Can Musk and his merry band pull it off? Not everyone is rooting for them. Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman sued SpaceX over the pintle engine, which was developed by TRW, now owned by Northrop. Northrop claims that SpaceX violated trade secrets, but SpaceX has countersued, claiming that Northrop is trying to extend a patent that has expired with its trade-secrets argument.
Why do to the big aerospace companies give a flying whopper about this little train? I'm worried that big time traditional aerospace is starting to get nervous and want to use whatever connections they have in government to scuttle this threat to their dominance in space.
The truth is that the the US government has literally created a whole class of companies that are addicted to government money. They've also become pros at exploiting the federal government for cash.
They absolutely can be successful, but the biggest risk is government," says Andrew Beal, CEO of Beal Bank, who spent more than $100 million on an earlier effort to build a private rocket. "My advice is to be careful."
That just confirms it for me. Andrew Beal knows what he's talking about. Elon Munsk isn't the only successful person that never failed at anything that decided to give it a go at the commercial launch market. Everyone so far has hit the invisible brick wall hard.
Hopefully this time will be different.