Does Elon's Musk stink?

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Mo
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Mo » 12 Jun 2014, 20:50

No one is going to use it without something signed. This is a way to get their technology ubiquitous and have GM, Honda, Toyota, &c. to use it and encourage buildout of infrastructure, the current weak point. It's also not new. IBM did the same thing with the mag stripe to encourage people to use it as a platform and ended up making billions off the equipment sales.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Herr Kant » 13 Jun 2014, 03:57

Ah, they decided to go to pure trade secrets. And pretend it was for everyone else's benefit. Cute!

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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 23 Jul 2014, 13:55

SpaceX launches Falcon9 rocket with 6 satellites and returns first stage to Earth with a soft water landing. Apparently they did get a hull rupture, but that was the biggest issue with the operation. They successfully launched the satellites and returned the booster from hypersonic speeds through multiple burns, deployed landing legs, and brought it down on the water, then tipping it over (as planned).

They're anticipating attempting bringing it down from a mission with a soft landing on dry ground in the next few flights.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Warren » 23 Jul 2014, 14:14

Highway wrote:SpaceX launches Falcon9 rocket with 6 satellites and returns first stage to Earth with a soft water landing. Apparently they did get a hull rupture, but that was the biggest issue with the operation. They successfully launched the satellites and returned the booster from hypersonic speeds through multiple burns, deployed landing legs, and brought it down on the water, then tipping it over (as planned).

They're anticipating attempting bringing it down from a mission with a soft landing on dry ground in the next few flights.
The question is how many recycles can they get out of it and how much time and money does it cost to reload.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 15 Apr 2015, 15:06

SpaceX got closer to landing their booster on their ship, this time getting it to touch down on the barge (maybe a little fast) before falling over.

And like him or not, at least Elon Musk seems to have a sense of his own hubris
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 04 May 2015, 13:57

Better video of the failed landing here.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by thoreau » 22 Aug 2015, 10:45

So the Hyperloop is chugging ahead:

http://www.wired.com/2015/08/elon-musk- ... a-serious/

It still sounds too good to be true, but maybe I will have to eat those words.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 22 Aug 2015, 10:55

Notwithstanding that all my interactions with that particular engineering firm have left me entirely nonplussed as to their ability to do anything well, I don't really know that signing a contract with an engineering consultant to pay them money to study or even design your stupid idea lends any sort of legitimacy to it. There's also still plenty of time to do the design and say "yeah, this doesn't work."
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Warren » 22 Aug 2015, 11:21

Highway wrote:Notwithstanding that all my interactions with that particular engineering firm have left me entirely nonplussed as to their ability to do anything well, I don't really know that signing a contract with an engineering consultant to pay them money to study or even design your stupid idea lends any sort of legitimacy to it. There's also still plenty of time to do the design and say "yeah, this doesn't work."
Let's just hope they come to that conclusion before they build it.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Aresen » 22 Aug 2015, 17:09

Warren wrote:
Highway wrote:Notwithstanding that all my interactions with that particular engineering firm have left me entirely nonplussed as to their ability to do anything well, I don't really know that signing a contract with an engineering consultant to pay them money to study or even design your stupid idea lends any sort of legitimacy to it. There's also still plenty of time to do the design and say "yeah, this doesn't work."
Let's just hope they come to that conclusion before they build it.
If they are using their own money, who cares?

Of course, if they are at the public trough, it will make the Big Dig look cheap.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Warren » 22 Aug 2015, 19:45

Aresen wrote:If they are using their own money, who cares?
Two words: Eminent Domain
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Mo » 20 Oct 2015, 16:39

Turns out Tesla didn't break Consumer Reports' scale after all.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by JasonL » 20 Oct 2015, 16:43

Mo wrote:Turns out Tesla didn't break Consumer Reports' scale after all.
That was the reekiest of reeky headlines. Fit a narrative too perfectly by a mile.

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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 20 Oct 2015, 16:50

Well, it did exceed the scale they use for new cars. They are dinging the car on reliability, which honestly isn't a surprise from a very low-volume luxury car manufacturer (ask Consumer Reports where Jaguar - Land Rover vehicles are). Nor is it a surprise from a startup car manufacturer. Doesn't mean that the issues aren't ones that people want to deal with, tho, especially people who can afford a Model S.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 20 Oct 2015, 16:58

Most S Model owners own more than one car. Yeah, it's annoying when the Porsche is in the shop, and it's in the shop a lot if you're having as much fun driving it as you should, but that's the price you pay. Along with the price you pay. The question is whether Tesla can make its more mass market models more reliable. There may be limits to what can be achieved on such small production models without increasing human labor to the point the car is too expensive to build, but I don't see these as anything more than growing pains.

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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Aresen » 20 Oct 2015, 17:36

One thing I have wondered about electric cars:

I have seen charging stations at local grocery stores, etc. Are the drivers paying (directly) for the power they draw? I haven't looked closely enough to be sure.

If they are being paying, I am fine with that.

If they are not paying directly - i.e. the grocery store is covering it - I think I am going to get seriously pissed off.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 20 Oct 2015, 18:26

It depends on what kind of charging station it is. There is a fairly large network of charging stations in the US run by ChargePoint (with just a few in Canada). There may be a similar network in Canada. Those are usually subscription / use based, so users are paying for the electricity through an account. There are a significant amount of private charging stations, which might be used by the public, perhaps at a grocery store, which are paid for by the corporation at the site. Maybe it's the grocery store, maybe it's the entity who actually owns the property.

But honestly the amount of money that an electric car charge costs is miniscule, and the cost per time even smaller. Taking a Nissan Leaf, because I know the numbers: A level 2 charge can do 6.6kW in a current one. It has a 24 kWh battery. So best case, a level 2 charge will take 4 hours (usually about 5, just because of shenanigans). In Canada, average electricity price is 10 cents per kWh. So a full charge would be something like $2.50. And would take 5 hours. And when one person is charging, another person can't be. So at most, a level 2 charger at a grocery store, paid for by the grocery store which is open from 7 AM to Midnight, could cost the store about $8.50 in electricity. If someone was charging at it all the time, with no wasted time, which is not going to happen.

It likely costs more for the store to have a guy go out in the parking lot and round up the shopping carts people left out there 4 times a day. Focus your wrath on the people who leave their cart out there. They cost you more than a charging station does.

(edited for paragraphs)
Last edited by Highway on 20 Oct 2015, 18:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 20 Oct 2015, 18:28

Aresen wrote:One thing I have wondered about electric cars:

I have seen charging stations at local grocery stores, etc. Are the drivers paying (directly) for the power they draw? I haven't looked closely enough to be sure.

If they are being paying, I am fine with that.

If they are not paying directly - i.e. the grocery store is covering it - I think I am going to get seriously pissed off.
The amount it costs is probably worth it to the store since the electric car owners are loaded and the cost of the electricity needed is very little.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 09 Apr 2016, 15:03

SpaceX got their rocket landed on the barge, finally. Good weather and calm seas helped a lot.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Warren » 09 Apr 2016, 15:13

Highway wrote:SpaceX got their rocket landed on the barge, finally. Good weather and calm seas helped a lot.
That's a hell of an accomplishment and all. But I still say retro rockets for soft landing is just about the dumbest idea.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 09 Apr 2016, 15:54

You think? It might be the dumbest idea... except for all the others. Parachutes are not going to do it, not to give you a landing that you can reliably count on to not damage the booster. If you dunk it in the water, then you have to deal with the water messing everything up, and the impact. And using the rocket booster means you have no other equipment to 1) lug halfway into space and 2) worry about it failing. Yeah, with this you need more fuel, but taking a 15% hit on the payload into space is just what you do, unless you're at the very very edge of the capability of the lifting rocket. And if you are, then you get a bigger rocket and use that.

And they've gotten it to work in 5 attempts to land on water (the March failure was #4), and on their first attempt on land. That's not a bad record.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Warren » 09 Apr 2016, 16:29

Highway wrote:You think? It might be the dumbest idea... except for all the others. Parachutes are not going to do it, not to give you a landing that you can reliably count on to not damage the booster. If you dunk it in the water, then you have to deal with the water messing everything up, and the impact. And using the rocket booster means you have no other equipment to 1) lug halfway into space and 2) worry about it failing. Yeah, with this you need more fuel, but taking a 15% hit on the payload into space is just what you do, unless you're at the very very edge of the capability of the lifting rocket. And if you are, then you get a bigger rocket and use that.

And they've gotten it to work in 5 attempts to land on water (the March failure was #4), and on their first attempt on land. That's not a bad record.
You are grossing understating the hit you take. Having to rely on retros completely means lugging all that fuel up, and that means even more fuel to lift it and even more fuel to lift the more fuel. You drive up the size of the rocket, and therefore the cost and also the probability of failure, buy orders of magnitude. You're gonna need tons of fuel to put ounces of payload into orbit. Parasails, variable geometry wings, something like that, seems a no brainier to me. You can even use small retros for fine corrections/last meter. But relying on them as the only anti gravity system, that's a non-starter. But what do I know?
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 09 Apr 2016, 17:00

The 15% hit on payload is what SpaceX stated it was, when talking about whether they should try to land at sea vs bringing it back to land (which would be a 30% hit on payload). Also, with all of your ideas, it's not like taking additional equipment is a free action. You use a wing, you need to carry the wing. And the landing gear, and the control surfaces, and and and. You use a parachute, you need to carry the parachute, then figure out how to deal with it when you're done with a parachute (since the attitude and all is going to be all crazy). They've done splashdown landings with parachutes for years with the Shuttle SRBs, and that was shown to have very little in the way of cost savings.

And I'll point out that these flights they've been doing these tests and successful landings on are actual working launches. This one was delivering supplies and a new inflatable module to the ISS. They aren't just landing test launches. And nobody's saying that every rocket launch needs to use a landable rocket. But for doing these "majority of launches" kind of thing, where they can oversize the rocket by 15% and get the rocket back, they're going to come out way ahead.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Warren » 09 Apr 2016, 17:09

I'm sure you're right. Obviously they know what they're doing. It just doesn't add up to me. 15% payload reduction for the fuel to completely brake the rocket from terminal velocity? That just can't be right.
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Re: Does Elon's Musk stink?

Post by Highway » 09 Apr 2016, 17:42

Warren wrote:I'm sure you're right. Obviously they know what they're doing. It just doesn't add up to me. 15% payload reduction for the fuel to completely brake the rocket from terminal velocity? That just can't be right.
Well, the rocket is nearly empty, it's using the last bit of fuel for that part. The F9R (reusable) first stage has a mass of 25,600 kg, and holds almost 400,000 kg of fuel. The launch mass is rated at over 505,000 kg. So it's got engines that are capable of pushing 505,000kg most of the way to orbit, and then it's landing maybe 10% of that (5% in rocket weight, say 5% more in fuel, because you wouldn't want to bring any more back than you need to). So you can see that the delta-v needed to slow just the booster from terminal velocity and horizontal velocity (the bigger factor) will be a lot less than you had thought.

ETA: Apparently it only uses one of the engines for the landing procedure, as opposed to 9 for the launch, which makes a lot of sense.
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