Author Topic: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread  (Read 49824 times)

Offline woods170

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The recent Dreamchaser drop-test has led to a discussion with regards to commercial crew companies showing or not-showing all aspects of the work performed on these vehicles.

Everything related to that can be discussed here.

Online LouScheffer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #1 on: 10/31/2013 12:26 pm »
A common reaction to the Dreamchaser controversy is "Who cares?  It's their work., and they can release what they want".  However, least 3 groups of people care:

(a) Those who want to know what actually happened.  Did is simply spin around but remain right-side up?  If so, the damage should be confined to the bottom surface. If it flipped, or rolled, or bounced, the damage could be a lot worse.  Obviously this affects schedule, odds ot this machine flying again, etc., all things folks on this forum care about very much.

(b) Those who are concerned about honesty in communication.  Look at the current NSA flap, for example, where they said to congress that they did not "collect" information information on Americans not under suspicion, using a patently bogus meaning of the word collect precisely to avoid the consequences of their actions.  Words matter - compare your reaction if your son or daughter calls and says "I skidded off the road" vs. "I crashed the car".

(c) Those who are interested in corporate crisis management.  There at lots of issues in play here.  If the video does indeed show a skid, but not  a flip, would they have been better off showing it?  Is is better to acknowledge a smaller error to avoid speculation about a greater problem?  What about the court of public opinion vs. wording of the contract?  Etc....

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #2 on: 10/31/2013 12:45 pm »
Well I for one completely understand that attitude.
First of all, certain elements in congress love every opportunity to reduce funding for commercial crew. A public video of a spacecraft crashing dramatically, would give them the a tool to sway the public opinion enough to allow this to happen. For this reason alone, I am glad that SNC did not release that part of the video.
Secondly, part of the commercial crew program is that the competitors invest a significant amount of their own funds into the project. So they will want to maximize the potential return for themselves from this project. On the positive side, this means less cost for the tax payer and it ensures that the companies involved do their best to get things done quickly and efficiently. On the negative side it means that there is an understandable reluctance on the side of the competitors to release anything that could harm their position in the race, or have a negative publicity impact on their company (which is just the opposite of maximizing the return).

Offline bad_astra

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #3 on: 10/31/2013 01:41 pm »
 Let us suppose I own "United Boxed Lunch Company" and I win a contract to supply microgravity meals to the ISS.

Just for fun I occasionally have a camera on  in the Sandwich Testing Room, to placate certain anoraks who are really into sandwichspotting. Once in awhile, a large container of mustard is spilled. We turn the camera off, clean up and when we are ready, we get back to work. We are periodically checked by health inspectors as well as NASA's own contract management personnel to make certain that our boxed lunches fall within guidelines.

But certain parts of the population are upset. "That sandwich belongs to the United States of America! We want to know where the mustard fell, what solvents were used to clean it, and the minutes of the meeting for the Commitee to Prevent Future Mustard Spills. This is a government program and therefore these boxed lunches and the means to go about making them, are just as public as the inner workings of a Navy galley.

Now the United Boxed Lunch Company has other customers, and it has a reputation to protect. It has done its job, and shareholders do not want it to be the sourse of blooper reels on television and "Fail blogs" on streaming media. Likewise they do not want to be part of a congressional hearing on Condiment Contamination when the congressman from the next state over, whose Standard Ham and Cheese did not win the contract, has a pork flavoured ax to grind.

What to do, what to do.

(edited to correct spelling)
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 01:44 pm by bad_astra »
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #4 on: 10/31/2013 02:19 pm »
Let us suppose I own "United Boxed Lunch Company" and I win a contract to supply microgravity meals to the ISS.

Just for fun I occasionally have a camera on  in the Sandwich Testing Room, to placate certain anoraks who are really into sandwichspotting. Once in awhile, a large container of mustard is spilled. We turn the camera off, clean up and when we are ready, we get back to work. We are periodically checked by health inspectors as well as NASA's own contract management personnel to make certain that our boxed lunches fall within guidelines.

But certain parts of the population are upset. "That sandwich belongs to the United States of America! We want to know where the mustard fell, what solvents were used to clean it, and the minutes of the meeting for the Commitee to Prevent Future Mustard Spills. This is a government program and therefore these boxed lunches and the means to go about making them, are just as public as the inner workings of a Navy galley.

Now the United Boxed Lunch Company has other customers, and it has a reputation to protect. It has done its job, and shareholders do not want it to be the sourse of blooper reels on television and "Fail blogs" on streaming media. Likewise they do not want to be part of a congressional hearing on Condiment Contamination when the congressman from the next state over, whose Standard Ham and Cheese did not win the contract, has a pork flavoured ax to grind.

What to do, what to do.

(edited to correct spelling)
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Offline notsorandom

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #5 on: 10/31/2013 02:35 pm »
There are good arguments about withholding the full video, both from a business perspective and from a general public image perspective. Though, the argument that these companies should withhold any bad information because there are critical congress people should be a disconcerting argument. If you like or hate Congress it does have a job to do. It has a responsibility to make sure tax dollars are being spent effectively and wisely. Like I said you can agree or disagree that they are doing a good job if it. However that is their job and they can't do it if they are kept in the dark. No company or project using tax money should be beyond review of Congress, no matter what they make, how much people like them, or how bad a job Congress is doing.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #6 on: 10/31/2013 02:50 pm »
There are good arguments about withholding the full video, both from a business perspective and from a general public image perspective. Though, the argument that these companies should withhold any bad information because there are critical congress people should be a disconcerting argument. If you like or hate Congress it does have a job to do. It has a responsibility to make sure tax dollars are being spent effectively and wisely. Like I said you can agree or disagree that they are doing a good job if it. However that is their job and they can't do it if they are kept in the dark. No company or project using tax money should be beyond review of Congress, no matter what they make, how much people like them, or how bad a job Congress is doing.
Congress is not kept in the dark. Plus, congress should do what you say, but the sad reality is that they are more interested in doing things that are good for their districts and their supporters and means pork projects for their favorite lobbies. They have to sell that to the general public though and such a video would be a perfect tool to do that.

Offline clongton

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #7 on: 10/31/2013 03:07 pm »
Firstly I want to see the whole thing. Secondly, I totally concur with SNC’s decision not to show the whole thing. So why the disconnect?
 
Because what I want is totally irrelevant to the facts on the ground. For example:

The company I work for is financed 100% with federal tax dollars to the tune of billions of dollars annualy and nobody from the general public gets to see anything that I do under any circumstances. So much for “they’re using my tax dollars so I get to see it all”.

There is such a thing as “Need To Know”, not just “Want To Know”. If you genuinely need information that I possess, AND you have the right security clearances, AND have been approved to see my information AND you can demonstrate a genuine NEED to know my specific information then you shall see it. That includes Congress btw. If they need to see it then all they need to do is subpoena the data (required paper trail) and SNC will make it available to a closed door hearing where those on the “Approved” list are the only ones present to see it. The public is not invited.

Once a company, any company, from any nation on earth has declared its internal information to be proprietary, then passing the “Need To Know” test is the only way you’re going to get it. The fact that your tax dollars are funding the event that generated the information is totally irrelevant unless that money came with disclosure statements attached. SNC signed no such disclosure statements so nobody gets to see anything they do unless THEY say so.

That’s just the way it works, everywhere on the planet.

If someone doesn’t like that then they can just go get their own planet where they can sit around in their highly educated armchair and criticize those who have the information (that they don't really need) that don't go out of their way to fulfil their insatiable desire to see everything and be entertained.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 03:15 pm by clongton »
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #8 on: 10/31/2013 03:16 pm »
And lets not put on rose coloured glasses for the past here, either - It's not like every NASA test failure of the past was put on public display either.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #9 on: 10/31/2013 03:29 pm »
I agree that there is a dividing point between what should be shared and what should not be shared.  The world saw Vanguard TV-3 fall back on its pad live.  It saw the trials and tribulations and numerous failures of the Gemini program.  It witnessed STS-51L and STS-107, if not live in replays, and it saw many details and images of their aftermaths, including the investigations that resulted.  It followed Apollo 13 with dread, then with happy relief.   

But the world did not see images of Grissom, White, and Chaffee in their couches after the fire, or of the remains of the Shuttle crews, though we all know that those images exist.  It did not see some of the things I personally witnessed at KSC on January 28, 1986.  There is a line.  On that we can all agree.

The problem, as I see it, is that the line has been moved, and for suspect reasons.  The old NASA would not have been afraid to show what really happened to DreamChaser.  It would show the failure, then move on and celebrate the subsequent hard-earned successes.  Space is hard, remember? 

"Commercial!", "intellectual property!", "ITAR", etc, is a response, but NASA pays the bills and writes the contract.  Those contract rules can require any level of public disclosure that NASA desires, within reason.

I've read headlines, inspired by the video that cuts off when success ends, describing a successful DreamChaser flight.  Really?  Sure, many things went well, but one very important thing did not go well.  Can't we be brave enough to call what happened what it really was?   

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 03:53 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Go4TLI

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #10 on: 10/31/2013 03:48 pm »
A common reaction to the Dreamchaser controversy is "Who cares?  It's their work., and they can release what they want".  However, least 3 groups of people care:

(a) Those who want to know what actually happened.  Did is simply spin around but remain right-side up?  If so, the damage should be confined to the bottom surface. If it flipped, or rolled, or bounced, the damage could be a lot worse.  Obviously this affects schedule, odds ot this machine flying again, etc., all things folks on this forum care about very much.

(b) Those who are concerned about honesty in communication.  Look at the current NSA flap, for example, where they said to congress that they did not "collect" information information on Americans not under suspicion, using a patently bogus meaning of the word collect precisely to avoid the consequences of their actions.  Words matter - compare your reaction if your son or daughter calls and says "I skidded off the road" vs. "I crashed the car".

(c) Those who are interested in corporate crisis management.  There at lots of issues in play here.  If the video does indeed show a skid, but not  a flip, would they have been better off showing it?  Is is better to acknowledge a smaller error to avoid speculation about a greater problem?  What about the court of public opinion vs. wording of the contract?  Etc....

(a)  My daughter wants a puppy.  She will likely not get it.  Such is life.

(b)  DC or SNC by not releasing such footage/pictures is hardly guilty of violating constitutional rights or the principles on which this Nation used to stand for.

(c) This is a the worse reason I have seen yet. 

One does not get to know everything they may always want to know.  I really want to know how much you have in your savings account.  Should I know that?  Do you want to tell me?  Move on....

Offline clongton

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #11 on: 10/31/2013 03:52 pm »
It's a different environment now Ed. This is not NASA where the general public owns the information. This is corporate and the rules are different. The corporations own the information, not the public. That’s in all the contracts those companies signed with NASA and NASA agreed to guard all corporate proprietary information. We have all been spoiled over the years by all the free flow of information from NASA but unlike NASA, all this information is proprietary and releasable only as the companies see fit. That goes even for those programs that are financed with public tax dollars so long as those dollars did not have public disclosure clauses attached. In the case of *ALL* the Commercial Crew applicants, there was no such clause. To the contrary, each company was promised that all its data would be held as proprietary. Each company has the legal right to not disclose anything it wants, regardless of funding source.

Those are the rules.

BTW I also grew up watching live coverage, beginning with the Vanguard failure. I also feel the information flow difference – very much. But it’s a different world now; time to adapt.
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Online edkyle99

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #12 on: 10/31/2013 03:55 pm »
It's a different environment now Ed. This is not NASA where the general public owns the information. This is corporate and the rules are different. The corporations own the information, not the public. That’s in all the contracts those companies signed with NASA and NASA agreed to guard all corporate proprietary information.
Is video of a crash-landing "corporate proprietary information"?  If so, how is video of a not-crash-landing non-proprietary?

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #13 on: 10/31/2013 04:08 pm »

Is video of a crash-landing "corporate proprietary information"?  If so, how is video of a not-crash-landing non-proprietary?

Yes, simply because they say so for both cases. 
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 04:08 pm by Jim »

Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #14 on: 10/31/2013 04:11 pm »

"Commercial!", "intellectual property!", "ITAR", etc, is a response, but NASA pays the bills and writes the contract.  Those contract rules can require any level of public disclosure that NASA desires, within reason.


NASA is not paying all the bills, that is one of the big differences.  But NASA still gets to see the all data but doesn't have the right to release to the public.  Those contract rules are that the contractor controls the release of the information to the public.


This isn't new.  I dealt with this conops of PR for more than 20 years both as a contractor and as a govt employee.  Spacehab followed this MO and NASA commercial launches have been that way for longer.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 04:18 pm by Jim »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #15 on: 10/31/2013 04:24 pm »
As a precedent, has an oversight committee ever forced the release of information that was not a national security matter? Maybe a question for 51D...
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 05:29 pm by Rocket Science »
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Offline psloss

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #16 on: 10/31/2013 04:40 pm »
Is video of a crash-landing "corporate proprietary information"?  If so, how is video of a not-crash-landing non-proprietary?
They are both proprietary (it's their info) and the company decides what it wishes to disclose/publicize, if anything.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #17 on: 10/31/2013 04:43 pm »

Is video of a crash-landing "corporate proprietary information"?  If so, how is video of a not-crash-landing non-proprietary?

Yes, simply because they say so for both cases. 
"Because they say so" ...  that's my problem right there when it comes to something like a basic overview video.  What corporate secrets are revealed in a long shot when the airframe touches the runway that weren't revealed an instant before?   

 - Ed Kyle 

Offline Lar

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #18 on: 10/31/2013 04:50 pm »
"Because they say so" ...  that's my problem right there when it comes to something like a basic overview video.  What corporate secrets are revealed in a long shot when the airframe touches the runway that weren't revealed an instant before?   
One of the things drummed into me by IBM security training (which I have to take every year, as if I'd forget :) ) has been that it is not possible to perfectly evaluate, in a vacuum, how significant a particular bit of information might be. So saying "I don't see the harm in releasing THIS thing" may miss the fact that it was the missing piece in a puzzle someone was trying to put together.

I can construct scenarios in which that touchdown was the missing puzzle piece for some bad actor to do something. Maybe a competitor, maybe a saboteur.

I want to see that whole vid too, but I get why I am not going to see it until SNC decides to release it. If ever.
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #19 on: 10/31/2013 04:55 pm »
I think a few people are under the wrong impression, that all of this is paid for by taxpayer money. It is not!
And that alone changes the rules.
Also, a lot of political hick hack was caused every time NASA had a mishap. That usually lead to committees full of politicians that thought they were engineers and other idiots redirecting course and leading to project cancellations. This is one of the reason why many large NASA projects got cancelled in the past 30 years.
If you want to have a successful commercial crew program, you cant have any of that or prices will go up, up, up and you end up with another project that runs over budget and gets delayed for years. Congress has already caused years of delays for commercial crew as it is.

Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #20 on: 10/31/2013 04:59 pm »

"Because they say so" ...  that's my problem right there when it comes to something like a basic overview video.  What corporate secrets are revealed in a long shot when the airframe touches the runway that weren't revealed an instant before?   

 - Ed Kyle 

It doesn't have to be corporate secrets.    Propriety just means the company owns the information.  If they don't want to release the crash because they feel the crash portion might reflect poorly on them, then it is their call or because they say so.   It isn't their problem that you have one with their policy.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 05:00 pm by Jim »

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #21 on: 10/31/2013 05:12 pm »

Is video of a crash-landing "corporate proprietary information"?  If so, how is video of a not-crash-landing non-proprietary?

Yes, simply because they say so for both cases. 
"Because they say so" ...  that's my problem right there when it comes to something like a basic overview video.  What corporate secrets are revealed in a long shot when the airframe touches the runway that weren't revealed an instant before?   

 - Ed Kyle

Maybe you would get a hint of what the guidance software did when it tried to touch down missing the left gear.
That is most likely proprietary. Of course, the steps they take to either eliminate the gear failure, or come to a more graceful stop with a gear that does not deploy is also proprietary.

Obviously, development on the DreamChaser isn't complete yet, since they aren't at the CDR level. I would love to see videos of nominal and off-nominal landings with the final design.

At least we have some idea what progress SNC is making. Other CCDev companies like Blue Origin and Excaliber Almaz haven't released much info at all, although I think they are still working on their own set of CCDev 2 milestones.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #22 on: 10/31/2013 05:21 pm »
It doesn't have to be corporate secrets.    Propriety just means the company owns the information.  If they don't want to release the crash because they feel the crash portion might reflect poorly on them, then it is their call or because they say so.   It isn't their problem that you have one with their policy.
Fair enough, but I will continue to believe that it reflects more poorly on them to withhold the crash video than it would to share the crash video.  (My underlining above.)

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #23 on: 10/31/2013 05:25 pm »
It doesn't have to be corporate secrets.    Propriety just means the company owns the information.  If they don't want to release the crash because they feel the crash portion might reflect poorly on them, then it is their call or because they say so.   It isn't their problem that you have one with their policy.
Fair enough, but I will continue to believe that it reflects more poorly on them to withhold the crash video than it would to share the crash video.  (My underlining above.)

 - Ed Kyle

To you, and probably many of us, it does.  But to the less informed and/or more powerful, it may well be evidence that could be used against them.  If the engineering and science communities were the only audience, the'd probably release it.

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #24 on: 10/31/2013 05:33 pm »
I think some of us are just frustrated and miss the days when our nation had a real space program, and one that people actually cared about!


Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #25 on: 10/31/2013 05:58 pm »
I think some of us are just frustrated and miss the days when our nation had a real space program,

We still have one.  National or US space program does not equate to a Government or NASA space program

Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #26 on: 10/31/2013 06:02 pm »
one that people actually cared about!


That is debatable.  Some may say that there is no difference from now and then.  Some may say there is more interest because of the commercial projects (see spacex threads)

Offline Lar

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #27 on: 10/31/2013 06:04 pm »
I think some of us are just frustrated and miss the days when our nation had a real space program,

We still have one.  National or US space program does not equate to a Government or NASA space program

Jim's sounding like a SpaceX fan boi :)

(grin, duck, run... maybe it's what he's going to tonite's Halloween party as???)

OK so it sounds like this thread may have already reached the conclusion? Is anyone's mind changeable?
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Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #28 on: 10/31/2013 06:09 pm »

OK so it sounds like this thread may have already reached the conclusion? Is anyone's mind changeable?

I accept that I am merely a spectator on the sidelines without any say regarding the rules of the game.  With that said, wake me when our manned space program starts doing something exciting and groundbreaking again.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #29 on: 10/31/2013 06:20 pm »

OK so it sounds like this thread may have already reached the conclusion? Is anyone's mind changeable?

I accept that I am merely a spectator on the sidelines without any say regarding the rules of the game.  With that said, wake me when our manned space program starts doing something exciting and groundbreaking again.
Reducing the cost of access to space so that more people can go to space is quite groundbreaking for me and the commercial crew program does that (as a first).

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #30 on: 10/31/2013 06:58 pm »
If and when that happens, I'll be watching! (Provided there is live coverage.) ;)

Offline PahTo

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #31 on: 10/31/2013 06:58 pm »
Reducing the cost of access to space so that more people can go to space is quite groundbreaking for me and the commercial crew program does that (as a first).

But if we don't get to see these groundbreaking efforts (ooh, bad phrase given Dreamchaser's landing), it is hard to get excited about them.  We are a very visual species.  And this ties in to the comments made by Ed and Chuck.  I wonder:  how many people would choose a career in aerospace if they had not seen (and presumably been inspired by) the early successes (and failures) of the space program(s)?  How many people would choose to support HSF or NASA or spaceflight exploration missions if all they ever got was a filtered story, aligned with the corporate vision?

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #32 on: 10/31/2013 07:11 pm »
How many people would choose to support HSF or NASA or spaceflight exploration missions if all they ever got was a filtered story, aligned with the corporate vision?
Oh come on! You cant be serious! You are behaving as if public relations are not successfully used by corporations and governments alike. Looking at the many promotional materials for the SLS and before that Constellation that NASA spit out, which were sometimes blatantly spinning the truth to please politics, I cant say, I agree. Same goes for other large government research efforts. Just thinking of the "energy" spin on the NIF(which was never anything but a large defense program).

Online rcoppola

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #33 on: 10/31/2013 07:36 pm »
Reducing the cost of access to space so that more people can go to space is quite groundbreaking for me and the commercial crew program does that (as a first).

But if we don't get to see these groundbreaking efforts (ooh, bad phrase given Dreamchaser's landing), it is hard to get excited about them.  We are a very visual species.  And this ties in to the comments made by Ed and Chuck.  I wonder:  how many people would choose a career in aerospace if they had not seen (and presumably been inspired by) the early successes (and failures) of the space program(s)?  How many people would choose to support HSF or NASA or spaceflight exploration missions if all they ever got was a filtered story, aligned with the corporate vision?

Filtered stories?

Ok, how about one of the greatest achievements in human history? The moon landing. Should we bemoan the fact that Kennedy couldn't have cared less about space or the moon or any such thing? He wanted one thing, to do something that would show the world that the US was better then the USSR and in so doing propagate our way of life as being superior.

That was the corporate vision. And the filters were industrial grade. So? Who cares? We landed on the moon.

But because we did it for one-upmanship , once we one-uped, we didn't double down. So now, it's private enterprises'  turn to filter their own stories and have their own visions. There own heroes and villains, success and failures both real and illusory.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 07:37 pm by rcoppola »
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Offline Go4TLI

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #34 on: 10/31/2013 07:50 pm »

OK so it sounds like this thread may have already reached the conclusion? Is anyone's mind changeable?

I accept that I am merely a spectator on the sidelines without any say regarding the rules of the game.  With that said, wake me when our manned space program starts doing something exciting and groundbreaking again.
Reducing the cost of access to space so that more people can go to space is quite groundbreaking for me and the commercial crew program does that (as a first).

To be fair, you really have no way of knowing that.  It will be less expensive than shuttle of course because it has less capabilities, which makes logical sense. 

The proof in the pudding will be additional flights "so that more people can go into space" to reduce the normalized cost-per-pound-to-orbit.  That picture remains extremely unclear if there will be any additional business at all beyond the one or two NASA flights per year.  That price will look to be significant relatively speaking for the vehicle capabilities if that is all there is. 

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #35 on: 10/31/2013 07:59 pm »
To be fair, you really have no way of knowing that.
Sure, we know that. The cost per passenger is already set, from what I understand and that is lower than the Soyuz, IIRC. SpaceX plans to further reduce the cost with their reusable launchers. It wont happen over night, but it sure is more of a revolution of human spaceflight than anything NASA has done since... well that depends on how you look at it. To me it is more impressive than the shuttle, but that is a matter of personal priorities, I guess.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #36 on: 10/31/2013 08:08 pm »
I can't help but compare it to Morpheus exploding.

NASA showed all of that because it was their failure to show.

Did it spark all sorts of NASA hate and get the program cancelled? No.

What about Sea Launch?

What about SpaceX showing their F1 stages bumping?

What about SS1 showing their manned spacecraft flying off the runway after the landing gear failed?

I can't help but feel SNC is being too precious in this situation. Other commercial companies have shown worse and they're still in business.

If the problem is commercial crew funding in general then they're just stupid because the exposure would help them.

When they get cancelled it's going to be "Who?" and it could've been "Oh that cool spaceplane that crashed off the runway, don't cancel that!!!!"

Offline PahTo

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #37 on: 10/31/2013 08:14 pm »

Of public relations and filtered stories:  My point is that when I watched Curiosity go through EDL, I was watching it live, in realtime (or just about)--indeed, I made sure the family schedule was cleared to share in the adventure.  If the sky-crane hadn't worked, or the vehicle(s) had otherwise crashed, we'd have known right then.

If corporation Z was running the show, they might have chosen to keep the EDL under wraps until safely on the martian surface, and then shared the good news.

People get excited when they SEE things, especially LIVE (as they happen), not hear about them or see things after the fact.  I'm a big space buff, but even for me it is hard to stay optimistic and engaged when there is nothing to see, even if things are happening...
(and if it weren't for the internet, we wouldn't even be able to see things like F9v1.1 launch and other such progress, and even when we do, it is filtered/cut short/etc.)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #38 on: 10/31/2013 08:14 pm »
Wow. Seriously you guys. It doesn't take a genius to know that the press would love to repeat over and over the spaceplane crashing, talking about how commercial crew (and SNC in particular) must be a failure. And probably they'd get it screwed up and say it's NASA's fault, too. No reason to do it.
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Offline kch

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #39 on: 10/31/2013 08:27 pm »

OK so it sounds like this thread may have already reached the conclusion? Is anyone's mind changeable?

Well ...

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #40 on: 10/31/2013 08:34 pm »

Of public relations and filtered stories:  My point is that when I watched Curiosity go through EDL, I was watching it live, in realtime (or just about)--indeed, I made sure the family schedule was cleared to share in the adventure.  If the sky-crane hadn't worked, or the vehicle(s) had otherwise crashed, we'd have known right then.

If corporation Z was running the show, they might have chosen to keep the EDL under wraps until safely on the martian surface, and then shared the good news.

People get excited when they SEE things, especially LIVE (as they happen), not hear about them or see things after the fact.  I'm a big space buff, but even for me it is hard to stay optimistic and engaged when there is nothing to see, even if things are happening...
(and if it weren't for the internet, we wouldn't even be able to see things like F9v1.1 launch and other such progress, and even when we do, it is filtered/cut short/etc.)

Operational multi-billion dollar Government mission with millions of people watching vs. First flight of a private test vehicle in the desert.

What is it that people don't understand about the differences between Public Government and Private enterprise.
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Offline Go4TLI

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #41 on: 10/31/2013 09:00 pm »
To be fair, you really have no way of knowing that.
Sure, we know that. The cost per passenger is already set, from what I understand and that is lower than the Soyuz, IIRC. SpaceX plans to further reduce the cost with their reusable launchers. It wont happen over night, but it sure is more of a revolution of human spaceflight than anything NASA has done since... well that depends on how you look at it. To me it is more impressive than the shuttle, but that is a matter of personal priorities, I guess.

No, price is not set.

For the rest, whatever.....

Offline PahTo

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #42 on: 10/31/2013 09:02 pm »

I understand fully a corporation's need for protecting proprietary information/hardware/etc.  Indeed, I agree with it and accept that it is necessary.

That does not preclude me from lamenting the lack of visibility such corporatization of space incurs.  As well,  expressing my belief that such secrecy may result in less people being engaged in space endeavours, the net result being less space endeavours (outside of comm sats, "spy" sats and the like).

And per Chris's post--absolutely the press would jump all over a failure as a "waste of money" blah blah.  Can you imagine if Curiosity had augered in?  The press would have roasted NASA for the "loss/waste of BILLIONS  $$".  All the while, curious, engaged people would be wondering how to make the next one work...
Double-edged to be sure, but I wanna' see what's going on!!

Offline Go4TLI

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #43 on: 10/31/2013 09:04 pm »
Wow. Seriously you guys. It doesn't take a genius to know that the press would love to repeat over and over the spaceplane crashing, talking about how commercial crew (and SNC in particular) must be a failure. And probably they'd get it screwed up and say it's NASA's fault, too. No reason to do it.

I think you are over-thinking.  Have you seen anything in the mainstream news about how it did fly...and then the crusifiction of SNC for NOT showing the landing?

I think it is as simple as people believing they are entitled to know all about a development program.  Some of that comes from them just being interested and therefore believing that triumphs over all. 

Online rcoppola

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #44 on: 10/31/2013 09:31 pm »

I understand fully a corporation's need for protecting proprietary information/hardware/etc.  Indeed, I agree with it and accept that it is necessary.

That does not preclude me from lamenting the lack of visibility such corporatization of space incurs.  As well,  expressing my belief that such secrecy may result in less people being engaged in space endeavours, the net result being less space endeavours (outside of comm sats, "spy" sats and the like).

And per Chris's post--absolutely the press would jump all over a failure as a "waste of money" blah blah.  Can you imagine if Curiosity had augered in?  The press would have roasted NASA for the "loss/waste of BILLIONS  $$".  All the while, curious, engaged people would be wondering how to make the next one work...
Double-edged to be sure, but I wanna' see what's going on!!
I hear you but one very important thing to consider and why I think your equating secrecy with less interest resulting in less endeavors is not viable.

The results of pushing this endeavor into the realm of private enterprise will result in the very thing you want. Better costs, faster innovation, quicker to market resulting in the ubiquity of space transportation that no government constrained with bureaucracy and legacy costs can match. Yes, some of the rules of transparency will change but that's a small price to pay for what's ahead.

But really, does Apple's lack of saying, let alone showing anything keep people from being excited and buying their products when they are fully baked? And do you think Android, iOS and Windows Mobile would be evolving as quickly as they are if they were locked into some Government program that while fully transparent, can't innovate at the pace of private enterprise resulting in the ubiquity you seek. So I just say, give it some time.
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Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #45 on: 10/31/2013 09:34 pm »

The results of pushing this endeavor into the realm of private enterprise will result in the very thing you want. Better costs, faster innovation, quicker to market resulting in the ubiquity of space transportation that no government constrained with bureaucracy and legacy costs can match

If things go the way they're headed, it will result in a down-select to a single provider (most likely SpaceX), thus giving us none of that.  Maybe Orion lite aka CST-100 survives as well, though I don't really understand the point of it as long as Orion is also being funded.  But without increased funding, I don't see "commercial crew" providing sufficient resources to enable a revolution in human spaceflight.  Two flights a year to ISS is certainly not sufficient demand to drive any sort of meaningful competition.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2013 09:42 pm by vt_hokie »

Offline USFdon

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #46 on: 10/31/2013 09:45 pm »
Maybe Orion lite aka CST-100 survives as well, though I don't really understand the point of it as long as Orion is also being funded. 

CST-100 has nothing to do with the Orion program

Offline clongton

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #47 on: 10/31/2013 10:03 pm »
It's a different environment now Ed. This is not NASA where the general public owns the information. This is corporate and the rules are different. The corporations own the information, not the public. That’s in all the contracts those companies signed with NASA and NASA agreed to guard all corporate proprietary information.
Is video of a crash-landing "corporate proprietary information"?  If so, how is video of a not-crash-landing non-proprietary?

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If you videoed the crash yourself then the video is yours. If the video was shot by an employee or representative of the company that owned the vehicle then the video belongs to them - period. That's the law.
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Offline clongton

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #48 on: 10/31/2013 10:05 pm »

Is video of a crash-landing "corporate proprietary information"?  If so, how is video of a not-crash-landing non-proprietary?

Yes, simply because they say so for both cases. 
"Because they say so" ...  that's my problem right there when it comes to something like a basic overview video.  What corporate secrets are revealed in a long shot when the airframe touches the runway that weren't revealed an instant before?   

 - Ed Kyle 

That doesn't matter because it's none of your business. It doesn't belong to you. It's someone else's private property.
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Online LouScheffer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #49 on: 10/31/2013 11:10 pm »
There are two different reasons for secrecy.  The first is that it that no gross mistakes were made, but it's not in the best interest of the company/agency to disclose.  This is more or less OK.

However, also possible is that the details show the responsible party to be careless, have wasted lots of other people's money, had shoddy workmanship, or been otherwise irresponsible.   There is considerable speculation that lots of the black budget goes down rat holes that never work, and waste billions of dollars. These are then are stamped secret and are never revealed even decades later, for protection of the guilty rather than any security reason.

As a completely made-up examples, suppose the video shows a more-or-less controlled skid until the fuzzy dice break free and tangle in the control yoke.  Or when the landing gear does pop out eventually, it has a  big "Remove before flight" banner.  Or any other scenario that shows lack of professionalism, or carelessness, that would make them a poor bet for a manned mission.

I have no reason to suspect that the video shows any such problems, but from the outside it looks exactly the same when the video is cut off.  You can never be completely sure whether it's merely the result of a subtle technical glitch the company would prefer not to show, or it would reveal something the company desperately needs to hide.


Offline clongton

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #50 on: 10/31/2013 11:35 pm »
... have wasted lots of other people's money, ... and waste billions of dollars.

Let's be clear about one thing.
The Commercial Crew effort is largely self-funded by the individual companies. NASA has provided a boost in funding to help the process along because it wants to eventually buy and use their services. But the vast majority of the funding expended on Commercial Crew is corporate money, not taxpayer money. NASA did not fund these efforts. NASA has SUPPLEMENTED these efforts.
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Online eeergo

Laws are not divine truth that make them automatically the rightful course of action. Of course private companies are within their rights to release as much or as little information about their operations as is specified by their contracts, I don't think anybody is arguing otherwise. But just releasing the bare minimum the contract stipulates, or more than that but contorted to suit corporate interests, is quite a selfish way to run high-profile programs such as these, more so when they are majoritarily funded by public money.

We are talking about showing an honest, balanced summary of their progress, not their production secrets or technical specifications - that would be a reasonable "downgrade" in public release from NASA's way of doing things. Not the blunt cutting of crash-landing and engine bay overpressure panels blowouts videos, or chasing all around the Internet for fuzzy videos of a rocket plummeting behind a palm tree and being replaced by a black cloud.

Indeed, PR spin can backfire just as easily as it can lead to benefitial results for said company. The company in question may be benefited today by avoiding sensationalistic front pages (which, by the way, wouldn't happen if all subcontracted companies in the field made it corporate practice to release reasonable amounts of information, including of non-so-nominal events) but in the future, it may surface as something they kept quiet purposefully, and it will be used with as much force against them if it suits somebody, if not with more.

I really don't think this secretive, tergiversing behaviour from private enterprises should be seen as something positive, or even neutral, much less when they have large public investment.

I wouldn't limit this argument to just those cases, though: i.e. I'd also advocate for reasonable disclosure of positive *and negative* information on their activities if their business line has a large exposure or large social ramifications - see British Petroleum's situation in the Deepwater event - of course they would like to have kept everything in the dark, and of course they would have been within their right as long as they showed progress to responsible officials - but public pressure also counts). It's a matter of business ethics and openness towards the interested public, who also happens to be an investor. Neither is it a matter of *demanding* that the information is released, as there are contracts for this, and having a legal clause would probably make things more difficult for companies operating on high-risk business - it has more to do with advocating for promotion of healthy business practices.

Complacency on narrowing information releases, especially coming from interested public such as people in this forum, will only lead to less openness, not more.
-DaviD-

Online edkyle99

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #52 on: 11/01/2013 12:02 am »
And per Chris's post--absolutely the press would jump all over a failure as a "waste of money" blah blah.  Can you imagine if Curiosity had augered in?  The press would have roasted NASA for the "loss/waste of BILLIONS  $$". 
I'll suggest a different potential outcome. 

Showing the crash would generate more publicity than not showing the crash.  There is no such thing as bad publicity

I believe that the vast majority of the public does not know or care that the DreamChaser project exists.  If the crash were shown, public knowledge of the project's very existence would expand robustly.  Coupling that video with a "we're going to fix it and fly again" would, in my opinion, increase, not decrease, public support for the program. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/01/2013 02:14 am by edkyle99 »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #53 on: 11/01/2013 12:06 am »
... have wasted lots of other people's money, ... and waste billions of dollars.

Let's be clear about one thing.
The Commercial Crew effort is largely self-funded by the individual companies. NASA has provided a boost in funding to help the process along because it wants to eventually buy and use their services. But the vast majority of the funding expended on Commercial Crew is corporate money, not taxpayer money. NASA did not fund these efforts. NASA has SUPPLEMENTED these efforts.

I'd love a reference for this.. not saying you're wrong, but seeing as many big name people are suggesting the opposite, it'd be nice to be able to prove otherwise.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #54 on: 11/01/2013 03:31 am »
{snip}
Showing the crash would generate more publicity than not showing the crash.  There is no such thing as bad publicity


That is Hollywood stars.  Getting caught in bed with 2 prostitutes can increase the sales of your next film.  Crashes do not increase the number of space craft you sell.

Offline jtrame

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #55 on: 11/01/2013 09:31 am »
And per Chris's post--absolutely the press would jump all over a failure as a "waste of money" blah blah.  Can you imagine if Curiosity had augered in?  The press would have roasted NASA for the "loss/waste of BILLIONS  $$". 
I'll suggest a different potential outcome. 

Showing the crash would generate more publicity than not showing the crash.  There is no such thing as bad publicity

I believe that the vast majority of the public does not know or care that the DreamChaser project exists.  If the crash were shown, public knowledge of the project's very existence would expand robustly.  Coupling that video with a "we're going to fix it and fly again" would, in my opinion, increase, not decrease, public support for the program. 

 - Ed Kyle

And it was survivable.  In the greater scheme of things, a bump in the road.  NASA will see (has seen) the footage.  The congressional committee can ask to see it.  The general public could care less.  That just leaves the enthusiasts (and space historians like yourself) the only ones out of the loop. 
 
I still hope that a few days (weeks?) down the road, they will release it.

Offline newpylong

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #56 on: 11/01/2013 10:39 am »
... have wasted lots of other people's money, ... and waste billions of dollars.

Let's be clear about one thing.
The Commercial Crew effort is largely self-funded by the individual companies. NASA has provided a boost in funding to help the process along because it wants to eventually buy and use their services. But the vast majority of the funding expended on Commercial Crew is corporate money, not taxpayer money. NASA did not fund these efforts. NASA has SUPPLEMENTED these efforts.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark that the development funds provided by NASA to the 3 companies has been the majority of the monies expended on these vehicles so far.

Offline padrat

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #57 on: 11/01/2013 10:52 am »
Here's a thought for those upset about corporate secrecy. The best way to find out what goes on behind the public face in an aerospace corporation...get a job with them. It will be difficult. It will probably take a while. But it's not impossible (speaking from experience). Then you will probably know all you could ever wanted to.

Oh yeah, keep in mind that 99% of what you will learn you won't be able to discuss with anyone outside of your coworkers around you....
If the neighbors think you're the rebel of the neighborhood, embrace it and be the rebel. It keeps them wondering what you'll do next...

Offline brihath

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #58 on: 11/01/2013 12:01 pm »
Here's a thought for those upset about corporate secrecy. The best way to find out what goes on behind the public face in an aerospace corporation...get a job with them. It will be difficult. It will probably take a while. But it's not impossible (speaking from experience). Then you will probably know all you could ever wanted to.

Oh yeah, keep in mind that 99% of what you will learn you won't be able to discuss with anyone outside of your coworkers around you....

In reality, companies will release information according to these priorities:

-The Government first, but only to ensure that it is compliant to any applicable laws.

-To its stakeholders.  These are people or companies who have a direct interest in the success or failure of the program, for example:
*Suppliers- will they keep buying my parts?
*Customers- will deliveries be slowed down?  Will I have to adjust my business because of any delays?
*Employees- will my job be affected by these events?
*Stockholders- will the stock that I own decrease in value?  Should I sell/buy/hold?

Everybody else is just a curious bystander.  Wanting to get more details just because you are interested is no justification.  My analogy is the curious drivers who just have to slow down to see the accident along the road.  They have no impact on the investigation, slow down traffic and potentially can cause other accidents because they were curious.

I personally believe that all those interested parties should give SNC the space to complete their investigation of the incident and be patient. 

Perhaps the video will be released later, but even then it has no value to the casual observers outside of satisfying their curiosity.  Businesses have no obligation to feed information to the curious just because they want to know.

Offline psloss

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #59 on: 11/01/2013 12:22 pm »
Showing the crash would generate more publicity than not showing the crash.  There is no such thing as bad publicity
It's not that simple -- all publicity is "good" if one doesn't care about the nature of the resulting attention.  For example, I'd guess Mark McGwire doesn't think all the attention from the congressional subpoena and his subsequent testimony was "good."  The commercial crew companies weren't selected or funded based on their popularity and it's unlikely that will change in the near-term.

I believe that the vast majority of the public does not know or care that the DreamChaser project exists.
A mishap won't change that.  Culturally (and generally), "we" are interested in a "crash."  That's all -- not the big picture, just 'what happened?' and 'who's fault was it?.'  (And even then, in a short attention span culture, those are fleeting curiosities.)

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #60 on: 11/01/2013 02:53 pm »
Showing the crash would generate more publicity than not showing the crash.  There is no such thing as bad publicity
It's not that simple -- all publicity is "good" if one doesn't care about the nature of the resulting attention.  For example, I'd guess Mark McGwire doesn't think all the attention from the congressional subpoena and his subsequent testimony was "good."  The commercial crew companies weren't selected or funded based on their popularity and it's unlikely that will change in the near-term.
McGwire was famous *before* his bad publicity, but his example still applies in one sense because he has risen above his scandal, apologizing and reentering  baseball as a highly effective hitting coach, first for the 2011 World Series winning St. Louis Cardinals and then for the increasingly-successful Dodgers of Los Angeles - both teams demonstrating powerful hitting during his tenure.  The point is that it is one thing to gain attention for failure, but that infamy can only be turned to advantage by achieving subsequent success.  SNC should be fearless with its PR and confidently expect future success. 

There are many better examples.  Stravinsky and the Rite of Spring.  Orson Wells' Devil's Night broadcast.  Mae West's arrest.  And so on.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/01/2013 03:10 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #61 on: 11/01/2013 03:05 pm »
Too right Ed.

Right now Dream Chaser is destined to end up dead. That's simply the direction congress is taking.

They had nothing to lose yet they chose not to take a risk.

No reward will come.

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #62 on: 11/01/2013 03:18 pm »
Here's a thought for those upset about corporate secrecy. The best way to find out what goes on behind the public face in an aerospace corporation...get a job with them. It will be difficult. It will probably take a while. But it's not impossible (speaking from experience). Then you will probably know all you could ever wanted to.

Oh yeah, keep in mind that 99% of what you will learn you won't be able to discuss with anyone outside of your coworkers around you....

Wait, by working at, say, OSC, I can find out all I want to know about SNC ??? That probably isn't what you meant :)
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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #63 on: 11/01/2013 03:19 pm »
Too right Ed.

Right now Dream Chaser is destined to end up dead. That's simply the direction congress is taking.

They had nothing to lose yet they chose not to take a risk.

No reward will come.
I'm curious. Are you upset because you wanted DC to succeed and you now think they blew it? Or are you on the record as having a different preference weighted toward Dragon or CST?
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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #64 on: 11/01/2013 03:33 pm »
There has been something going around the past few years that promotes going for an 80% solution.  This was promoted by the DoD around 2008-ish, and it may be a continued theme today.  Perhaps has migrated into the NASA culture.

So when you have a new product being developed in this type of environment... management always wins by cutting costs and aiming for 80% solutions.  Engineers always lose because there is never enough time to do everything to stay in budget.  And then afterwards, politics always expects 100% solutions.

When you adopt an 80% solution mentality, you arbitrarily create something I've entitled as "The Anti-Specification".  Although this document is never written and doesn't exist... if it did, it would be an informal/flexible document that tells you everything that you do not have to do.  If this type of document was written, it would be an infinitely long document that could only be printed in the inner bowels of Hades.

So, for the SNC approach/landing demo... I'd bet there was a moment that perhaps went something like this:

Q (prior to the demo):  Do we have to generate full Monte Carlo simulations and gather test data statistics on the reliability of the gear deployment to show a 99.999999% probability of success with a 90% confidence?
A (prior to the demo):  Per Section 12, paragraph 99, hyperlink 29990.1 of the NASA Commercial Crew anti-specification... we don't have to do that.

This type of program is implicitly dripping in risk.
« Last Edit: 11/01/2013 03:37 pm by RigelFive »

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #65 on: 11/01/2013 03:35 pm »
Too right Ed.

Right now Dream Chaser is destined to end up dead. That's simply the direction congress is taking.

They had nothing to lose yet they chose not to take a risk.

No reward will come.
So let me get this right. SNC is spending tens of millions of their own dollars designing and building an orbital vehicle with no guarantee of technical or financial success and yet, according to you, they have taken no risks?

The whole endeavor is a risk!
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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #66 on: 11/01/2013 03:43 pm »
I'm saying they have the Sword of Damocles hanging over their precious tax payer funded jobs.

This was a chance to give nightly news programs something they could show.

You think Proton was on the world stage before it tumbled and went boom? That's not the way it works.

Failures are valuable. You can't just stage a failure for the PR, it has to be genuine.

In other words "you can't buy a failure"  ;)

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #67 on: 11/01/2013 03:56 pm »
Showing the crash would generate more publicity than not showing the crash.  There is no such thing as bad publicity
It's not that simple -- all publicity is "good" if one doesn't care about the nature of the resulting attention.  For example, I'd guess Mark McGwire doesn't think all the attention from the congressional subpoena and his subsequent testimony was "good."  The commercial crew companies weren't selected or funded based on their popularity and it's unlikely that will change in the near-term.
McGwire was famous *before* his bad publicity, but his example still applies in one sense because he has risen above his scandal, apologizing and reentering  baseball as a highly effective hitting coach, first for the 2011 World Series winning St. Louis Cardinals and then for the increasingly-successful Dodgers of Los Angeles - both teams demonstrating powerful hitting during his tenure.
There's also the infamy (well, the baseball infamy).  And the attention that he didn't want, which is why he didn't want to testify.  He probably didn't want his ex-teammate to talk as much; the book that Canseco wrote definitely got a lot of attention for both of them, but it had different outcomes in their cases.

IIRC, he expressed a desire to coach around the time he retired...the attention following his testimony probably made it undesirable to do so for an extended period of time.

There are many better examples.  Stravinsky and the Rite of Spring.  Orson Wells' Devil's Night broadcast.  Mae West's arrest.  And so on.
Can you provide some TV-era and (especially) Internet-era examples?

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #68 on: 11/01/2013 04:20 pm »
Showing the crash would generate more publicity than not showing the crash.  There is no such thing as bad publicity
It's not that simple -- all publicity is "good" if one doesn't care about the nature of the resulting attention.  For example, I'd guess Mark McGwire doesn't think all the attention from the congressional subpoena and his subsequent testimony was "good."  The commercial crew companies weren't selected or funded based on their popularity and it's unlikely that will change in the near-term.
McGwire was famous *before* his bad publicity, but his example still applies in one sense because he has risen above his scandal, apologizing and reentering  baseball as a highly effective hitting coach, first for the 2011 World Series winning St. Louis Cardinals and then for the increasingly-successful Dodgers of Los Angeles - both teams demonstrating powerful hitting during his tenure.  The point is that it is one thing to gain attention for failure, but that infamy can only be turned to advantage by achieving subsequent success.  SNC should be fearless with its PR and confidently expect future success. 

There are many better examples.  Stravinsky and the Rite of Spring.  Orson Wells' Devil's Night broadcast.  Mae West's arrest.  And so on.

 - Ed Kyle
...except success here has basically nothing to do with PR. A Cinderella story wouldn't really help.

If they succeed somehow with PR, it only helps them get better talent. They don't really have commercial customers for Dreamchaser, and if they did, showing a video of the vehicle crashing won't make them feel it's safer than, say, a capsule. (I say that with the assumption that the Dream Chaser crash would've been survivable.)
« Last Edit: 11/01/2013 04:22 pm by Robotbeat »
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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #69 on: 11/01/2013 04:52 pm »
Too right Ed.

Right now Dream Chaser is destined to end up dead. That's simply the direction congress is taking.

They had nothing to lose yet they chose not to take a risk.

No reward will come.
I'm curious. Are you upset because you wanted DC to succeed and you now think they blew it? Or are you on the record as having a different preference weighted toward Dragon or CST?

He's on the record as hating everyone and everything :)  Which is a good thing, someone needs to keep the fan bois honest.
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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #70 on: 11/01/2013 04:58 pm »
I'm saying they have the Sword of Damocles hanging over their precious tax payer funded jobs.

This was a chance to give nightly news programs something they could show.

You think Proton was on the world stage before it tumbled and went boom? That's not the way it works.

Failures are valuable. You can't just stage a failure for the PR, it has to be genuine.

In other words "you can't buy a failure"  ;)
Politicians like Anthony Weiner say there is no such thing as bad press.  So what you are saying is that SNC is like the new Weiner?

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #71 on: 11/01/2013 05:35 pm »

If they succeed somehow with PR, it only helps them get better talent. They don't really have commercial customers for Dreamchaser, and if they did, showing a video of the vehicle crashing won't make them feel it's safer than, say, a capsule. (I say that with the assumption that the Dream Chaser crash would've been survivable.)

Let's say the incident was survivable. SNC says this is the worst that could happen. Normal flights end in a softer landing, similar to say a Lear jet. Then roll tape of the hard landing of the CST-100 on the air bags, or the Dragon bobbing up and down in rough seas. And those are their "normal" landings.

Currently, SNC released a video of the first free flight of DC, to show how much progress they have been making. I'm not really sure how releasing video of the landing would help their cause, unless they wanted to say this stuff is too hard and we quit. I'm sure we will see the video eventually, but only after a couple of successful soft landings.


Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #72 on: 11/01/2013 05:50 pm »
Too right Ed.

Right now Dream Chaser is destined to end up dead. That's simply the direction congress is taking.

They had nothing to lose yet they chose not to take a risk.

No reward will come.
I'm curious. Are you upset because you wanted DC to succeed and you now think they blew it? Or are you on the record as having a different preference weighted toward Dragon or CST?

He's on the record as hating everyone and everything :)  Which is a good thing, someone needs to keep the fan bois honest.

That's not fair. I don't hate LEGO  ;) I can't wait for the movie... whoops off topic.

I don't try to hate space hardware I just tend to get hooked up on the little details like where the money is coming from.

Programs that have less chance of being fully funded have less chance of me being enthusiastic about them.

XCOR Lynx is much more exciting than Dream Chaser because it has a better business case.

Can't bash SNC too much. This is their first real failure to provide public information. They've actually been a bit better than Boeing. Even if they aren't willing to show the crash* it would be nice to see the damage.

*anomaly  ::)

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #73 on: 11/01/2013 07:08 pm »
Politicians like Anthony Weiner say there is no such thing as bad press.
Rimshot aside, whether he said that (or Tweeted it or something else) when he re-entered the public eye, the outcome of his most recent NY mayor candidacy suggests otherwise.  Similar to Gary Hart in an earlier era.

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #74 on: 11/01/2013 07:24 pm »
Politicians like Anthony Weiner say there is no such thing as bad press.
Rimshot aside, whether he said that (or Tweeted it or something else) when he re-entered the public eye, the outcome of his most recent NY mayor candidacy suggests otherwise.  Similar to Gary Hart in an earlier era.

It's actually kind of weird. Weiner was doing OK, then just kind of hit the self-destruct button with another set of bad press. He had actually recovered from the sexting scandal that got him kicked out of Congress.

Of course, there's also Marion Berry who got re-elected as mayor of DC after serving his time for drug offenses.

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #75 on: 11/01/2013 09:32 pm »
Here's a thought for those upset about corporate secrecy. The best way to find out what goes on behind the public face in an aerospace corporation...get a job with them. It will be difficult. It will probably take a while. But it's not impossible (speaking from experience). Then you will probably know all you could ever wanted to.

Oh yeah, keep in mind that 99% of what you will learn you won't be able to discuss with anyone outside of your coworkers around you....

Been there, done that.  After my second layoff, I went back to school for my MBA!

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #76 on: 11/02/2013 04:23 am »
Can you provide some TV-era and (especially) Internet-era examples?
Please don't make me talk about the sex tape era. :)

I can give some rocket examples though. 

The first Ariane 5 failed shortly after launch.  The first Ariane 5 ECA also failed, and in a bad way.  Yet today Ariane 5 ECA sports the world's most reliable commercial bigsat GTO launch record.

In 1957, Thor 101, the first Thor missile, blew up on its launch pad.  The next three Thors also failed.  At the end of that same year, Vanguard TV-3 exploded on its pad when attempting to launch the first U.S. satellite.  In 1958, someone decided to try to combine Thor with Vanguard's second stage to create Thor-Able, which failed on its first attempt.  In 1960, Thor-Able was updated to create Thor-Delta, which, of course, failed on its first attempt.  Thor-Delta (Delta) went on to become one of the world's most successful, versatile, and oft-flown orbital launch vehicles.

Thor was combined with Agena, a spy camera, and a film return capsule for Discoverer/Corona.  The first twelve attempts failed, in every way possible.  Corona finally succeeded.  What it discovered made everyone forget the failures. 

There are other examples.  Russia's R-7 failed often early on, and we know its unmatched record.  The SpaceX story is still playing out, but could repeat the above examples since the first three Falcon 1 launches failed (and a fourth, initial Falcon 1 was destroyed on the ground without ever flying).

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/02/2013 04:30 am by edkyle99 »

Offline dcporter

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #77 on: 11/02/2013 01:32 pm »
Ed you're quoting rockets that overcame bad press, not ones that were helped by it.

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #78 on: 11/02/2013 01:51 pm »
Can you provide some TV-era and (especially) Internet-era examples?
Please don't make me talk about the sex tape era. :)

I can give some rocket examples though. 

The first Ariane 5 failed shortly after launch.  The first Ariane 5 ECA also failed, and in a bad way.  Yet today Ariane 5 ECA sports the world's most reliable commercial bigsat GTO launch record.

In 1957, Thor 101, the first Thor missile, blew up on its launch pad.  The next three Thors also failed.  At the end of that same year, Vanguard TV-3 exploded on its pad when attempting to launch the first U.S. satellite.  In 1958, someone decided to try to combine Thor with Vanguard's second stage to create Thor-Able, which failed on its first attempt.  In 1960, Thor-Able was updated to create Thor-Delta, which, of course, failed on its first attempt.  Thor-Delta (Delta) went on to become one of the world's most successful, versatile, and oft-flown orbital launch vehicles.

Thor was combined with Agena, a spy camera, and a film return capsule for Discoverer/Corona.  The first twelve attempts failed, in every way possible.  Corona finally succeeded.  What it discovered made everyone forget the failures. 

There are other examples.  Russia's R-7 failed often early on, and we know its unmatched record.  The SpaceX story is still playing out, but could repeat the above examples since the first three Falcon 1 launches failed (and a fourth, initial Falcon 1 was destroyed on the ground without ever flying).

 - Ed Kyle

Ed, none of those examples are of commercial human rated spacecraft under development... We have very little to go by apart from launch vehicle failures to set precedence...
« Last Edit: 11/02/2013 01:52 pm by Rocket Science »
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Offline Mader Levap

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #79 on: 11/05/2013 04:11 pm »
Showing the crash would generate more publicity than not showing the crash.  There is no such thing as bad publicity.
Very, very... incorrect. Other already noted that even if this is true, it applies to celebrites only and nowhere else. Various examples given here were about successes achieved despite faliures, not helped by them.

So, nope. This claim is ludicrous.
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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #80 on: 11/05/2013 04:43 pm »
Showing the crash would generate more publicity than not showing the crash.  There is no such thing as bad publicity.
Very, very... incorrect. Other already noted that even if this is true, it applies to celebrites only and nowhere else. Various examples given here were about successes achieved despite faliures, not helped by them.

So, nope. This claim is ludicrous.
There is scholarly research on this subject.  The following paper in the journal of marketing science, for example:

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~sorensen/papers/Negative_Publicity.pdf

asked “Can negative publicity actually have a positive effect?”.  The authors found that while negative reviews of new books by well known authors hurt sales, bad reviews of books by unknown authors had the opposite effect.

SNC is a "new author" in this analogy.  The unseen crash video would be the "bad review" that would help the company - and its project - by increasing awareness of their very existence. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/05/2013 04:45 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline psloss

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #81 on: 11/05/2013 05:04 pm »
asked “Can negative publicity actually have a positive effect?”.  The authors found that while negative reviews of new books by well known authors hurt sales, bad reviews of books by unknown authors had the opposite effect.
If that's the actual question, that's different than the claim there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Can negative publicity have a positive effect?

is different than

How often does negative publicity have a positive effect?

(Add Richie Incognito to the list of exceptions.)

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #82 on: 11/05/2013 05:10 pm »

SNC is a "new author" in this analogy. 

I don't see it that way.

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #83 on: 11/05/2013 06:32 pm »

SNC is a "new author" in this analogy. 

I don't see it that way.
Me either. This seems a particularly weak analogy to me.
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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #84 on: 11/05/2013 07:54 pm »

SNC is a "new author" in this analogy. 

I don't see it that way.
Me either. This seems a particularly weak analogy to me.

It's also worth remembering that Dream Chaser is only one of a large number of products SNC is working on or currently sells.
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #85 on: 11/05/2013 08:22 pm »
It's also worth remembering that Dream Chaser is only one of a large number of products SNC is working on or currently sells.
Exactly!

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #86 on: 11/05/2013 08:57 pm »
I agree with Ed.

Millions of people will only see Dream Chaser for the first time if the crash video was played on their nightly news.

Now it's likely those people will never know about it and it will die quietly anyway.

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #87 on: 11/05/2013 09:07 pm »
Right.  Millions of people's first (and possibly only) exposure to Dream Chaser will be the "crash".  All they will remember from the media report is that NASA paid them millions of dollars for a crashed baby shuttle.  "NASA blows another wad of cash on a failed space program!"

Very few of them will understand the wonderful flight and the achievement it represents.  Only those of us that know better (and don't need to see the end of the video to understand the success) would see it for the success it was.

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #88 on: 11/05/2013 09:14 pm »
I agree with Ed.

Millions of people will only see Dream Chaser for the first time if the crash video was played on their nightly news.

Now it's likely those people will never know about it and it will die quietly anyway.

So what is the expectation if millions of people see the crash video?  Are they going to rise up and write their Senators and Representatives and tell them we really need Dream Chaser?  Not likely.  It would largely have entertainment value for a few moments in the 24 hour news cycle, and probably get lots of hits on Youtube, just as aircraft crash videos do.

I don't see public support as being a mechanism for Dream Chaser's success.  Success will be based upon how well it makes it through the test schedule and if it looks attractive enough from a cost and safety perspective to make it through the next down-select in NASA's eyes. 

Keeping the video out of the public eye probably has more value for SNC as it allows them to focus on the test results and not get distracted by an event that is only marginally related to the ability of Dream Chaser to perform its mission.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #89 on: 11/05/2013 09:16 pm »
"NASA blows another wad of cash on a failed space program!"
Which is exactly how I expect certain senators to present the situation for their own political gain.

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #90 on: 11/05/2013 09:43 pm »
All of you kicking commercial companies and lauding NASA. Well do you remember the Apollo 1 fire? The Apollo 204 Accident Review Board "prohibited members of NASA, the launch crew and anyone connected to the Apollo program from discussing the accident with outsiders".
This was a NASA internal investigation and not a criminal investigation. NASA implemented a blackout. Read this:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1774&dat=19670131&id=bdgeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0WUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4600,7524316

Further more, the Apollo 1 capsule where the accident happened still exist. Never seen it except in photos? No wonder, NASA have it in storage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_1#Remains_of_CM-012
The machine works well.

Offline manboy

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #91 on: 11/06/2013 03:18 am »
Right.  Millions of people's first (and possibly only) exposure to Dream Chaser will be the "crash".  All they will remember from the media report is that NASA paid them millions of dollars for a crashed baby shuttle.  "NASA blows another wad of cash on a failed space program!"

Very few of them will understand the wonderful flight and the achievement it represents.  Only those of us that know better (and don't need to see the end of the video to understand the success) would see it for the success it was.
Good point.
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Online edkyle99

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #92 on: 11/06/2013 04:20 am »
Only those of us that know better (and don't need to see the end of the video to understand the success) would see it for the success it was.
Sure.  As long as you define success as a flight that ends in a crash landing.

Or do you believe there was no crash because you haven't seen it?

 - Ed Kyle

Online kenny008

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #93 on: 11/06/2013 05:53 am »
Of course it crashed. I'm not afraid to use the word. I do believe that it was a success. 100% success?  Nope.  Met almost all of its objectives with hardware and software that will be used in flight?  Probably.
Would seeing the "anomaly" change my opinion or yours?  I highly doubt it.

Offline woods170

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #94 on: 11/06/2013 07:46 am »
Well, I can see there was a clear need for this thread. Summary over the first six pages:
- It still is pretty much Ed's opinion versus those of the rest.
- "Flight was a failure" versus "Flight was mostly succesfull"
- "A crash is good publicity" versus "A crash is bad publicity"
- "SNC should release the crash footage" versus "SNC should not release the crash footage"

Carry on.

Offline Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #95 on: 11/06/2013 08:07 am »
The problem, as I see it, is that the line has been moved, and for suspect reasons.  The old NASA would not have been afraid to show what really happened to DreamChaser.  It would show the failure, then move on and celebrate the subsequent hard-earned successes. 
Ed, your comment above is in direct conflict with Jim's comment below:
This isn't new.  I dealt with this conops of PR for more than 20 years both as a contractor and as a govt employee.  Spacehab followed this MO and NASA commercial launches have been that way for longer.

How do you reconcile both points of view? Is Jim wrong/exaggerating? Or have you just not been aware of where the line has always been?
From reading this forum over the years, my impression is that the line has not moved, but rather that with the advent of multiple "NewSpace" companies in the last decade, the line has become a lot more obvious.

// End of my two cents
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Online LouScheffer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #96 on: 11/06/2013 10:47 pm »

When you adopt an 80% solution mentality, you arbitrarily create something I've entitled as "The Anti-Specification".  Although this document is never written and doesn't exist... if it did, it would be an informal/flexible document that tells you everything that you do not have to do


Sometimes this document *does* exist.  IBM credited part of the success of the 360 line of computers to this document.   The 360 was a computer family, and a program that ran on any model should run on any other model without changes.  That was the specification, and it told in detail what each instruction should do.

There was also an explicit anti-specification, which specified what operations did *not* need to be consistent across implementations.  For example, if your program divides by zero, what is left in the register is explicitly undefined.  If a string extends out of memory, you might or might not get an interrupt.  There is an instruction called "DIAGNOSE" to help diagnose the hardware, and it is explicitly allowed to return whatever results it wants.  And so on.  By explicitly allowing undefined result in these odd cases, the implementor of each model could implement the real specification more efficiently.

Offline AJW

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #97 on: 11/07/2013 01:30 am »
I may have missed the comparison, but SpaceX only released a photo of the CASSIOPE first stage taken moments before hitting the water and there wasn't this outpouring of demands to see the post-impact images.  Same arguments can be made that the water impact was outside the actual flight requirements. 

Online edkyle99

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #98 on: 11/07/2013 02:26 am »
The problem, as I see it, is that the line has been moved, and for suspect reasons.  The old NASA would not have been afraid to show what really happened to DreamChaser.  It would show the failure, then move on and celebrate the subsequent hard-earned successes. 
Ed, your comment above is in direct conflict with Jim's comment below:
This isn't new.  I dealt with this conops of PR for more than 20 years both as a contractor and as a govt employee.  Spacehab followed this MO and NASA commercial launches have been that way for longer.

How do you reconcile both points of view? Is Jim wrong/exaggerating? Or have you just not been aware of where the line has always been?
From reading this forum over the years, my impression is that the line has not moved, but rather that with the advent of multiple "NewSpace" companies in the last decade, the line has become a lot more obvious.

// End of my two cents
The difference is that now, for the first time, basic information is being withheld - a landing video censored - about a potential crew launch system. 

But even when it comes to unmanned systems, didn't we see vivid video of the commercial - and even of the government - launch failures of the late 1990s?  Didn't we watch that foam hit that wing about 10,000 times?  Didn't we all have that ensuring conversation where we all asked the hard question about whether Shuttle should ever fly again, and then decide based on a wealth of information provided by an Agency that did not censor?

You have to understand that when I raise this question about the Dream Chaser censoring, it isn't just about Dream Chaser.  It is about every launch and landing and mission by every system and every provider in the future.  If the majority is happy to object when someone calls for unleashing the horror of a video of an unmanned test vehicle flipping off a runway at speed, what other censoring will they demand when it comes to civil space exploration?  That is simply not the U.S. space program that I want to support.  If it is all subject to redaction, why bother?

 - Ed Kyle       
« Last Edit: 11/07/2013 02:29 am by edkyle99 »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #99 on: 11/07/2013 03:06 am »
Please don't abuse the word "censor". They're not censoring anyone.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online RonM

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #100 on: 11/07/2013 03:13 am »
You have to understand that when I raise this question about the Dream Chaser censoring, it isn't just about Dream Chaser.  It is about every launch and landing and mission by every system and every provider in the future.  If the majority is happy to object when someone calls for unleashing the horror of a video of an unmanned test vehicle flipping off a runway at speed, what other censoring will they demand when it comes to civil space exploration?  That is simply not the U.S. space program that I want to support.  If it is all subject to redaction, why bother?   

This is what you get when you privatize the space program. The information is no longer public. Companies could even keep discoveries secret as private research if they want. In the future, if a company went to Mars, they would not be required to tell the public anything. I'm sure they would show some pretty pictures for PR, but they could keep everything else private to maintain a competitive edge on future colonization. It's how capitalism works.

Online eeergo

Well, I can see there was a clear need for this thread. Summary over the first six pages:
- It still is pretty much Ed's opinion versus those of the rest.
[...]
Carry on.


Actually no, there have been many people, including myself, aligning with Ed's take on this issue. The "good publicity" discussion is something I don't view as central, and so I haven't participated on that, but that doesn't mean I agree with the -IMO- simplistic view of "it's the way law/corporate interests/capitalism work; therefore we don't have, and shouldn't have, a say".

As interested parties, we should be the ones seeking further releases of information. We shouldn't be justifying any censorship (I also believe the word to be accurate*) or spin a company may judge to their interests to apply on the information it controls, even if warranted in strict legalistic terms. And indeed, I feel in many cases here, if it was NASA withholding information, the situation suddenly wouldn't be so acceptable (not necessarily your case Woods, just picked your post because it assumed some of us who commented earlier had just changed opinion)

+1 to Ed's latest post, by the way :)

*to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable
« Last Edit: 11/07/2013 04:15 am by eeergo »
-DaviD-

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #102 on: 11/07/2013 06:18 am »
Let us suppose I own "United Boxed Lunch Company" and I win a contract to supply microgravity meals to the ISS.

Just for fun I occasionally have a camera on  in the Sandwich Testing Room, to placate certain anoraks who are really into sandwichspotting. Once in awhile, a large container of mustard is spilled. We turn the camera off, clean up and when we are ready, we get back to work. We are periodically checked by health inspectors as well as NASA's own contract management personnel to make certain that our boxed lunches fall within guidelines.

But certain parts of the population are upset. "That sandwich belongs to the United States of America! We want to know where the mustard fell, what solvents were used to clean it, and the minutes of the meeting for the Commitee to Prevent Future Mustard Spills. This is a government program and therefore these boxed lunches and the means to go about making them, are just as public as the inner workings of a Navy galley.

Now the United Boxed Lunch Company has other customers, and it has a reputation to protect. It has done its job, and shareholders do not want it to be the sourse of blooper reels on television and "Fail blogs" on streaming media. Likewise they do not want to be part of a congressional hearing on Condiment Contamination when the congressman from the next state over, whose Standard Ham and Cheese did not win the contract, has a pork flavoured ax to grind.

What to do, what to do.

(edited to correct spelling)

There's an important difference between making sandwiches and developing a new aerospace plane -- sandwiches are a well-known technology that is in production with a track record.  If I want to buy a sandwich, I can make that decision based on the company's track record.

With Commercial Crew, the taxpayer is paying for a risky, speculative development program.  There's no way to know in advance if it will succeed.  So there is much more of a legitimate desire for details about how the program is progressing.

Personally, I think SNC is making a mistake in not releasing the video and/or more detailed information about the crash.  I think any negatives from people seeing it are outweighed by the goodwill it engenders for their being transparent.

SpaceX also hasn't released the video of their F9v1.1 first stage crashing into the Pacific, so SNC is not alone.  If either one releases the video, it would count in their favor with me with respect to future government contracts.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #103 on: 11/07/2013 06:31 am »
It's a different environment now Ed. This is not NASA where the general public owns the information. This is corporate and the rules are different. The corporations own the information, not the public. That’s in all the contracts those companies signed with NASA and NASA agreed to guard all corporate proprietary information. We have all been spoiled over the years by all the free flow of information from NASA but unlike NASA, all this information is proprietary and releasable only as the companies see fit. That goes even for those programs that are financed with public tax dollars so long as those dollars did not have public disclosure clauses attached. In the case of *ALL* the Commercial Crew applicants, there was no such clause. To the contrary, each company was promised that all its data would be held as proprietary. Each company has the legal right to not disclose anything it wants, regardless of funding source.

Those are the rules.

BTW I also grew up watching live coverage, beginning with the Vanguard failure. I also feel the information flow difference – very much. But it’s a different world now; time to adapt.

Nobody is arguing that they are violating the current law.  What people have been arguing is that what they are doing is:

1) Putting SNC's own interests above those of the country as a whole.  This might be understandable, but it's also perfectly reasonable for people to complain about this and dislike them for it.

2) Might actually not even been in SNC's own best interests because it annoys some people and blows a chance to earn goodwill.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #104 on: 11/07/2013 06:41 am »
At least we have some idea what progress SNC is making. Other CCDev companies like Blue Origin and Excaliber Almaz haven't released much info at all, although I think they are still working on their own set of CCDev 2 milestones.

That's a good point.  SNC, SpaceX, and Boeing have all been much more transparent than Blue Origin or Excaliber Almaz, and I give them credit for that.  I can still wish they would be a little more transparent, though.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #105 on: 11/07/2013 06:47 am »
It doesn't have to be corporate secrets.    Propriety just means the company owns the information.  If they don't want to release the crash because they feel the crash portion might reflect poorly on them, then it is their call or because they say so.   It isn't their problem that you have one with their policy.
Fair enough, but I will continue to believe that it reflects more poorly on them to withhold the crash video than it would to share the crash video.  (My underlining above.)

 - Ed Kyle

To you, and probably many of us, it does.  But to the less informed and/or more powerful, it may well be evidence that could be used against them.  If the engineering and science communities were the only audience, the'd probably release it.

The general public has no idea what Dream Chaser, SNC, or CCiCap are.  If they see a video of DC crashing, they're not going to call up their Congressional representatives and ask for funding to be withheld.  They're never going to know or care about their representatives' votes on the issue.

The only people whose opinions can have any effect whatsoever on SNC are well enough informed that transparency is going to affect them positively more than seeing the crash will affect them negatively.

Offline Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #106 on: 11/07/2013 08:09 am »
The difference is that now, for the first time, basic information is being withheld - a landing video censored - about a potential crew launch system. 
You didn't really answer my question. Jim stated that even 20 years ago SpaceHab also withheld what you like to call "basic information". In other words, there appears to be evidence that this is not, as you say, "the first time".
Quote
But even when it comes to unmanned systems, didn't we see vivid video of the commercial - and even of the government - launch failures of the late 1990s?
You're cherry-picking: we still see government launch failures. Have you not seen the Morpheus Moon lander crash?
Also, the rocket failures (e.g. Delta II and III) happened during live broadcasts of their launches. We would still all get to see a F9 explode as F9 launches are also broadcast live. Nothing has changed.
« Last Edit: 11/07/2013 08:10 am by Garrett »
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #107 on: 11/07/2013 11:06 am »
We shouldn't be justifying any censorship (I also believe the word to be accurate*)

..

*to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable

The definition you linked to even says you're wrong.

They're not suppressing anything. It's not censorship for me to refuse to tell you my credit card number. It's mine.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #108 on: 11/07/2013 01:08 pm »
With the commercial crew program, NASA is just a client. It doesn't own the hardware or the IP. SNC gets government money just as any other company that sells to the government but NASA doesn't own any shares in SNC. SNC is allowed to disclose whatever they want.

Offline woods170

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #109 on: 11/07/2013 01:24 pm »
It's a different environment now Ed. This is not NASA where the general public owns the information. This is corporate and the rules are different. The corporations own the information, not the public. That’s in all the contracts those companies signed with NASA and NASA agreed to guard all corporate proprietary information. We have all been spoiled over the years by all the free flow of information from NASA but unlike NASA, all this information is proprietary and releasable only as the companies see fit. That goes even for those programs that are financed with public tax dollars so long as those dollars did not have public disclosure clauses attached. In the case of *ALL* the Commercial Crew applicants, there was no such clause. To the contrary, each company was promised that all its data would be held as proprietary. Each company has the legal right to not disclose anything it wants, regardless of funding source.

Those are the rules.

BTW I also grew up watching live coverage, beginning with the Vanguard failure. I also feel the information flow difference – very much. But it’s a different world now; time to adapt.

Nobody is arguing that they are violating the current law.  What people have been arguing is that what they are doing is:

1) Putting SNC's own interests above those of the country as a whole.  This might be understandable, but it's also perfectly reasonable for people to complain about this and dislike them for it.
That is what almost every company does: put it's own interests above those of the country. We live in a capitalist world remember. "What's good for the country" only becomes interesting if a company can make some good money out it.

2) Might actually not even been in SNC's own best interests because it annoys some people and blows a chance to earn goodwill.

It only blows goodwill with those groups and people who have no guiding influence on the commercial crew program. SNC couldn't care less about those groups. SNC is there to provide a service to an organization that requested such a service. And yes, along the way SNC hopes to make a profit out of it. That is what they do. To them, a bunch of upset folks over at NSF.com are of no interest what so ever.

Offline JAC

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #110 on: 11/07/2013 07:05 pm »
I may have missed the comparison, but SpaceX only released a photo of the CASSIOPE first stage taken moments before hitting the water and there wasn't this outpouring of demands to see the post-impact images.  Same arguments can be made that the water impact was outside the actual flight requirements.
Not sure how much government money have gone into Falcon 9 1.1. But fore sure they didn't ONLY pay for developing Dragon. Let's go and force Elon to give back every nickel unless he releases the video of the first stage crashing into the sea!!!  ???
The machine works well.

Online eeergo

We shouldn't be justifying any censorship (I also believe the word to be accurate*)

..

*to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable

The definition you linked to even says you're wrong.

They're not suppressing anything. It's not censorship for me to refuse to tell you my credit card number. It's mine.



This discussion is semantic and using the word "censorship" versus "spin", "tergiversation", "manipulation" or other close relatives doesn't change anything in the bottom-line concept I was trying to convey.

However, and just for the sake of the dialectics: I don't see how the dictionary link I used "says I'm wrong". But just in case you'd like a less ambiguous, clearer term to apply to this situation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-censorship . I hope you intended your credit card example just to be a hyperbole, because obviously the release of a meaningless number (except for using it against you) in an unspecified context doesn't compare to the careful removal of an important piece of basic information from a press release for a high-visibility, partly-subsidized program.
-DaviD-

Online eeergo

With the commercial crew program, NASA is just a client. It doesn't own the hardware or the IP. SNC gets government money just as any other company that sells to the government but NASA doesn't own any shares in SNC. SNC is allowed to disclose whatever they want.

Again, just picking a single post to answer, out of the several that share the view of "this is how capitalism works, legally they're within their rights, therefore they may do with the information whatever they want".

Capitalism doesn't come with hard commandments. You can just abide by the legalistic, there's-nothing-but-profits view (system I wouldn't want to live in) or see it as something with more hues. To use my analogy from a few posts back, probably strictly legally BP didn't have to publically disclose its methods for combatting the Deepwater Horizon's spills. However, public pressure on a high-visibility program with ramifications in society made them do it - within reasonable limits, nobody was asking for the code that drove the submersibles!

This is a scaled-back, similar situation: a subsidized program with high visibility in which, even if not justified by the contract terms alone, a fairer release of information may be reasonable to ask by the interested public. If applied to all companies in such a situation, it would set up a healthy corporate pratice, show transparency in both successes and failures, and wouldn't hurt their businesses in the long run. Not seeking honest accountability, especially from our interested public's point of view, will only lead to less transparency.
-DaviD-

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #113 on: 11/07/2013 08:00 pm »
Taken from this document.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/national_space_policy_6-28-10.pdf

Quote
It is the shared interest of all nations to act responsibly in space to help prevent mishaps, misperceptions, and mistrust .The United States considers the sustainability, stability, and free access
to, and use of, space vital to its national interests .Space operations should be conducted in
ways that emphasize openness and transparency to improve public awareness of the activities
of government, and enable others to share in the benefits provided by the use of space .

To me that's interesting. I've already stated my opinion and this seems to align with that.

Offline woods170

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #114 on: 11/07/2013 08:20 pm »
Taken from this document.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/national_space_policy_6-28-10.pdf

Quote
It is the shared interest of all nations to act responsibly in space to help prevent mishaps, misperceptions, and mistrust .The United States considers the sustainability, stability, and free access
to, and use of, space vital to its national interests .Space operations should be conducted in
ways that emphasize openness and transparency to improve public awareness of the activities
of government, and enable others to share in the benefits provided by the use of space .

To me that's interesting. I've already stated my opinion and this seems to align with that.

Private companies are not bound by this kind of public policy at all, as long as they stay within the confines of what is legal.
« Last Edit: 11/07/2013 08:22 pm by woods170 »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #115 on: 11/07/2013 08:25 pm »
I hope you intended your credit card example just to be a hyperbole, because obviously the release of a meaningless number (except for using it against you) in an unspecified context

That's exactly how SNC sees the video of their landing gear not working.

I don't know what you're having trouble understanding here, so I'll just repeat a little more briskly what has already been said:

It's SNC's video, they don't have to show you any of it. Be happy you got to see anything at all.

This is a courtesy and you're not being very gracious. They don't even have to provide video to NASA. We could be reading a redacted 30 page pdf instead.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #116 on: 11/07/2013 08:40 pm »
Private companies are not bound by this kind of public policy at all, as long as they stay within the confines of what is legal.

Must have been a misperception or a mistrust.  ;)
« Last Edit: 11/07/2013 08:40 pm by spectre9 »

Online eeergo

I hope you intended your credit card example just to be a hyperbole, because obviously the release of a meaningless number (except for using it against you) in an unspecified context

That's exactly how SNC sees the video of their landing gear not working.

I don't know what you're having trouble understanding here, so I'll just repeat a little more briskly what has already been said:

It's SNC's video, they don't have to show you any of it. Be happy you got to see anything at all.

This is a courtesy and you're not being very gracious. They don't even have to provide video to NASA. We could be reading a redacted 30 page pdf instead.


I think I made it pretty clear in my long posts above that I understood very well what their contractual responsibilities are. That doesn't mean I agree with them, that I am happy with the amount of released information, and they way they did it, and that I wouldn't like that to be changed. Not believing I'm *entitled* to, but just believing it's the right course of action. On the other hand, this doesn't detract from the fact that I *am* grateful for the level of transparency they provide - but I and others around here think that it is neither enough nor well-oriented, via the tergiversation and self-censorship of their release. This applies to SNC and other companies in similar situations. Again, for being subsidized companies undertaking a high-visibility program.

The (IMO) well-reasoned and broad argumentations some of us are putting forward supporting this line of thought have been so far, for the most part and with respectable exceptions, brushed aside with authoritarian one-liners, legalistic nitpicking, not-so-subtle black-or-white arguments ("this is how capitalism works, be with it or against it" is a particularly aggressive example) and semantic diversions.

And no, your credit card number is a neutral numeric item of data that can only be used for one purpose (namely using money from your account) not alike in the least to ommitting a relevant graphical record of part of DC's maiden flight for tergiversation purposes.
« Last Edit: 11/07/2013 09:07 pm by eeergo »
-DaviD-

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #118 on: 11/07/2013 09:48 pm »
It's not a mystery what happened after touchdown. I'm glad SNC isn't releasing the juicy disaster footage.

It looks like some people are treating space travel as NASCAR: going mostly to watch the destruction...
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #119 on: 11/07/2013 09:56 pm »
I think I made it pretty clear in my long posts above that I understood very well what their contractual responsibilities are. That doesn't mean I agree with them, that I am happy with the amount of released information, and they way they did it, and that I wouldn't like that to be changed.

Your agreement is neither requested nor required.

Quote from: eeergo
Not believing I'm *entitled* to, but just believing it's the right course of action.

They disagree, and it's their video.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #120 on: 11/07/2013 09:58 pm »
It's not a mystery what happened after touchdown. I'm glad SNC isn't releasing the juicy disaster footage.

It looks like some people are treating space travel as NASCAR: going mostly to watch the destruction...
And make sure they have multiple angles in the footage...  :D
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #121 on: 11/07/2013 09:59 pm »
Sometimes I wonder what the ultimate goal is, what people are truly asking for.

Ed early in the thread (or the other thread) posted an example video of the first drop test of Enterprise. But was all data collected in that test made public at the time, even though it was a NASA project? No. But we got to see a video... So I guess that makes it OK? That's enough to satisfy our curiosity? Just a video?

Sometimes I do wonder if (as Robotbeat pointed out) we are just dealing with a very superficial NASCAR "oh boy I hope I get to see it" mentality. 

Online eeergo


Your agreement is neither requested nor required.

Quote from: eeergo
Not believing I'm *entitled* to, but just believing it's the right course of action.

They disagree, and it's their video.


Well, since you appear to be pretty bright in other threads, I will assume you're deliberately refusing to discuss the more far-reaching arguments that me and others have brought forward in this thread about the ethical implications of this lack of openness.

Very well, but I see that as quite a simplistic reasoning that, fortunately, society as a whole doesn't appear to agree with, or otherwise private enterprises would be getting away with much more than they already do.

It's not a mystery what happened after touchdown. I'm glad SNC isn't releasing the juicy disaster footage.

It looks like some people are treating space travel as NASCAR: going mostly to watch the destruction...

Not at all. The argumentations are there to read, I would ask you not to reduce them to "morbid interest".
-DaviD-

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #123 on: 11/07/2013 10:26 pm »
Well, since you appear to be pretty bright in other threads, I will assume you're deliberately refusing to discuss the more far-reaching arguments that me and others have brought forward in this thread about the ethical implications of this lack of openness.

.. or I simply don't think there are any ethical implications. So far you've failed to present arguments for any.

Quote from: eeergo
Very well, but I see that as quite a simplistic reasoning that, fortunately, society as a whole doesn't appear to agree with, or otherwise private enterprises would be getting away with much more than they already do.

Do tell.

Here's an idea, why don't you go start your own company and run it with your ethical openness? See how far you get.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online eeergo


.. or I simply don't think there are any ethical implications. So far you've failed to present arguments for any.


Well, if these (just to pick a few) aren't valid arguments for ethical implications...
(shortened for brevity, in context they read much better)

Quote
[...]just releasing the bare minimum the contract stipulates, or more than that but contorted to suit corporate interests, is quite a selfish way to run high-profile programs such as these, more so when they are majoritarily funded by public money.

We are talking about showing an honest, balanced summary of their progress, not their production secrets or technical specifications[...]

Indeed, PR spin can backfire just as easily as it can lead to benefitial results for said company. [...]
I really don't think this secretive, tergiversing behaviour from private enterprises should be seen as something positive, or even neutral, much less when they have large public investment.

[...]see British Petroleum's situation in the Deepwater event - of course they would like to have kept everything in the dark, and of course they would have been within their right as long as they showed progress to responsible officials - but public pressure also counts). It's a matter of business ethics and openness towards the interested public, who also happens to be an investor.[...]

Complacency on narrowing information releases, especially coming from interested public such as people in this forum, will only lead to less openness, not more.

Capitalism doesn't come with hard commandments. You can just abide by the legalistic, there's-nothing-but-profits view (system I wouldn't want to live in) or see it as something with more hues.

[…] I feel in many cases here, if it was NASA withholding information, the situation suddenly wouldn't be so acceptable. […]

*quote author=edkyle99*

The difference is that now, for the first time, basic information is being withheld - a landing video censored - about a potential crew launch system. 
[...] If the majority is happy to object when someone calls for unleashing the horror of a video of an unmanned test vehicle flipping off a runway at speed, what other censoring will they demand when it comes to civil space exploration?  That is simply not the U.S. space program that I want to support.  If it is all subject to redaction, why bother?     

*quote author=ChrisWilson68*


1) Putting SNC's own interests above those of the country as a whole.  This might be understandable, but it's also perfectly reasonable for people to complain about this and dislike them for it.

2) Might actually not even been in SNC's own best interests because it annoys some people and blows a chance to earn goodwill.

-------


Here's an idea, why don't you go start your own company and run it with your ethical openness? See how far you get.


Since it's harder (in principle), this means balanced, honest and open releases should be avoided, and it's not something reasonable to ask for? Shouldn't goals be loftier? At least I would like to be a part of a world that aims towards that, not tergiversation for short-term profit.

By the way, if this treatment of information is a strategic diversion to avoid a short-term circumstance, I would be fine with it, as long as it eventually gets released in a reasonable timeframe. But I don't think this is the case - as hasn't been in the past.
« Last Edit: 11/07/2013 11:15 pm by eeergo »
-DaviD-

Online LouScheffer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #125 on: 11/07/2013 11:20 pm »
I worked in the semiconductor industry for many years, and folks were more than willing to talk about their failures.  By helping others in the field avoid the same mistake, you would increase the size of the overall pie.  The bigger pie would help you more than the incremental gain in reputation from concealing your mistake.

By this standard, the failure report is much more important than the video.  Anyone know if the plan to/are required to publish this?

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #126 on: 11/07/2013 11:34 pm »
Since it's harder (in principle), this means balanced, honest and open releases should be avoided, and it's not something reasonable to ask for? Shouldn't goals be loftier? At least I would like to be a part of a world that aims towards that, not tergiversation for short-term profit.

It's not "harder" to release a video of your vehicle flipping over and scraping down the runway so that it can be played on the six o'clock news and become the defining image of your program, if not your whole company, it's stupid.

Quote from: eeergo
By the way, if this treatment of information is a strategic diversion to avoid a short-term circumstance, I would be fine with it, as long as it eventually gets released in a reasonable timeframe. But I don't think this is the case - as hasn't been in the past.

What are you talking about? The "information" has been released already.

As I said, the video is nothing more than a courtesy - one which you're spitting back at them. For those of us who would like to continue receiving such courtesy your behavior is deplorable. When someone gives you a gift, you say thank you. You don't bag them for leaving out the part which makes them look bad to people who don't know better.. and those who should.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online Chris Bergin

I think some people are still losing focus on what this test was all about. It was not a test of the landing gear, it was a test of the ETA's ability to fly and approach.

If the video was released, the crashy part would be the only segment shown in the mass media and Joe Public would be saying "Ooopsee! That went really badly!"

That reaction would be wrong, per the milestones of what this flight was actually about.

As space flight fans (which the vast majority of us are here, as we're a space flight specific site), we all desperately want to see commercial crew be successful, regardless of what vehicle ends up being selected. If not seeing that video released helps that goal, by nature of it removing a negative image of what is a good program, then that's more than fine by me.

Offline Paul Howard

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #128 on: 11/08/2013 03:44 am »
I think some people are still losing focus on what this test was all about. It was not a test of the landing gear, it was a test of the ETA's ability to fly and approach.

If the video was released, the crashy part would be the only segment shown in the mass media and Joe Public would be saying "Ooopsee! That went really badly!"

That reaction would be wrong, per the milestones of what this flight was actually about.

As space flight fans (which the vast majority of us are here, as we're a space flight specific site), we all desperately want to see commercial crew be successful, regardless of what vehicle ends up being selected. If not seeing that video released helps that goal, by nature of it removing a negative image of what is a good program, then that's more than fine by me.

Sorry, but if you have the video, and I suspect you do, then it's your job as a journalist to publish. I'll even join L2 if you put it there as that's worth paying for.

Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #129 on: 11/08/2013 03:48 am »

Sorry, but if you have the video, and I suspect you do, then it's your job as a journalist to publish. I'll even join L2 if you put it there as that's worth paying for.

That is simply not true.  Chris has no obligation to publish it and has withheld other similar videos in the past

Online Chris Bergin

I think some people are still losing focus on what this test was all about. It was not a test of the landing gear, it was a test of the ETA's ability to fly and approach.

If the video was released, the crashy part would be the only segment shown in the mass media and Joe Public would be saying "Ooopsee! That went really badly!"

That reaction would be wrong, per the milestones of what this flight was actually about.

As space flight fans (which the vast majority of us are here, as we're a space flight specific site), we all desperately want to see commercial crew be successful, regardless of what vehicle ends up being selected. If not seeing that video released helps that goal, by nature of it removing a negative image of what is a good program, then that's more than fine by me.

Sorry, but if you have the video, and I suspect you do, then it's your job as a journalist to publish. I'll even join L2 if you put it there as that's worth paying for.

Ok, so I'm pretty much on a 24 hour day (with naps ;D) and half way through an Orion article, but I've got to address this one and address it right now - because there's so many things wrong with that post.....

Firstly, it's my job to report news. When I report news it goes through the obvious process of fact checking, which includes viability to publish. There's several branches on that particular tree, most of which - especially when you're your own editor - are down to your own principles.

Principles aren't in a handbook or a manual, most of them come from experience, personal attitude and how you were trained. A lot of writers will tell you their first editor was pretty much their teacher, with my first editor being an old school, hard nosed editor (mass media too), who drummed it into my head on the importance of responsibility. "Loose talk costs lives" was his favorite saying.

Now I'm never going to be one of the top reporters for space flight news and I'm certainly not going to win any awards for writing style, but I've got a large audience as we tend to publish interesting - and different to what's already out there - articles, along with building a writer pool that has brought a lot of young talent into the mix. One of our main angles is we care about the vehicles....heck, we call half of them "shes" as if they are alive (orbiters were ;)) but we also care about the engineers and techs who work on them.

Read my post above about why I agree the video shouldn't be shown and tell me if you think I'd be doing "the right thing" by then publishing additional footage for the sake of a scoop? Not only would I damage SNC, I'd risk throwing away all relationships with the companies that we've been building for years....and heck, someone might even lose their career over it! I'm simply not going to ever risk that knowingly and no scoop is worth potential damage to a company I've covering! (PS I don't have an uploadable version of the video, but you can bet if I was BSing about the above, it would not be too hard to change that).

This isn't some SNC group hug. I was actually very annoyed with them over a non response earlier in the year, so this isn't back scratching, this is about sticking to editorial principles - which we've done a number of times, including turning down an ad deal that would have paid for the servers for a full year, given it had editorial caveats.

And per "I'd join L2 for that". We're not selling content here. I know, some people will join L2 for things we have in there, but the absolute founding principle of L2 is for people to support the site's costs and in return gain access to a ringfenced area that has something like 6,000gbs of content in there, which we'd never be able to allow site wide access to, otherwise the site would cost too much money to keep up in bandwidth etc.

I could go on, but it's late and I've got to get back to the Orion article.

#annoyed ;)

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #131 on: 11/08/2013 05:44 am »
I don't like the implication that private companies working on NASA programs don't have to follow national space policy.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #132 on: 11/08/2013 06:10 am »
I don't like the implication that private companies working on NASA programs don't have to follow national space policy.

It's pretty amazing to see how people think that information is flowing freely just because they get to see a video of something.

Online zodiacchris

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #133 on: 11/08/2013 06:21 am »
As this appears to be a ranting and raving thread, I'll add my five cents worth:

If they don't want to publish it, it is SNC's right not to. Their craft, their test, their mishap! We know the test article flared, touched down and then either flipped or rolled when swerving off the runway. Some bits fell off and others got bend, it can be rebuilt. So what if you can't see it on video? Go on YouTube and you will be able to see crashes to your hearts desire, if you can stomach that...

Just because the government does put money into the vehicle development doesn't mean it needs to be shown, NASA doesn't show everything and other agencies like the NSA are known to be rather frakked of if somebody goes public with their tax paid information.

I respect Chris for keeping a good balance between reporting and confidentiality, and that he doesn't get swayed by this childish 'But I want, want, want to see the video, I am deprived of my rights as taxpayer'.

Get a life guys!  ;D


Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #134 on: 11/08/2013 06:39 am »
As this appears to be a ranting and raving thread, I'll add my five cents worth:

this childish 'But I want, want, want to see the video, I am deprived of my rights as taxpayer'.

Get a life guys!  ;D

Many people have been strongly expressing their opinions here, but so far most have managed to be respectful of people who disagree with them.  Let's not lose that.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #135 on: 11/08/2013 07:22 am »
I don't like the implication that private companies working on NASA programs don't have to follow national space policy.

It's pretty amazing to see how people think that information is flowing freely just because they get to see a video of something.

So what's the difference between "NASA space policy" and "United States space policy". Does it apply to NASA or does it apply to all spaceflight?

Is it simply a recommendation when they say "Space operations should be conducted in
ways that emphasize openness and transparency..." and really it should have "but only if it's good, never show the bad" tagged on?

I'm not ranting and raving. I'm discussing real policy of the U.S. government here.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2013 07:22 am by spectre9 »

Offline woods170

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #136 on: 11/08/2013 07:29 am »
I don't like the implication that private companies working on NASA programs don't have to follow national space policy.

Then don't like it. But you better get used to it. Because that's how this particular program operates. That's how the rules for this program were laid down.

On another notion: some folks here have implied that SNC should show the crash because the program is funded with taxpayers dollars. That's a wrong assumption. The work done by the commercial crew competitors is only PARTIALLY funded with taxpayers dollars. These companies are also inputting very substantial amounts of their own money. This is the same MO as applied to the COTS program that resulted in CRS. An example was recently given by some president of some CRS company out of some west-coast US state. They inputted over 400 million US dollars of their own money and additionally received almost 370 million US dollars of funds from NASA.

Offline woods170

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #137 on: 11/08/2013 07:31 am »
I don't like the implication that private companies working on NASA programs don't have to follow national space policy.

It's pretty amazing to see how people think that information is flowing freely just because they get to see a video of something.

So what's the difference between "NASA space policy" and "United States space policy". Does it apply to NASA or does it apply to all spaceflight?

Is it simply a recommendation when they say "Space operations should be conducted in
ways that emphasize openness and transparency..." and really it should have "but only if it's good, never show the bad" tagged on?

I'm not ranting and raving. I'm discussing real policy of the U.S. government here.

Emphasis mine.
Please take your discussion to the space policy section of this forum. Because this thread is NOT about space policy but about Commercial Crew Information release.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #138 on: 11/08/2013 07:42 am »
Then the whole thread needs to move.

Information release is a part of space policy.

I'm done anyway. I've stated my opinion or what things mean and I think SNC is in the wrong. It might be their right to do what they like but in my opinion they're going against the national space policy by withholding the full footage.

Offline Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #139 on: 11/08/2013 09:38 am »
... but in my opinion they're going against the national space policy by withholding the full footage.
and that would be the national space policy of which country? Spectre9-land?  :P
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Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #140 on: 11/08/2013 10:51 am »
[
So what's the difference between "NASA space policy" and "United States space policy". Does it apply to NASA or does it apply to all spaceflight?
.

One is just a civilian part of the US govt, the other covers all: military, civil, commercial, private, gov't, etc.    There is no over arching policy that covers everything.   Commercial and private entities are not bound by policy dictated by the gov't (except for FAA regulations and those under contract to NASA).

If NASA didn't pay for the landing test or video, then it is not NASA's call.

national space policy by withholding the full footage.

There is no "national space policy" that they are bound to.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2013 10:59 am by Jim »

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #141 on: 11/08/2013 11:17 am »
Thanks Jim. My argument was inaccurate.

I have nothing further to add.

Offline ChefPat

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #142 on: 11/08/2013 12:05 pm »

Now I'm never going to be one of the top reporters for space flight news and I'm certainly not going to win any awards for writing style
I have to disagree here. Your excellent, in depth coverage coverage of the CCP is unique anywhere on the planet & will in time be recognized as such. In the not too distant future I'll bet.
I know for a fact that other news organizations & authors come to NSF for information. That's because you're informed, correct & first in nearly all events concerning space flight.
Playing Politics with Commercial Crew is Un-American!!!

Offline Lar

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #143 on: 11/08/2013 01:36 pm »

Now I'm never going to be one of the top reporters for space flight news and I'm certainly not going to win any awards for writing style

I disagree with this as well, this site is superb.

Principles aren't in a handbook or a manual, most of them come from experience, personal attitude and how you were trained. A lot of writers will tell you their first editor was pretty much their teacher, with my first editor being an old school, hard nosed editor (mass media too), who drummed it into my head on the importance of responsibility. "Loose talk costs lives" was his favorite saying.

He taught you well. Please continue sticking to your principles.

But stop with the 24 hour shifts, you're going to kill yourself, and then what are we going to do for news???
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online eeergo

Chris, by the above discussion I wasn't suggesting you were the one at fault by sitting on the video. In fact, it speaks very positively of your jornalistic integrity, in my opinion, that you don't release everything that gets in your hand, but that you weigh the consequences very carefully, both for your future interests and those of the people involved. Even if means losing exclusives that you could have published many days before others, as I'm sure has happened in the past! I think that is rare nowadays, and what makes this site so valuable for many of us.

This behaviour is actually kind of what some of us have advocated for in this thread. Prioritizing ethics and common responsibility to bare profits. In your case, I honestly think you work hard with that ideal in mind, even if you also have to run an expensive enterprise with very few ways to be funded. In the case of the subsidized companies under discussion, it doesn't seem so in the least.

It's not just about the video. This is just a very obvious example of information manipulation that always has existed and always will, but now for the first time does so with the explicit acceptance from the only public with enough leverage to change something (excluding legislative or political bodies). All in the name and faith of the now-sacred "private initiative" (even if substantially subsidized). Some of us have heard that story many times in other areas of life, even when not being too old, and would like more openness and honesty.
« Last Edit: 11/09/2013 02:39 am by Carl G »
-DaviD-

Offline JAC

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #145 on: 11/08/2013 07:05 pm »
Considering the number of mobile phones that can record video today, it is strange that nothing, not even a photo after the anomaly, has surfaced on YouTube.

Perhaps SNC can teach NSA a thing or two about secrecy!  ;D
The machine works well.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #146 on: 11/08/2013 09:15 pm »
Also, the rocket failures (e.g. Delta II and III) happened during live broadcasts of their launches. We would still all get to see a F9 explode as F9 launches are also broadcast live. Nothing has changed.
Do you really believe that?  SpaceX controls its webcasts with a delayed feed, and has repeatedly pushed the video cutoff button when failures have occurred, most recently during CRS-2.  (To his credit, in that instance Elon Musk himself filled the void with informative tweets while his own PR department continued for a time to keep the media in the dark.)

If a Falcon 9 "explodes", you won't see it from SpaceX.  It didn't show its Falcon 1 explosion(s).

But this is the new reality, I suppose.  Whatever it is, it does not match the long proud historic openness standards of the U.S. national civil space program.  Most of you seem willing to accept this new era of information throttling, which to me either smells like, or hints at a future possibility of, propaganda.  I am not.     

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/08/2013 09:34 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #147 on: 11/08/2013 09:31 pm »
Considering the number of mobile phones that can record video today, it is strange that nothing, not even a photo after the anomaly, has surfaced on YouTube.


Too far away from viewing areas

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #148 on: 11/08/2013 09:34 pm »
... but in my opinion they're going against the national space policy by withholding the full footage.
and that would be the national space policy of which country? Spectre9-land?  :P

You can edit your profile to add certain Australians to your ignore list. Then you don't need to listen to them rant about their interpretation of US laws or how our government sometimes operates. Of course, someone might quote one of their posts, but at least it helps to cut down the noise a bit.
 
 

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #149 on: 11/08/2013 09:41 pm »
Considering the number of mobile phones that can record video today, it is strange that nothing, not even a photo after the anomaly, has surfaced on YouTube.


Too far away from viewing areas

They had pretty good video of the approach. Was that taken by remote cameras, or perhaps something with a long lens ? I assume only SNC, NASA, and a few Air Force personnel were close enough to view the test.

Offline psloss

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #150 on: 11/08/2013 10:03 pm »
Considering the number of mobile phones that can record video today, it is strange that nothing, not even a photo after the anomaly, has surfaced on YouTube.


Too far away from viewing areas

They had pretty good video of the approach. Was that taken by remote cameras, or perhaps something with a long lens ? I assume only SNC, NASA, and a few Air Force personnel were close enough to view the test.
Based on the cuts from the released video, probably the same ground assets and set up they can use for other test vehicles -- long lens from the runway area.  Not unlike a Shuttle orbiter approach and landing.

Like other military installations, Edwards is expansive -- most of the videos I've seen of Shuttle "landings" shot from outside the base at Edwards (including the one I did) are heavy on the approach, not so much on the touchdown and rollout.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #151 on: 11/08/2013 10:09 pm »
Also, the rocket failures (e.g. Delta II and III) happened during live broadcasts of their launches. We would still all get to see a F9 explode as F9 launches are also broadcast live. Nothing has changed.
Do you really believe that?  SpaceX controls its webcasts with a delayed feed, and has repeatedly pushed the video cutoff button when failures have occurred, most recently during CRS-2.  (To his credit, in that instance Elon Musk himself filled the void with informative tweets while his own PR department continued for a time to keep the media in the dark.)

If a Falcon 9 "explodes", you won't see it from SpaceX.  It didn't show its Falcon 1 explosion(s).

But this is the new reality, I suppose.  Whatever it is, it does not match the long proud historic openness standards of the U.S. national civil space program.  Most of you seem willing to accept this new era of information throttling, which to me either smells like, or hints at a future possibility of, propaganda.  I am not.     

 - Ed Kyle

I don't know that's it's a new era. All commercial companies (space related or not) work the same way. They are very protective of their image.

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #152 on: 11/08/2013 11:23 pm »
I will just say that I look forward to watching the abbreviated, vetted recorded footage of the first commercial crew launch in a few years, perhaps even only a day or two after the actual launch if we're lucky!

Offline neilh

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #153 on: 11/09/2013 12:28 am »
Chris, thanks for not being a sensationalist tabloid journalist. I'm quite glad your site isn't the aerospace equivalent of TMZ or Perez Hilton, even though some apparently wish it was.
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Offline Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #154 on: 11/09/2013 09:44 pm »
Also, the rocket failures (e.g. Delta II and III) happened during live broadcasts of their launches. We would still all get to see a F9 explode as F9 launches are also broadcast live. Nothing has changed.
Do you really believe that? 
Yes.

Quote
SpaceX controls its webcasts with a delayed feed, and has repeatedly pushed the video cutoff button when failures have occurred, most recently during CRS-2.
CRS-2 is irrelevant to my point (live broadcast during launch). CRS-2 had issues with Dragon on orbit.

Quote
If a Falcon 9 "explodes", you won't see it from SpaceX.  It didn't show its Falcon 1 explosion(s).
A F9 launch for a CRS or CCiCap mission will be broadcast using government (NASA, Air Force) contracted equipment. If an anomaly were to occur during the launch phase (i.e. before tracking cams lose sight of rocket), then SpaceX can drop their webcast if they wish, but NASA TV will still be in a positon to continue to broadcast.
« Last Edit: 11/09/2013 09:45 pm by Garrett »
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Offline Avron

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #155 on: 11/09/2013 09:59 pm »
Also, the rocket failures (e.g. Delta II and III) happened during live broadcasts of their launches. We would still all get to see a F9 explode as F9 launches are also broadcast live. Nothing has changed.
Do you really believe that? 
Yes.

Quote
SpaceX controls its webcasts with a delayed feed, and has repeatedly pushed the video cutoff button when failures have occurred, most recently during CRS-2.
CRS-2 is irrelevant to my point (live broadcast during launch). CRS-2 had issues with Dragon on orbit.

Quote
If a Falcon 9 "explodes", you won't see it from SpaceX.  It didn't show its Falcon 1 explosion(s).
A F9 launch for a CRS or CCiCap mission will be broadcast using government (NASA, Air Force) contracted equipment. If an anomaly were to occur during the launch phase (i.e. before tracking cams lose sight of rocket), then SpaceX can drop their webcast if they wish, but NASA TV will still be in a positon to continue to broadcast.

Maybe in the partnership, protection from bad publicity, would be covered by the other partner as neither party wins . I would expect the same for orbital.. I think if things go wrong in a bad way we will see it, however I would expect the live feed to end asap.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #156 on: 11/09/2013 10:23 pm »
Quote
If a Falcon 9 "explodes", you won't see it from SpaceX.  It didn't show its Falcon 1 explosion(s).
A F9 launch for a CRS or CCiCap mission will be broadcast using government (NASA, Air Force) contracted equipment. If an anomaly were to occur during the launch phase (i.e. before tracking cams lose sight of rocket), then SpaceX can drop their webcast if they wish, but NASA TV will still be in a positon to continue to broadcast.

That's a really odd complaint (who are you quoting?) to put against SpaceX (& Orbital), since they show much more of their launches than any competitor. Who else show rocketcam all the way to LEO? With others all we see is tracking cams of varying quality until out of sight.

Offline Jason1701

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #157 on: 11/09/2013 10:50 pm »
Quote
If a Falcon 9 "explodes", you won't see it from SpaceX.  It didn't show its Falcon 1 explosion(s).
A F9 launch for a CRS or CCiCap mission will be broadcast using government (NASA, Air Force) contracted equipment. If an anomaly were to occur during the launch phase (i.e. before tracking cams lose sight of rocket), then SpaceX can drop their webcast if they wish, but NASA TV will still be in a positon to continue to broadcast.

That's a really odd complaint (who are you quoting?) . . .

Ed, who else?

Offline manboy

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #158 on: 11/10/2013 02:55 am »
NASA Administrator Bolden to Hail Success of Commercial Cargo Program

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will discuss the success of the agency's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) initiative during a televised news briefing at 11:30 a.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Through COTS, NASA's partners Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) and Orbital Sciences Corp., developed new U.S. rockets and spacecraft, launched from U.S. soil, capable of transporting cargo to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

A successful Orbital Sciences demonstration mission to the space station was completed in October, signifying the end of COTS development. SpaceX made its first trip to the space station in May 2012 and completed its COTS partnership with NASA the same year. The agency now contracts space station cargo resupply missions with both companies.

The briefing will be held in the James E. Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters at 300 E St. SW in Washington. It will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's website.

The participants will be:

-- Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator
-- Alan Lindenmoyer, Manager of Commercial Crew and Cargo Program, NASA
-- Gwynne Shotwell, President, SpaceX
-- Frank Culbertson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Orbital Sciences Advanced Programs Group
-- Frank Slazer, Vice President of Space Systems, Aerospace Industries Association
-- Phil McAlister, Director of Commercial Spaceflight Development, NASA

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/november/nasa-administrator-bolden-to-hail-success-of-commercial-cargo-program/#.Un8CuuLjU7Y
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Offline padrat

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #159 on: 11/11/2013 01:46 pm »

But this is the new reality, I suppose.  Whatever it is, it does not match the long proud historic openness standards of the U.S. national civil space program.  Most of you seem willing to accept this new era of information throttling, which to me either smells like, or hints at a future possibility of, propaganda.  I am not.     

 - Ed Kyle

You're right, it is the new reality. It's called COMMERCIAL SPACE FLIGHT. Get used to it because it's probably the only thing you are going to see for the next 10-20 (or more) years....

Pardon me for being blunt but this thread to me has turned into 11 pages of some individuals whining because they didn't get their way. My 2 and 6 year olds don't whine this much. I understand that most of us were spoiled with the relative freeflow of info from Shuttle but, sorry, those days are over. Yes, taxpayers pay for NASA. And yes, NASA has contracts with some commercial entities. But I'm willing to bet that somewhere in those contracts it basically specifies that NASA will not release unauthorized info (proprietary info and the like...). In case any of you haven't figured it out yet from being on this site, commercial space flight is a pretty cutthroat, competitive business. Corporate security, national security, proprietary information, ITAR, EPA, OSHA.....those terms govern nearly everything we do on a daily basis. Violation of any of those can bring very stiff penalties (fines, loss of licenses, loss of contracts/business, loss of jobs, criminal charges, BRING DOWN AN ENTIRE CORPORATION). So sorry, I'm not willing to risk losing MY job and way of life, seeing MY country put at risk, watching MY business get shut down, to simply appease some spoiled brats, which is how some of you are acting.

And BTW, for those of you complaining that taxpayer funding should give you the right to know everything it is used for, I dare you to try and trace where every dollar of your taxes (those of you that actually pay US taxes) goes to. Last I knew, you can't designate where every dollar of your taxes gets spent. What about the untold number of black programs that you will probably never see/hear/know about that your taxes are used on? Good luck on your FOI request for that....

//Rant over, get over it//
If the neighbors think you're the rebel of the neighborhood, embrace it and be the rebel. It keeps them wondering what you'll do next...

Offline Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #160 on: 11/11/2013 02:49 pm »
And Padrat hits the proverbial nail on the head! A great post to finish this thread with.

Now, can a mod lock this thread, and maybe even delete this post by me so that Padrat's post is recorded as being the thread ender?
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Offline simonbp

That would imply this will never happen again, but we know it will, and probably with more serious incidents.

IMHO, if you take *any* government money for a test and it fails, you show that failure, period. If you don't want to show it, don't take the money. You can't take public money and expect no public accountability.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #162 on: 11/11/2013 06:59 pm »
That would imply this will never happen again, but we know it will, and probably with more serious incidents.

IMHO, if you take *any* government money for a test and it fails, you show that failure, period. If you don't want to show it, don't take the money. You can't take public money and expect no public accountability.

This is reality, not your "ideal" world. But I very much doubt that even you (in your ideal world) - if you received any partial/limited funding - would be open to reveal everything about your project to *everyone* - and be told that it has to happen in video form for some bizarre reason as well.  :)
« Last Edit: 11/11/2013 06:59 pm by Lars_J »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #163 on: 11/11/2013 07:01 pm »
That is nonsense, simonbp.

Nowhere in SNC's contract is it written that they have to release all video of all tests. And if they did, you would have companies less willing to put "skin in the game." We know the result of the test. The landing gear failed and the vehicle was significantly damaged.

It's a trade-off. If you want more video of failures, it's going to cost more taxpayer dollars. So what do you prefer, failure video or a tax increase?
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #164 on: 11/11/2013 07:52 pm »
I guess you have to ask if public oversight would help or hinder development.
Sure, DC had a near perfect flight, then missed the landing because the gear didn't deploy. They were able to validate that their lifting body design makes a nice glider. The controls worked well while airborne. There is nothing that the general public can do to help SNC determine why the gear didn't deploy by viewing that video.
Perhaps SNC and the NASA engineering team can determine the best method to handle a gear that doesn't deploy, but I'm sure they don't need us armchair engineers to help them. Perhaps they might even use this same ETA again to test those scenarios.
Would you rather have SNC be as secretive as Blue Origin ? They are doing testing on their own spread down in Texas, and only release small tidbits of information. On Blue's website, you can find a video of a successful short hop, but not the one where the test vehicle was damaged.
 

Online LouScheffer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #165 on: 11/11/2013 07:58 pm »
That is nonsense, simonbp.

Nowhere in SNC's contract is it written that they have to release all video of all tests. And if they did, you would have companies less willing to put "skin in the game." We know the result of the test. The landing gear failed and the vehicle was significantly damaged.
This is not complete nonsense.  Other branches of the government write disclosure requirements into their contracts.  See, for example, http://publicaccess.nih.gov, which states "The NIH Public Access Policy ensures the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research."  I suspect that if NASA had a similar clause in their contract, then at least the failure report would need to be public.

There is also controversy in the medical arena when companies conduct clinical trials, but then don't report results if they are not favorable:  http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/a-third-of-all-us-clinical-drug-trial-results-remain-unpublished-after-5-years-131031?news=851533  The issues are just the same as companies worry about here:  "Drug makers are sometimes motivated to not publish clinical trial information in order to hide details of side effects or outright failures of new treatments. They also try to avoid disclosing data that might help their competition."  In this case disclosure *is* legally required but companies still try to avoid it.

Quote

It's a trade-off. If you want more video of failures, it's going to cost more taxpayer dollars. So what do you prefer, failure video or a tax increase?

This is not clear to me. NIH still gets more grant applications than it can handle, by a very large margin, even with disclosure requirements.  Companies may not like disclosing stuff, but they'll still take the contract unless there is another similar source of funding that does not mandate disclosure.  I don't see that here.

Offline clongton

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #166 on: 11/11/2013 07:58 pm »
You can't take public money and expect no public accountability.

Yes you can. It happens EVERY DAY with public money - *every day*.
No commercial company is obligated in any way to disclose anything in print or film that they were not contracted to release. The fact that a bunch of whiners can't get enough entertainment reminds me of the so-called race fans that go to the track to see the crashes, not the races, and come home whining and disappointed when what they get instead is good racing.
« Last Edit: 11/11/2013 08:01 pm by clongton »
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Offline clongton

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #167 on: 11/11/2013 08:05 pm »
This is not complete nonsense.  Other branches of the government write disclosure requirements into their contracts.



Yes it is complete nonsense.
There are no such disclosure requirements in those contracts.
« Last Edit: 11/11/2013 08:06 pm by clongton »
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Offline neilh

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #168 on: 11/11/2013 08:30 pm »
That is nonsense, simonbp.

Nowhere in SNC's contract is it written that they have to release all video of all tests. And if they did, you would have companies less willing to put "skin in the game." We know the result of the test. The landing gear failed and the vehicle was significantly damaged.
This is not complete nonsense.  Other branches of the government write disclosure requirements into their contracts.  See, for example, http://publicaccess.nih.gov, which states "The NIH Public Access Policy ensures the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research."  I suspect that if NASA had a similar clause in their contract, then at least the failure report would need to be public.

I'm not sure if you understand the context of the NIH requirements you're referring to. That has to do with the publication of funded research results (i.e. much of the reason for the funding) in journals which weren't publicly accessible.

If a grad student on an NIH grant drops a test tube of an expensive catalyst while working on an experiment, they aren't required to post a video of the test tube breaking to youtube.
Someone is wrong on the Internet.
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Online LouScheffer

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #169 on: 11/11/2013 11:33 pm »
That is nonsense, simonbp.

Nowhere in SNC's contract is it written that they have to release all video of all tests. And if they did, you would have companies less willing to put "skin in the game." We know the result of the test. The landing gear failed and the vehicle was significantly damaged.
This is not complete nonsense.  Other branches of the government write disclosure requirements into their contracts.  See, for example, http://publicaccess.nih.gov, which states "The NIH Public Access Policy ensures the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research."  I suspect that if NASA had a similar clause in their contract, then at least the failure report would need to be public.

I'm not sure if you understand the context of the NIH requirements you're referring to. That has to do with the publication of funded research results (i.e. much of the reason for the funding) in journals which weren't publicly accessible.
I understand exactly what I'm referring to.  The equivalent would be that NASA, for its money, expects a full technical report, and the report must be made public (with some reasonable time frame for proprietary use).  I think some of the ire that is being directed at SNC should be directed instead at NASA, for not mandating more disclosure.
Quote
If a grad student on an NIH grant drops a test tube of an expensive catalyst while working on an experiment, they aren't required to post a video of the test tube breaking to youtube.
But if they had a video that showed the accident, then it might reasonably be expected to be included as part of a failure report, which NASA might wish to disclose (to help others avoid the same problems, to estimate the forces involved in the accident, or other legitimate research purposes).  Of course this would all depend on what the contract said, and as far as we know it says nothing.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #170 on: 11/11/2013 11:36 pm »
You keep using that word - failure - I don't think you know what it means.

They weren't testing the landing gear.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #171 on: 11/12/2013 01:12 am »
You keep using that word - failure - I don't think you know what it means.

They weren't testing the landing gear.

Of course the landing gear was part of the test. The original plan was to fly with a closer-to flight gear, and they did not for various reasons. But elements of the final one (presumably the doors) were there. It was certainly part of the overall test.

But... As it turns out, from a certain point of view we did actually see the root failure - the failure to deploy the leg. :) Wanting to see what came after that is just "rubber-necking" for destruction, and we are all guilty of that sometimes.
« Last Edit: 11/12/2013 01:12 am by Lars_J »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #172 on: 11/12/2013 01:19 am »
Of course the landing gear was part of the test. The original plan was to fly with a closer-to flight gear, and they did not for various reasons. But elements of the final one (presumably the doors) were there. It was certainly part of the overall test.

It wasn't. See Chris' comments. It's ridiculous that you're here arguing that they've done something wrong when you don't even know the facts.


Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline clongton

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #173 on: 11/12/2013 01:21 am »
You keep using that word - failure - I don't think you know what it means.

They weren't testing the landing gear.
Of course the landing gear was part of the test.

Then you need to provide source material for that to back that up because all of the flight test criteria I have seen did not even mention the landing gear. Otherwise please correct your post to make it clear that you are expressing a personal opinion.
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #174 on: 11/12/2013 02:08 am »
Call it personal opinion - or logic, depending on what you want. If the landing was not a part of the test criteria, then the total DC drop test was a 100% success.  If the test included aspects of the landing, then the total test was not a 100% success. It's pretty simple as that, isn't it?

Perhaps I missed the part where Chris claimed the former (100%) - but I'm not sure that's a claim that SNC would even back.

Online Chris Bergin

Call it personal opinion - or logic, depending on what you want. If the landing was not a part of the test criteria, then the total DC drop test was a 100% success.  If the test included aspects of the landing, then the total test was not a 100% success. It's pretty simple as that, isn't it?

Perhaps I missed the part where Chris claimed the former (100%) - but I'm not sure that's a claim that SNC would even back.

I'm really not sure how I could have been any clearer.

Quote
I think some people are still losing focus on what this test was all about. It was not a test of the landing gear, it was a test of the ETA's ability to fly and approach.

Please, let me know how that is not clear, because I'll draw you some pictures if you wish.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #176 on: 11/12/2013 03:30 am »
Pictures might be helpful. ;) I guess I missed that post, I did not see it in your two post-incident articles.

I respect your journalism, Chris, but I'm just going after what SnC themselves say in their press release: http://www.sncspace.com/press_more_info.php?id=369
Quote
... Today, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) performed its first free-flight approach-and-landing test of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft. ...

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #177 on: 11/12/2013 08:10 am »
When I did a google for secretive commercial space all that came up was Blue Origin  :D

SNC actually did show their failure. You can clearly see the wheel did not deploy in their video.  :)

Offline Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #178 on: 11/12/2013 11:30 am »
SNC actually did show their failure. You can clearly see the wheel did not deploy in their video.  :)
Exactly. There has been no secrecy.
 - we saw the video where the left landing gear fails to deploy
 - we know that it was not the final flight wheel design, but a replacement only for the drop test
 - we know that the craft tumbled, was damaged and will require repairs, but not a rebuild (hopefully)
 - we know that the avionics survived well and kept sending telemetry even during the tumble
 - we know that if the data looks good, then there will be no need for a second drop test

We know lots. How is any of this truly "secretive"?
What we didn't see is a flight test article crashing and rolling over so that some if us can go "ooh" and "wow", and replay it over and over and share it on Twitter and Facebook, cos, like, crashes are cool to watch.

This has been a very depressing thread to read. Mods, please stop the madness!
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Offline psloss

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Re: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread
« Reply #179 on: 11/12/2013 12:12 pm »
Exactly. There has been no secrecy.
It's not that black and white -- the test was conducted in private (in secret), which is standard commercial practice (for R&D and other areas).  If I had to guess, the privacy was for this type of situation.

This has been a very depressing thread to read. Mods, please stop the madness!
Given the response, whether the thread lives for long I doubt this topic is going away.
« Last Edit: 11/12/2013 12:12 pm by psloss »

Online Chris Bergin

Pictures might be helpful. ;) I guess I missed that post, I did not see it in your two post-incident articles.

I respect your journalism, Chris, but I'm just going after what SnC themselves say in their press release: http://www.sncspace.com/press_more_info.php?id=369
Quote
... Today, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) performed its first free-flight approach-and-landing test of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft. ...

Actually, I quoted Mark S as 99 percent test objectives complete, so if you're arguing over one percent, despite the ETA actually landing on the centerline! (Note it wasn't even her own gear that didn't deploy), then we're into this sort of silly stuff:

Headline: "Crap!!! Dream Chaser test was actually a nightmare! Exclusive."

Abstract: "Investigative forum member Lars has struck gold again after noticing the word "landing" in a SNC press release relating to Dream Chaser ETA's recent test. The baby orbiter - that has been eagerly suckling at the teat of the NASA budget bottle for the past few years - failed to reach the end of the runway during rollout, resulting internet experts shaking their heads in dismay, despite rollout not being a test objective."

You see how silly that looks? Yes? Gooooood.

Thread locked.
« Last Edit: 11/12/2013 12:54 pm by Chris Bergin »

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