Eli5: Space X test launch

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I’m kinda confused… I see the Space X test launch approaching and I’m just mind blown.

We went to the moon in 1969 ya? Why is it so difficult to re enact that? Why is SpaceX doing it and not NASA? I’ve seen/heard of a few unsuccessful test runs but I’m not super up to date with our space journeys. But don’t we have this technology/engineering capability?

I don’t mean to be arrogant but can someone explain it to me?

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28 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

We’re not reusing the saturn V launchers we used for the Apollo program

The Falcon Super heavy is an entirely new launch booster that (afaik) has never been used on a full mission yet, and the payload/crew vehicle is also brand new.

As far as I’m aware, SpaceX is also intending on having all parts of the Starship/SuperHeavy to be fully reusable, and landing rockets/vehicles is a challenge in itself

For the large part, NASA has been concerned with trying to solve challenges for science/exploration. SpaceX and a few other companies are working on trying to lower the cost and commercialize the simpler missions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

[removed]

Anonymous 0 Comments

We’re not reusing the saturn V launchers we used for the Apollo program

The Falcon Super heavy is an entirely new launch booster that (afaik) has never been used on a full mission yet, and the payload/crew vehicle is also brand new.

As far as I’m aware, SpaceX is also intending on having all parts of the Starship/SuperHeavy to be fully reusable, and landing rockets/vehicles is a challenge in itself

For the large part, NASA has been concerned with trying to solve challenges for science/exploration. SpaceX and a few other companies are working on trying to lower the cost and commercialize the simpler missions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

[removed]

Anonymous 0 Comments

We’re not reusing the saturn V launchers we used for the Apollo program

The Falcon Super heavy is an entirely new launch booster that (afaik) has never been used on a full mission yet, and the payload/crew vehicle is also brand new.

As far as I’m aware, SpaceX is also intending on having all parts of the Starship/SuperHeavy to be fully reusable, and landing rockets/vehicles is a challenge in itself

For the large part, NASA has been concerned with trying to solve challenges for science/exploration. SpaceX and a few other companies are working on trying to lower the cost and commercialize the simpler missions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is not difficult in the sense that we lack the knowledge or technology. The problem, as is in many cases, is who wants to spend the money to do it? NASA is no longer funded as lavishly as they were during the race to the moon (in percentage terms in those days, about what the US government spends on the military today) As far as priorities go, going back to the moon was just not a priority with the money they were allocated.

Then, of course, is what is the point? There have been a number of unmanned moon landings since and robotics and automation have become much more sophisticated and humans are just as fragile. So it is cheaper, less risky and nearly as productive just to send unmanned robots for any moon related research.

The “major” ideas going forward could be (a) learn how to colonize space and (b) send humans to more distant planets and (c) potential commercialization of space (tourism, mining, energy, etc). To do any of these, requires major improvements and development of technology. No one is interested in doing stuff the way it was done 50 years ago because the goals might be very different.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

The Apollo program was Very expensive for its time. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA#/media/File:NASA-Budget-Federal.svg](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA)

We were in a race to the Moon against the Russians with that as the goal. Once we got there it was hard to justify continuing that spending level. The technology that went into the Apollo could be reconstructed, but it would be more expensive as it depended on analog equipment that doesn’t exist anymore, and it was pretty dangerous, but the best we could do at the time. We hope to replace it with a more modern and more reusable system.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Apollo program was Very expensive for its time. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA#/media/File:NASA-Budget-Federal.svg](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA)

We were in a race to the Moon against the Russians with that as the goal. Once we got there it was hard to justify continuing that spending level. The technology that went into the Apollo could be reconstructed, but it would be more expensive as it depended on analog equipment that doesn’t exist anymore, and it was pretty dangerous, but the best we could do at the time. We hope to replace it with a more modern and more reusable system.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is not difficult in the sense that we lack the knowledge or technology. The problem, as is in many cases, is who wants to spend the money to do it? NASA is no longer funded as lavishly as they were during the race to the moon (in percentage terms in those days, about what the US government spends on the military today) As far as priorities go, going back to the moon was just not a priority with the money they were allocated.

Then, of course, is what is the point? There have been a number of unmanned moon landings since and robotics and automation have become much more sophisticated and humans are just as fragile. So it is cheaper, less risky and nearly as productive just to send unmanned robots for any moon related research.

The “major” ideas going forward could be (a) learn how to colonize space and (b) send humans to more distant planets and (c) potential commercialization of space (tourism, mining, energy, etc). To do any of these, requires major improvements and development of technology. No one is interested in doing stuff the way it was done 50 years ago because the goals might be very different.