Author Topic: Space industry takes prominent role in Trumpís national security strategy  (Read 4452 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Sure, someone can say "well, Washington is corrupt"...

Having "worked in the belly of the beast" so to speak, at government contractors large and small, I don't characterize what contractors normally do to get work as "corrupt". Sure, some have broken the law, and let's hope most are getting caught at that, but otherwise there are perfectly legal ways to extract money from the U.S. Government - and large government contractors have perfected those methods.

I think the distinction here is that it's almost easy to tell if something will result in a worthwhile goal based on how the contracting is done.

For instance, if there is a lot of cost-plus work being done, and not much competition for ideas or contracts, then that's a sign that the political goals are not aligned to the stated goals. The SLS and Orion programs could fit this description.

The Commercial Cargo and Crew programs are good examples of where the political goals were aligned with the stated goals, which were to create commercial transportation systems to support the ISS. There was robust competition, and the U.S. Government actually required companies to take some of the financial risk.

We won't know if the political goals align with the stated national security goals until Trump actually proposes something specific. That should come soon with the FY2019 budget proposal, so 1st quarter of next year.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline woods170

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This is something that is incredibly reasonable.  Why not empower the private sector in the space industry?  The innovation of the American people is one of our biggest, if not the biggest, strength we as America have.  The private sector is much more agile and innovative.  It is a clear advantage to the United States to engage the private sector in the expanding space industry.

Emphasis mine.

Great idea Andrew. But as long as US Congress holds the purse strings, and those purse strings provide highly-paid jobs to ~100,000 US citizens, it is unlikely that the private sector will be empowered to the level required.

Because when such empowerment actually would occur some 80% of those ~100,000 US citizens will lose their jobs.

It really is all about bringing home the bacon and US Congress folks making damn sure they can stay put in their well-padded chairs on Capitol Hill.

Online AncientU

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This is something that is incredibly reasonable.  Why not empower the private sector in the space industry?  The innovation of the American people is one of our biggest, if not the biggest, strength we as America have.  The private sector is much more agile and innovative.  It is a clear advantage to the United States to engage the private sector in the expanding space industry.

Emphasis mine.

Great idea Andrew. But as long as US Congress holds the purse strings, and those purse strings provide highly-paid jobs to ~100,000 US citizens, it is unlikely that the private sector will be empowered to the level required.

Because when such empowerment actually would occur some 80% of those ~100,000 US citizens will lose their jobs.

It really is all about bringing home the bacon and US Congress folks making damn sure they can stay put in their well-padded chairs on Capitol Hill.

You've together summed up two sides of the coin.  Both are realities... yet diametrically opposed.

Entrenched interests will not give up their paid position as evidenced by Mary Lynn Ditmar's statement for the 'Deep Space Exploration' lobby that completely ignored the President's stated policy (landing on the Moon in that instance).  Presidents come and go, but the huge Defense contractors remain and get stronger as they consolidate (consume the competition).

The only way the American advantage in the commercial sector will become a player in a strategic sense is to gradually supplant the incumbents in space launch, satellite building, space architecture building...

Even Congress will eventually see where the leadership in space is headed and rush to get out in front of it.  May take a Chinese leap in technology to get their attention, though, or a launch of something so startlingly different (superior) from our own shores.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 12:51 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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This is something that is incredibly reasonable.  Why not empower the private sector in the space industry?  The innovation of the American people is one of our biggest, if not the biggest, strength we as America have.  The private sector is much more agile and innovative.  It is a clear advantage to the United States to engage the private sector in the expanding space industry.

Emphasis mine.

Great idea Andrew. But as long as US Congress holds the purse strings, and those purse strings provide highly-paid jobs to ~100,000 US citizens, it is unlikely that the private sector will be empowered to the level required.

Because when such empowerment actually would occur some 80% of those ~100,000 US citizens will lose their jobs.

It really is all about bringing home the bacon and US Congress folks making damn sure they can stay put in their well-padded chairs on Capitol Hill.
I am sorry, but the world can change with Congress, and it does every 2 years, and if you are a US citizen and you aren't happy, then IMHO, you have no one to blame but yourself.  I realize that we have a lot of people who aren't US citizens posting on NSF, and in that situation, SOL.  But if you are a US citizen, you can, to quote my dad "vote the bastards out".  And yes, one vote does matter - look at the Virginia House of Delegates District 94 - you have a situation where literally 1 vote is likely to decided whether a Delegate wins or not, which will also decide whether the Republicans or Democrats have a majority.

And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.  Yes, there are entrenched interests.  But you can also over come them.  There are many examples of entrenched interests being forced to change because you had people campaigning for it. 

So, go out and vote.  Go out and find things like MarchStorm or other citizens space campaigns. Hell, run one yourself - you'd be amazed at how easy it is to build a relationship with Congress.  (and yes, this applies to US citizens - other citizens mileage may vary)


AncientU - there are days when the world does turn on a dime, and I suspect that the day space becomes a kitchen table issue, like the internet is, you'll see rapid change. 
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 02:51 PM by Chris Bergin »
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Online Chris Bergin

Goodness me I hate politics.

I want to make something crystal clear TO ALL and trust me I'm not grinning or winking when I'm saying this, I'm in your faces ready to fight.

Ms. Ditmar is a former high ranking Boeing ISS manager, a member of this site, and someone who works harder than pretty much all of the people posting on this thread combined for the space industry and thus deserves nothing but our respect. How much she gets paid for the role she's now in is none of your f-ing business, but I'm sure as hell she's earned it.

"Oh no, Chris sounds angry and that's not becoming of a "moderator"".

Deal with it.

Now, I'm going to stare at the new news site and cheer myself up again.

BE RESPECTFUL OF PEOPLE. Stupid internet.

Offline JasonAW3

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Personally, I have no horse in this race.

      I'm just happy to see some actual competition for launch services.  Competition tends to cause improvements as well as lowering costs for the services provided by the companies involved.

      How this will all shake out ought to be quite interesting.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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A perspective from another one of those who worked in the trenches on the AF side from 1980 to 1989 in the LV office Space Division, LAAFS (now AFB) and 6595STG (Shuttle Test Group) and 6595MTG (Missile Test Group [Note: this group did not test missiles but launched sats]) VAFB. A BTW I was also the Deputy Test Director of the Space Defense Initiative program from 1986 -1988. One of the basic gripes was that we had to contract the contractors to do everything that they should have been doing anyway if they were a commercial service provider. The more things shift away from commanded (contracted developemnt) to a commercial off the shelf environment for space systems the more the AF guys in the trenches like it. Why? Because it makes their lives tremendously simpler and easier. Writing and managing contracts especially development contracts is tough work requiring digging into the technical details, talking with consultants, and travel almost every week etc.

I can here these guys and those in DARPA cheering this policy from here.

Offline Coastal Ron

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I am sorry, but the world can change with Congress, and it does every 2 years, and if you are a US citizen and you aren't happy, then IMHO, you have no one to blame but yourself.

I fully agree, and I am sad when we have low turnouts on elections.

Quote
And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.

However, most people vote either their pocketbook or their conscience, and things related to space usually don't fall into either category outside of just a few congressional districts. So even if everyone who should vote voted, I don't think that space-related topics would be a factor in the voting outcomes.

Quote
Yes, there are entrenched interests.  But you can also over come them.  There are many examples of entrenched interests being forced to change because you had people campaigning for it.

Those voting, whether citizens or politicians, need to understand what their choices are. The clearer those choices are the easier it is to understand why people are voting the way they are.

For government supported HSF we are at a point in history where there is no clear path forward after the end of the ISS. That is because taxpayer money is spent usually to solve problems, and while solving the problem of keeping humans alive in space was nice to solve for a possible future need, the U.S. Government doesn't have any current problems that are solved by sending humans beyond LEO.

It could be said that jobs are the problem that HSF activity in space will solve, which is OK as long as that is explicit. But otherwise sending government employees to the Moon doesn't solve any problem that can't wait - hence the conundrum that every President has run into after the ISS was approved.

Which is why the private sector has an advantage right now for doing things in space because they have their own motivations. The Moon is a place of rich history for America, which is why I think Trump is currently mentioning it, but otherwise I don't think he knows what he wants to do - what the worthy goals could be for such a long-term effort.

But voting for people that are not going to do dumb things is a start...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.

However, most people vote either their pocketbook or their conscience, and things related to space usually don't fall into either category outside of just a few congressional districts. So even if everyone who should vote voted, I don't think that space-related topics would be a factor in the voting outcomes.

But we aren't talking about just voting.  Don't get me wrong - voting is a PART of being a good space activist.  But there are other things you can and SHOULD do. 

Question for everyone in this thread - Have you ever called your member of congress (or another member of congress) to talk about space with them?  Have you ever participated in a district blitz, or even better a DC blitz? 
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Rocket Science

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And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.

However, most people vote either their pocketbook or their conscience, and things related to space usually don't fall into either category outside of just a few congressional districts. So even if everyone who should vote voted, I don't think that space-related topics would be a factor in the voting outcomes.

But we aren't talking about just voting.  Don't get me wrong - voting is a PART of being a good space activist.  But there are other things you can and SHOULD do. 

Question for everyone in this thread - Have you ever called your member of congress (or another member of congress) to talk about space with them?  Have you ever participated in a district blitz, or even better a DC blitz?
Elon and SpaceX's "actual accomplishments" have done more to raise interest and profile outside of so called "space states"(especially among Millennials that I have taught) than any other activist methodology you propose IMHO... Ask our friend Andrew about his experience up on the Hill and if any quantifiable results (this is not intended to be snark but an actual query)...
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 12:35 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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And there are LOTS of ways to get your voice to congress, and a lot of Space citizen lobbying activities out there.

However, most people vote either their pocketbook or their conscience, and things related to space usually don't fall into either category outside of just a few congressional districts. So even if everyone who should vote voted, I don't think that space-related topics would be a factor in the voting outcomes.

But we aren't talking about just voting.  Don't get me wrong - voting is a PART of being a good space activist.  But there are other things you can and SHOULD do. 

Question for everyone in this thread - Have you ever called your member of congress (or another member of congress) to talk about space with them?  Have you ever participated in a district blitz, or even better a DC blitz?
Elon and SpaceX's "actual accomplishments" have done more to raise interest and profile outside of so called "space states"(especially among Millennials that I have taught) than any other activist methodology you propose IMHO... Ask our friend Andrew about his experience up on the Hill and if any quantifiable results (this is not intended to be snark but an actual query)...

1)  I don't deny that outside events can and do have a huge impact (see anything from the successful Mercury flights, to the Challenger tradegy, to NewSpace).  Absolutely, and the bigger the outside event, the more the impact. 
2)  That doesn't mean lawmakers ignore voters and constitutants coming to their door.  To your question - I have actually run a few citizen lobbying events, and I can say how they have had an impact in terms of quantifiable results.  There are more than a few historical examples, such as funding for RLVs, the flight opportunities program, and the one that I can speak to personally and most recently was we pushed to impact the request for the ISS transition report (I won't claim it was just us, but we did push the conversation and request in a necessary direction).

It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

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