Author Topic: Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Hearing on  (Read 25937 times)

Offline Namechange User

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OV-106 keeps pitting commercial crew against Shuttle but nobody else has ever suggested that there was such a trade-off.

Hold on there.  That is what people like you want to believe because you cannot see the forest for the trees. 

I have NEVER pitted the two against each other and instead time and time again suggested how Shuttle could actually enhance and increase the chances of success for commercial crew and other activities.  The very reason I say what I say is because I want the best chance for commercial and why I use the terms like "value proposition" while people like yourself only moan about how not enough government money is being spent. 

I suggest very strongly you recant that because I will take you on relative to that point time and time again and, in the end, you WILL lose...and badly. 
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Offline yg1968

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OV-106 keeps pitting commercial crew against Shuttle but nobody else has ever suggested that there was such a trade-off.

Hold on there.  That is what people like you want to believe because you cannot see the forest for the trees. 

I have NEVER pitted the two against each other and instead time and time again suggested how Shuttle could actually enhance and increase the chances of success for commercial crew and other activities.  The very reason I say what I say is because I want the best chance for commercial and why I use the terms like "value proposition" while people like yourself only moan about how not enough government money is being spent. 

I suggest very strongly you recant that because I will take you on relative to that point time and time again and, in the end, you WILL lose...and badly. 

OK. I stand corrected then (and I am actually glad to know that I was wrong on this point). But you keep saying that pro-commercial people all wanted Shuttle to end as quickly as possible which isn't true either. I can't speak for all commercial crew and cargo proponents but I am very glad that STS-134 and 135 were flown in 2011. I was supportive of adding these flights and of extending Shuttle into 2011 in order to close the cargo gap.  I am pretty sure that this is also true for most (if not all) of commercial crew proponents.   
« Last Edit: 03/30/2012 03:00 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Namechange User

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OK. I stand corrected then. But you keep saying that pro-commercial people all wanted Shuttle to end as quickly as possible which isn't true either. I can't speak for all commercial crew proponents but I am very glad that STS-134 and 135 were flown in 2011. I was supportive of adding these flights and of extending Shuttle into 2011 in order to close the cargo gap.   

yg,

I have no idea who you are and personally do not care.  When I say things about certain groups and/or organizations, you personally are not on the forefront of my mind.  Sorry for the harsh reality. 

There were certain groups and/or organizations that wanted Shuttle out of the way as soon as possible.  You can choose to believe that or not, again, I personally do not care.  The reason was because their interests stood to profit, not the greater good. 

With that, there were all kinds of promises made, branding "commercial" something it was not yet ready to become and, now, many of those "advocates" are not nearly as vocal as they were.  With those promises being made, and if we just look at this forum, do not try to tell me that the more gullible among us did also not jump on the bandwagon suggesting that if shuttle just "got out of the way", we would be in a much better position and on the verge of a utopia.

Reality has not met the hype and rhetoric.  So there you go.  I suggest you leave it at that. 
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Offline Jeff Bingham

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They "punted" that decision to the overall HSF Review Committee (Augustine), who, in the end provided a series of options among which was continuation of Shuttle to 2015, by which time it was expected that Ares 1 would be flying.

Actually, the Augustine option to extend the Shuttle to 2015 would have used a cargo only Directly Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle (not Ares I). This option still would have funded commercial crew (instead of Ares I). Augustine replaced Ares I with commercial crew in almost all of his options.

See slide 33 of the Sally Ride Presentation:
http://www.nasa.gov/ppt/378555main_02%20-%20Sally%20Charts%20v11.ppt

OV-106 keeps pitting commercial crew against Shuttle but nobody else has ever suggested that there was such a trade-off.

Sally's charts pre-dated the final report. Pertinent language in the final report is at pages 50-51, where three shuttle scenarios were provided. The following is relevant to the third scenario option.

"• Scenario 3: Extend Shuttle to 2015 at Minimum Flight Rate. This scenario would extend the Shuttle at a minimum safe flight rate (nominally two flights per year) into FY 2015. Once the Shuttle is retired, the U.S. itself will no longer have the ability to launch astronauts into space, and will have to rely on the Russian Soyuz vehicle. That gap will persist until a new vehicle becomes available to transport crew to low-Earth orbit. Under the current program, the resulting gap is expected to be seven years or more. This scenario, if combined with a new crew launch capability that will be available by the middle of the 2010s, significantly reduces that gap, and retains U.S. ability to deliver astronauts to the ISS.

The impending gap also directly affects the ISS, which was designed and built assuming that the Shuttle was available to carry cargo and crew to it and to bring cargo and crew back to Earth. During the gap, the U.S. will pay for U.S. and international-partner astronauts to be carried to and from the ISS by the Russian Soyuz. Cargo, including supplies, spares, experiments and other hardware, will be carried to the ISS by a complement of international and U.S. commercial cargo vehicles. None of these can carry nearly as much as the Shuttle, and only one is projected to be able to bring anything back to Earth. This could limit the full utilization of the ISS. Further, only two of these vehicles have flown—each one only once. Delays could place ISS utilization further at risk, particularly in the early part of the coming decade. This scenario does not envision replacing any of the planned international or commercial cargo launches with Shuttle flights, but rather, enhancing U.S. and international partner capability to robustly utilize the ISS. All commercial and international cargo flights would remain as planned.

The Committee has concluded that the only way to eliminate or significantly reduce the gap in human spaceflight launch capability is by extending the Shuttle Program. If that is an important
consideration, then this scenario is one to examine. The scenario also minimizes workforce transition problems, and it retains the skills that currently enable the U.S. to enjoy a robust human spaceflight program. Because this scenario extends the Shuttle’s life well beyond 2010, if adopted it should include a thorough review of NASA’s safety certification program by an independent committee to ensure that NASA has met the intent behind recommendation R9.2-1 of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board."

Also, Norm Augustine appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee to describe the HSF Report, at that point undergoing final drafting for publication--but after the Committee's final deliberations. In that testimony he said the following, which elaborates a bit more on both our points:

"The second of the budgetarily less constrained cases is actually a family of variants that would extend ISS operations to 2020, provide funds for its de-orbit, and fund a strong technology program in support of ISS utilization and an eventual human landing on Mars. It would use commercial launch services for new access to low-earth orbit. There are, however, significant differences between the two variants under this option. The first of these variants would develop the Ares V (Lite) to support a human lunar landing in the mid 2020’s—after which focus would turn to a human Mars landing. The second variant would extend the use of the (recertified) Space Shuttle to 2015 and be accompanied by the development of a Shuttle Directly-Derived heavy-lift vehicle in place of the Ares family—with the eventual possibility of in-orbit refueling. This is the only practicable option the Committee could find to close the at least five-year gap during which the U.S. will, as currently planned, rely upon Russian launch services to lift U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station." (Augustine Testimony, September 16, 2009, p. 2)
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline yg1968

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OK. I stand corrected then. But you keep saying that pro-commercial people all wanted Shuttle to end as quickly as possible which isn't true either. I can't speak for all commercial crew proponents but I am very glad that STS-134 and 135 were flown in 2011. I was supportive of adding these flights and of extending Shuttle into 2011 in order to close the cargo gap.   
yg,

I have no idea who you are and personally do not care.  When I say things about certain groups and/or organizations, you personally are not on the forefront of my mind.  Sorry for the harsh reality. 

There were certain groups and/or organizations that wanted Shuttle out of the way as soon as possible.  You can choose to believe that or not, again, I personally do not care.  The reason was because their interests stood to profit, not the greater good. 

With that, there were all kinds of promises made, branding "commercial" something it was not yet ready to become and, now, many of those "advocates" are not nearly as vocal as they were.  With those promises being made, and if we just look at this forum, do not try to tell me that the more gullible among us did also not jump on the bandwagon suggesting that if shuttle just "got out of the way", we would be in a much better position and on the verge of a utopia.

Reality has not met the hype and rhetoric.  So there you go.  I suggest you leave it at that. 

That's fine. I am happy to leave it at that. But you have a tendancy to lump all commercial crew proponants into one pot assuming we all think the same way which of course isn't true.

Offline Jeff Bingham

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They "punted" that decision to the overall HSF Review Committee (Augustine), who, in the end provided a series of options among which was continuation of Shuttle to 2015, by which time it was expected that Ares 1 would be flying.

Actually, the Augustine option to extend the Shuttle to 2015 would have used a cargo only Directly Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle (not Ares I). This option still would have funded commercial crew (instead of Ares I). Augustine replaced Ares I with commercial crew in almost all of his options.

See slide 33 of the Sally Ride Presentation:
http://www.nasa.gov/ppt/378555main_02%20-%20Sally%20Charts%20v11.ppt


Oh, and just to clarify, my reference to Ares 1 was with respect to the 2008 Act and what was known or anticipated with respect to the Ares 1 schedule at that time--not to be confused with my subsequent reference to Augustine, which was, of course, a year later.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline yg1968

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They "punted" that decision to the overall HSF Review Committee (Augustine), who, in the end provided a series of options among which was continuation of Shuttle to 2015, by which time it was expected that Ares 1 would be flying.

Actually, the Augustine option to extend the Shuttle to 2015 would have used a cargo only Directly Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle (not Ares I). This option still would have funded commercial crew (instead of Ares I). Augustine replaced Ares I with commercial crew in almost all of his options.

See slide 33 of the Sally Ride Presentation:
http://www.nasa.gov/ppt/378555main_02%20-%20Sally%20Charts%20v11.ppt

Oh, and just to clarify, my reference to Ares 1 was with respect to the 2008 Act and what was known or anticipated with respect to the Ares 1 schedule at that time--not to be confused with my subsequent reference to Augustine, which was, of course, a year later.

OK, I misunderstood then.

Offline yg1968

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Sally's charts pre-dated the final report. Pertinent language in the final report is at pages 50-51, where three shuttle scenarios were provided. The following is relevant to the third scenario option.

"• Scenario 3: Extend Shuttle to 2015 at Minimum Flight Rate. This scenario would extend the Shuttle at a minimum safe flight rate (nominally two flights per year) into FY 2015. Once the Shuttle is retired, the U.S. itself will no longer have the ability to launch astronauts into space, and will have to rely on the Russian Soyuz vehicle. That gap will persist until a new vehicle becomes available to transport crew to low-Earth orbit. Under the current program, the resulting gap is expected to be seven years or more. This scenario, if combined with a new crew launch capability that will be available by the middle of the 2010s, significantly reduces that gap, and retains U.S. ability to deliver astronauts to the ISS.

I guess the Administration went ahead with Scenario 2 then.

Quote
Scenario 2: Short-Term Support for the ISS. Space Shuttle retirement will have an impact on the ISS (described more fully in a subsequent section). Scenario 2 would add one additional Shuttle flight to provide some additional support for the ISS and ease the transition to commercial and international cargo flights. It could enhance early utilization of the ISS, offer an opportunity for providing more spare parts, and enable scientific experiments to be brought back to Earth. This additional Shuttle flight would not replace any of the planned international or commercial resupply flights.

One obvious question is: “Why add just one flight?” Due to the planned retirement, the Shuttle’s external tank production line has been closed recently, and it is not costeffective to re-open it for a small number of new tanks. However, there is one spare external tank remaining in inventory. This scenario thus envisions using that tank and conducting one additional Shuttle flight in late FY 2011 or early FY 2012. This scenario requires that funds be put in the in FY 2011 and possibly FY 2012 budget for the one additional Shuttle flight. This minimal extension does not mitigate the workforce transition issues; it does extend U.S. human spaceflight capability, but only by a few months; and it does offer some additional short-term logistical support to the ISS.

Offline Namechange User

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That's fine. I am happy to leave it at that. But you have a tendancy to lump all commercial crew proponants into one pot assuming we all think the same way which of course isn't true.

Thankfully that is true, that not everyone thinks the same.  Because, based on posts here, you don't get it because you have done it again. 

I *AM* a commercial advocate and that is why I speak about value propositions, making ISS more user-friendly, etc.  Why I wanted a smoother transition and an integrated strategy.  Do you understand what that means?  My fairly informed presumption based on past conversations is that you do not. 

I can be a true commercial advocate and question why groups like the CSF, TPiS, etc are not saying the same things I am about creating the forces that would generate a more substantial market and just instead wanting government money.
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Offline yg1968

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That's fine. I am happy to leave it at that. But you have a tendancy to lump all commercial crew proponants into one pot assuming we all think the same way which of course isn't true.

Thankfully that is true, that not everyone thinks the same.  Because, based on posts here, you don't get it because you have done it again. 

I *AM* a commercial advocate and that is why I speak about value propositions, making ISS more user-friendly, etc.  Why I wanted a smoother transition and an integrated strategy.  Do you understand what that means?  My fairly informed presumption based on past conversations is that you do not. 

I can be a true commercial advocate and question why groups like the CSF, TPiS, etc are not saying the same things I am about creating the forces that would generate a more substantial market and just instead wanting government money.

I agree with you on the need to create a market as I have told you previously. But cutting commercial crew from $830 million to $500M probably means down selecting to two providers under CCiCap which in my mind means that we can say good bye to Dream Chaser which would be a shame. 

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Sally's charts pre-dated the final report. Pertinent language in the final report is at pages 50-51, where three shuttle scenarios were provided. The following is relevant to the third scenario option.

"• Scenario 3: Extend Shuttle to 2015 at Minimum Flight Rate. This scenario would extend the Shuttle at a minimum safe flight rate (nominally two flights per year) into FY 2015. Once the Shuttle is retired, the U.S. itself will no longer have the ability to launch astronauts into space, and will have to rely on the Russian Soyuz vehicle. That gap will persist until a new vehicle becomes available to transport crew to low-Earth orbit. Under the current program, the resulting gap is expected to be seven years or more. This scenario, if combined with a new crew launch capability that will be available by the middle of the 2010s, significantly reduces that gap, and retains U.S. ability to deliver astronauts to the ISS.

I guess the Administration went ahead with Scenario 2 then.

Quote
Scenario 2: Short-Term Support for the ISS. Space Shuttle retirement will have an impact on the ISS (described more fully in a subsequent section). Scenario 2 would add one additional Shuttle flight to provide some additional support for the ISS and ease the transition to commercial and international cargo flights. It could enhance early utilization of the ISS, offer an opportunity for providing more spare parts, and enable scientific experiments to be brought back to Earth. This additional Shuttle flight would not replace any of the planned international or commercial resupply flights.

One obvious question is: “Why add just one flight?” Due to the planned retirement, the Shuttle’s external tank production line has been closed recently, and it is not costeffective to re-open it for a small number of new tanks. However, there is one spare external tank remaining in inventory. This scenario thus envisions using that tank and conducting one additional Shuttle flight in late FY 2011 or early FY 2012. This scenario requires that funds be put in the in FY 2011 and possibly FY 2012 budget for the one additional Shuttle flight. This minimal extension does not mitigate the workforce transition issues; it does extend U.S. human spaceflight capability, but only by a few months; and it does offer some additional short-term logistical support to the ISS.

Yeah, more or less...with more than a little nudge from the Congress in the form of PL 111-267. I can assure you that prior to that law they had no intention of flying STS-135, whatever else anyone might say!
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Namechange User

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I agree with you on the need to create a market as I have told you previously. But cutting commercial crew from $830 million to $500M probably means down selecting to two providers under CCiCap which in my mind means that we can say good bye to Dream Chaser which would be a shame. 


Again, "commercial" should never have been about just government money.  Given the recent history of NASA-funded projects for anyone to bet that NASA would get more than authorized is naive. 

So, once again, it's about creating the conditions so that corporations and private investment want to invest to augment, and ideally surpass, the limited government money.  While that may take a bit longer, the dividends paid are ultimately more rewarding to NASA, the industry, the economy and the Nation.  That is why it was important to have an integrated strategy and better transition.  See how when one understands the "big picture" it comes full circle?

So we are where we are.  "Commercial" is really a government program because nothing is being done to better the value proposition.  Given the limited funding, and the oft used cry now (ironically) of needing American access and decreased reliance on Russia, it would seem to make sense to downselect to two.

The reason?  Again, nothing has been done to create a value proposition where more than two, maybe no more than one, vehicle is needed.  Since NASA will not require said vehicles, downselect and concentrate on bringing one or two vehicles to the left in order to satisfy the now-required rallying call.

As for DC, it offers something the others don't.  I wouldn't count it out.  Boeing and SNC for crew transport.  SpaceX and Orbital for cargo.  As the lines blur between the two, as they will, SpaceX can eventually compete to carry crew given they will be viable as cargo and have received money for a LAS, etc.

So right there you have 4 government-sponsored-and-subsidized "commercial vehicles", 3 of which could carry cargo and crew, without actually doing anything to justify a need for them beyond NASA. 

See the big picture.  See the reality. 
« Last Edit: 04/18/2012 01:40 AM by Chris Bergin »
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Offline jongoff

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Short-sighted and wrong.

Quote
    Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

The Life of Reason (1905-1906) by George Santayana.


Applicable to SLS

Yup, very applicable. The problem is that those who cannot remember the past tend to drag the rest of us along for their remedial lessons.

~Jon

The past that I learn from is that HSF missions are accomplished by NASA owned systems. Every manned launch from the beginning of American space flight, heck even all non-American space flight since the dawn of the space age, has taken place on government owned systems.

It is the "commercial" proponents who need to prove their case that a market will magically develop and be sustainable if NASA would just throw away all their experience, expertise, and processes, and not just rely on, but become 100% dependent on, these "commercial" providers. It is an extraordinary leap of faith that deserves full scrutiny and is justifiably the subject of skepticism and demands for proof.

Mark S.


I was more hinting at NASA's recent (ie past 30 years) inability to complete a new launch vehicle or manned spaceflight vehicle development program...

But you're right Mark, unlike every other transportation form in history, manned spaceflight is obviously something that can only be done by the government. It's obviously incumbent on commercial spaceflight developers to prove that NASA doesn't have some magic pixie dust that only allows government programs to succeed. That's *totally* the right lesson to draw from history...

Sometimes I wonder if we'll actually make any more progress in manned spaceflight before the generation that grew up with Apollo has retired and passed away. Max Plank may have been depressing prescient when he said that, "science progresses one funeral at a time."

~Jon

Offline jongoff

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They "punted" that decision to the overall HSF Review Committee (Augustine), who, in the end provided a series of options among which was continuation of Shuttle to 2015, by which time it was expected that Ares 1 would be flying.

Actually, the Augustine option to extend the Shuttle to 2015 would have used a cargo only Directly Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle (not Ares I). This option still would have funded commercial crew (instead of Ares I). Augustine replaced Ares I with commercial crew in almost all of his options.

See slide 33 of the Sally Ride Presentation:
http://www.nasa.gov/ppt/378555main_02%20-%20Sally%20Charts%20v11.ppt


Oh, and just to clarify, my reference to Ares 1 was with respect to the 2008 Act and what was known or anticipated with respect to the Ares 1 schedule at that time--not to be confused with my subsequent reference to Augustine, which was, of course, a year later.

It's kind of telling that one year of real time resulted in 4 years of slip in expected availability date...

~Jon

Offline Namechange User

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I was more hinting at NASA's recent (ie past 30 years) inability to complete a new launch vehicle or manned spaceflight vehicle development program...

But you're right Mark, unlike every other transportation form in history, manned spaceflight is obviously something that can only be done by the government. It's obviously incumbent on commercial spaceflight developers to prove that NASA doesn't have some magic pixie dust that only allows government programs to succeed. That's *totally* the right lesson to draw from history...



So is COTS, CRS, CCDev, etc a government program?  Where are the non-NASA customers?  Where are the customers and the investors to provide funding in order to free said "commercial spaceflight developers" from NASA money, requirements, etc.?

It is easy to say something is better, but it can only be better with a certain entity's money that one is also trying to paint as a drag-on-everything.  And say one needs more of it. 

As for schedule slips, "commercial spaceflight developers" are hardly immune to that as well.  Clearly. 
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Offline jongoff

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So is COTS, CRS, CCDev, etc a government program?  Where are the non-NASA customers?  Where are the customers and the investors to provide funding in order to free said "commercial spaceflight developers" from NASA money, requirements, etc.?

I don't know about CCDev, but IIRC SpaceX has invested quite a bit of its own money and that of its investors into matching the government COTS investment. And for SpaceX they are trying to market Dragon as DragonLab for independent free flyers, and have actually gotten a significant amount of interest. But a lot of that is waiting on them getting into actual operations.

As for other non-NASA customers for manned flight (such as Bigelow), they're in a catch-22. If they build a station hoping that commercial crew gets there, and then Congress guts the program out of spite, or if Congress/NASA keep bloating the safety requirements to the point where "commercial crew" is commercially useless (a fear I think we both share, if I'm not mistaken), those commercial destination developers will get screwed out of a ton of money. NASA is trying to help break a very tough chicken-and-egg problem that might take a long time to break otherwise. Whether they'll actually succeed at helping commercial developers solve that problem does indeed remain to be seen.

Quote
It is easy to say something is better, but it can only be better with a certain entity's money that one is also trying to paint as a drag-on-everything.  And say one needs more of it.

That wasn't exactly my point. Mark S was making a ridiculous point, and I was just pointing out how ridiculous it was. I wasn't trying to say that commercial crew was necessarily better, just that NASA doesn't have such a wonderful recent track record either.

Quote
As for schedule slips, "commercial spaceflight developers" are hardly immune to that as well.  Clearly.

Yeah, unfortunately both the government and commercial sides of human spaceflight have been doing pretty poor at delivering on their promises to-date. This industry as a whole needs to start learning how better to underpromise and overdeliver. My hat goes off to the few examples I know of that are breaking that trend (NanoRacks is one of the only ones that comes to mind).

~Jon

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Mark S was making a ridiculous point, and I was just pointing out how ridiculous it was.

~Jon

It was not a ridiculous point, it was stating a fact. In the history of space flight, only government programs have launched people into orbit. Until that changes, the burden is on the commercial providers to prove that they have what it takes to manage a space program, or even just a "simple" LEO launch service.

We threw away what we had in the hopes that an unproven concept would be a suitable replacement. So far it's not looking so great.

Mark S.

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Mark S was making a ridiculous point, and I was just pointing out how ridiculous it was.

~Jon

It was not a ridiculous point, it was stating a fact. In the history of space flight, only government programs have launched people into orbit. Until that changes, the burden is on the commercial providers to prove that they have what it takes to manage a space program, or even just a "simple" LEO launch service.

We threw away what we had in the hopes that an unproven concept would be a suitable replacement. So far it's not looking so great.

Mark S.

Not so long ago, you could've said that only government programs have launched anything in orbit (Orbital Sciences), only government programs have launched and recovered a capsule (SpaceX), only government programs have sent people into space (Scaled Composites).

All SpaceX would have to do to prove you wrong on your point would be to put someone in a Dragon capsule with a simple open-loop life support system to make an orbit or two. That'd be pretty easy, actually, compared to all they've already done. Pointless and unsafe (so were the early gov't flights), but easy. The task now is to fit it all to the customer's requirements.
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 Jim

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Until that changes, the burden is on the commercial providers to prove that they have what it takes to manage a space program, or even just a "simple" LEO launch service.

They have been doing LEO since 1988.
« Last Edit: 03/30/2012 05:38 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

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So far it's not looking so great.


Actually, no.  it is looking good and better than Ares I/Orion.

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