Virgin Flight

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
Here's a question for Team Rocketry at JC: What is with the sudden interest in private space exploration from west Texas and eastern New Mexico? Both Branson and Bezos invested considerable sums to build their facilities in what is otherwise a pretty damn remote part of the country without much going on. From a couple minutes of searching I can't see the reason for these locations. There isn't a metropolis nearby, nor do I see a large aerospace industry or college in these areas. All of which is usually necessary to recruit and retain talent.

Is it a geographical thing, just cheap land, or what? I've inhaled a lot of hydrocarbons since ground school, and I spend my free time flying low enough to smell fresh cut grass - so I can't recall if this is something as simple as being related to the height of the tropopause and thus a strategic advantage or not.

Help a guy out, what is the motive for making west Texas/ east New Mexico the epicenter of the private space race?
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
As far as I know, it's because it gets a lot more efficient to launch things as you get closer to the equator, and Florida is, well, you know. Florida.
That is my understanding as well, which is why I was told that KSC was originally planned to be in Puerto Rico (closest US soil to the Equator) but the logistics of transporting materials to the island and being in hurricane alley nixed that plan and it was built in Florida. Plus the urban centers of Jacksonville & Orlando and were able to help support such an undertaking.
 

Boris Badenov

Let's get this thing on the hump!
Yeah, I don't think Musk et al would touch PR with a ten foot pole. Even Florida is politically dodgy. Our plutocrats are many things, but politically naive ain't on the list.
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
Yeah, I don't think Musk et al would touch PR with a ten foot pole. Even Florida is politically dodgy. Our plutocrats are many things, but politically naive ain't on the list.
That's another angle I didn't think much of, the political stock. With NASA scaling back over the last decade, I'm surprised no one tried to court them to Florida and keep the recently unemployed Space Coast residents around.
 

Boris Badenov

Let's get this thing on the hump!
That's another angle I didn't think much of, the political stock. With NASA scaling back over the last decade, I'm surprised no one tried to court them to Florida and keep the recently unemployed Space Coast residents around.
I don't think they're super interested in old blood, but to the extent that they are, moving expenses are a drop in the ocean. The amount of money that's involved is one of those things that everyone loses interest in after the sixth or seventh zero, but it's a different world entirely from what even we supposedly "well-to-do" worker bees are conversant with. Our entire worldview simply doesn't apply. Might as well be talking about the price of milk.
 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
And Burt's house. That's the mailbox in the foreground.

View attachment 59949

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I guaran-damn-tee there is a sex swing somewhere in that pyramid.

Also Lagrange points. They seems like as good a place as any in the Lemaître space to experience net-zero inertial acceleration. And there're some in the plane of our moon's orbit.

I admire these private-party forays with upper atmosphere -- somewhere below "person in orbit," but still above "hologram Tupac." I will reserve "impressed" for when anyone puts a foot on the moon again.
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
Cheap land, already starting out at several thousand feet above sea level, probably easier to get a big TFR without pissing off a large segment of the flying public, less likely to have your rocket land on a school in the event of a mishap which is generally poor PR (just ask Delta about dropping things on a school)
 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
NASA is hamstrung by politics and the need to please the traditional vendors (*cough* SLS *cough*). Love it or hate it, it’s where the action is and they’re putting the work in.

About that ... I am neither a Spacesax fan or hater, but I trust them to succeed with this launch of the Europa Clipper with a minimum of fuss or contractor •-• games.

The total contract award amount for launch services is approximately $178 million, NASA said in a news release. This is a significant moment for SpaceX, as the company will be entrusted with one of NASA's highest-priority exploration missions. The deal also saves NASA about $2 billion.

The selection of a launch vehicle for this ambitious mission has been subjected to a long, drawn-out political process. Originally, at the urging of Congress, NASA planned to launch the spacecraft on its Space Launch System rocket. There were two reasons for this. Legislators (particularly US Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.) wanted to find additional missions for the SLS rocket. And second, the powerful SLS rocket had the ability to get the Clipper to Jupiter within about four years.

However, many in the scientific community preferred to launch on SpaceX's Falcon Heavy for a variety of reasons. For one, SpaceX offered launch services at a steep discount compared to the SLS rocket, which the White House estimated would cost more than $2 billion for the Clipper mission. Scientists were also concerned that the oft-delayed SLS rocket would simply not be ready for a 2024 launch date, and selecting it would delay the science mission.
 

Space Monkey

Arbitrariness replaces reason with authority.
I don't think they're super interested in old blood, but to the extent that they are, moving expenses are a drop in the ocean. The amount of money that's involved is one of those things that everyone loses interest in after the sixth or seventh zero, but it's a different world entirely from what even we supposedly "well-to-do" worker bees are conversant with. Our entire worldview simply doesn't apply. Might as well be talking about the price of milk.
Decades ago, a buddy actually calculated the amount of money that Bill Gates (the dude at the time) would have to drop on the floor before it was literally-mathematically worth his time to pick it up (you know... compose himself, step off his bar stool, stand, squat, and grab...). As I recall, the amount, even back then was something like $14000. My buddy calculated the whole recovery operation would take 8 seconds.

When it comes to Bezos, the "genius" dude actually stated that with the amount of money he has, he could "not figure out what to spend it on". So, I suppose shooting his own ass into the upper atmosphere (not even space) sounded like a pretty good idea to him. Who doesn't like a good carnival ride, right?!?

This reminds me of the Wall Street bankers who in 2009 started whining about how brilliant they were and how specialized their skill set was, and therefore, how they really, really deserved their bonuses for almost bankrupting the global economy. (Thanks, Obama... No, truly. Thanks, Obama!)

If Bezos or any other of these ass clowns needs a list of worthy projects against which to aim their tax-avoided (stolen) money, I'll happily provide one about 200 pages long. I won't even charge them $100MM for it.
 
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Minuteman

“Dongola”
Easy, his plane is at Chino, I see it often. Last month they painted some trim and changed the tail number. I guess JE groupies were at the airport when it landed.
Weirdly, I would have expected the guy who had his own pedof-isle and a personal Gulfstream would keep something newer, like a G650, a Global 6000, or at least a newer G550.
 

Space Monkey

Arbitrariness replaces reason with authority.
I guaran-damn-tee there is a sex swing somewhere in that pyramid.

Also Lagrange points. They seems like as good a place as any in the Lemaître space to experience net-zero inertial acceleration. And there're some in the plane of our moon's orbit.

I admire these private-party forays with upper atmosphere -- somewhere below "person in orbit," but still above "hologram Tupac." I will reserve "impressed" for when anyone puts a foot on the moon again.
I reserve "impressed" for when they do so under pilot nav and pilot manipulation of the controls.
 

fholbert

Mod's - Please don't edit my posts!
Weirdly, I would have expected the guy who had his own pedof-isle and a personal Gulfstream would keep something newer, like a G650, a Global 6000, or at least a newer G550.
I'm assuming he had plans for his spare time other than shopping for a better plane.
 

Autothrust Blue

Did Not Grow Up
I don't think they're super interested in old blood, but to the extent that they are, moving expenses are a drop in the ocean. The amount of money that's involved is one of those things that everyone loses interest in after the sixth or seventh zero, but it's a different world entirely from what even we supposedly "well-to-do" worker bees are conversant with. Our entire worldview simply doesn't apply. Might as well be talking about the price of milk.
Wasn’t one of the tenets of Elon Aerospace And Non Cock Shaped Rockets Inc. that they were going to take a clean or at least cleaner sheet approach to things, too?
 
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