Spacex, Nasa, Tesla discussed on Acquired

Acquired
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Less than forty eight hours now. The plan is One of these Falcon Nines. It's going to have a man crew capsule dragon on it and we're going to be sending astronauts up to the International Space Station. It's a funny. I'm saying we like it's like it's US right. The company yeah a little bit of A. Us centric show but like my gosh for a US company to fly you know U. S. astronauts up the ISS is is You know it's compelling it's cool Yup it It is so this goes back to September twenty fourteen NASA BIT. Outta two point six billion dollar contract to to do this. This was the point of all of Griffin's work to re architect how NASA operated with with their suppliers for a private company to fly humans to the ISS and and spacex wins it so the last year in twenty nineteen a big key step in this. Is They completed? The first autonomous ISS docking with a drag dragon capsule so it was a crew capsule. Did there were no people on it. It was just cargo. There was like a little stuffed animal. I think that then. The s astronauts went in there and showed and wave to the camera and held up the stuffed animal. That's globe I think and on Wednesday may twenty seven scheduled to bring us astronauts. Bob Bankin and Colonel Doug Hurley. Up to the yeah. It's it's it's it's astoundingly cool. I mean it's just what time to be alive. So the items that people may think about space x that we haven't dove into here because We might talk about a little bit. But there's so much to talk about. Obviously Are Obviously Starlink their own small satellite Communications Broadband Communications Internet? Network that they're developing the starship. Which is the future Benue alluded to this? They're going to be retiring the Falcon Program and the Dragon Program and Merging everything into one giant. Spacecraft the starship which will eventually go to Mars thing. Sort the spaceship the starship. The which I wish was still called the far. I know so cool. They had a successful engine test for that so that it work as well underway on that and and then there's a little thing called the boring company. Yeah which I think is something like it ended up spinning out and space XS minority investor along with Alon Yup so inland owns about ninety percent of the company. I believe maybe a little less space x six percent And then there's the or the other. Yeah wow there. We have it SPACEX as of May Twenty Fifth Two thousand twenty. Yup well I I do think before. Moving out of history and facts here because we're sort of ending history and facts with the the events that are happening. Wednesday it is worth talking about this particular contract. Because you a skeptic could say something like this there's lots of interesting skeptics of of space x one skepticism could be. Why is it so impressive? What they're doing like other countries have been flying people up to the ISS forever like you know get get get off your high arcing. Get less excited. So what is a private company instead of government? So what they may be spent a little bit less money like not that this easy to do. But there's plenty of other people that could do it well. Nasa doesn't sole source crap like NASA always awards multiple contracts because like this stuff is super hard and the second person. The second company that that got this. Same contract was Boeing and Boeing has built a thing To produce you know this. Their version of the dragon called the star liner but in December of last year it launched attested dock with the ISS. I'm veering off course. And they did manage to get at home but basically scrub the mission in order to do it. And And Boeing to four hundred ten million dollar writedown on earnings last quarter as they prepare for NASA to potentially ask them to run another full test. Do another full launch the exact same thing you know which is actually quite telling that for Boeing. That's a four hundred million dollar expense because for for space that would be somewhere between sixty and a hundred million dollar expense but well. Maybe that's not fair because there's more reusability anyway. The the point that I wanna make there is like this could be Boeing later this week. But it's not it's SPACEX and they managed to do it. You know better faster. Cheaper faster safer more reliable. Yeah and so fingers crossed. Everything goes well but It's you know you can throw shade at Ilan. In whatever way that you want or at this company in whatever way that you want. But YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH RESULTS. We talk about narratives. Yeah Yeah let's do it well I think there's at least three vectors that I can think of around Bull and bear here one is around. Alon himself by people. You know the you could call him the savior you can call him an ego maniacal sort of work you to the bone words. We can't say on this show so David any sort of like color that you want to add to narratives on Ilan I mean what else could we add It is interesting though like again until really until doing recording this episode now obviously thought SPACEX and Tesla right very different situations but But I think the yuan factor the Alon randomness factor in space. X is just so much less than in Tesla. Probably one because he has gwen but then also to because the company at Least Tesla. I think isn't a very good place now but six months ago. Tesla was not in a very good place bases so there's just kind of less Even though SPACEX is in many ways in a more politically sensitive position Then then Tesla like there's less for one person to mess up right now. Yeah Yeah I mean. It's also a private company which is also preface. If you if you could tune out all noise around Tesla's stock and only focus on the more intrinsic stuff like I think there'd be a lot less narratives period a ninety percent less narrative around Tesla and You know SPACEX has that and they also have the benefit of You know long long term commitments with agencies and governments that can always come through on that cash and so to the extent that they can deliver You know they have guaranteed stable predictable revenue. The only thing that's predictable as you know when you're GONNA crash ABS stage one into a drone ship and have to take a you know multi dozen if not hundred million dollar right off but you know. That's that's the hard part that comes with. The guaranteed contractual revenue The other narrative that I think is important to highlight. So that one that you one is one that everyone outside of airspace? Talks about the one. That's more internally. Debated is around reusability and so a lot of the SPACEX. Bears will tell you that's total. Bs that those things are reusable. It's total BS that even if they are reusable that cost efficient in fact. Some of these people include. Ceo's of competing companies who when someone flags the point well spacex is able to do this cheaper. Because they've done. This performed this miracle of engineering of reusing the rockets. They'll say things like well. You don't know their cost structure. You don't know that it's actually cheaper and The examples exist in the past of the solid rocket boosters for example on the The space shuttle those white ones on either side of the Big Red Tank. Those would fall back down to the Ocean. And then they would they would be refurbished and then those would launch again so this sort of thing theoretically has happened but the differences with things like that the order of magnitude. It's probably an order of magnitude more expensive where they basically cycle out every part scrubbed clean and then send it back up and space. X is iterating toward you know. This is the bulk as on reusability Being able to just give a one or a two day inspection On the rockets and then And then send them back without replacing anything and only need to replace things maybe every ten times or so that you ended up and right now I think the maximum they've they've sent a rocket back opera stage. One at backup has been three times. But you know There are very very real. Cost savings that that That you have here from you know not having to produce A. I don't know what the cost of goods sold are on a Falcon nine but twenty thirty million dollar rocket every single time. And you know I think. In the coming years we'll see a SPACEX actually able to get to the milestone of You just need to give it a once-over and forty eight hours you can fly again. But there's there's massive debate over whether the reusability actually provides the type of savings that spacex claims. We move on to you. What would happen to otherwise? Yeah let's do. Where do you even start here? There's like there's so many moments where this could have gone off the rails. Biggest one is what if what if NASA hadn't sort of change their their tune on how we bid stuff out I mean I think without at the small set market. Just you know I think it probably will literally said will materialize in the future and is materializing now but during the time period that spacex needed to just wasn't going to yeah.

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