Author Topic: Commercial Crew - Information release DISCUSSION thread  (Read 49835 times)

Offline rcoppola

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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.....

Online 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. 

Offline 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. Thatís 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

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.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

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.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

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.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

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-

Offline 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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