Military Review

Commercial dragon. The transfer of space in private hands - an expensive tribute to fashion

22
Commercial dragon. The transfer of space in private hands - an expensive tribute to fashionOn Tuesday, 2012.05.22, a Falcon 9 rocket created by SpaceX, a private company, launched the Dragon transport ship created by the same company.

The flight data of the complex is impressive. Ten tons are output to a low near-earth orbit — in particular, to orbital stations. Excluding the mass of the "Dragon" itself, the payload - from various sources - from four to six tons. According to the plan, the first test flight “Dragon” is to dock with the international space station, deliver 521 kilograms of water, food and consumables for experiments to it, and then return to Earth about 660 kilograms of equipment to be reused and the results of the experiments.

Good and stated commercial characteristics. In particular, the inhabited version of the “Dragon” should deliver to the ISS and lower up to seven people from there - as much as it fit into the shuttle traders flying with the 1981.04.12. But for the price of one flight of the shuttle it is supposed to provide a dozen flights of the dragon. Moreover, based on one cosmonaut, the launch will be approximately twice as cheap as a flight on our Soyuz.

This, however, is not surprising. The price of the flight on the Soyuz includes a considerable profit going to many other RosCosmos developments (and, according to rumors, it reaches these developments almost without precipitating through the authorities' pockets). SpaceX is not bragging about the big plans for creating a new technology, and the profit rate in the American business today - at the height of the Second Great Depression - is rather modest. In fact, the profit should noticeably exceed the price of the loan, and the Federal Reserve System has been lending to large banks for almost the first time, and they can, in turn, offer loans to certain privileged clients on terms that only cover the costs of processing payments. The technical component of launch costs is hardly noticeably different.

Of course, the Falcon was developed very recently and based on the latest achievements. aviation and space technology. “Soyuz” leads the pedigree from R-7, whose development began on 1954.05.10, the first - unsuccessful! - the start took place on 1957.05.15, and the first flight in full flight was 1957.08.21. Nevertheless, the technical excellence of the “Union” is not inferior to any other flying space rocket. Just because each flight is controlled by many sensors and telemetry channels, it gives designers a huge amount of information about the behavior of the system, and all this information is used to refine the nodes, replace materials and other works, which every day can improve the main "workhorse" of the Soviet of space.

By the way, the main disadvantage of the American "shuttles" was precisely that idea, which seemed to be their main advantage. Reusable design is almost impossible to refine. In the development process - in 1971 – 9-m - the designers were looking for the most perfect solutions. But after the first flight, the development of the system had to stop. “Columbia”, “Challenger”, “Discovery”, “Atlantis” and even “Endeavor”, built at the end of the 1980's to replace the deceased “Challenger”, reproduce as accurately as possible only in the atmosphere (for testing landing technology) “Enterprise” - otherwise, the ground services would have to reconfigure all their equipment before each launch, and the crew would undergo a thorough retraining. As a result, by the last flight of 2011.07.08, the proud winged beauties were morally outdated so that no one even tried to seriously discuss their revision - it is incomparably easier to create a new technique from scratch.

The new - announced 2006.08.22 - developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - the Orion manned spacecraft is partially reusable: it is expected that the descent vehicle will be used several times, where some part of the instrument compartment will be located. Probably, its service life will not be so long, and new ships will be able to be refined as the engineering experience accumulates and new structures appear in the subcontractors.

The ship "Dragon" is returned almost completely: the propulsion system, fuel tanks, batteries and other equipment of the aggregate compartment. True, the claimed number of reuse seems to be small - about a dozen. So it will be improved - albeit much slower than our inhabited "Unions" and cargo "Progress".

The first stage of the Falcon rocket is scheduled as reusable. However, at the first experimental launch - 2010.06.04 - it is so damaged that it cannot be reused. I had to make a new one. Perhaps the damage to the first steps will be frequent enough for operational refinement. But the second stage is completely disposable. Accordingly, it can be improved even at every launch. There is hope that it will remain at the forefront of technological progress for a long time, just like our old, but not aging, “Seven”.

True, this requires another condition - the preservation of the company itself, which develops and produces the complex. Or at least preservation of continuity with divisions, mergers, acquisitions, ruins, restructurings inevitable in the market world ...

This is where one of the many dogs buried, forcing NASA to emphasize - for the sake of the current enhanced advertising miracles performed by the invisible hand of the market - the commercial nature of the new launch.

Orion is developing a completely commercial company, Lockheed Martin. She also took part in the creation of “shuttles” together with the equally commercial “Thiokol”, “Alliant Techsystems”, “Martin Marietta”, “Boeing”, “Rockwell”. Nevertheless, both projects are considered state-owned because they issue general technical tasks and coordinate the work of NASA.

But the work on the “Falcon” + “Dragon” complex is going on, though ordered by NASA and according to its specifications, but without direct government intervention in the activities of designers and conveyors. His role in this case is formally limited to the issuance of a contract and the verification of its execution.

In my opinion, this difference is hardly enough to tell about the beneficence of the invisible hand of the market. Especially considering how effectively it has been proved - and long before the current depression - the main ability of this hand is the ability to stifle its followers. The immediate cause of the crisis was the dismantling of virtually all government regulatory mechanisms developed from the experience of the previous - First - Great Depression. Its progress is mainly determined by the reluctance of the authorities of most countries, who still call themselves developed, to directly intervene in economic activities (for intervention would require first of all tightening the belts, and not only from ordinary citizens). In such circumstances, at least some argument in favor of non-interference is vital. It is provided by stories about the purely market nature of the new space system.

Theoretically, it is possible that in a comparatively near future a set of space commercial tasks will appear, which will completely pay back the development and production of new missiles and ships. Then, probably, private companies will be able to develop this technology on a purely market basis. But while such tasks do not seem to be visible: even communications, navigation, and meteorological observation satellites are launched by rockets that once recoiled from military tasks (the same G-7 was the first intercontinental ballistic missile in the world; its creation guaranteed a reciprocal nuclear strike on the United States of America, which considerably cooled the local hotheads). The complex, which first entered the 2012.05.22 orbit, can hardly be considered commercial: the process of its creation does not differ from all previous American space developments with anything significant, except for the unrestrained - with the American scope - advertising of the American way of doing business, which has long and thoroughly proved its inconsistency and within the country, all the further gives way to relations, one way or another controlled by the state.

I hope our space industry will not lead to this advertisement, but will remain centralized and state.
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22 comments
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  1. Alexander Romanov
    Alexander Romanov 26 May 2012 07: 14
    +3
    The amers, as always, have Napoleonic plans. Amers lose space, and China is running out. Everything will end, as always, beautiful words, a sea of ​​pathos and, as a result, a zero result.
    1. YARY
      YARY 26 May 2012 07: 30
      +4
      HOW DO I FUCK IT IS PLEASANT TO SAY THIS - OUR SPACE IS OUR !!! yes
      WE ARE IN FIRST SPACE !!!
      good
      BUT nadot that Russia would come up with something! In the meantime, everything is in Soviet and in the Soviet. Where are the fruits of education reform? Who will be responsible for these fruits?
      1. Sergh
        Sergh 26 May 2012 07: 43
        +2
        Ours have come up with and have already implemented, i.e. they tested a new rocket fuel with a saving of up to 40%, they also developed new rocket engines for this gasoline, an ion engine (damn it, what it is) is coming out or soon, not to mention that special nuclear-powered satellites have been flying for a long time installations instead of solar panels, by the way, this is no longer a secret, although ours are still silent.
        1. Volkhov
          Volkhov 26 May 2012 09: 52
          +3
          If you add a little gasoline to the rubbing alcohol, the savings is 80%.
    2. Krilion
      Krilion 28 May 2012 01: 32
      +1
      Quote: Alexander Romanov
      The amers, as always, have Napoleonic plans. Amers lose space, and China is running out. Everything will end, as always, beautiful words, a sea of ​​pathos and, as a result, a zero result


      for all the questions raised in the article, one fact remains - the American spacecraft was launched by a private company ... and now strain and say: is such a situation possible in Russia? .. do we have at least someone who would be able to do this work? ... trying to reflect on this topic, I came to the unequivocal conclusion that in Russia such a situation is simply unthinkable ...

      therefore, for all my ambiguous attitude towards the Americans, in this particular case they did a great job ... in this sense, your grumbling about the "sea of ​​pathos and zero result" is inappropriate ...
  2. Volkhov
    Volkhov 26 May 2012 07: 24
    +3
    The transfer of rocket technology to businessmen indicates the transition of the military to non-rocket, although it is too late.
  3. volcano
    volcano 26 May 2012 08: 10
    +3
    I honestly want to say that I am for Private Companies. With all our (USSR) and American (well, you can't take away) successes, space exploration now seems to be carried out according to the "residual" principle. In fact, we (humanity) remained at the level of the 70s. a station in orbit and satellites, well, several devices directed to the planets of our system, and these are all my friends. If in the 60s and 70s they said "humanity made the first step into space." now it will be fair to say "it has long sat down and had a smoke break." Where is the striving for the stars? There is only one conclusion - it is necessary to encourage private players. Maybe, as has already happened more than once in the history of mankind, it is the pursuit of profit that will give the leap that will allow a person to really really go out into space.
    1. Passing
      Passing 27 May 2012 13: 11
      +1
      Quote: volkan
      And where is the desire for the stars? There is only one conclusion - private players should be encouraged. Maybe, as has happened in the history of mankind more than once, it is the pursuit of profit that will give that breakthrough that will allow a person to truly truly enter the Cosmos.

      Who will allow it, private companies ??? Where have you seen a private trader working for an idea? How many percent of profit will the flight to Alpha Centauri provide? But why about the abstract. How many percent of profit will the flight to the moon provide? And the foundation of the Colony there? Obviously, as much as the state pays. So the only interest in private companies is budget money. Well, then what is the sacred meaning of private space companies? What is so, what is it, they are just sawing state money.
      1. Kievan
        Kievan 27 May 2012 16: 31
        +2
        Quote: Passing by
        Who will allow it, private companies ??? Where have you seen a private trader working for an idea? How many percent of profit will the flight to Alpha Centauri provide? But why about the abstract. How many percent of profit will the flight to the moon provide? And the foundation of the Colony there?

        You probably have not heard about space tourism and about plans to build the appropriate infrastructure on the moon. It’s quite concrete profit and without the participation of the state, and you don’t have to work for an idea - normal competition for a new market.
        Great geographical discoveries were made mainly with the small participation of states - lone adventurers and merchants in pursuit of profit.
        1. Passing
          Passing 28 May 2012 18: 30
          +1
          Quote: Kievite
          You probably have not heard about space tourism and about plans to build the appropriate infrastructure on the moon.

          I heard, I heard. Beautiful stories, in order to breed investors on the headstock.
          Answer a simple question - how much does it cost to put a kilogram of cargo into orbit? And deliver to the moon and back? And how many people on planet Earth are able to pay for such "tourism"? This is all nonsense, the capacity of the market for such services is simply scanty. Well, let's say a hundred people fly off, that's all. This money cannot provide any serious development.
  4. alexander hjcnjd
    alexander hjcnjd 26 May 2012 08: 57
    -2
    Awful article. They again tell how stupid the Americans are. This year, on the anniversary of Gagarin's flight, a lot of people called the lighthouse radio station and sang how, despite the devastation, we fly, but the Americans do not. Well, gentlemen sat on their laurels. " will not be led by this advertisement, but will remain centralized and state-owned. " - this is the most terrible phrase in its stupidity. People, well, it has been proven, God knows when, that an official is much less effective as an entrepreneur. ADAM SMITH, open and read this author. And as for all the criticism of the American approach, everything is not presented equally. We have exaggerated in This article shows the pros, but the Americans are exaggerated only the minuses. Well, don't think that Americans are idiots!
  5. Odessa
    Odessa 26 May 2012 10: 41
    +1
    Everything is said in the last line. I hope our space industry does not follow this advertisement, but remains centralized and state-owned.
    So that space defense enterprises would not be privatized and turned into joint-stock companies, space would also be privatized. Somewhere I read that the Americans planned to arrange excursion flights to the Moon and sell the moon in the future, they decided to take up real estate in the Galaxy (they don’t have healthy fantasies ) laughing
    1. 77bor1973
      77bor1973 27 May 2012 21: 54
      0
      in fact, it turned out the opposite, NASA with all hands and feet was against space tourism, although it is possible that they were simply "strangled by the toad" when they realized that they were no longer wealthy in this area!
  6. Cadet787
    Cadet787 26 May 2012 13: 07
    +4
    If space goes into the hands of businessmen, it will be like in civil aviation, to earn money they will go for any crimes (they will buy old aircraft from amers), etc. They will save on security, etc. It is unlikely that the space industry will develop with its commercial use. All the same, space today is the prerogative of the state.
    1. Odessa
      Odessa 26 May 2012 15: 33
      0
      Cadet787, in principle, this is what I wanted to say, you are absolutely right! yes
  7. Pablomc
    Pablomc 26 May 2012 14: 23
    -4
    I read comments and go nuts .......

    People! Fellow citizens....!
    You are teasing with thoughts ..... :)

    Encouraging a private initiative in the field of launches, NASA is getting rid of the secondary functions of providing manned space exploration and is creating conditions for itself in which it can, within the same budget, concentrate on more ambitious and interesting space projects.

    Statehood is a psychological problem that we cannot get rid of ... It is a conflict of generations and the moral health of society.
    1. Oleg0705
      Oleg0705 26 May 2012 15: 52
      -2
      minus from me request
    2. Passing
      Passing 27 May 2012 13: 17
      -1
      Quote: PabloMC
      within the same budget, concentrate on more ambitious and interesting space projects.

      And what private budget will they pay for private services? From Mexican? It’s good if the private owner’s prime cost is lower, but what if it’s higher? Private traders are vitally interested in inflating the cost of services. We recall the astronomical value of F-22 and many other products of private companies.
      1. Kievan
        Kievan 27 May 2012 16: 40
        0
        Quote: Passing by
        And what private budget will they pay for private services? From Mexican? It’s good if the private owner’s prime cost is lower, but what if it’s higher? Private traders are vitally interested in inflating the cost of services. We recall the astronomical value of F-22 and many other products of private companies.

        Private clients are paid by their clients - tourists. And there is no need to privatize anything - if there are conditions in the country and people with ambitions and dreams - they will build everything themselves and earn money. SpaceX is not privatized by NASA, but a private initiative that was (judging by the article) more competitive in a specific task than NASA and ROSKOSMOS.
        1. Passing
          Passing 28 May 2012 18: 42
          +1
          Quote: Kievite
          Private clients are paid by their clients - tourists.

          NASA also pay for running satellites. And this money also finances the exploration of Mars. Those. it turns out that private owners will take away the profitable niche from NASA, and they will only be left with the costly part, such as launching the Hubble telescope and flying to Mars? Ahrenet what kind of market logic, I thought such a thieves chaos only we have observed.
          Quote: Kievite
          SpaceX is not a privatized NASA, but a private initiative

          A private company that develops on budget money. Those. spent state money, and they’ll put profits in their pocket. And this profit will NEVER be spent on a flight to Mars or something like that, on a previously unprofitable enterprise.
      2. Krilion
        Krilion 28 May 2012 01: 40
        +1
        Quote: Passing by
        Private traders are vitally interested in inflating the cost of services.


        the cost of the service consists of the cost price and the winding up profit ... therefore, the cost price of a private company is usually always lower than that of the state - more rational spending of funds and there is practically no theft, because there is no point in stealing from oneself ... under such circumstances, a situation is possible when Americans will be able and will strongly dump on the market for commercial space launches of the same satellites ... the flight of the "dragon" is a very alarming bell for those who understand the essence of the issue ...
        1. Passing
          Passing 28 May 2012 18: 52
          0
          Quote: Krilion
          . Therefore, the cost of a private company is usually always lower than that of the state - more rational spending of funds and virtually no theft, because it makes no sense to steal from yourself ...

          Nothing like this. There is no correlation between the form of ownership and production efficiency - this is an idiotic myth planted by idiots monetarists. The price is lower only in one case - when there is fierce competition between many (not between two or three), for a very capacious market (a small market will not feed many companies).
          The space industry does not have and is not expected to have many competitors, since there is not and is not expected to have a very capacious market. There will be two or three "competitors" who will secretly divide the market.
          About the absence of theft amused, of course it is not, there is 100% profit, there is 200% profit, but there is no limit to the desired profit.
  8. Oleg0705
    Oleg0705 26 May 2012 15: 36
    0
    Quote: PabloMC
    Statehood is a psychological problem that we cannot get rid of ... It is a conflict of generations and the moral health of society.


    I fundamentally disagree with you, a lot of enterprises were privatized here in the West, the result was not long in coming: unemployment, a decrease in times of wages, and layoffs in order to save money where they worked, three, now you can’t do one, the street. And where is society to be healthy? Only fear of losing a job i.e. become a robot.
    1. Pablomc
      Pablomc 26 May 2012 20: 52
      +1
      Quote: Oleg0705
      I fundamentally disagree with you, a lot of enterprises were privatized here in the West, the result was not long in coming: unemployment, a decrease in times of wages, and layoffs in order to save money where they worked, three, now you can’t do one, the street. And where is society to be healthy? Only fear of losing a job i.e. become a robot.


      In the United States, many specialists, after the Space Shuttle program closed, settled in SpaceX and feel great :)

      Today, astronauts on the ISS have already begun to unload Dragon.
      1. Oleg0705
        Oleg0705 26 May 2012 21: 01
        -2
        And I'm talking about whose problems? Shtatovskih? I am against statehood, especially in such a strategic area as space.
  9. APASUS
    APASUS 27 May 2012 10: 24
    0
    I wonder how the Americans will go next. After all, here it is not far from concluding a contract for the delivery of nuclear charge to a certain point!
  10. Sleptsoff
    Sleptsoff 27 May 2012 10: 41
    0
    Sooner or later the cosmos will be given to us in private hands, just the states came to this earlier because of their development.
    1. Passing
      Passing 27 May 2012 13: 20
      0
      if "will be given to private hands" means the transfer of space to commercial rails, then we will not see either Mars or anything further away. so we will collect potatoes from our garden until the end of time.
      1. Sleptsoff
        Sleptsoff 28 May 2012 16: 50
        0
        Commercial "rails" imply competition, and where there is competition, there is development.
    2. Krilion
      Krilion 28 May 2012 01: 42
      0
      Quote: Sleptsoff
      Sooner or later space and we will be given into private hands


      I think so too, but so far I can’t imagine the hands into which this can be passed .. around one thief ...
  11. uizik
    uizik 27 May 2012 19: 49
    0
    Ordinary PR company. Time will tell what and how! So far, many promises.
    1. Aleksey67
      Aleksey67 27 May 2012 19: 56
      +2
      Quote: uizik
      Ordinary PR company. Time will tell what and how! So far, many promises.

      Something else is still difficult to judge, but let's think about these facts.
      - was built on state. money (USA)
      - built by specialists fired from NASA
      wink
      Or another cut, or the Americans want to "bubble" something into space that would have nothing to do with the US government.

      By the way, there were several "emergency" situations during the flight. And this Dragon cannot dock in automatic mode, they docked using the "Canadian hand" manipulator.
      With passengers, the flight is scheduled for 2016 (I can be wrong), so our competition is not yet winked