Cheap Access to Space Brings a World that Dictators Will Hate

Look at the cost curve of SpaceX vehicles (look right):

Visual Capitalist

For 50 years the cost of space launch stayed above $6,000 per kg. Then along came Elon Musk and SpaceX. Within the next few years, thanks to the SpaceX Starship the cost of space launch is expected to fall to around $200 per kg — more than an order of magnitude less than the best than NASA, Russia, China, or the EU could achieve over several decades! This is going to change more than the way much of the world gets its internet. Access to space means access to the universe. Before much longer, humans will see their choices explode beyond their earlier imaginations. Because Elon is not likely to be content, no matter how low he can push launch costs.

In a SpaceX press briefing, SpaceX Director Benji Reed said, “We want to make life multi-planetary, and that means putting millions of people in space.”

This may still seem like a stretch for most people. But, given the decreasing cost of space flights over the last two decades, perhaps the sky won’t be the limit in the near future. __ The Cost of Space Flight Before and After SpaceX h/t NBF

The Russian Soyuz is being abandoned by international customers due to the erratic actions of the current Russian government. In an economic setting based upon trust, the untrustworthy words and actions of governments can destroy decades of work by engineers and scientists.

…in the span of a few weeks, the Soyuz’s prospects have been severely diminished in the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine. The nation’s moves to rework commercial contracts, halt deliveries and effectively seize property from Western customers has shaken the industry’s faith in Russia and its signature rocket.

“The Russian government just killed the commercial potential of Soyuz,” said Caleb Henry, a senior analyst at Quilty Analytics, a research and advisory firm. “Russia’s action threatens to permanently remove Soyuz from the list of globally used launch vehicles.”

Russia Loses Trust and Customers

This comes at a bad time for Russia. The largest source of Russian government income — taxes and fees on oil & gas exports — is in danger of being shut in, possibly for an extended period of time (years). Russia does not have the storage capacity to allow its wells to continue producing at a time when international customers are not taking delivery at shipping points, and Russian pipelines are refusing to allow oil to flow.

From April, three million barrels per day of Russian oil production could be shut in as sanctions take hold and buyers shun exports.

That’s according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest oil market report, which added that the prospect of large-scale disruptions to Russian oil production is threatening to create a global oil supply shock.

“The implications of a potential loss of Russian oil exports to global markets cannot be understated,” the IEA report said.

“Russia is the world’s largest oil exporter, shipping eight million barrels per day of crude and refined oil products to customers across the globe. Unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia to date exclude energy trade for the most part, but major oil companies, trading houses, shipping firms and banks have backed away from doing business with the country,” the report added.

“For now, we see the potential for a shut-in of three million barrels per day of Russian oil supply starting from April, but losses could increase should restrictions or public condemnation escalate,” the report continued.

Russia On the Brink

The world is looking on in horror as the brutal Russian war machine continues to lay waste to once beautiful Ukrainian cities, and rapes and murders the once beautiful and living people of Ukraine. But that is just the way Putin and his military operate. There is no punishment too severe for the perpetrators of this kind of unprovoked mad destruction.

There appears to be a deliberate attempt to depopulate the city, reminiscent of the Russian approach that decimated both Aleppo and Grozny. While Russia’s Ukraine strategy is in flux, the conditions now seen in Mariupol could well be used on other cities, as Russian ground forces stall or are pushed back. Kharkiv and Chernihiv are among the cities already facing siege-like conditions.

“I think we’ll start to see more kinds of siege warfare,” said Lister. “Clearly the Russians are maneuvering themselves to impose these kinds of siege conditions in certain areas of Ukraine already, but it takes time to set that up.”


This is the crudest and most brutal form of warfare. It is monstrous, but then it is Putin and Putin’s crowd. No form of behavior is too low or too crude for them. Putin announced in advance that he intended to rape Ukraine.

Meanwhile, back in Ukraine:

  • Russian forces have not abandoned their objective to encircle and capture Kyiv, despite Kremlin claims that Russian forces will concentrate on eastern Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian forces recaptured the Kyiv suburb of Irpin on March 28. Ukrainian forces will likely seek to take advantage of ongoing Russian force rotations to retake further territory northwest of Kyiv in the coming days.
  • Russian forces conducted unsuccessful attacks toward Brovary and did not conduct offensive operations toward Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kharkiv. Russian operations in northeastern Ukraine remain stalled.
  • The Ukrainian General Staff stated that a battalion tactical group (BTG) of the 1st Guards Tank Army fully withdrew from Ukrainian territory near Sumy back to Russia for possible redeployment – the first Ukrainian report of a Russian unit fully withdrawing into Russia for redeployment to another axis of advance in this conflict.
  • Russian forces continued to steadily take territory in Mariupol.
  • Ukrainian resistance around Kherson continues to tie down Russian forces in the area. Russian forces did not conduct any offensive operations in the southern direction.
  • Source: Understanding War

How long will it take to wipe the blot that has taken over Eurasia? China’s Xi must be pondering that question.

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