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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:36 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
The copy of the wiki page I used was December 31st, 2016, although re-reading what I wrote, I didn't say that (oops). I can't think of a fairer test. They're launching less than two-thirds of what they planned to at the beginning of the year. You can talk all you want about 'realigning goals as the business situation changes', but yes, I do think it's reasonable to criticize them for not doing well enough compared to what they said they were going to do.

They don't have any of the usual aerospace industry excuses here. It's not that new developments took longer than expected, because there are none (or if they're letting product improvements delay production, then that's their fault). When Boeing publishes its delivery schedule at the beginning of the year, they usually meet it. They don't declare "we're going to build 47 737s each month" and then build 30. They haven't had any rockets blow up on them, either. So why are they way behind schedule, and why should I let them slide because they're doing better than ULA in terms of raw launch numbers?


Link to Copy? Are you looking at the F9 launch schedule page? https://web.archive.org/web/20160827161950/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_launches


ByronC wrote:
I don't like anyone in the electric car industry, but I'm going to drop that now, as we seem unlikely to have a meeting of the minds. I really want to like SpaceX. From one point of view, they're doing really impressive work. But from the other, they're continually underdelivering, and I think it's fair to point that out.


My wife drives an EV every day and loves it.

Underdelivering like Michael Phelps underdelivering in Rio because he took Silver in the 100m FLY instead of Gold? I think we also have to differentiate between what Musk says and what type of commitments are actually made to launch customers. I strongly suspect that customers of SpaceX don't look for a Musk tweet as to when they are scheduled for launch.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:02 pm 
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brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
The copy of the wiki page I used was December 31st, 2016, although re-reading what I wrote, I didn't say that (oops). I can't think of a fairer test. They're launching less than two-thirds of what they planned to at the beginning of the year. You can talk all you want about 'realigning goals as the business situation changes', but yes, I do think it's reasonable to criticize them for not doing well enough compared to what they said they were going to do.

They don't have any of the usual aerospace industry excuses here. It's not that new developments took longer than expected, because there are none (or if they're letting product improvements delay production, then that's their fault). When Boeing publishes its delivery schedule at the beginning of the year, they usually meet it. They don't declare "we're going to build 47 737s each month" and then build 30. They haven't had any rockets blow up on them, either. So why are they way behind schedule, and why should I let them slide because they're doing better than ULA in terms of raw launch numbers?


Link to Copy? Are you looking at the F9 launch schedule page? https://web.archive.org/web/20160827161950/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_launches

This was the one I used, but yes.

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My wife drives an EV every day and loves it.

It's not necessarily a problem with EVs themselves so much as it is with the subsidies surrounding them. I'm quicker to criticize Tesla because that's all they do.

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I think we also have to differentiate between what Musk says and what type of commitments are actually made to launch customers. I strongly suspect that customers of SpaceX don't look for a Musk tweet as to when they are scheduled for launch.

No, they probably do their own math on how big the delay is going to be. Since neither of us have firm knowledge of what the expectations are or how the contracts are structured, we can't say for certain how much SpaceX is lying to their customers and how much they're just lying to the public. But I'm not sure why I should give them more slack on that. They're the one setting the launch schedules, not us. I think the Phelps analogy fails because he was in competition with someone else for that. Here, we're measuring against a yardstick that SpaceX themselves gave us. And I'm less inclined to be charitable with them because they never, ever measure up to that yardstick.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:12 pm 
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And from the outside, the September 2016 launch pad explosion did damage their launch schedule considerably.

There have been 15 launches YTD, and five more planned. There are currently 29 launches planned for 2018, although many of them are fuzzy. The pace of launches throughout 2017 has accelerated.

By comparison, ULA has had one Delta launch and five Atlas launches YTD, with two Delta and one Atlas scheduled.

So Musk has a history of over-promising and under-delivering. That's hardly new, because we can see from the Shuttle program the same thing, both in the pre-service promises and the program schedule slippages.

As long as Space-X is still solvent, still launching, and the customers aren't moving away despite the slippage, it doesn't matter as much. How long did it take for Amazon to turn a profit? Wasn't there a time, after the dot com bubble, when analysts were talking about how normal business metrics like gross and net didn't count, it was eyeballs on the site? Musk will promise the world, and the customers will use his past history to decide how reliable he is.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:16 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:
Quote:
I think we also have to differentiate between what Musk says and what type of commitments are actually made to launch customers. I strongly suspect that customers of SpaceX don't look for a Musk tweet as to when they are scheduled for launch.

No, they probably do their own math on how big the delay is going to be. Since neither of us have firm knowledge of what the expectations are or how the contracts are structured, we can't say for certain how much SpaceX is lying to their customers and how much they're just lying to the public. But I'm not sure why I should give them more slack on that. They're the one setting the launch schedules, not us. I think the Phelps analogy fails because he was in competition with someone else for that. Here, we're measuring against a yardstick that SpaceX themselves gave us. And I'm less inclined to be charitable with them because they never, ever measure up to that yardstick.

That's fair. The question I would have is whether the delay between the promise and delivery is consistent. Spaceflight is still a risky business, and anyone dropping $100 million on a launch has to know that.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:37 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
This was the one I used, but yes.


Right from your linked page.

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As of December 2016, SpaceX has not communicated any estimate of the number of launches to take place in 2017.


It looks like they took all the 2016 launches after AMOS-6 and then just moved them into 2017 while still leaving all the 2017 launches in place.

I just don't see anyplace on this page telling me that SpaceX in December of 2016 was committing to 30+ launches in 2017.


ByronC wrote:
It's not necessarily a problem with EVs themselves so much as it is with the subsidies surrounding them. I'm quicker to criticize Tesla because that's all they do.


The government gives subsidies for a lot of different things. For me, EV subsidies are doing exactly what they intended to and they set an expiration for those subsidies. The residential real estate market is still hooked on Mortgage subsidies.


ByronC wrote:
No, they probably do their own math on how big the delay is going to be. Since neither of us have firm knowledge of what the expectations are or how the contracts are structured, we can't say for certain how much SpaceX is lying to their customers and how much they're just lying to the public. But I'm not sure why I should give them more slack on that. They're the one setting the launch schedules, not us. I think the Phelps analogy fails because he was in competition with someone else for that. Here, we're measuring against a yardstick that SpaceX themselves gave us. And I'm less inclined to be charitable with them because they never, ever measure up to that yardstick.


I don't think we can conclude that the yardstick you are measuring SpaceX by was actually set by SpaceX. I think sometimes that measurement is being clouded by somebodies interpretation of the data from SpaceX or in the case of Wikipedia some of it almost appears to be out-dated data.

FYI - This is a much better source for SpaceX's planned flight schedule - http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.0


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:16 pm 
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brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
This was the one I used, but yes.


Right from your linked page.

Quote:
As of December 2016, SpaceX has not communicated any estimate of the number of launches to take place in 2017.


It looks like they took all the 2016 launches after AMOS-6 and then just moved them into 2017 while still leaving all the 2017 launches in place.

I just don't see anyplace on this page telling me that SpaceX in December of 2016 was committing to 30+ launches in 2017.

No, they hadn't officially. I am not made of time, and it seemed the easiest way to get a count from a reasonably neutral source.

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I don't think we can conclude that the yardstick you are measuring SpaceX by was actually set by SpaceX. I think sometimes that measurement is being clouded by somebodies interpretation of the data from SpaceX or in the case of Wikipedia some of it almost appears to be out-dated data.

You can quibble with my count for 2017. Fine. Let's take 2016. The rocket that blew up was 9 for the year. In March of 2016, they said that they were planning to launch 18 that year. They launched 1/month for the first 8 months of the year. They would have had to more than double that through the second half to make their schedule.
Look. I think I'm done here. We're not going to convince each other. I really do want to like SpaceX, but they continue to behave in ways that make that impossible for me.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:20 pm 
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ByronC wrote:

I think I'm done here. We're not going to convince each other. I really do want to like SpaceX, but they continue to behave in ways that make that impossible for me.


Fair enough. :)

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