SpaceX forces Air Force to revise launch mindset

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DocM    12,665

Wow... Never thought I'd see this in print. If someone had posted this would be taking place a few years ago, no one would have believed jt.

 

Members from the Air Space Command during the Nuclear Deterrence panel at the Air Space, Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. 

 

http://spacenews.com/spacex-forces-air-force-to-revise-launch-mindset/

 

SpaceX forces Air Force to revise launch mindset



NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.  "The emergence of Elon Musks SpaceX as a legitimate and competitive player in the space-launch arena has prompted the U.S. Air Force to re-evaluate the way it perceives launch operations," said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander, 45th Space Wing.

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"They have forced us, and I mean forced us, to get better, infinitely better, at what we do," he said. "We are adopting commercial business practices and becom[ing] more efficient and more affordable."

"Working with them, we have been able to reduce our main launch footprint by 60 percent and reduce the cost of a single launch by over 50 percent," he said. "Based on the autonomous flight safety system they developed with us they will help us get to 48 launches a year."



"We are seeing other companies out there doing the same thing," Col. Michael Hough, commander, 30th Space Wing and Western Range, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, said during the panel discussion.

"They are out in front of us and we're catching up," he said. "We're listening to them."

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+The Evil Overlord    17,478
Just now, DocM said:

Wow... Never thought I'd see this in print. If someone had posted this would be taking place a few years ago, no one would have believed jt.

 

Members from the Air Space Command during the Nuclear Deterrence panel at the Air Space, Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. 

 

http://spacenews.com/spacex-forces-air-force-to-revise-launch-mindset/

 

 

 

For some reason, reading your highlights gave me a 'TWA vs Pan Am' flashback

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DocM    12,665

That's not far from it. Competition  between the existing old-space an emerging new-space paradigms is changing everyone's idea of how to do things. 

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+The Evil Overlord    17,478

I know I'm ignorant of the science required to successfully launch a vehicle into space, but I still think a Mass Driver Launch platform is viable

But like I said, I am not educated in that field

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DocM    12,665

Mass drivers are mainly practical for launching from from small bodies, such as the moon or an asteroid, using solar or nuclear power. Ther're e of  limited utility for very large payloads.

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bguy_1986    137
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"We are adopting commercial business practices and becom[ing] more efficient and more affordable." 

What a concept!  lol

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DocM    12,665

With all these newspace companies entering the launch market, the Air Force needs to adapt to the emerging business practices. 

 

As disruptive as SpaceX's low vehicle prices are, their autonomous flight safety system is disrupting things as much. It does this by reducing the manpower needed for a launch by over 100 people. Definitely a non-trivial difference for the Air Force, who runs the range.

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