Poll

How much impact does Commercial Crew(CCrew) have for enabling or allowing human space settlement?

We are far too early on the path, so any money spent on HSF enables space settlement
10 (14.9%)
CCrew will have a substantial impact for enabling human space settlement
24 (35.8%)
CCrew will have a moderate impact for enabling human space settlement
19 (28.4%)
CCrew will have a minimal impact for enabling human space settlement
12 (17.9%)
We shouldn't be engaging in space settlement - HSF is for some other purpose
2 (3%)

Total Members Voted: 67


Author Topic: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement  (Read 5092 times)

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« on: 10/02/2014 02:52 pm »
Continuing on...

So, as I was looking at one of the other polls, I had the thought that if our purpose for HSF was space settlement, it might be worth while to actually look at the various NASA programs, and see if they are actually enabling or allowing space settlement.  As promised this is the 5th poll, focused on Commercial Crew.  Here are the other polls
Poll #1 - ISS and Space Settlement
Poll #2 - Orion and Space Settlement
Poll #3 - Discussions of Human Space settlement
Poll#4 - SLS and Space Settlement

For purposes of this poll, I am defining space settlement as having somewhere between 10,000 and 2 million people permanently living in space (at least).  I know some people would like to consider whether the impact from programs is negative.  For now, I am not including a negative option, since I didn't include it in the first few polls.

I am considering doing one for ARM, or the Space Shuttle, or Apollo, but am not sure about those.  BTW, if you have another suggestion for other NASA programs, I would love to hear it.
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline MP99

Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #1 on: 10/02/2014 02:55 pm »
You missed the Jim option - "We shouldn't be engaging in HSF". :-)

cheers, Martin

Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #2 on: 10/02/2014 02:58 pm »
You missed the Jim option - "We shouldn't be engaging in HSF". :-)

cheers, Martin

Actually, it is the "Gov't shouldn't be involved in space settlement".  I am ok with individuals, NGO's or commercial entities doing it.

Offline getitdoneinspace

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #3 on: 10/02/2014 03:10 pm »
I believe Commercial Crew is a key fork in the road. If commercial players do not come into the fold with their own vehicles using market forces as the forcing function to trend toward more safe and cost effective transport there will be no sustainable space settlement, assuming we maintain a democratic society.

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #4 on: 10/02/2014 04:21 pm »
You missed the Jim option - "We shouldn't be engaging in HSF". :-)

cheers, Martin

Actually, it is the "Gov't shouldn't be involved in space settlement".  I am ok with individuals, NGO's or commercial entities doing it.

Do you see a difference between doing space settlement, vs enabling space settlement?
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Nibb31

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #5 on: 10/02/2014 06:24 pm »
Commercial Crew is still a government project. The vehicles are funded by the taxpayer and the government is the only paying customer.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2014 08:50 pm by Nibb31 »

Offline nadreck

Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #6 on: 10/02/2014 06:58 pm »
I believe Commercial Crew is a key fork in the road. If commercial players do not come into the fold with their own vehicles using market forces as the forcing function to trend toward more safe and cost effective transport there will be no sustainable space settlement, assuming we maintain a democratic society.

Hmm, not sure if you mean that CC is a step down the wrong fork since the government is footing the whole R&D bill. Or if you think that it is that any activity after this, will be in the hands of the commercial players.

I more see it that, until now, government activities had made it almost impossible for a manned vehicle to be available to anyone outside of their programs (space tourists carried by Soyuz were with the 'blessings' of the Russian agency) and certainly not available at a price that competed with unmanned launch costs.  From this fork in the road either there is a commercial demand for HSF at the vastly reduced prices that it will be available at as marginal costs to have subsequent launches of the systems - or there will be no incentive for a commercial entity to invest in building a newer better system.
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #7 on: 10/02/2014 07:00 pm »
Commercial Crew is still a government project. The vehicles are funded by the taxpayer and the government is the one paying customer.

We all know that. The difference now is that there *can* be other customers as well. They may not materialize - but that it will be easier that ever for a commercial or government entity to contract with these providers.

Offline getitdoneinspace

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #8 on: 10/02/2014 07:24 pm »
I believe Commercial Crew is a key fork in the road. If commercial players do not come into the fold with their own vehicles using market forces as the forcing function to trend toward more safe and cost effective transport there will be no sustainable space settlement, assuming we maintain a democratic society.

Hmm, not sure if you mean that CC is a step down the wrong fork since the government is footing the whole R&D bill. Or if you think that it is that any activity after this, will be in the hands of the commercial players.

I more see it that, until now, government activities had made it almost impossible for a manned vehicle to be available to anyone outside of their programs (space tourists carried by Soyuz were with the 'blessings' of the Russian agency) and certainly not available at a price that competed with unmanned launch costs.  From this fork in the road either there is a commercial demand for HSF at the vastly reduced prices that it will be available at as marginal costs to have subsequent launches of the systems - or there will be no incentive for a commercial entity to invest in building a newer better system.

I meant that CC is a step down the right fork. There are certain pursuits that have a high barrier to entry and the future returns on the necessary investment to overcome that hurdle are not definite enough to justify the risk. With CC, the government is injecting the necessary seed capital to overcome that barrier to entry and then, hopefully, the space transport market will have an opportunity to develop. If a space transport market develops this pursuit will be sustainable and can be on a trajectory toward supporting space settlement. Commercial satellites and commercial planes are relatively recent successful pursuits in this same category where initial government investment was required to get them off the ground.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2014 07:26 pm by getitdoneinspace »

Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #9 on: 10/02/2014 08:52 pm »
You missed the Jim option - "We shouldn't be engaging in HSF". :-)

cheers, Martin

Actually, it is the "Gov't shouldn't be involved in space settlement".  I am ok with individuals, NGO's or commercial entities doing it.

Do you see a difference between doing space settlement, vs enabling space settlement?

Yes, like NACA enabled aero research

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #10 on: 10/02/2014 09:44 pm »
You missed the Jim option - "We shouldn't be engaging in HSF". :-)

cheers, Martin

Actually, it is the "Gov't shouldn't be involved in space settlement".  I am ok with individuals, NGO's or commercial entities doing it.

Do you see a difference between doing space settlement, vs enabling space settlement?

Yes, like NACA enabled aero research

Then why the complaint about my poll option?  I didn't (and don't necessarily) say that they should do settlement, just that settlement is enabled. 
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #11 on: 10/02/2014 11:09 pm »
I voted "CCrew will have a substantial impact for enabling human space settlement", and the reason is because of the difference between how an ended government led program, and canceled commercial procurement by the government work.

NASA, RSA/CCCP & ESA have all canceled lots of programs over the years.  And with almost all of them the project was conceived out of the government offices and subcontracted out piece-mailed to different contractors.  Therefore when Energia/Buran, Shuttle/STS, Saturn/Apollo, DC-X, etc etc are canceled it was not like NPO Energia, USA, Boeing or LM fully owned the rights to the vehicle which was canceled.  They just ended the program and waited for the next project.

Further since the Contractors who built these systems all built them to customer specks they where not designed from the onset for multiple customers, or with any plan for the product once the contract was ended. 

Commerical procurement in an open market is fundamentally different.  The corporation which owns the system is looking to maximize their profit off their products.  And because they own the project they can shop it around as they wish, without waiting for congressional/NASA approval. 

I think DreamChaser is a perfect example of this shift.  It was designed from day one for NASA commercial crew, it does not get the contract and immediately it's being shopped around for new customers.  Dreamchaser is likely going to be the defacto SpaceShip 3 for Virgin Galactic.  It didn't have to wait for Congressional/NASA approval to approach Virgin. 

Commercial Crew brings creative destruction to human space exploration just like the expansion of air force certification for defense contracts will bring it to US defense launch, and commercial launch has brought it to the com sat market.

Orbital is shopping Cygnus as a free floating research platform (And it's really just an upgraded Orbital Star Bus), SpaceX is shopping around the Dragon Lab to other nations, Boeing/Bigelow are shopping the CST-100/Bigelow modules to nations around the world, and Dreamchaser is being shopped around domestically and internationally.

Creative Destruction and corporate profit maximization are two of the strongest forces the world has ever seen, let's see what it does in HSF.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2014 11:14 pm by SpacexULA »
No Bucks no Buck Rogers, but at least Flexible path gets you Twiki.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #12 on: 10/03/2014 02:37 am »
CC will help give commercial HSF a kick start. The first commercial flights can use capsules (2nd hand ) that have been paid for by NASA along with all development costs.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew and Space Settlement
« Reply #13 on: 10/17/2014 02:48 am »
I don't know. But I do know that something like commercial crew is a necessary precondition for settlement. The specifics of commercial crew matter, too: reusable vehicles, one of which will be launched on a partially reusable launch vehicle. Both vehicles are launching on rockets which have lots of other customers. That is all critical for the initial steps. Reusability is CRITICAL for settlement, THE ONLY WAY the whole system can possibly scale up enough for true space settlement.

NASA choosing commercial crew services is an enabling first step (well, second after commercial cargo) on the way to settlement. We aren't going to be settling Mars in Dragon2 or CST-100, but they are a necessary first step on that road. And although there's no guarantee they will serve other customers, Bigelow is on SpaceX's launch manifest. Both CST-100 and Dragon have been envisioned as serving a Bigelow space station, and such a station could easily require dozens of spacecraft launches every year, further feeding in to the forcing function of commercialization, further on the road to settlement. It's a long road, but NASA can /definitely/ contribute to the process.

I imagine that NASA will some day have a base on Mars, with contractors fixing stuff... Like little towns serving the Forts in the American West. They'll grow, people with more money than sense will want to go to Mars for the adventure, people will need to serve them, too. Eventually, communities will become permanent, people will live out their lives on Mars, have families, invent things, etc. You'll also have people going for political reasons, like the communes of the 1970s. You'll have people going for religious reasons as well. Someone might eventually find something genuinely worth exporting back to Earth, and then all bets are off.

But it has to start somewhere, we need to encourage human spaceflight beyond just as a national prestige project, and even if it is just a national prestige project, we need to do it efficiently. Enter: commercial crew.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

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