Author Topic: Kay Bailey Hutchison and Bill Nelson Essay in The Sacramento Bee  (Read 12161 times)

Offline QuantumG

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http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/09/4400460/americas-space-act-is-about-to.html

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NASA is currently funding four potential commercial crew providers. Moving forward, NASA needs to focus its investment on only those providers that are likely to be able to provide crew transportation services by 2017.

NASA should consider identifying the strongest private firms at the earliest opportunity such that NASA's precious resources are focused on ending our reliance on the Russians for transportation to the space station as quickly as possible. The cost would be less and the returns greater.

Presumably with some political definition of "likely".
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline jongoff

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I'm glad to see that KBH and Bill Nelson care so much about not spending money on rockets that aren't likely to fly in a timely fashion.

~Jon

Online Chris Bergin

I'd love to interview them, as opposed to publishing a pre-written statement type article.

Never gonna happen, of course.

Online Mark S

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I'd love to interview them, as opposed to publishing a pre-written statement type article.

Never gonna happen, of course.

Have you asked recently? KBH is retiring soon, and not running for re-election, so she might be more open to an interview. Maybe someone who hangs out here could put in a good word...

Mark S.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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I'm glad to see that KBH and Bill Nelson care so much about not spending money on rockets that aren't likely to fly in a timely fashion.

~Jon


Commercial crew is about spacecraft, not rockets.   :D

I have to agree about some kind of down select for CCiCap, we are getting to the fully integrated design phase here, and four companies are not all going to get a Commercial crew contract for a couple ISS flights a year.
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

Online Chris Bergin

I'd love to interview them, as opposed to publishing a pre-written statement type article.

Never gonna happen, of course.

Have you asked recently? KBH is retiring soon, and not running for re-election, so she might be more open to an interview. Maybe someone who hangs out here could put in a good word...

Mark S.

I'll try. I'm just thinking Senators only want print media (even though we could beat the numbers of the above paper 10 fold as it's non specific media. People never understand that a paper with a million readers does not mean a million people will read THAT article. A specific site with 100,000 readers will get most of them to read the article of the day.)

Online Mark S

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I'll try. I'm just thinking Senators only want print media (even though we could beat the numbers of the above paper 10 fold as it's non specific media. People never understand that a paper with a million readers does not mean a million people will read THAT article. A specific site with 100,000 readers will get most of them to read the article of the day.)

I just sent Sen. Hutchison an email asking her to grant you an interview, should you happen to ask. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Mark S.

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks Mark. Helps that you're in Texas! :)

Online Mark S

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Thanks Mark. Helps that you're in Texas! :)

Not only a Texan, but also a registered voter! I'm sure my 1/13,000,000th share of the Texas vote will have a large sway on any decision she decides to make. Here's hoping!

Mark S.

Online Robotbeat

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I'm glad to see that KBH and Bill Nelson care so much about not spending money on rockets that aren't likely to fly in a timely fashion.

~Jon


Commercial crew is about spacecraft, not rockets.   :D

I have to agree about some kind of down select for CCiCap, we are getting to the fully integrated design phase here, and four companies are not all going to get a Commercial crew contract for a couple ISS flights a year.
And the budget some in Congress want to pass would down-select to just a single provider (or rather, "one or more", implying there's not much certainty about doing more than one), according to information from 51D Mascot. Killing the idea of competition or redundancy, which is a large part of the point. And political consideration favors Boeing (remember how "comforted" they sounded when they talked about Boeing as a major commercial crew player?). Meet the old boss, same as the old boss.
« Last Edit: 04/10/2012 05:33 AM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline spectre9

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How about congress shows some balls and authorises the funding raise and kicks everybody except SpaceX out of the running?

Is it a big risk? Yes it is.

Would it get a US astronaut into orbit quicker if it pays off?  ???

I'm going to play devil's advocate here and say this is just more of ULA slowing down the industry so they can get their way. Atlas V is a horrible and expensive launcher for this and I'm yet to be convinced otherwise.

SpaceX has been more friendly and open and giving of their own resources to invest into USA space capability. If ULA was the same they would have the CST-100 in the air rather than just lining shareholder pockets.

Offline Jason1701

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I'm going to play devil's advocate here and say this is just more of ULA slowing down the industry so they can get their way. Atlas V is a horrible and expensive launcher for this and I'm yet to be convinced otherwise.

SpaceX has been more friendly and open and giving of their own resources to invest into USA space capability. If ULA was the same they would have the CST-100 in the air rather than just lining shareholder pockets.

It seems like you use Boeing, Atlas V, ULA, and CST-100 interchangeably.

Offline spectre9

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I think that the lines are greyed on purpose.

I sorta knew I would be pulled up on this point.

Whatever is good for the goose is good for the gander.

ULA is just a means to an end. Getting contracts that raise revenue for Boeing/LM.

They already have the reputation of stifling competition for getting in bed with each other rather than wanting to fight to the death. Just to put a few bucks in each others share holders pockets. Can real savings to the USA taxpayer be proven?

Online Robotbeat

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I think the antipathy toward ULA may be misplaced.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline spectre9

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They've got all the spacecraft except Dragon which puts them in position A. Or does it? Why doesn't anybody want to go against them?

Every one of the spacecraft is at the mercy of the price of an Atlas V launch.

Price compared to a Falcon 9?

*shhhhhhhh*  :-X

Offline QuantumG

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If the idea is to have at least two dissimilar systems, then SpaceX is necessarily in the mix as everyone else is launching on Atlas V. Of course, Delta IV Heavy is also dissimilar :)
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline JohnFornaro

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At one point, one of the boys asked, "Why has America given up on space flight?"  The answer, of course, is that we're not giving up on space flight.

That would be the obvious answer of a politician. 

The real answer, involving nuance, scientific and math familiarity, historical knowledge of the facts and programs as they have played out over the last forty years, and a host of other issues, is more like:

"We hope that with the new programs in place, that we are not giving up on space flight, but there's a good chance that politics may shortchange the nation's, and your futures."

Of course young boys (and girls, I might add) are not supposed to have their own opinions, and certainly not expected to understand complicated concepts or to suspect that the adults are not telling the truth.

Moving right along...

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(0) The NASA bill was enacted with strong, bipartisan support and was followed last year by White House-congressional agreement on a responsible funding plan that set three priorities: (1), moving forward with the new heavy launch rocket and Orion crew capsule needed for deep space exploration; (2), completing the James Webb Space Telescope; ... and (3), partnering with private space companies on new vehicles to transport astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station.

(0) Which can't be said at all about health care....

(1) Fine, but it's a hopey changey thing, kids, that may not succeed.  The Administration, after making this agreement, is not holding to the terms of that agreement.  There's no reason that they shouldn't get straight to work as agreed and as has been signed into law, but there you have it.

(2) Which is fine in principle, but they haven't held anyone accountable for this program's possible failure, after so many years of bloated budgets and deliberately misleading estimates of the time needed for completion.  Sorry, kids, it's a complicated mess.

(3) Which is a good thing, but which, for some reason Congress (which Mr. Nelson and Ms. Hutchison are a big part of), did not want to fund quite as much as was requested.  Which doesn't excuse the Administration from fighting the agreed upon amounts, but which also puts Congress in the cognitively dissonant place of bragging about what a great good they're doing, while simultaneously not funding it as much as they should.  See kids?  Being a political adult these days, includes misleading kids all the way.  Told ya it was complicated.

(4) Did we mention that even tho most of you probably would like to visit the Moon, where you can bounce around in one sixth gee, and where children are basically forbidden at the moment, we don't propose to go there?  Instead, we're going to spend every penny we've got going to visit a spinning rock!  We're not going to mention how poorly we prioritize our spending goals, tho.  It's one of those complicated things that grown ups do which you don't need to be exposed to.  Now go play video games.

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If we are to move forward, we must avoid a false competition between our long-range space exploration goals - the moon, Mars and beyond - and commercialized ferrying of cargo and crew members to the space station.

Absolutely true, in principle.

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NASA should consider identifying the strongest private firms at the earliest opportunity...

Yes, but not at a premature earliest opportunity.  I do not believe that now is the time for downselecting.

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(1) If we reconfigure our priorities every few years, we will not reach our goals. Postponing our long-range space exploration program would be a terrible mistake, no less than remaining dependent on Russia to move our crew members to the space station.

In spite of the very real fiscal challenges we face, the United States can - and must - support the (2) innovative space program that assures continuation of 50 years of leadership in space.

(1) Which is true, but which is unfortunately not really out of the question.

(2) The innovation that's needed would be the establishment of a lunar base.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline yg1968

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http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/09/4400460/americas-space-act-is-about-to.html

Quote
NASA is currently funding four potential commercial crew providers. Moving forward, NASA needs to focus its investment on only those providers that are likely to be able to provide crew transportation services by 2017.

NASA should consider identifying the strongest private firms at the earliest opportunity such that NASA's precious resources are focused on ending our reliance on the Russians for transportation to the space station as quickly as possible. The cost would be less and the returns greater.

Presumably with some political definition of "likely".


It must have been Hutchison that insisted on the down selection language in the article. Out of the four commercial crew providers, it seems likely to me that all four would be ready by 2017. But my prediction is that NASA will down select to 3 providers for the CCiCap base period and 2 providers for the optional milestones period (or its FAR equivalent). 

Offline yg1968

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I'm glad to see that KBH and Bill Nelson care so much about not spending money on rockets that aren't likely to fly in a timely fashion.

~Jon
Commercial crew is about spacecraft, not rockets.   :D

CCiCap is an integrated system which includes more than just spacecrafts. In the case of ATK, I suspect that ATK will subcontract a spacecraft company for its Liberty LV under its CCiCap proposal. But even under CCDev-2, both ULA and ATK were awarded unfunded SAAs. So commercial crew never was just about spacecrafts. 

Offline Namechange User

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I'm glad to see that KBH and Bill Nelson care so much about not spending money on rockets that aren't likely to fly in a timely fashion.

~Jon
Commercial crew is about spacecraft, not rockets.   :D

CCiCap is an integrated system which includes more than just spacecrafts. In the case of ATK, I suspect that ATK will subcontract a spacecraft company for its Liberty LV under its CCiCap proposal. But even under CCDev-2, both ULA and ATK were awarded unfunded SAAs. So commercial crew never was just about spacecrafts. 

Of course it is about spacecraft.  Crew do not ride *in* rockets and without the spacecraft there is zero need for the rocket. 

Let's not lose perspective here.

Also, ATK would have to be the system integrator and operator of the complete system, including the spacecraft, to be prime.  While they may not specifically *build* the orbital vehicle, they would have to be responsible. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

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