Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 668574 times)

Offline robertross

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Has this been linked yet?

http://blog.al.com/space-news/2010/08/deputy_nasa_leader_lori_garver.html

Good article. I liked this line on HLV from MSFC leader Mr Lightfoot (former Shuttle manager):

""We don't need to study it anymore."

The sound decisions appear to have finally been made, after two years of leaderless decision-making from the White House.  Bolden and Garver were part of this leaderless process.  Now that others have corrected the original bad decisions in which they participated, it is time for them to go. 

NASA needs someone who talks like Mr. Lightfoot at the helm.  His words should be placed in granite somewhere. 

 - Ed Kyle

Someone should ask if NASA leadership really wants to get started on an HLV development right away, why don't they reverse the arbitrary and questionable termination liability actions they took which have forced the contractors to start laying off the people they will need to WORK on an HLV development, especially since the best way to do that is to novate existing contracts versus going to the time and expense of a new competitive process (which is strongly suggsted and authorized in the Senate bill)?

Absolutely. No truer words.

Are you listening NASA?

Offline HappyMartian

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Internationalize and commercialize the exploration efforts as much as possible.

An EML-1 Gateway depot open to do business with almost everyone (pretty much every nation and private company alike - but maybe not North Korea) is one way to move forward towards these twin goals. Think Babylon 5 as a conceptual model.

And this is the goal I would employ the Jupiters rockets to achieve, if I were "Space Tsar"

Also, I believe the word "commercialization" should be used to discuss the source of the revenue streams rather than merely calling certain taxpayer procurement models "commercial"

IMHO (and I accept that others can legitimately disagree) I also see tourism and various forms of advertising & sponsorship revenues plus potential sale of media rights as being the most likely sources of revenue not derived from the taxpayers, for the near to medium future.

But if others have potential revenue streams not derived from tax dollars, tourism and various forms of advertising, sponsorships and sale of media rights, please share those ideas!

= = =

Lunar property rights? Now there is a fascinating topic!


Yep! Thanks Bill! I would include North Korea. But that issue is certainly debatable. 8)   And commercialize usually means internationalize these days.  ;D


Has this been linked yet?

http://blog.al.com/space-news/2010/08/deputy_nasa_leader_lori_garver.html

Good article. I liked this line on HLV from MSFC leader Mr Lightfoot (former Shuttle manager):

""We don't need to study it anymore."

The sound decisions appear to have finally been made, after two years of leaderless decision-making from the White House.  Bolden and Garver were part of this leaderless process.  Now that others have corrected the original bad decisions in which they participated, it is time for them to go. 

NASA needs someone who talks like Mr. Lightfoot at the helm.  His words should be placed in granite somewhere. 

 - Ed Kyle

Someone should ask if NASA leadership really wants to get started on an HLV development right away, why don't they reverse the arbitrary and questionable termination liability actions they took which have forced the contractors to start laying off the people they will need to WORK on ahttp://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=post;quote=630446;topic=22270.885;num_replies=899;sesc=a2e26350a439349d5b86cbb4f3f43ed2n HLV development, especially since the best way to do that is to novate existing contracts versus going to the time and expense of a new competitive process (which is strongly suggsted and authorized in the Senate bill)?


Ed Kyle, I too really like Mr. Lightfoot's comment. But who has gotten the ballgame to the point where he feels confident enough to make such a public comment? No leadership changes. It would get in the way of moving forward. And that is the only issue. Many folks may be quite annoyed about a lot of things, or at at some individuals in particular, but now is not the time for wasting time and opportunities by recriminating. Now is the time for unity. Now is the time for building the exploration tools and systems of the future. Americans and other folks need to be out exploring space, not loudly and publicly arguing about who is smarter or wiser or more foolish.

The White House and NASA's leadership need to make some trust building efforts. To show their good faith effort in moving things in the exploration direction, NASA's leadership and the White House need to ASAP "reverse the arbitrary and questionable termination liability actions they took".  As usual, 51D Mascot hits the political nail on the head. We should all wish President Obama and the Senate and the House of Representatives and NASA's leaders the absolute best in providing the foresight and iniative that America, and the rest of the world, expects and needs. Let's roll!

Cheers!

Edited.
« Last Edit: 08/22/2010 02:15 am by HappyMartian »
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Lars_J

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If the "questionable termination liability actions" could cause better and more streamlined contracts for SLS (and a better SLS), why reverse them?

Or should NASA be forced to have undesired CxP remnants holding it back for more many more years?
« Last Edit: 08/22/2010 02:57 am by Lars_J »

Offline HappyMartian

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If the "questionable termination liability actions" could cause better and more streamlined contracts for SLS (and a better SLS), why reverse them?

Or should NASA be forced to have undesired CxP remnants holding it back for more many more years?


Because most folks despise lawyer tricks that are used to thwart lawful and recognized and accepted programs. Sometime in September the unneeded remnants of CxP should cease to have any basis in law. The "questionable termination liability actions" didn't build trust or hope. Trust and hope and forward movement in exploring space are what we need now, not lawyer games.

America has lots of clever folks that can talk a lot and show sophisticated and fancy PowerPoints but don't know how to create anything of value. Sophistry has it limits.

The Senate has given NASA a direction in which to go. With a little bit of luck, the House of Representatives will pretty much agree with the Senate.

Cheers!
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Rabidpanda

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If the "questionable termination liability actions" could cause better and more streamlined contracts for SLS (and a better SLS), why reverse them?

Or should NASA be forced to have undesired CxP remnants holding it back for more many more years?


Because most folks despise lawyer tricks that are used to thwart lawful and recognized and accepted programs. Sometime in September the unneeded remnants of CxP should cease to have any basis in law. The "questionable termination liability actions" didn't build trust or hope. Trust and hope and forward movement in exploring space are what we need now, not lawyer games.

America has lots of clever folks that can talk a lot and show sophisticated and fancy PowerPoints but don't know how to create anything of value. Sophistry has it limits.

The Senate has given NASA a direction in which to go. With a little bit of luck, the House of Representatives will pretty much agree with the Senate.

Cheers!

You didn't really answer his question.  Just because 'most folks despise lawyer tricks' doesn't mean that it wouldn't be a good thing and streamline contracts for the SLS like he said.

Offline MP99

If the "questionable termination liability actions" could cause better and more streamlined contracts for SLS (and a better SLS), why reverse them?

Or should NASA be forced to have undesired CxP remnants holding it back for more many more years?

Do we know there was anything actually wrong with those contracts, or was the issue simply with what NASA asked the contractors to build? Novating those contracts (where appropriate) would save time & money re-bidding them.

cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 08/22/2010 10:29 am by MP99 »

Offline HappyMartian

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Has this been linked yet?

http://blog.al.com/space-news/2010/08/deputy_nasa_leader_lori_garver.html

Good article. I liked this line on HLV from MSFC leader Mr Lightfoot (former Shuttle manager):

""We don't need to study it anymore."




You didn't really answer his question.  Just because 'most folks despise lawyer tricks' doesn't mean that it wouldn't be a good thing and streamline contracts for the SLS like he said.



Within the context of going in the direction outlined by the Senate, it would be a great idea to novate or modify as many of the existing contracts as is possible so as to get us building the SLS and Orion ASAP. Lawyers can be very useful. But so are people who actually build things. Too much talk, not enough building and pretty soon you have little to talk about except how good you once were at building things. As the pragmatic Mr. Lightfoot noted about the SLS, "We don't need to study it anymore."

My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.

Not sure about a reference but our understanding directly out of ISS Program officials is that they really want about 100-140 metric tons of delivered materials every year in order to get full scientific utilization out of the station and its crew.

Commercial will get to lift a lot of that, but not until COTS is well and truly proven -- and COTS simply can't guarantee that level of demand yet.

Like it or not, the truth remains that Space-X is probably only one or two spectacular failures away from business meltdown.   They are being given the money and the chance to demonstrate their reliability in an early demonstration program.   And with a touch of luck, they will be able to do that.

But the agency would be extremely foolish to assume they can take that to the bank before Space-X has actually demonstrated a fair number of safe flights.   Space-X now has that chance to prove themselves, but they have a way to go before the agency should include them in the critical path to the >$100 billion ISS Program success over the next decade.

OSC are in a slightly better position, given that they already have an established alternative income stream and also an established flight record, but its not beyond imagination that Taurus-II could have just as many early teething problems as Pegasus did and that would probably shut their program down too.   So again, OSC are not a "sure thing" for the agency to be able to rely upon at this early stage.

The COTS Program is really designed as a seed-money investment phase to help spark the new industry.   Only if/when that is proven, will it be followed up with more extensive usage (which I'll call COTS+, just for a temporary name) down the road after they have been given the chance to prove their capabilities.

We are currently entering the "wait and see" period of COTS.


In the meantime, Jupiter-130/Orion will easily be able to supplement whatever COTS & COTS+ can provide.   Jupiter-130/Orion will also provide a full backup capability, to ensure the agency can plan on full utilization irrelevant of whether the new commercial operators get fully established or not.

Ross.


We need to quickly get moving on building the SLS Orion system. NASA's leadership and the White House need to "reverse the arbitrary and questionable termination liability actions they took". 51D Mascot had it right. Rehire the relevant contractor workers ASAP. If the workers are not needed for the new program outlined by the Senate, inform the workers which companies may be hiring under the new program.

It is both smart and wise to keep your eyes on the important game you are actually playing. That current game is the difficult long-term mission of the International Space Station.

Cheers
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Jim

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My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.


SLS and Orion would not help this.  Orion comes on too late 2016 to be of real use to the ISS.  Same would be true of other payloads for SLS

Offline Bill White

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My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.


SLS and Orion would not help this.  Orion comes on too late 2016 to be of real use to the ISS.  Same would be true of other payloads for SLS

If true, further shuttle extension would seem called for.
EML architectures should be seen as ratchet opportunities

Offline spacetraveler

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My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.


SLS and Orion would not help this.  Orion comes on too late 2016 to be of real use to the ISS.  Same would be true of other payloads for SLS

If true, further shuttle extension would seem called for.

No, we are already at a multi-year gap for any missions beyond the LON -converted Atlantis even if they were ordered today.

And this would just further delay the completion of any replacement.

The decision was made to retire the shuttle over 6 years ago. We have to accept that and get working full speed ahead on a new system.

Offline HappyMartian

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My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.


SLS and Orion would not help this.  Orion comes on too late 2016 to be of real use to the ISS.  Same would be true of other payloads for SLS


Well, I've noted it before and I guess I'll go another round. Shenzhou. I know what some have posted on this website, but it could become a viable backup. Do the talking. See if it is possible. If it is, do the planning and training. The ISS is the mission, not silly politics.

And get moving fast on the SLS Orion combination.

OK. Now I'll read why I'm a fool. It is OK. Wiser and smarter people than me put us in this stupid situation. With no disrespect for Russia or the capable Soyuz system, you can be bloody sure if I had any influence in this world we would not be relying on only one spacecraft for human access to the ISS. I would extend the Space Shuttle flights and also try hard to get Shenzhou flying to the International Space Station.

Cheers!
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.


SLS and Orion would not help this.  Orion comes on too late 2016 to be of real use to the ISS.  Same would be true of other payloads for SLS

You sound very sure of that '2016' figure, Jim.  Is there anything you can share with us? I would have thought that 2016 is the latest date.  We might see it come on stream earlier.
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Offline Jeff Bingham

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If the "questionable termination liability actions" could cause better and more streamlined contracts for SLS (and a better SLS), why reverse them?

Or should NASA be forced to have undesired CxP remnants holding it back for more many more years?

No question that streamlining and getting rid of excess "weight" in contract costs, etc., is a good thing, and in fact the pending legislation pushes NASA in the direction of achieving those kinds of efficiencies--and the HLLV and MPCV funding profiles would demand them.

But the point is, the contract actions were taken in the belief that the bulk of the kind of work being done under Constellation would be going away starting on October 1 of this year. They were not looking to "fine-tune" a process; they were intended to terminate it, at the earliest opportunity.

Now that it is increasingly clear, if not yet absolutely certain, that the Congress will direct otherwise--and ideally that the Administration will at least acquiesce if not actively support that redirection--that termination effort should at least be immediately frozen in order to ensure needed skills and capabilities are NOT irretrievably lost while the "policy realignment" process is being finalized over the next few weeks (or months). 
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline 93143

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No, we are already at a multi-year gap for any missions beyond the LON -converted Atlantis even if they were ordered today.

What's changed since the last time this myth was busted?

Offline jml

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No, we are already at a multi-year gap for any missions beyond the LON -converted Atlantis even if they were ordered today.

What's changed since the last time this myth was busted?
Especially since refurb'ing ET-94 for such potential use is actually mandated in the Senate Authorization bill, along with prohibiting any actions preventing extension. (But a new set of SRBs hasn't been included in the bill).

Online yg1968

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My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.


SLS and Orion would not help this.  Orion comes on too late 2016 to be of real use to the ISS.  Same would be true of other payloads for SLS

You sound very sure of that '2016' figure, Jim.  Is there anything you can share with us? I would have thought that 2016 is the latest date.  We might see it come on stream earlier.

Some people have expressed concerns that there isn't enough money for the HLV and BEO Orion to be ready by the end of 2016. The end of 2016 is actually optimistic. Augustine had predicted the early 2020s.

Offline TexasRED

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My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.


SLS and Orion would not help this.  Orion comes on too late 2016 to be of real use to the ISS.  Same would be true of other payloads for SLS

You sound very sure of that '2016' figure, Jim.  Is there anything you can share with us? I would have thought that 2016 is the latest date.  We might see it come on stream earlier.

Some people have expressed concerns that there isn't enough money for the HLV and BEO Orion to be ready by the end of 2016. The end of 2016 is actually optimistic. Augustine had predicted the early 2020s.

There are also talks of launching Orion on another launcher if SLS is not online by the time Orion is.  Not Ares either.

Offline Jeff Bingham

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My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.


SLS and Orion would not help this.  Orion comes on too late 2016 to be of real use to the ISS.  Same would be true of other payloads for SLS

If true, further shuttle extension would seem called for.

Bill, you touch on a point that is a good one, and one that, unfortunately, there is, right now, no really good answer for, and that is the sustainability and utilization of the ISS. The Senate bill makes quite a point of that concern, and, after establishing a clear policy direction to extend it to at least 2020, requires an in-depth analysis and report on projected ISS requirements for that extended time-period, in terms of spares, replacements, etc. It also takes steps to ensure an expanded utilization and research base by opening up half of the US Segment for  management and use coordinated by an external, non-governmental non-profit organization, that can bring in other government agencies, private research entities, academic consortia, etc., to make use of ISS research capability, while NASA of course continues to use the other half for exploration-related science, technology development, etc.. It also of course adds the LON for the specific purpose of helping ensure sufficient spares are delivered--and things like the failed ammonia pump assembly to be brought back for analysis. It also provides for some work looking into potential down-mass capability beyond what might be anticipated in COTS/CRS program, which the bill also strongly supports. The ET-94 refurbishment "could" conceivably be the core of an additional flight, since it could be available by the end of CY 2011, but that would be an issue to consider after the ISS requirements analysis has been done and validated by GAO.

In the end, however, there still is no real answer to the "gap" and the reliance on Soyuz as the only means of crew access for ANY of the partners. The ONLY short term answer for that between this time next year and whenever a new crew capability is available, whether NASA (SLS/MPCV) or commercial, is continued shuttle flights. You may recall that Senator Hutchison's bill introduced in March provided for the possibility of maintaining a two-flight-per-year option. I am still firmly convinced that could be accomplished for no more than $1.5 billion per year total cost; $2b per year at the max. But that simply is money that no one is willing, at this point, to provide as "new money", and so it would have to come out of the SLS/MPCV development, or Space and Earth Science, and none of those are acceptable options. That's one reason why that option did not carry into the Senate bill. But it remains, in my mind, to be an issue that we may well still have to seriously address (though NOT in this year's legislation) The recent failure highlighted that, and my guess is the ISS requirements analysis will likely suggest other steps might need to be taken.

But I personally believe it's a point that should be remembered as we move forward, that we do not have a perfect solution; we believe we have the best solution possible, however, under current circumstances.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline cro-magnon gramps

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My main concern at this time is robust and ongoing support for the International Space Station. That is the first role for the SLS Orion combination. The recent problems with an ISS coolant pump should help to focus our attention on the mission we are actually flying.


SLS and Orion would not help this.  Orion comes on too late 2016 to be of real use to the ISS.  Same would be true of other payloads for SLS

You sound very sure of that '2016' figure, Jim.  Is there anything you can share with us? I would have thought that 2016 is the latest date.  We might see it come on stream earlier.

Some people have expressed concerns that there isn't enough money for the HLV and BEO Orion to be ready by the end of 2016. The end of 2016 is actually optimistic. Augustine had predicted the early 2020s.

It is said, that it is better to be a pessimist and be proven pleasantly wrong, than to be an optimist and proven unpleasantly wrong; a lot of people appear to fit the bill; Augustine commission included;  ::)

call me an optimist, I believe it CAN be done sooner, because of that word MARGINS and a will to prove Congress and Joe and Josephine Public wrong about NASA's inability to perform HSF post Shuttle; if I am wrong, then I have a wine cellar to drown my sorrows in; or if right, then I will be so high on the adrenaline that I won't need the wine  8)
Gramps "Earthling by Birth, Martian by the grace of The Elon." ~ "Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet." Maya Angelou ~ Tony Benn: "Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison in which you put yourself."

Offline RocketEconomist327

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Bill, you touch on a point that is a good one, and one that, unfortunately, there is, right now, no really good answer for, and that is the sustainability and utilization of the ISS. The Senate bill makes quite a point of that concern, and, after establishing a clear policy direction to extend it to at least 2020, requires an in-depth analysis and report on projected ISS requirements for that extended time-period, in terms of spares, replacements, etc. It also takes steps to ensure an expanded utilization and research base by opening up half of the US Segment for  management and use coordinated by an external, non-governmental non-profit organization, that can bring in other government agencies, private research entities, academic consortia, etc., to make use of ISS research capability, while NASA of course continues to use the other half for exploration-related science, technology development, etc.. It also of course adds the LON for the specific purpose of helping ensure sufficient spares are delivered--and things like the failed ammonia pump assembly to be brought back for analysis. It also provides for some work looking into potential down-mass capability beyond what might be anticipated in COTS/CRS program, which the bill also strongly supports. The ET-94 refurbishment "could" conceivably be the core of an additional flight, since it could be available by the end of CY 2011, but that would be an issue to consider after the ISS requirements analysis has been done and validated by GAO.

In the end, however, there still is no real answer to the "gap" and the reliance on Soyuz as the only means of crew access for ANY of the partners. The ONLY short term answer for that between this time next year and whenever a new crew capability is available, whether NASA (SLS/MPCV) or commercial, is continued shuttle flights. You may recall that Senator Hutchison's bill introduced in March provided for the possibility of maintaining a two-flight-per-year option. I am still firmly convinced that could be accomplished for no more than $1.5 billion per year total cost; $2b per year at the max. But that simply is money that no one is willing, at this point, to provide as "new money", and so it would have to come out of the SLS/MPCV development, or Space and Earth Science, and none of those are acceptable options. That's one reason why that option did not carry into the Senate bill. But it remains, in my mind, to be an issue that we may well still have to seriously address (though NOT in this year's legislation) The recent failure highlighted that, and my guess is the ISS requirements analysis will likely suggest other steps might need to be taken.

But I personally believe it's a point that should be remembered as we move forward, that we do not have a perfect solution; we believe we have the best solution possible, however, under current circumstances.
You are asking the taxpayer to swallow ~200 million a month for two flights a year.

The shuttle is simply too expensive.

I think there are people who would vote for an extension if the cost of the program was under a poultry 100 million a month.  However, you and I both know this will not happen.  Too many people have their hands in the shuttle cookie jar, and much like the F-22 Raptor cookie jar, they are out of cookies.

You know, maybe it could be passed, where we do get a shuttle extension, if somehow NASA could show how it could reduce costs and fly safely.  I just do not think NASA has that leadership.  NASA lacks the fiscal discipline to be trusted with anymore money.  And it pains me to say that.

As you pointed out the recent failure on ISS has raised a lot of eyebrows about future capability.  With the imminent addition of STS-135 next June, shuttle huggers can rejoice.  But if they were smart they would figure out how to "lean" the operation.  Because there is no way the next congress is going to throw ~2.4 Billion a year for two shuttle launches.

Has there been talk of reducing the fleet to two orbiters using one as a spare?  Has there been talk of going from three shifts to one?  Has anyone at NASA invited the private sector to look at the way they conduct business to see where we can not only save money; but the shuttle and SOME shuttle jobs?  These questions are all rhetorical of course.

Best wishes,
RE327

 
You can talk about all the great things you can do, or want to do, in space; but unless the rocket scientists get a sound understanding of economics (and quickly), the US space program will never achieve the greatness it should.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

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