Campaign '12

Gingrich: NASA sits around and thinks space

Even as the space and political intelligensia was digesting the weekend’s comments by GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney on lunar colonies, space mirrors, and other space issues, Gingrich spoke out again on space on Monday. In a rather collegial Lincoln-Douglas debate on national security and foreign policy issues with fellow presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Monday afternoon in New Hampshire, Gingrich referenced NASA as part of a broader discussion of procurement reform needed for the DoD. “You have a National Aeronautics and Space Administration which has currently got no vehicles that can get to the space station,” he said, starting at approximately the 58:30 mark of the video. “Has it occured to you to wonder what the billions are for and what the thousands of employees are doing? They sit around and they think space.” A ripple of laughter could be heard from the audience at this point. “Do you know how hard it is to get to a period where we’ve spent this much money and don’t have a vehicle that gets into space?”

Gingrich’s latest comments came after some reaction to Saturday night’s debate, when Romney argued that, unlike Gingrich, he did not support he development of a “lunar colony” for mining the Moon, while Gingrich responded that the US should be in space in an “aggressive, entrepreneurial way”. POLITICO sees this as the return of “Newt Skywalker”, the nickname applied to Gingrich in the 1980s when he was a congressman interested in space and other technology issues.

That article also includes a clip of a video interview with Romney on Monday where the former Massachusetts governor again raised the issue when asked about differences between himself and Gingrich. “The idea of a lunar colony? I think that’s going to be a problem in the general election,” Romney said about two and a half minutes into the clip. “So you’re suggesting he’s a little nutty?” asked POLITICO’s Mike Allen. “I’m suggesting he has differing views than I do on very important issues,” Romney responded, but later added, “I’m not going to characterize the Speaker’s views on science.”

Others, though, defended Gingrich’s views. “I’ve made fun of Gingrich before. There’s a lot to make fun of,” writes Dorian Davis in an op-ed for The Daily Caller. “But zapping him on the space program is shortsighted pandering.” David says that space is of strategic importance but decries the lack of a “John F. Kennedy-esque national public commitment” to spaceflight. Meanwhile, writing for National Review Online, Rand Simberg argues that the debate between Romney and Gingrich offers “a window into their mindsets”. Gingrich “sees space as a frontier of human opportunity and plenty, and wants to direct space policy toward opening it using the traditional American tools of entrepreneurship and competition,” Simberg writes, while Romney “comes off as someone who not only has given no serious thought to space policy other than as a cudgel against his political opponent, but as a soulless technocrat.”

And that whole idea of “space mirrors” raised by New York Times columnist David Brooks on Friday? PolitiFact judged that claims as true, with the caveat that it dates back to Gingrich’s first book, published in 1984 and based on a “NASA-sponsored new concepts symposium” held in 1979. Gingrich, PolitiFact adds, “doesn’t appear to have reiterated the call for floating mirrors in recent years, [so] we can safely assume the idea is no longer at the top of his policy agenda.”

48 comments to Gingrich: NASA sits around and thinks space

  • Mariya Maelcourt

    “Has it occured to you to wonder what the billions are for and what the thousands of employees are doing? They sit around and they think space.” A ripple of laughter could be heard from the audience at this point. “Do you know how hard it is to get to a period where we’ve spent this much money and don’t have a vehicle that gets into space?”

    Unfortunately what Newt is saying is all too true, especially about thousands of people sitting around and not getting the job done. NASA has traded in those of us who were doing the job for those who like to sit around and talk and plan. I am still going to meetings with dozens of people doing exactly this. But I dont see us organized to get the job done and I do not even see any signs of leadership; do we know what the job is?

  • amightywind

    The last thing America needs is another talker in the Whitehouse. Yesterday he even attacked Mitt for being a capitalist. Newt’s campaign cratered once after his remarks about Ryan’s budget. Count on it to crater again.

    “Has it occured to you to wonder what the billions are for and what the thousands of employees are doing? They sit around and they think space.”

    This at least is accurate. Those thousands of employees don’t manage themselves. He should reserve his mockery for the current NASA management.

  • At least Newt is willing to bring up space issues on the campaign trail. The others will never make mention of it — unless they’re in Houston or Brevard County pandering for votes.

  • Grand Lunar

    It would be nice if Gingrich learned of ULA’s ideas and have THOSE become the next project, rather than SLS.
    Then we could, perhaps, seem some real progress. And perhaps for less money.

  • @Grand Lunar
    Truer words were never spoken.

  • Mark R. Whittington

    I wonder when Gingrich will reveal to us why he thinks there is and propose a realistic solution,

  • ROBERT OLER

    . “Gingrich “sees space as a frontier of human opportunity and plenty, and wants to direct space policy toward opening it using the traditional American tools of entrepreneurship and competition,” Simberg writes, ”

    Simberg’s comments are pretty good…and I think his comments are correct.. The larger picture is that Newt although not Ronaldus the Great has studied both RWR 76 and 80 campaign and is running a modification of RWR 80 run.

    Willard is running a cafeteria style campaign…take this or that position and hope he can glue enough people under the tent it worked for Bush the last but Willard is viewed as not so sincere on anything.

    I have reservations (a lot) about Newt most of the sickness in our politics comes from him..but he does have a grasp on leadership and history.

    His comments in my view on NASA are right on.

    What I find amazing is how a great deal of the rabid right is attacking him..which. Might now be a bad thing. It would be interesting and maybe FL will give him the chance to flesh out his space thoughts. RGO

  • MrEarl

    Dennis Wingo left a comment on NASA Watch that I think is very important for all sides of the space community.
    Space is again, being used as a form of ridicule.

    “What the naysayers like Romney or others want to do is to make those of us who see a future in space look like unrealistic fools.”

    Whether you’re for or against SLS/MPCV, a SpaceX fanboy or NASA fanboy, for human exploration or feel robotics is the way to go; it’s important for us to fight back against those who use an interest in space exploration and exploitation to tag that person as part of the lunatic fringe.

  • We have no idea what national space strategy Gingrich would presently adopt beyond his present frustration with NASA’s organization and the federal government’s fickle approach to commercial spaceflight. His response to Romney’s dismissive aside is not terribly encouraging. Instead of a full throated defense of exploiting space, we get a pithy, defensive remark about inspiring children. Who gives a damn about inspiring children?

  • vulture4

    Gingrich at least talks about space, but talk is cheap. The GOP candidates consistently attack Obama for “lack of leadership” when at the same time the administration’s proposals for increasing funding for Commercial Crew and technology development have been squashed by the House.

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 11:43 am

    most of that I can agree with except the notion that space as part of the nations future transcends all programs…it doesnt.

    I conceed there are people who believe in SLS and Orion who believe in a national space future or more importantly space being in the future as important to the country and our economy as say aviation is…but the vast majority do not…and even those who do are for the most part engaged in enormous self denial…self denial of the kind that has almost ruined The Republic over the last 10 -11 years (since the end of Clinton’s term).

    SLS and Orion are the status quo…there is nothing in them at the foundation of the programs is to do in the future what has been done in the past…and since the Moon landing what has been done in the past is not worth a plug nickle.

    Willard is running a campaign to continue the old into the new…Newt well is at least thinking the new RGO

  • amightywind

    when at the same time the administration’s proposals for increasing funding for Commercial Crew and technology development have been squashed by the House.

    The Administration has been increasing funding for green energy too. Don’t confuse the Administration’s willingness to blow someone else money with leadership. A applaud the conference committee’s fiscal restraint in the CC area.

  • “I’m suggesting he has differing views than I do on very important issues,” Romney responded, but later added, “I’m not going to characterize the Speaker’s views on science.”

    There’s another sign of Romney’s cluelessness. He thinks this discussion is about science.

  • Ben Joshua

    Romney’s dismissal of Gingrich’s space notions may be an easy rhetorical device to get people laughing at Newt. It may also indicate Romney’s dismissal of “the vision thing” as an essential part of national pride and economic policy.

    Gingrich likes to bait his hook with lots of vision, space and otherwise, then switch to old, disproven ideas for actual policy.

    Contractor lobbying and NASA’s “design big, design forever” approach has left the space agency open to the kind of punchline laughter heard in the candidate forum.

    I’m guessing the actual space workers would prefer devoting their time to projects that make it to the pad in reasonably short order, so they can enjoy the fruits of their labors. Besides, incremental advances can achieve more over time than big, forever-in-development projects that begin with tired old baseline assumptions.

    If NASA is to be a point of national pride again, and not an easy and dispiriting punchline, lots of change will be required in NASA, Congress, and contracting. Such change may have to wait for private efforts to outpace NASA, as happened after WWI with civil and military aviation.

  • MrEarl

    Oler miss quoted:
    “most of that I can agree with except the notion that space as part of the nations future transcends all programs…it doesn’t.”
    I never stated or implied that in what I wrote. I don’t think that space transcends all programs but it has it’s place and should not be allowed as a form of ridicule.

    “I conceed there are people who believe in SLS and Orion who believe in a national space future or more importantly space being in the future as important to the country and our economy as say aviation is…but the vast majority do not…”
    While my position on HFS is well know to most on this site, my post did not advocate any side of the argument. Again, the importance of space for the future of our country or the world has yet to be written but it deservers a place at the table. It could be said that the reason a majority sees no value in space is precisely because it’s used as a vehicle ridicule.
    My point is this; while we don’t yet know how important space will factor into our future, allowing it to be used as a way to deride or make a person seem foolish is a sure guarantee that it will play a diminished or no role at all.

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Oler miss quoted:
    “most of that I can agree with except the notion that space as part of the nations future transcends all programs…it doesn’t.”
    I never stated or implied that in what I wrote…

    nope I never quoted you at all.

    The “quotes” you have are my words I never pretended that they were words you type.

    you did write in a follow on post

    “While my position on HFS is well know to most on this site, my post did not advocate any side of the argument.”

    MINE DID. MY post stated what I stated that while there are some SLS/Orion advocates who truley believe in a space future for The Republic the vast majority of them are using that as a cover for other reasons…and I stated the reasons I believe that

    Finally you wrote:

    “allowing it to be used as a way to deride or make a person seem foolish is a sure guarantee that it will play a diminished or no role at all.”

    nope there are foolish ideas and those should be pointed out as such. SLS/Orion is a foolish set of ideas…anyone advocating them should be pointed out as foolish

    I am saddened if you thought I was trying to put words into your mouth, I was not RGO

    you wrote “

  • DCSCA

    “They sit around and think space…” A ripple of laughter could be heard from the audience at this point. “Do you know how hard it is to get to a period where we’ve spent this much money and don’t have a vehicle that gets into space?”

    Do you know how hard it is to get into space, Newt?? Of course not. Apparently Newt forgets Republican President George Bush terminated the shuttle which was quite capable of continuing to fly. And, to use a favorite phrase of his, “lets be candid’— Newt sits around and talks space- and takes up space as well- and he’ll come to your town and do it for $60,000/speech BTW. And Newt believed NASA should have been disbanded after Apollo ended and has stated so on the record.

    Gingrich’s presidential asperations have most likely reached their apogee. His rapid rise will bleed away as friction builds up and he begins his fall back to Earth and the buffeting descent accelorates. Whether it’s a controlled reentry is uncertain but expect plenty of outgassing as he rockets downward. However, a soft-landing is certain given the size of his golden-parachutes to ease the splash.

  • Egad

    Since the GOP is currently running on empty for candidates who themselves might get elected president in the general election(*), what ticket would they put together that, combined, might be appealing to the general electorate?

    How about Huntsman and Newt? Huntsman as an experienced, sane, hopefully stable adult POTUS to lead the ticket and Newt to provide energy and edgy ideas as the VPOTUS. Revive the National Space Council, give it to Gingrich, pay attention to what it says — couldn’t hurt to try.

    (*) Unless something happens to make Obama really crater from his currently not-good-but-not-awful position.

  • MrEarl

    Again, RGO, you use partial statements out of context to further your own personal agenda on issues that are not the subject of my original posts.

    You wrote :
    “there are foolish ideas and those should be pointed out as such.”
    So you believe Romney is right in ridiculing Gigiches plans for the exploitation of space and it resources.

  • common sense

    @ Egad wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    “an experienced, sane, hopefully stable adult POTUS”

    Yeah except for tiny inconsequential detail: This is not describing anyone from the GOP as we know them today and have known them for the past many years.

    And btw, Gingrich is in the lead by, oh what, 30 points over Huntsman. Why would he let go of the presidency in favor of Huntsman???

    Weird.

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    you wrote:
    “Again, RGO, you use partial statements out of context to further your own personal agenda on issues that are not the subject of my original posts.”

    actually in the post you are referencing I did not use a single quote or partial statement of yours. if I misinterpreted your post to present a particular notion that I referenced then I will offer you my apology.

    is the below an example of what you think I did? Goofy I did not quote you and interpret that quote.

    I wrote: :
    “there are foolish ideas and those should be pointed out as such.”
    you added “So you believe Romney is right in ridiculing Gigiches plans for the exploitation of space and it resources.”…

    but again if you think I took a “notion” and misinterpreted it I apologize. I dont think I did but you seem to be harmed by it. There are other things to banter about RGO

  • DCSCA

    “Rand Simberg argues that the debate between Romney and Gingrich offers “a window into their mindsets”. [Which is mastering the obvious, BTW.] Gingrich “sees space as a frontier of human opportunity and plenty, and wants to direct space policy toward opening it using the traditional American tools of entrepreneurship and competition,” Simberg writes, while Romney “comes off as someone who not only has given no serious thought to space policy other than as a cudgel against his political opponent, but as a soulless technocrat.”

    In other words, Simberg (and fellow traveller Walker, a strong Gingrich backer in days past, associated with Simberg lobby pals) advocates the literally disasterously, disproven policy of supply-side “Reaganomics’ as the catalyst for expanding the human presence in space. As all hard right, anti-government/pro-business conservatives need reminded, as of December, 2011, no private enterprised firm has launched orbited and safely recovered an operation crewed spacecraft. And nothing is stopping them but the very constraints of the free market they say they want to service. In fact, they simply want to dismantle another facet of government. That’s all this is. So in fact, they’re not advocates, but attackers of HSF.

    Meanwhile, government-funded and managed space programs (both Soviet and American) have been flying crews into space for 50 years– with America efforts actually landing six manned missions on the moon. And the government funded/managed PRC has join the HSF club as well. Commerical HSF advocates best just get on with it and take the same risk NASA did in 1961, when, per Chris Kraft, missile technology had 60% success rate– but they still launched Shepard and orbited Glenn. It’s nearly half a century since John Glenn’s successful three orbit flight. A government funded and managed flight. So commercial best just go fly somebody. Get an operational, private enterprised, manned spacecraft, crewed with a brave civilian entrapreneur or two, up, around and back down safely. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

  • Egad

    > And btw, Gingrich is in the lead by, oh what, 30 points over Huntsman. Why would he let go of the presidency in favor of Huntsman???

    Oh, I know Huntsman will never get nominated because of that “sane” bit. Huntsman-Gingrich is just a fantasy exercise in what the GOP might run.

  • John Malkin

    Gingrich: “Has it occurred to you to wonder what the billions are for and what the thousands of employees are doing? “

    Another drop test of Orion today. Doesn’t that make it eight? NASA is doing a lot. Three horizontal test firings of a 5 segment demonstration motor. “Suborbital” (46 km) test of a rocket that contained zero flight hardware ($400M+). BTW a suborbital flight is one that reaches space. Space is about 100km.

    You can’t point the fingers at only NASA employees since most of the heavy lifting is done by contractors aka private sector. NASA’s problem isn’t working employees, it’s productivity and efficiency neither of these words apply to NASA.

    I’m looking forward to the second drop test of a Dragon capsule from Space in February.

  • SpaceColonizer

    @Egad

    Ron Paul for Prez… Then he should make Gingrich Administrator of NASA… Huntsman as VP since he’s the only candidate that agrees with Ron Paul on foreign policy and Ron Paul would never choose any of the others. Otherwise he’ll pick some libertarion most people have never heard of.

  • Doug Lassiter

    Rand Simberg wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 1:08 pm
    “There’s another sign of Romney’s cluelessness. He thinks this discussion is about science.”

    The Speaker believes that this is about inspiring kids to do science. I have to conclude that he really believes that this is about science.

    Also, as to the Speaker’s views on science …
    “Space exploration has a proven record of achieving major scientific breakthroughs that directly affect our lives both from the research that takes place in space and the process itself. Some of the most important research being done anywhere on nanotechnology is carried out by NASA.

    Source: Saving Lives and Saving Money, by Newt Gingrich, p.189 Sep 22, 2003

  • Robert G. Oler

    John Malkin wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    “I’m looking forward to the second drop test of a Dragon capsule from Space in February.”

    very funny…fine business and I concur RGO

  • Vladislaw

    DCSCA wrote:

    “Commerical HSF advocates best just get on with it and take the same risk NASA did in 1961, when, per Chris Kraft, missile technology had 60% success rate– but they still launched Shepard and orbited Glenn”

    Can you provide me with some links from the FAA, which shows the licensing regime, from 1961 until today, that would allow a commercial firm to launch a ballistic missle with a human riding it?

    Can you provide me with some links from the DOT, which shows the licensing regime, from 1961 until today, that would allow a commercial firm to launch a ballistic missle with a human riding it?

    Can you provide me with some links from the NASA, which shows the human ratings regime, from 1961 until today, that would allow a commercial firm to launch a ballistic missle with a human riding it?

    You keep trying to promote the lie that the United States would allow commercial firms to launch ballistic missiles or rockets with humans riding them. Why don’t you put your money where your enormous mouth is and start providing the links to the actual LAWS of America that would allow private citizens to start launching ballistic missiles from their backyards with humans riding them, starting in the early 60′s.

    Or are you once again just going to lie about it….

  • DCSCA

    @Doug Lassiter wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    “The Speaker believes that this is about inspiring kids to do science. I have to conclude that he really believes that this is about science.”
    Except you’re wrong on two counts. 1. He is an ex-speaker/congressman and has not held elective office in nearly two deades and 2., Adbovating to college students disbanding NASA contradicts wht he babbles today. We call it flip-flopping:

    “Gingrich Criticizes NASA
    House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Saturday that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should have been disbanded after the Apollo moon program ended in the 1970′s.” Source- NY Times February 6, 1995

  • Michael from Iowa

    Yes Newt, THAT’S what the scientists and engineers at NASA do with all those billions of dollars – they sit on their asses and think all day.

    They don’t build cutting edge instruments, they don’t make ground breaking astronomical discoveries, they don’t operate dozens of unmanned space science missions… they just sit on their asses and think. NASA has remained the one of the world’s most respected and prominent research organizations for decades because everyone who works their just sits around and twiddles their thumbs all day.

  • Rhyolite

    While it is interesting that Gingrich is talking about space, the MTBF of Republican frontrunners (Trump, Bachman, Perry, Cain…) has been a month or two. In all likelihood, Gingrich is going to implode and the bobble heads will be talking about the Santorum surge or some late breaking entrant that is making the base swoon. Space will long be forgotten before anyone starts to rack up serious delegates.

  • DCSCA

    Vladislaw wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    ROFLMAO Wrong. You keep assuming the constraints of current US regs are your obstacle to fly. yet can’t provide an excuse/rationale for why you’d limit comemrcial HSF operations to develop and operate under American constraints. The PRC and the Russians would get a laugh out of that. No doubt the Soviets phoned the White House and asked if it was okay with JFK and Congress to launch Gagarin. Guess that’s why the Brits drive on the opposite side of the road than they do in the states– or is the other way ’round. Depends on your POV. Good Lord. It’s a big planet with lots of deep pockets and optimum locales to fly from. Find an place, land or sea. construct your commerical rocket, flight support and operations facilities, perfect a crewed spacecraft, get operational and go fly. It’s a hard, expensive and risky row to hoe with a questionable ROI at best in this era. That’s why governments do it.

  • DCSCA

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 10:27 pm
    John Malkin wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    “I’m looking forward to the second drop test of a Dragon capsule from Space in February.”

    very funny…fine business and I concur RGO

    Most of the Musketeer press releases are… very funny indeed. And slipping the launch date in 2011 is hilarious for a commercial, quarterly driven, for profit firm. Capital investors who shyed away are laughing all over the world. Tick-tock, tick-tock, fellas.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Michael from Iowa wrote @ December 14th, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Yes Newt, THAT’S what the scientists and engineers at NASA do with all those billions of dollars – they sit on their asses and think all day….

    no they do more, they go to meetings…they assign people to projects that never fly they twiddle diddle and resolve not one darn thing do they solve.

    at least in the human spaceflight side RGO

  • Vladislaw

    DCSCA wrote:

    “ROFLMAO Wrong. You keep assuming the constraints of current US regs are your obstacle to fly.”

    Just more of your BS. Show me the freakin’ LAWS that say a private citizen can build a freakin MISSILE and launch a human on it. Put up or shut up. Show me the legislation passed through congress that allows the FAA, DOT to license missles and rockets and also the NASA publication of human ratings from the 1960′s.

    You are the one that keeps saying this BS. put up or shut up.

    You continue to sling bulls**t about how anyone in 1960′s could build a damn missle and launch a human on it and the federal government and the military would have gone along with it.

    Either put up or shut up, show me where congress passed laws saying citizens could build rockets, put humans on them and launch them from their back yard.

  • Vladislaw

    “The PRC and the Russians would get a laugh out of that. No doubt the Soviets phoned the White House and asked if it was okay with JFK and Congress to launch Gagarin. Guess that’s why the Brits drive on the opposite side of the road than they do in the states– or is the other way ’round. Depends on your POV. Good Lord. It’s a big planet with lots of deep pockets and optimum locales to fly from. Find an place, land or sea. construct your commerical rocket, flight support and operations facilities, perfect a crewed spacecraft, get operational and go fly. “

    We are not talking about what other governments can do, but what private citizens can do.

    Iraq had scud missles that couldn’t reach orbit only israel we know what happened there.

    The idea that the US is going to allow a high tech firm to build missiles in a third world country that would give them the capabilty to launch missles against the US is beyond silly.

    Put up or shut up, show me were the US would allow a high tech firm to give a third world country orbital capability and the military would be fine with it.

  • Coastal Ron

    DCSCA wrote @ December 14th, 2011 at 3:33 am

    And slipping the launch date in 2011 is hilarious for a commercial, quarterly driven, for profit firm.

    Since Elon Musk is the majority stockholder of SpaceX, who is bugging him for quarterly profits?

    Do you understand why you sound so ignorant every time you say this?

  • Eddas

    Yes, NASA is run by many slow-witted politicians that get rid of hard working competition (i.e. those that don’t kiss butt).

    The contractors for NASA operate in much the same mode. Incompetant managers and the low-credentialled butt kissers. Having worked at Martin and Northrop, they tend to “get rid” of the intelligent highly-qualified people and keep a lot of the dim-witted BS people.

    Add all I this together and you wonder why so many programs balloon in cost 10x and often never leave the ground?

    For such an inspiring field as space, don’t be misled, it is populated by baboons, no matter how sad that is.

    Think SpaceX is different? Wrong. Many young undergrads worked to the bone for a couple years , and a few “seasoned” professionals who are actually mostly pricks. The place runs so sloppy and is one large clique. Well, at least they can launch a few things now and then! Hohoho

  • Doug Lassiter

    DCSCA wrote @ December 13th, 2011 at 11:33 pm
    “Except you’re wrong on two counts. 1. He is an ex-speaker/congressman and has not held elective office in nearly two deades and 2., Adbovating to college students disbanding NASA contradicts wht he babbles today. We call it flip-flopping”

    It’s standard terminology and a common honorarium to call high ranking politicians, and also military personnel, by the title they achieved. He’s not Speaker of the House now, but he is “Mr. Speaker”. Mr. Bush is still President Bush, even though he’s not President anymore. You can refrain from such terminology if you want, but it has nothing to do with the point that I made.

    I don’t think he meant that we need NASA to inspire scientists, but he certainly thinks that we need space exploration to inspire scientists. I think that’s garbage, but I’m just telling you what he thinks.

  • Most NASA folks are actually supposed to sit and think about what they’re doing. NASA does actually get vehicles to Mars for having sat and thought about the problem so long, for instance.

    I didn’t see this quip as a criticism at all but a recognition that NASA is a thinking organization and must be for the hardware and systems to come about to meet the goals.

    The alternative, unsaid, is to run around without thinking?
    and from that exercise to build and launch a rocket into space?

  • DCSCA

    @Doug Lassiter wrote @ December 14th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    In fact, it’s inaccurate and standard, if not correct terminology is former speaker. =sigh= And in so far as NASA being a ‘thinking’ organization, it should be and has been since its inception and Gingrich’s babble only reinforces how much he doesn’t know. Case in point- during their final television broadcast by the Apollo 11 crew on their transit back, they paid tribute to a number of ‘thinkers’ – not only the ‘giants of science’ but the mision planners at NASA. What Gingrich “thinks” is very much a matter of what’s opportune for the day. His flip-flops and inconsistencies are lwlegend. The former speaker can be of help to America’s space program by staying as far away from it as possible, hanging out by the doughnuts and coffeemaker in a faculty lounge at any community college.

  • DCSCA

    Vladislaw wrote @ December 14th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    What’s this ‘we’ bit. In fact ‘we’ are talking about commercial HSF. There’s nothing that says it has to be an American enterprise. Free market capitalism is not restricted to the US of A. The bottom line is clear: commerical HSF cannot attract the kind of private capital investment necessary to get flying because of the high risk and low ROI of the very limited market it wants to service in this era. That’s why governments do it.

    Coastal Ron wrote @ December 14th, 2011 at 11:24 am
    DCSCA wrote @ December 14th, 2011 at 3:33 am

    “And slipping the launch date in 2011 is hilarious for a commercial, quarterly driven, for profit firm.”

    Since Elon Musk is the majority stockholder of SpaceX, who is bugging him for quarterly profits?

    The other investors in his firm which you seem perfectly happy to see lose money, including Uncle Sam, who has subsidied him and who he continues to hit up for investment, but if you want to advocate Master Musk’s business plan of repeatedly slipping announced schedules, of losing money four quarters a year for year after year as a way to attract capital investment capital from the private sector in commercial HSF, go for it. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

  • Vladislaw

    DCSCA wrote:

    “What’s this ‘we’ bit. In fact ‘we’ are talking about commercial HSF. There’s nothing that says it has to be an American enterprise. Free market capitalism is not restricted to the US of A. The bottom line is clear: commerical HSF cannot attract the kind of private capital investment necessary to get flying because of the high risk and low ROI of the very limited market it wants to service in this era. That’s why governments do it.”

    Once AGAIN just more BS. Still have not answered a single question of mine with an actual fact. Just more of your spinning BS. You have tick tocked endlessly about how nothing has stopped commercial firms in the U.S. about how they have had an open route to make missiles and launch people. I still have failed to see ONE SINGLE LAW allowing private citizens, starting in 1961 to build a missile and launch a human on it.

    Hell, fireworks bottle rocket sizes are regulated. Model rockets can not launch anything heavier than one pound and 4 ounces of propellant but you continue with your moronic tick tocking about how a private citizen can just bang out a freakin’ missile/rocket and launch a human since 1961. Stop your freakin’ BS and provide a link showing how this was legal and actively encouraged in the United States by providing an actual link that shows the government and military would allow it.

    You still have failed to provide anything but your same BS…. tick tock tick tock….

  • vulture4

    Eddas: “For such an inspiring field as space, don’t be misled, it is populated by baboons, no matter how sad that is.”

    I cannot deny it Eddas, but there are a modest number of people drawn by the inspiration who are smart and trying to do new and useful things, not just in space but also on earth, and in the air. At least with the Commercial program and the SAAs there is room for more ideas than can exist under the heel of the Constellation/SLS/Orion leviathan (or will exist if NASA micromanagement subsumes commercial crew). We as advocates should do our best to identify the good and bad ideas and the effective groups.

  • Coastal Ron

    DCSCA wrote @ December 14th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    The other investors in his [Musk] firm [SpaceX] which you seem perfectly happy to see lose money

    OK, now you’re really showing your ignorance about how investors in private companies make money.

    SpaceX is a private company, not public, and it has a limited number of investors with Musk being the majority stockholder. Look here for details. The rules for privately held companies are different than public ones, which is why only “qualified investors” are allowed to buy stock. I imagine you wouldn’t qualify.

    if you notice who has invested in SpaceX besides Musk, it is professional venture capital firms. They aren’t looking for “quarterly dividends” like you and your grandma, they want the money staying in the company so it can be used for growth.

    Their exit strategy is to wait for SpaceX to either go public or to get purchased by someone for a boatload of money – that is the standard VC strategy. They also know how long it takes companies in the hardware business to get to that point, so Musk has plenty of time to get them to their exit. And so far he’s doing all the right things to make it a big one.

    Now do you understand why your “quarterly driven” drivel is just that – drivel? It doesn’t apply to a VC backed private company whose goal is growth, not dividends. Sheesh.

  • DCSCA

    @Vladislaw wrote @ December 14th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    =yawn= It’s a big planet. Go find a locale and go fly. Ntohing is stopping you…. except the very parameters of the free market you’re trying to servive for a profit. That’s why governments do it. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

  • Vladislaw

    Just more BS from DCSCA, yawn…

    The federal government has regulations regarding what technology you can take out of the country. You are living in a dream world if you believe the feds and the military would allow a high tech firm to goto a third world dicator state and hand them orbital missile technology that could be used against us.

    You are still just trying to peddle your bullsh$$ and have still failed to show a law that would allow private citizens to build a missle and launch a human on it starting in 1961… Still waiting for a fact, not your BS ..tick tock tick tock.

  • Lee Chero

    Falcon 9 will replace the Delta IV. After the Dragon is flown in February and has docked with the ISS, the cheaper by a third pricing of Falcon 9 (when compared to Atlas 5) will make commercial crew development of the Dragon capsule an obvious and necessary/ nigh compulsory decision.

    The following is a quote from Space Reviews recent article which compares Space X and ULA pricing.

    Air Force ULA Contract Designed to Exclude Space X and Protect Legacy Systems
    The SpaceX vehicle, Falcon 9, is priced for 2013 on the company’s website for all the world to see, at $54–59.5 million for a commercial flight, while a government flight would also include mission assurance fees of around 20%. Pricing for the comparable Atlas is much more obscure, but is frequently cited in a range of $150–180 million.

    But the planned 5 year purchase of 40 medium to heavy lift cores for 15 Billion which comes to $375 million per core reveals a much more intricate and systematic attempt to deter the competitive pricing from SpaceX’s Falcon 9–a more effective and efficient launch system which has derived purely from the genius of individual entrepreneurship.

    This kind of scandalous and immoral/ wasteful and fraudulent and fatuous overspending depict everything that is wrong with the Defense Industry and with the American Federal Government, in general.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>