Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Monday December 11 2017, @01:26PM   Printer-friendly
from the competition++ dept.

Who will make it to Mars first?

It was about a year ago that Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg first began saying his company would beat SpaceX to Mars. "I'm convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket," he said during a Boeing-sponsored tech summit in Chicago in October 2016.

On Thursday, Muilenburg repeated that claim on CNBC. Moreover, he added this tidbit about the Space Launch System rocket—for which Boeing is the prime contractor of the core stage—"We're going to take a first test flight in 2019 and we're going to do a slingshot mission around the Moon."

Unlike last year, Muilenburg drew a response from SpaceX this time. The company's founder, Elon Musk, offered a pithy response on Twitter: "Do it."

The truth is that Boeing's rocket isn't going anywhere particularly fast. Although Muilenburg says it will launch in 2019, NASA has all but admitted that will not happen. The rocket's maiden launch has already slipped from late 2017 into "no earlier than" December 2019. However, NASA officials have said a 2019 launch is a "best case" scenario, and a slip to June 2020 is more likely.


Also, the next SpaceX flight is an ISS resupply mission and is scheduled for this coming Tuesday (December 12, 2017) at 1646 GMT (11:46 a.m. EST) from SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The plan is for the booster to return to landing at Landing Zone-1, also at Cape Canaveral.

Previously: Maiden Flight of the Space Launch System Delayed to 2019
Elon Musk Publishes Mars Colonization Plan
SpaceX Appears to Have Pulled the Plug on its Red Dragon Plans
SpaceX Putting Red Dragon on the Back Burner
SpaceX: Making Human Life Multiplanetary

Related: VP of Engineering at United Launch Alliance Resigns over Comments About the Space Launch Industry
ULA Exec: SpaceX could be Grounded for 9-12 Months
Commercial Space Companies Want More Money From NASA
Bigelow and ULA to Put Inflatable Module in Orbit Around the Moon by 2022
SpaceX Unlocks "Steamroller" Achievement as Company Eyes 19 Launches in 2017
Trump Space Adviser: Mars "Too Ambitious" and SLS is a Strategic National Asset
SpaceX's Reusable Rockets Could End EU's Arianespace, and Other News

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:21AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12 2017, @04:21AM (#608621)

    That's our khallow! Rocket Scientist! Entreprenuer! Privatiser of the Torture Dungeons of Abu Ghraib! More for less, he says! (Wait, does khallow actually know anything about rocket science? Did he fire an Estes once? Is he blowing smoke up our arses and telling us it is raining, AGAIN?)

  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:23AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 12 2017, @05:23AM (#608647) Journal
    You know, you could read my posts on the subject. That would give you a better idea of how knowledgeable I am on the subject than saying stupid shit on the internets would. What can I say of you, who can't say anything useful or intelligent, but has this burning need to say something anyway? Sad.

    Moving on, estimates of the price of SLS (and its component parts) and the Falcon 9 are public record. The former is expected to spend something like $40 billion just to get to the point where the big version of the SLS launches for the first time with whatever payload it ends up carrying. $40 billion buys a lot of Falcon 9 launches and a lot of smart space science and exploration missions, even of the manned sort. It turns out that the SLS will never be economical. They require a peculiar supply chain with no other use, an army of workers, and maintain a hideously low launch frequency. It will never be competitive with even the worst commercial launchers out there (Delta IV, currently).

    You don't have to wonder whether I'm "blowing smoke up your ass". You can figure it out on your own by doing your own research. It won't take long, if you're any good with numbers.