NASA paid $1.6 billion for 12 launches, that's a lot more than $57 million per launch.
Then you said
Thats because NASA was buying into a company that didn't have the capability at the time and knew they would be funding development.
So, I replied
In the end the cost for a supply mission is $90 million for Falcon 9 v1.1 plus the cost of using Dragon: I doubt it will ever be significantly less than the actual $133.3 million.
And now you say
You cannot add in the cost of the Dragon when calculating the launch cost of a launching system.
Why not? Because it doesn't suit the mantra that SpaceX is so cheaper than the alternatives? The cost of a resupply mission will never be cheaper than what it is now, let alone near to the famous $57 million, and the fact that the contract was prolonged for an undisclosed price proves this. That's a fact.
It also isn't really relevant what NASA paid SpaceX for the contract. An Iphone doesn't cost $700 but customers still pay that. In the end the launch costs is somewhere south of the $60m private customer cost.
It is relevant, unless you want to compare apples to oranges. Other vectors include insurance and services in the total cost, when SpaceX says $61 million does not ($57 million is the old cost for the Falcon 9 v1.0). US government requires insurance and all that, so the cost is about $90 million (per launch, not including Dragon), not $60 million: for example Vega rockets cost €32 million services included, but €25 to €22 million is the cost excluding services.
The Falcon 9 by comparison has a launch cost of $57 million.
NASA paid $1.6 billion for 12 launches, that's a lot more than $57 million per launch. And those 12 launches included 2 test launches.
The whole anti-F35 argument rests on the report that one (1) F117 was shot down by Serbian forces using VHF technology. Otherwise, they are only talking about the possibility of long range tracking... not fire control radar. And in the case of that F117, there was no mention of the effective RCS.
The Serbs simply demonstrated that you could use radar equipment from the '70s to shoot down modern "stealth" aircraft. All these proxy wars are a testing ground for military technologies, not only Americans, but also Russians and Chinese gather information on the performance of the new weapons and begin to design countermeasures, like the new Chinese radar drone. The idea is to combine long range with fire control: you fire a missile, you guide it with VHF until it is near the objective, at that point the objective is not so stealth and you can use more accurate pointing systems.
The arguments about dependency on forward bases is destroyed by VTOL capability, a fact that was not even touched on in the discussion. Similarly, while it was mentioned that the F18 could drop external fuel tanks in combat, no mention was made of the fact that the F35 could drop (or fire) external munitions in a similar situation.
I don't know what you're talking about here. The article says that the F-35 is designed to operate on internal fuel (because otherwise it loses its only advantage, that is stealth) and so has a bigger combat radius than an F-16 or an F-18, however an F-16 or an F-18 could use external tanks to match or exceed the F-35 combat radius and then drop them before combat to greatly exceed the F-35 combat capabilities. A loaded F-16 has better acceleration, thrust, manoeuvrability than an F-35 relying only on its internal load: an externally loaded F-35 is painfully worse than an F-16 or an F-18 at everything and it is _not_ stealth.
Saying the US would be facing 20:1 odds simply isn't supported by the facts. The US has FAR more combat aircraft than any other country and the US has exactly half (11/22) of the world's supply of aircraft carriers.
If you had followed closely the whole debate about the F-35, you'd know that the 20:1 figure is indeed supported by facts. It has to do with the ability of the US to wage war against distant enemies, e.g. China. In an hypothetical war with China, the US would have a bunch of scattered air bases on small islands in the Pacific Ocean, with very limited aircraft capacities, only a fraction of those thousands of aircraft could be operated from there. On the other hand the Chinese could rely on a big network of air bases and could use their air force at full capacity. The result would be that the US air force would be outnumbered: it doesn't matter the total number of your forces, it matters how scattered or concentrated they are. So, to be effective in this scenario, the F-35 should be able to take down all the enemy fighters before having to reload or refuel, otherwise it could let those air bases open for enemy retaliation and, as a consequence, losing the ability to attack mainland China (that is losing the war).
I don't see any reason why this is "stunning" or a big controversy. It's just a new fossil and they'll argue a bit on where it goes into the taxonomy tree... happens all the time.
The fact is that, as always, those who found it are basically screaming "sensational discovery, mystery XYZ is finally solved", while other scientist are more cautious. It's the old theme of "sensationalism versus business as usual", dangerously close to the stance of attention whores.
Having read the article, I think it's more likely that those weak limbs were used for tree climbing than for grabbing preys and probably this is not a snake but a specimen from some extinct group.
Capitalism only works when you have free markets and China is the opposite of that.
But China is not trying to be capitalist. They're trying to fit together free market and socialism, that is a free market with state control of capitals.
The program isn't debugged until the last user is dead.