe you have I now know arm whatever test we hear a belief probably actually there they have scheduled for the end of the first destination demonstration mission on me next year but it's probably going to be next year anyway so arm to those that and then the plan is for at the end of 2010 and maybe only 2019 to have a first could mission are to the ISS bites it is not a project that that has been delayed and delayed and delayed but there is the steady progress just in non-standard claim exactly right right came move on arm is all about space suit because I that's more recent development here so the thing that was a bit surprising as I had no idea and maybe I wasn't following close enough by what had no idea that that's basically developing their own spacesuits but here is on 23 August so really only a couple months ago all the asthma that our Ellen posted images of the spacesuits on Instagram arm which you gotta admit is a bit of an interesting way to do a press release it's almost like there's no press department at space X me I know there is a big it's almost like there is a hernia who needs a press release you can just put on Instagram anyway and anyway salute having looked at these and compared them with Nasser and Anne Yeo European space agency issue spacesuits and such they certainly look a lot less bulky and whatever practical methods of measurement matters are always relevant to a spacesuit they look nicer and more sleek but does that matter I know it's just I just I find it interesting that he said yep it was hard to get fashion and function to to work well together I might put what does fashion have to do it S I am going to want once you get still colonising monitor if you do want to get the glazing mice you have to make space for those faulty father Paul all your arm spaces are not cool man either then do not look fun to wear at all and I think that from a flexibility point of view and making sure the suit doesn't get in the way in interfere with your arm mobility as much is possible that is absolutely practical but I think were a real long way from us having a Yum Geo a contest over who's got the nice-looking space understand but hey anyway and who knows maybe someday like Armani or releases version of a spacesuit on the other hand and Hogan Amani spacesuits okay but anyway this is a wonderful thing to be the odd but they do look very nice today say it's funny because arm picture of the syndicate a long time ago but Miller took very seriously because it looked like a concert and then they released the image which arm which looks pretty much the same and its it's not just the concert but that certain actual working prototype which has been tested specialise today say arm any give any idea of when they would might modes most likely be first put to your real-world use because I I am not sure even when that's planned or even if that's been released are ably going to be used in all of the crew missions and look at the quick arm I think the forests you the first cruise demo is planned for August 2018 the probably only 2019 this is what is going to happen in non-standard timeline so you idea anyway cool so you arm spacesuit gear again cool nice arm I think that it's it's good that that that they looked at it that the anyway but as all good sellers that are not sure what else there is to say about space is to be asked artist want to mention it because nothing's basics are working on and is arm the other thing I did mention sort of briefly was the Yum because you know you mentioned the year and that he saw one of the Falcon nine is the reuse once in shrinkwrap our I was very I was very fortunate arm back in 97 when I was in North America at that point and I was in here I was in the springtime in Dallas working for Nortel and is arm I was able to visit Houston in the Johnson space Centre and I walked around the Apollo 18 Saturn five rocket that was in the days before they built the building over it because of corrosion on corrosion issues and such arm that are in any case arm the thing I want to quickly mention about that was that's an amendment as before is that the Ya that the Saturn five is still the tallest heaviest most powerful operational rocket ever produced but in its payload a lower thought was hundred and 40,000 kg which is still more than double the amount of the current Falcon heavy projections but still under spiral by a fire there is a large modern it is that there hasn't been much motivation to do that again like Saturn five was insanely complicated and expensive but good lawyer and so that's why you and I think also that the whole approach and attitude towards our like the whole idea of of orbital rendezvous and arm standing up multiple pieces and sending up separate fuel and having multiple launchers rather than doing it all in one hit our I think that that approaches is go is is much more sensible because you get a much much smaller rockets and have like two or three launchers all assisting the one mission to the moon rather than putting all your eggs in one basket all on one rocket as it were so I think that that's acceptable sensible approach to be perfectly honest I see things that fly was more like like a sledgehammer disliking a kiss is monster of a rocket go is a three stage rocket was enormous and right now I would agree but it is that the then the interesting thing is arm space axis plan for the next big thing and it isn't there are things you want to allow now yes you because the thing is that once you get to full reusability now the equation changes because of Saturn five year it's it's an insane rocket largest the thing with Falcon nine is year recovering the first stage which is very big it's the largest part of the rocket and it costs the most but you still want only" recovering in a 70% of the value of the rocket and there is no practical way of recovering the second stage yet you have to get much bigger in scale to meet a viable so the thing that is interesting about arm the next generation or the next day after the Falcon series is arm so the gas they unmask okay in his been teasing this for years but it was really in mid things mid-2016 member September 2016 arm Ellen musk announced the details about space X is a long-term strategy with the much much larger rocket for interplanetary into planetary transportation and they called the ITS interplanetary transportation system and was a concept design and its goal was to have mass transportation of people and cargo to and from Mars is a regular shuttle service if you'd like between the two but not a shuttle but shall service without the shuttle enemy not special on here so that was really really fascinating and a bruise just recently only are only months ago I think it was at the time of recording arm there is some are slightly smaller revision of that that concept and I think that the idea of trying to remember the scale of these was that some it was gonna launch our several hundred people as opposed to just set out and the scale is rocketed B would be huge in and there be a consolation of bike was a 39 engines or something like that on the original one from last year there is a long ably had 42 engines on the first act which is absolutely insane the unknowns ever done that that's insane but ear and it was going like the outside ones were fixed in the centre because go beyond gambles on my back so beliefs some of them with Gimbel and some of them for simplification would printers is because was a gift of 42 arm make it becomes very complicated that's that's part of the reason why our cousin Hayley has been cell delayed and related parameters just because of how Falcon nine architecture has evolved lead is it look easy to just trap additional rockets on the sides but then it turns out that wet when you have 27 engines on the bottom of the right and it becomes really complicated if the payment perfectly are the calculations for in fluid dynamics for all the exiles could get much more complicated is really hard and no one has attempted to build the rocket with that many engines 42 and the courses would be the failed Soviet moon are ruggedly and one which had some electricity our engines are so and it they opt quite spectacularly you didn't go so well arm and hence I think that's at some that you alluded to before was the fact that they've law had so many arm multiple engine are rocket launchers that the aggregate total of international rockets are engines that they launched that gives them a much better there are a much better position than that I think that the Soviets were at that point from which is an interesting arm position to be and so on it is interesting arm to see how that pans out actually arm never revised the revised version was was assigned slightly smaller scale and more focused on the moon at this point which you with the longer term strategy to go to Mars which I think you is far more sensible so Allen's been talking more about the moon recently I think you are historically ill and has not been talking much about them and it was not the father of the Navy are well-meaning and that is just that the moon doesn't like in the grander version of your lilac the moon doesn't give us that much in terms of armed cook organisation the just a lot more useful stuff on Morris and that's the thing that is kind of gives the humanity back up so that scan of the ground goal for your masklike in terms of armed strategy going to the moon first makes much more sense if only because it's much cheaper it's much arm close to get there it takes a smaller rocket and space is a private entity sold a building a smaller rocket is in a makes a huge difference here exactly right so I think there was always the general strategy arm from a NASA point of view back when this was a thing our way back colonise the moon right but that is the problem is the economics and what's the driver and saying younger people in the moon's current entity in terms of science and in such you can get most of that done on the national space station in a 90 minute earth orbit which is a heck of a lot cheaper to get to and from and you can get most of that experimentation and and such and understood scientific discovery done in microgravity in a 90 minute earth orbit are rather than having to go the moon because of the other moon you build a lunar basics like yea, the moon okay but anyway I mean a sold-out sound or matter about it but it's just did III understand the mentality that you can Road you can Road test and trial our staff are like that the same kind of technology that you would use even though the moon has no atmosphere at least yet you could roadtest and harden a lot of technologies by developing a moon base first which I think you makes more sense to whether or not you would launch a whole bunch of stuff and then sort of like parking at the moon and then had to Mars I think it was one of the ideas ridge like going back 2030 years but that doesn't make much sense because amenities to escape from the moon's moon still does have gravity so why would you why would you launch things like fuel and then put on the moon's surface and then relaunch them off the means of this make any sense you just you just park it up and in orbit somewhere and grab it when you need it which was now piled into planetary transport system are idea and that full reuse thing so it's it it's exciting times ahead are we to be 20 years away from having no regular travel to and from Mars maybe 30 years away I'd be surprised if it was gonna happen much sooner than that out because our standard time the grander scale the longer the delay and that's okay that's fine it's true arm on the other hand it really depends on the success of the form the rockets that would be a fire in the bedspread now just a coup codenamed MPEG Falcon rocket or a big something arthritis you can say that yes the biggie of the yes exactly arm because what was then thinking what you said on on the elitists arm International astronomical conference that are of the exact name and is the plan to obsolete all of the Falcon rockets with that thing that it would be in a one our new architecture that would also be able to our to bring Salix arm to orbit which sounds insane for such a huge partnership to carry some small pillow but if they can actually powerful reusability of builder stages then that actually turn out to make a lot more sense I imagine the difference between a tiny aeroplane which can only fit you inside and it costs me the 2 million to build and use it once versus use arm and Boeing 747R which is a very big aeroplane than the cost of pursuing it up for a one are one trippers what $400,000 rate so every connection figure L4 reusability which is not viable in the Falcon family then the ad might actually work and and adds rocket is interiorly capable enough to perform more than most nations sell it really depends on how well it works and there is still a lot to figure out but that the two high-risk pieces are the engines and the carbon fibre counts and it seems that these make a lot of progress on both fronts settle at is that promising yet there is that there is there has been a lot of progress made and I feel like arm our economy, sceptical I think they will achieve it is just a matter of when and I deny I find I find it's the thing that is interesting about space X is that the difference between them and Nasser's anatomy and talking about a moon base and new spread and space transportation system for so long space launch system for so long it feels like it's never gonna happen you and and they've been quite a few programs like I remember some of the other launch return via call and the EX 38 or whatever else and I arm of the CR crew return vehicle they had they were developing to return to earth like ER from the space station while ago and that got Cairns and is been so many projects and that have happened through Nasser that it is just did died and never got anywhere I feel like space X although they daydream big are there actually executing on a strategy unit and you can see the clear path from where they are when I come from when I arm with a going and it clearly it clearly has a path and they are staying to deliver on some of it the reindeer of fun landing right possibly and relaunching them seemed ridiculous to a lot of people in just a few years ago and that's happening still with you about that the problem with more than mice is not getting to it it's just a lot more older stuff than just this part rocket arm I think the part rocket arm eight pressure it will do it not as fast as they think they can be intent to launch the first missionary thing and Quentin went the 2022 20 a bit longer but again with their huge tanks which actually dips into Warwick and the engines that we do it for moon and Mycenaean habitats you need arm in life support you need all of this order of things and tomorrow for my she also knew that arm are you need to make a propellants plan doors are although insanely difficult projects to accomplish so that may take a long longer because of that and they may be a bit too optimistic about this problem solving itself and other people tackling the problem are but but the beer fire itself arm should be flying in a furious and become the most powerful I could ever absolutely and I think that's the thing that I find arm so inspiring is how far they have come they'd be that this company started 2002 it's now 2017 you are so in 15 years they've gone from having no rockets arm and they basically are they've got a high of 16/18 arm first stage our law of re-landing success ratio they relaunch some of those already arm and they can deliver most form examining except the super heavy lift basically which is of the Falcon nine sublime heavy space to fix arm and it's just it's incredible that they've come this far so quickly so I'm thoroughly impressed with what they've managed to achieve the scale the company continues to grow and is arm I think that's our it it's it is the game it is the game changer in the space industry and its it's also pushing competent more competition which is great arm so yeah I think it's very very impressive and in terms of one of things that I arm to bring up with with our most worries as I'm I'm so impressed with the guys that he are he has a long-term vision a long-term dream and it's all good stuff you know it's all good it's a good there good goal is to have and he wants to change the world in in a good way and I think that honestly he actually is making decent strides in that respect that the thing is I I think tassel is having the bigger impact more quickly arm to the world but there is no question that space X desire is gonna be the next big thing after that I think it's going to be our it's can be huge because if we can actually get the costs down make it more cost-effective then suddenly we can have all sorts of different satellites we can actually arm maintain space stations better we can actually have moon bases and we could go to other planets and is arm that that can only be a good thing arm in home for us as as as a species I suppose but some in the grand scheme of things I think it's wonderful so I'm my hats off to Alan musk and space X and is doing a great job and I'm very excited about the future for them same and the different space travel and rocketry is looking quite bright and a lot of that is at least partially our thanks to space X arm because of competitive pressure regularly they US the only remote US competitor after space X that the prices for their rockets have gone down dramatically in and there is still way more expensive arm the problem it looks like they're going through with the new market which is going to be much cheaper and is going to have an engine built by blue origin which is another private company owned by Geoff as is fine enough in the person with Harry long-term view of the world is on half-sister Amazon which is which screensaver infringes conglomerate of Lockheed Martin and Boeing there was in a really big are companies with so much history behind them by engines are developed by a new player in our run by someone selling stuff on the Internet you happening in you and is also doing really interesting stuff that there are in the notice as far arm in the game as a space X and the don't talk much about what the building these managed our propulsive landings for a much more rugged than Falcon name but still something that future space but orbit but future space that still super impressive and the they're in your iPad is going to be a more powerful than Falcon heavy and is going to our run on nothing instead of opium I like a lot of really interesting technology and also was supposed to be reusable the first stage and is there was nothing like that are before and space X showed the template that it can be done and now it's being replicated and we have found rocket lapse with their elected rockets are would to a small rocket bowed decisively smaller than Falcon one by that but actually also ably cheap. And then Falcon one and with inner technology like carbon fibre tanks which in again no one has actually flown an orbital rocket with arm carbon fibre tanks and mallards being done by this tiny new US/New Zealand is in a player it's it's it's amazing it is and I I'm I am it, can you are space race or space age I guess if you call it our there is a new level of excitement about space after things had gone very quiet money do seem to be no hard too hard to come by that in CB a particular good reason to do these things and if you can reduce the cost and make it more accessible and space X have shown that it can be done these other players are coming into the market and shaking it up and all the government our bodies in the past and all their supplies and everything had a bit of a wake-up call that yes it can be done better and this is how it can be done better so yes I catch up or be left behind and I think that it will not be unreasonable in the next 20 or 30 years to expect that government driven arm you are space launches are essentially gone and that's all that is subcontracted and nothing will be done by the government perhaps missions will be planned by the government perhaps facilities like the space station be planned by governments perhaps but I think even that will tend to get subcontracted out and it's the sort of thing that that innocent and of itself is is is a revolution so are exciting times ahead I think angry also to me a fascinating part of space X then the thing that the people with people know is the landing rockets part art that actually even without that there is still the have the cheapest rocket on the market for photographs by a preloaded modern and there is a minor is exciting is because of the approach seated historically arm in in in the US you could see how the government would contract in our liking Martin buying Intel are not from ruminant et cetera to build the rockets and they would pay whatever they will charge them plus premium so that they can make money and because of bad because of government bureaucracy you had these very inefficient process and would space X we see a lot of thinking dad is quite natural for me in the software development industry the DR are then underpriced as the sole iterative these started with a small rocket develop an engine for that and indeed to build a rocket that's somewhat larger and just start nine engines and and needed our way would it needed different engine for the second stage the gist is the same engine just of a larger bell that's that's actually not that is not usual rate the second stage is just the shorter version of the first stage again it seems natural now but that's not how things used to be done then do are still much testing like out when you when you have a Falcon nine launch their the inner justice launch the centre engine of the first stage will be led up to 7 times because every engine after it is built is tested individually and then reassembled the first stage in the test the first stage on the rocket stands in our taxes and the assembled whole rocket together many tested again for a few seconds before lunch on the launchpad and you wanted and then they will have a free bonus for the landing rate running just as this without even relaunching the rock and the fact that an engine would be led seven times and it will be able to handle that is unusual rate or when you have stage separation and pilfering separation traditionally used use paraffin bolts which in a work most of the time but you can test them and sell species doesn't do that the biggest pneumatic systems just all of the small things like that are appreciating just a very different arm approach and when you when you see the difference between space shuttle and hunger none special that the whole idea was to be as reusable as possible arbiter swap when you can't have all of the price for the Hall program it comes down to about $1 billion per watch C rank you and the deed built cell much advanced cutting-edge technology for the space shuttle and Dallas part of the problem it was way ahead of its time and Falcon nine the interesting thing is that a lot of things on it are a pretty boring there using our P1 and liquid oxygen not hydrogen not methylene are in a higher energy propellants but also more complicated rate be using a very simple are what is called a a arm in a gas arm gas cycle are four different engines which we slake if you present the propellants to sting of the turbines to pump the propellants and again it's an efficient what we would be do that because it's simple because this would be good to direct the started with a very simple engine and the first version of its are was like 300 kN of thrusts in the current version is more than 900 sort the winds modern than about three times the thrust for a session the same architecture of the engine rate and that's on a lot of things that species doesn't be the start of a very simple architecture and any optimisers over time and this sort of thinking is just very Newell and is in rocketry and in anything specially but that's What's necessary to be able to get to this point where it's cheap to manufacture it's cheap to launch and because of all the testing and because they have so many engines and because of reuse over time you've gets more reliability actually and another lesson even though it is it's the cheapest system on the market so with them to have separately no no no don't apologise know exactly right and on the engine side of things as well I don't have farm are as much arm knowledge and the other thing is that is interesting as well as those on the ABI I have really spoken about this the Yum that the flight control computers and the redundancy and all that sort of stuff and I can Brisbane a whole episode on that architecture as well and how that's been evolving and so on and i.e. really is quite fascinating and the whole concept of reuse is that is the way that Allon was sort of you he knows it's the only way to get the costs down to make it manageable to make it cost-effective in the future and in all the design decisions that they're making an aid of that final goal arm which is which is awesome and it's just different mindset and the iterative approach that they're using is just a different are it's it's it's of more think that it's dead it's not fair to say that that NASA didn't do that because they did if you look at the Gemini and the Apollo missions and it was iterative in its own way but it but it wasn't iterative at the sort of speed that space X is but then again arm it said that the technology has changed and I just love the fact that spaces of a space X have you have illustrated with Pratt practically illustrated that what they what they can iterate on are in the space of time that they have art he is some it is truly impressive and that it is possible and can be done safely art which you know you have had they had a couple of failures to be honest arm it's been it's been pretty good so my hat off to Alan musk and the Ga and the team is basically doing a great job and I'm very excited about the future so if you would like to talk more about this you can reach me on mastodon at UG at engineer.space now out if you'd like to get in touch with the erratic what's the best way to get in touch were the building in touch with him at the best way would be great now in a clear and detailed so and look at is what little funny at relics the RED exp on Twitter and can find my blood at rates that AO and there is my email address their self if you can shoot if you want to ship email and also don't forget that our radical so makes a wonderful podcast called the podcast arm and what's the what's the best way to that just find the podcast that you'll see it will lock money boxing arm so I'm once again a special thank you to everyone for listening and dancing time and a sharing of knowledge about the�
Duration 1 hour, 59 minutes and 29 seconds Direct Download

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Radek Pietruszewski

Radek Pietruszewski

Radek is a software developer and is behind both Tadam App and Nozbe, podcasts regularly on The Podcast and is an avid follower of all things Space X.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, programmer, podcaster and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John has produced and appeared on many podcasts as well as Pragmatic.

What Happened to Mastodon? You can reach me on the Fediverse as explained here, just search for me on your instance of Mastodon, Misskey or Pleroma and you’ll be able to follow/remote follow me wherever you are!