Campaign '12

Anderson: Romney would be “advocate” of commercial space

[Updated at 10:45 am to include some clarifications from Eric Anderson.]

After Mitt Romney talked about space on Friday in Cape Canaveral, Florida, I had the opportunity to talk with Eric Anderson, who is one of the people who signed the open letter endorsing Romney on space also released Friday. He provided some insights into what Romney’s views are about space, particularly the commercial sector.

Anderson, in a phone interview, said he was contacted a few months ago by the Romney campaign to serve on a space working group, whose members are those who signed Friday’s letter; he added he’s met Romney several times and talked to him “one-on-one” on commercial space in particular. “He had not thought a lot about commercial space,” Anderson admitted, but in those personal conversations, Romney indicated to Anderson his enthusiasm for the private sector’s recent developments in human space flight capabilities. Anderson believes that if Romney won the presidency he would be an advocate of commercial space.

Anderson continued, “You must remember, Mitt Romney is a very experienced businessman. People in business of course believe in private industry! They know that if you can find goods and services in the private sector then clearly those would be preferable to the government recreating that capability.”

Of course, both President Obama and Romney’s chief rival for the GOP nomination, Newt Gingrich, have also spoken out in favor of, or taken action to support, commercial space. Anderson’s company, Space Adventures, is an indirect beneficiary of NASA’s commercial crew initiative: it is partnered with Boeing, one of the companies that has won funded Space Act Agreements from NASA for development of commercial crew transportation systems. Anderson acknowledged that, but suggested that the administration should have done more since rolling out its plans almost exactly two years ago. “In terms of commercial support, the current policy is not a bad one at all,” he said. “However, the execution of that policy and its support evaporated after that initial period,” adding that there was “the general sense that the White House didn’t really back the plan up.”

Anderson said there was also “good and bad ideas” in Newt Gingrich’s plans to use billion-dollar prizes to incentivize the private sector to go to the Moon and Mars. Prizes, he noted, have been effective on smaller scales when carefully tailored, citing the $10-million Ansari X PRIZE in particular, but he’s not sure that they would work on the much larger scale proposed by Gingrich. “It has to be realistic,” he said.

Anderson agreed that Romney hasn’t provided many specifics, but said that’s the right approach for now. “It’s not the right thing to do now to set goals,” he said. “He doesn’t know enough about it to pick this over that.” Anderon believes, though, that a President Romney is “by far the likeliest” to select a plan that could be carried out over one or two terms of office. “NASA has been kicked around like a pinball. We can’t keep stopping and starting,” he said. A new plan “can’t break the bank like Constellation, and it can’t be directionless.”

“Should he win the White House,” Anderson said of Romney, “he would take decisive action on what NASA’s mission should be.”

112 comments to Anderson: Romney would be “advocate” of commercial space

  • Andrew

    The biggest advocate of commercial space has been Obama – ironically the one everyone pretends is a socialist. Everyone’s tune about COTS will change drastically in a month or two when Dragon is docked to the ISS.
    NASA should throw everything at getting Space X to have a man rated capsule and Orbital to have a reliable payload transport system.
    I would also like to see NASA eventually throw an Orion on top of a Falcon Heavy – a way to get to deep space objects much faster.

    If you want a bold but realistic space program, you should stick with democrats. The republicans are going to cut everything – JWST, COTS, SLS, etc in the name of a balanced budget and God. Or worse – they will pursue an underfunded and unrealistic project like Constellation and we will go NOWHERE.

  • Robert G. Oler

    ““He has not thought a lot about commercial space,” Anderson admitted, “but if he won the presidency he would be an advocate of commercial space.”

    and

    “Anderson agreed that Romney hasn’t provided many specifics, but said that’s the right approach for now. “It’s not the right thing to do now to set goals,” he said. “He doesn’t know enough about it to pick this over that.” ”

    Conbabble…How can one be certain that someone will be an advocate of something that they have not thought a lot about or doesnt know enough about?

    This is conservative babble. Eric are you dumb or just hear the roar of a possible position in a Willard administration. Either way it is the dumbest thing since the rhetoric that was said about Saddam.

    Gee RGO

  • Scott Bass

    Ok…… So in a few short words….. Let’s assume that Romney gets the nomination and what we have from him now is all we are going to get as far as space policy.

    All other issues aside are we better off to let the current plans go forward for the next 5 years or do you think Romney would change things for the better?

    Loaded question because I know some of you think SLS won’t last but for now let’s assume it does……it does seem certain at this point that a really strong advocate for space will not be in the white house for at least the next 5 years

  • Robert G. Oler

    As an aside I think that Morning Joe has it more or less correct…if Newt loses FL and the race for the POTUS then this is the end of Presidents or Presidential candidates suggesting massive space efforts or seeing human spaceflight in some “visionary” manner.

    Newt might have flamed out under the relentless attack of the corporate money wing of the GOP but perception is reality and the “moment” (Charles K calls it “dukakis in the tank”) will be seen as his space speech.

    There is a sad moment of this with me…but on the other hand I have been predicting for sometime that this election is the end of the reign of terror of the GOP…and this is just the start of it. RGO

  • this election is the end of the reign of terror of the GOP

    [rolling eyes]

    I’d have asked him how much influence Mike Griffin is going to have.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Andrew wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    The biggest advocate of commercial space has been Obama – ironically the one everyone pretends is a socialist. Everyone’s tune about COTS will change drastically in a month or two when Dragon is docked to the ISS.
    NASA should throw everything at getting Space X to have a man rated capsule and Orbital to have a reliable payload transport system.
    I would also like to see NASA eventually throw an Orion on top of a Falcon Heavy – a way to get to deep space objects much faster.>>

    well said the problem is that Obama hate has blinded q uite a few people RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Scott Bass wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 10:15 am
    “All other issues aside are we better off to let the current plans go forward for the next 5 years or do you think Romney would change things for the better”

    there is no way really to “change things for the better”…there is no better. There is no spending that the American people will tolerate in human spaceflight…this is the lesson from the Newt effort.

    The only chance for cchange is commercial space RGO

  • Scott Bass

    I think everyone can drop the Newt talk now….. Latest Vegas odds gives his chances to get the nomination is 12.3%….. It’s a Obama\ Romney match…… I think it is safe to assume that

  • Robert, did you read what I said? Apparently you did not. I said Romney HAD not thought a lot about commercial space when I met him a few months ago. Do you understand the difference between the words “had” and “has”? By now, Romney has heard about commercial space … from me! Maybe you didn’t realize that I am the chairman of the “COMMERCIAL SPACEFLIGHT” Federation? And what exactly do you do to advocate commercial space?

    Sounds like you are the dumb one.

    By the way you must not have actually read the letter on Romney’s website before you let loose on your ridiculous commentary. If you would have, then you would have noted the following:

    “As president, Mitt Romney will facilitate close collaboration not only within the government’s civil and national security space sectors, but also with the private sector and with research institutions. He will create conditions for a strong and competitive commercial space industry that can contribute greatly to our national capabilities and goals.”

    And finally, did you actually listen to the debates, where Romney clearly stated he planned to include private industry into setting direction for NASA policy? Do you understand this quote? When has THAT ever happened in the past? Maybe this will refresh your memory:

    http://www.space.com/14330-nasa-romney-gingrich-republican-debate-space-exploration.html

    Like I said, Obama’s policy of attempting to facilitate the commercial human spaceflight industry is not a bad one at all. Commercial crew is the best program NASA has (begun before Obama’s inauguration), and supported by many Republicans in the House and Senate. The key problem with Obama is his execution – it has been quite poor. Moreover, Obama was not inclusive at all, let alone with broad input from the commercial sector, in setting his plan (or lack thereof) for NASA. That was a major complaint from both sides of the aisle at that time.

  • amightywind

    Politics make for strange bedfellows. The GOP is not secure cover for those who dream of crony space. My faith is in the strong NASA traditionalist support of Romney.

    end of the reign of terror of the GOP

    How do you figure? The GOP Renaissance only stared in 2010. We succeeded in stopping Obama in his tracks. It is very likely that the GOP will expand its majority in the house and win the Senate in a year where the Dems must defend more than twice the number of GOP seats. As a nation cries out for budget restraint I think that the reign of terror is just starting. The time of the looters is over.

  • @Andrew:

    The biggest advocate of commercial space has been Obama

    Baloney.

  • @Oler:

    As an aside I think that Morning Joe has it more or less correct…if Newt loses FL and the race for the POTUS then this is the end of Presidents or Presidential candidates suggesting massive space efforts or seeing human spaceflight in some “visionary” manner.

    Good. It’s time we had a President that approached space with an eye towards some measurable benefit.

  • Ben Joshua

    My question for candidates is whether they understand the pros and cons of our two approaches to spacesflight, SLS/Orion and COTS/CCDev?

    Romney had to say something about space for the Florida primary, so he put out something. Gingrich has never been a great detail person, but he is good at changing the paradigm with a mind expanding big idea, for better or worse.

    By the way, we recently took the “Then and Now” tour at KSC. Goosebumps for me at the Mercury Redstone site, especially inside, with the latest tech of that time! Interesting to see private companies scaling launch control back down to that size with laptop tech.

    The tour guide said some things that begged the question, ‘Are space policy assumptions and public perceptions out of step with what’s really happening?’ Political candidates may be inclined to follow rather than lead on space issues, because of this divergence.

    For example, I “learned” from the tour guide that-

    ‘Space policy is decided by the president and the administrator. Congress can only make suggestions.’

    ‘If we get a new president next election, we will definitely be going to the moon in 2019 with a lander.’ (No mention of what we might do there, and to what purpose.)

    ‘Space starts at 99 miles.’

    ‘SLS is the next big thing at NASA and will start launching in 2017.’

    ‘By the way, over there, past LC 39, is where SpaceX launches the Falcon. Some other companies, like Sierra and Orbital, are also working on vehicles.’ (That was the entire reference to COTS/CCDev on the 3 hour tour.)

    With assumptions and perceptions like this, I’m glad the biggest response of the tour participants was to the gators, wild pigs and eagles’ nest. Fellow space advocates, we are definitely living in two worlds, and the candidates, if they understand this, don’t want to touch this division in a serious way. They might get burnt!

  • Coastal Ron

    It looks like no matter who of the top three people likely to win the presidency (Obama, Romney & Gingrich), Commercial Cargo & Crew will continue. The big question is whether any of those three will decide to pursue canceling the Space Launch System (SLS)?

    If they do, I don’t see them succeeding unless they can identify and promote a direction for NASA exploration that would be hindered by continuing the SLS. Like in all politics, you have to have something for people to choose between, and unless they see a better choice than what they are already doing, they won’t make a big change.

  • Googaw

    RGO: “I think that Morning Joe has it more or less correct…if Newt loses FL and the race for the POTUS then this is the end of Presidents or Presidential candidates suggesting massive space efforts or seeing human spaceflight in some “visionary” manner.”

    Indeed. And this would be among the best things that could happen to space development.

  • SpaceColonizer

    @RGO

    And so it was that a man who suggested we fire all the school janitors and replace them with child labor had his campaign ended by enthusiasm for space.

  • Eric,
    The issue for me is the company he’s associating with. With the exception of your name on that list, every single one would return us to Constellation. Their opinions combined with the pork-related weight of the Center Senators create a political center of gravity Romney may not be willing to spend the political capital to overcome. Based on your interactions with him, would he cancel SLS or will the other members of his space policy team override your good advice and grow SLS so much there’s no more budgetary room for commercial?

    When push comes to shove is he willing to fight to keep commercial even when he knows it’ll piss of certain parts of Congress and even 90% of his own advisory team?

    I’m a Republican voter. I ran several tea part events here in Georgia. Romney’s speech and team (with the exception of you) convinced me to push hard for Newt. Can you convince me I’m wrong?

    -MM

  • Googaw

    EricA: “Romney clearly stated he planned to include private industry into setting direction for NASA policy?”

    The question remains, though, whether this “private industry” will really just be NASA contractors (including those who call themselves “commercial”) or whether it will be made up of people doing primarily actual commerce with real private sector customers. Especially the communications satellite industry, which remains far more important than any space commerce possibly excepting possibly the “front end” part of the GPS industry, which should also be represented both via the military “back end” and the civilian “front end” players.

    Or it will it just be another rehash of a committee full of companies angling for NASA contracts (“commercial” or otherwise) for the next round of taxpayer-funded heavenly pilgrimages and cathedrals?

  • Real Genius

    Romney clearly stated he planned to include private industry into setting direction for NASA policy

    From now on reality sets the direction of any space program. As we have seen by numerous examples, any direction that deviates from reality ends up grounded, and spending money with little or no return on investment. Policy is more or less meaningless in a reality based technical endeavor.

  • Scott Bass

    Almighty wind wrote We succeeded in stopping Obama in his tracks…..
    I would argue that y’all succeeded in bringing hate and vitriol to the sheep of the GOP to the point where it brought our entire system of government to a stand still…. The harm being done is far worse than anything Obama could have done on his own….. Legislation can be reversed, repaired,replaced. I am not even a big Obama fan but the GOP hate mongering over the last three years has left many Americans dismayed

  • DCSCA

    “He provided some insights into what Romney’s views are about space, particularly the commercial sector…. “He had not thought a lot about commercial space,” Anderson admitted… Anderson continued, “You must remember, Mitt Romney is a very experienced businessman. People in business of course believe in private industry! They know that if you can find goods and services in the private sector then clearly those would be preferable to the government recreating that capability.”” [When, of course, it's 'private industry' trying to re-create what government has created: NASA.]

    Romney himself has already given the electorate several ‘insights’ into his assessment of space as a national priority in high profile public debates – pretty much all of them curt, dismissive and decidely not in the category of space advocacy. So the spin isn’t spinning very well. When you have to keep clarifying what your candidate ‘meant to say’ then the message your target audience rec’d isn’t resonating.

    Romney is not a space advocate. Nor, as a venture capitalist, is he of a mind set to fund R&D operations w/o some kind of firm financial fix on a ROI, public or private. There’s little difference between the mind set of Mitt Romney and Ivan Boesky, who quipped to his wife, “What good is the moon? You can’t buy it or sell it.” Space exploitation is not space exploration. End of story.

    Romney lost the Space Coast vote in the last debate and any foolish space advocate who casts their political lot with him deserved- or will deserve to hear the one firm, decisive directive he has uttered repeatedly to voters across the nation: “You’re fired!”

    @Googaw wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Joe Scarborough is hardly a go-to guy on matters space or Gingrich as he holds a personal grudge, having not had Newt’s support in his Pensicola election bid, and was part of the coup against Gingrich as well. Furthermore, the ‘Morning Joe’ crowd, including the host and former GOP congressman himself, were chortling openly regarding Gingrich’s ‘moon base’ proposal, right along w/t rest of the media landscape. They’re all in that late 40′s age group in Medialand who’ve made space a punchline.

    Even if you’re not a Gingrich supporter, it’s a safe bet that Newt would take an interest in the space agency, NewSpace and any relationship between them far beyond anything Romney would do. But Newt’s never going to get nominated or elected. So American space policy is in the hands of Congress- and the Obama Administration as it is increasingly looking like he’ll get re-elected.

    @Eric A. wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Mr. Romney has made it clear in several debates when the subject of space was broached– usually by Mr. Gingrich- what his position was. Decidely dismissive, wasteful and in the last debate, dismissing an exec with a lunar base proposal with his all-too-familiar line, ‘You’re fired.” It’s clear to all space advocates that the only space Mr. Romney has any interest in is the square footage of his fifteen homes.

  • Mark

    It’s rather fascinating to watch. Gingrich may have a great space vision. But Romney actually has the skill set and the experience to carry one out. Now we’ll have to see if Romney’s space wise men can implant one in their guy,

  • Mark

    By the way, at the end of this donnybrook, I would hate to be anyone who advised Gingrich (that means you Mr. Muncy.) Gingrich may have an awe inspiring space vision. But the roll out and presentation left much to be desired.

  • DCSCA

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 10:22 am

    “There is a sad moment of this with me…”

    Newt is no JFK. The problem is with the messenger, not the message. And what is truly sad is the generation of ‘journalists’ and ‘pundits’ – at least the high profile ones- across the media landscape who responded with laughter when space finally was brought up in the national discourse. Newt may be grandiose at times but the laughter would make Walter Cronkie roll over in his grave. American space policy has always been reactive, not proactive, and will react again when the PRC presses on. If Americans are indifferent about it, then Gingrich is correct about a decaying empire set in its ways. Happened to the Brits. can happen to Americans. That’s why there’s no such thing as American exceptionalism. ask a Brit– or a Roman, if you can find one.

    “…this election is the end of the reign of terror of the GOP…”

    That was said after Watergate, too. Six years later, we were saddled w/Reagan and supply-side economics for three decades. This cycle is just the last gasp of that era, too.

  • DCSCA

    Mark wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 2:25 pm
    It’s rather fascinating to watch. Gingrich may have a great space vision. But Romney actually has the skill set and the experience to carry one out.

    Please indicate where in Romney’s business career of 25 years– as he so often reminds us– he has applied the experience and skill set to merit any confidence or beleif that he has any space vision at all. Because there is none.

  • Scott Bass

    DCSCA, Nope….. Have not seen any vision…. Just a statement that he would put people together to study it….. It’s been studied to death

  • Coastal Ron

    amightywind wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    The GOP Renaissance only stared in 2010. We succeeded in stopping Obama in his tracks.

    How do you figure that? The latest NBC/WSJ poll says:

    In a country sharply divided on almost every issue, most Americans agree on one thing: they don’t like Congress, and they would vote to replace every single member — even their own — if they had the option.

    Apparently Republicans have only succeeded in pissing off the people they are supposed to be working for. Great job. Keep it up.

  • @Michael Mealling
    @Eric A.
    Mike, you expressed my feelings (and probably those of a lot of others who frequent this blog) exactly when you said,
    “The issue for me is the company he’s associating with. With the exception of your name on that list, every single one would return us to Constellation. Their opinions combined with the pork-related weight of the Center Senators create a political center of gravity Romney may not be willing to spend the political capital to overcome. Based on your interactions with him, would he cancel SLS or will the other members of his space policy team override your good advice and grow SLS so much there’s no more budgetary room for commercial?”

    Eric, please give us more substantive details and hard evidence that our fears are unfounded. Please understand, your fellow signatories do not inspire a lot of confidence that we won’t end up with another budgetarily impractical national policy that will keep us stuck in LEO for another generation if Mitt gets elected.

  • @Coastal Ron:

    Apparently Republicans have only succeeded in pissing off the people they are supposed to be working for. Great job. Keep it up.

    Last I checked, Democrats had the majority in the Senate.

  • Googaw

    “Gingrich may have an awe inspiring space vision. ”

    Guffaw inspiring, actually. “Newt’s Dukakis tank moment” indeed Mr. Krauthammer.

    (somebody else) “The problem is with the messenger, not the message.”

    Some may never learn. (sigh).

  • Mr. Anderson’s lies aside, the more fascinating aspect of all this is that commercial space has arisen as a somewhat significant issue in the presidential campaign.

    Which tells us that the politicans are slowly waking up to the reality that commercial space is the future, and therefore they can milk campaign contributions out of NewSpace.

    If NewSpace were a dead run, none of these candidates would care.

    Welcome to the future, boys and girls.

  • Googaw

    “the politicans are slowly waking up to the reality that commercial space is the future, and therefore they can milk campaign contributions out of NewSpace.”

    They can milk campaign contributions out of any NASA or military contractor. Nothing new to see here.

  • Yah, a political campaign is not the place to lay out any clear plans for the nation or its space program. How silly of us to expect such a thing from someone who wants to lead the country and the free world.

    Seriously, WTF kind of argument is that? It’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

    Does Romney see the presidency as another consulting gig? He’s acting like he’s been brought in to make a company more efficient and is describing the expertise that he and his staff at Bain & Co. have to do that work and the process they’re going to use. That’s fine if you’re seeking new business; we should demand more of a presidential candidate. Romney’s been running for President for five years; why he can’t lay out specifics now is mind boggling.

    Beyond that, it’s grossly insensitive. How can Romney go to the Space Coast, trash the current policy, and then tell those who are suffering there that he has no plan to help them but merely a PROCESS for his plan should be that will produce a plan at some point in the future? I agree with Rand Simberg, who writes (http://pjmedia.com/blog/new-space-policy-questions-and-advice-for-mitt/?singlepage=true) that Romney is

    “continuing to come off (as he did in December) as a soulless, visionless technocrat….Finally, do you have any sense of how politically tone deaf it is to mock and denigrate aspirational visions for space in Florida (or anywhere)? Don’t you realize that it makes you come off as a hollow, soul-impoverished bean counter? Don’t you care?”

    If Romney has a better plan, he should lay it out. Touting his resume and the expertise of his advisers doesn’t cut it.

    As long as we’re talking about poorly executed space policies, it’s highly ironic that this policy advisory group includes Mike Griffin and Scott Pace, two former NASA bureaucrats who thought Constellation was a good idea. (Pace is actually heading the group!)

    If Griffin had decided to man-rated the Atlas V and Delta IV instead of building Ares, we would have avoided years of delay and the waste of billions of dollars. We’d probably be flying people by now — or be very close to it. I can’t see how bringing him into an effort to redo U.S. space policy will help matters at all. His Apollo on steroids plan is exactly the type of thing that Romney claims he would have fired anyone for even proposing. If Constellation doesn’t discredit Griffin in Romney’s eyes, what exactly would?

    Finally, I have to disagree with some of the criticism of the Obama space policy. Could Obama have fought harder for his plan? Maybe. Would it have made a difference. Hard to say. My best guess — and its little more than that — is probably not. The plan was clearly beyond where most in Congress were willing to go.

    There’s one thing I can say for sure: I know where Obamas stand on this matter. He has laid out his plans and suffered the slings and arrows for daring to effect real change in the space program. All I get from Romney is talk about his business resume and an advisory group that includes two men who helped dig NASA into its current hole. Really, is that all he’s got?

  • amightywind

    Congress, and they would vote to replace every single member — even their own — if they had the option

    How ridiculous. We elect a new house every year. We get exactly the government we deserve. The problem is 100 years of progressivism has warped the electorate beyond recognition. Indeed the nation is divided, not between the 1% and the 99% but between the productive and the looters.

    Romney has no space vision. Who would expect him to? I am confident he will be well advised.

    Last I checked, Democrats had the majority in the Senate.

    Please try to keep up and reread my first post.

  • Coastal Ron

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Last I checked, Democrats had the majority in the Senate.

    And some Democratic Senators are up for re-election. But the entire Republican majority in the House is up for re-election – no one should feel safe this year.

  • Googaw

    “Finally, do you have any sense of how politically tone deaf it is to mock and denigrate aspirational visions for space in Florida (or anywhere)? ”

    Wow. Spectacularly clueless and irritatingly whiny all in one sentence. The only hurt feelings here are among a miniscule cult that worships astronauts and mid-20th-century sci-fi “visions.” It is the American people who are mocking these “visions”, and Romney has surged in the polls at the expense of the very poorly advised Gingrich as a result. What’s the bad political consequence for Romney here? That Bob Bigelow will ask his Martian friends to eat Romney’s brain?

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I wrote:
    end of the reign of terror of the GOP…

    You replied:
    How do you figure? ”

    9 percent approval ratings. IF Willard is the nominee it will be the best thing that has happened to Obama in his Presidency. Willard is the .1 percent and he is going to wear every minute of that.

    RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Eric A. wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    “By now, Romney has heard about commercial space … from me!”

    Wow that makes us all sleep well at night. I can see it now. Mike Griffin, the lobbiest from Boeing, ATK and all the other “commercial space” people are going to to patiently explain to Willard, a guy who has enormous conviction, deep thought and has strong beliefs on almost every subject he speaks on about how SLS is “commercial space” …and After listening carefully Willard is going to say “NO, I got my views on commercial space from Eric and all you folks are wrong. Obama had a good plan but (what were your words oh) as Eric says “The key problem with Obama is his execution – it has been quite poor” so we are going to fix that”

    Do you really believe your own rhetoric or is this just the first time you have played in the sand box of Presidential politics and “wow” since you said it (“By now, Romney has heard about commercial space … from me!) he must give a damn what you say and has bought it.

    This from a Presidential candidate who in the last go at running for POTUS had no space policy even in the FL primary (I was a McCain supporter), and in this run has been entirely dismissive of any suggestion about what to do with NASA even when asked; until he figured out that Newt would talk on space in Florida..and wow started talking to you.

    Having fallen for the magic carpet ride you try and convince us that in a Presidential campaign when we are trying to figure out where exactly someone will take (on this board) NASA…with this line:

    ““It’s not the right thing to do now to set goals,”

    Of course not, it is the right time to say “I will study NASA” and get every swinging dick who has anything to do with space involved in that study…and we are still suppose to believe that commercial space will work because…he has heard it from “you”.

    I am sorry no. Willard Mitt Romney believes in nothing politically but two things 1) he wants to be POTUS and 2) he is willing to say and lie about anything to get there. Except for keeping folks like him with low tax rates…YOU CANNOT NAME me a single solitary policy matter, including ones of substance like oh health care that Willard has not changed his stripes on to try and get the nomination. I have the copy of McCain’s opo research where on some issues Willard has had four or five positions.

    Do you not know this? Did you not consider this?

    Two final points that make this whole thing goofy

    1. Willard is running around the state 1) lying about what Newt said and 2) making up lies about the strength of the US military. It is some of the biggest lying since Bush lied or exaggerated or whatever about Saddam.

    2. you wrote “Commercial crew is the best program NASA has (begun before Obama’s inauguration), and supported by many Republicans in the House and Senate. ” Where have you been? there is not a single Republican from a space district (ok Dana R probably has some space work)…try again there is not a single REpublican from a NASA space district who is supporting commercial space. Pete Olson will tell you how dangerous it is. And he knows about as much about it as Romney does.

    At some point Eric you should try learning a few things before swimming in the deep waters. You have just been made a fool of.

    Robert G. Oler

  • “Wow. Spectacularly clueless and irritatingly whiny all in one sentence. The only hurt feelings here are among a miniscule cult that worships astronauts and mid-20th-century sci-fi “visions.” It is the American people who are mocking these “visions”, and Romney has surged in the polls at the expense of the very poorly advised Gingrich as a result. What’s the bad political consequence for Romney here? That Bob Bigelow will ask his Martian friends to eat Romney’s brain?”

    I wouldn’t put Rand Simberg in that category. And I know him pretty well.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Rick Boozer wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Eric, please give us more substantive details and hard evidence that our fears are unfounded.”

    No point in it. Willard has heard about commercial space from Eric…all is well RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Mark wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    It’s rather fascinating to watch. Gingrich may have a great space vision. But Romney actually has the skill set and the experience to carry one out”

    Willard so far has demonstrated the only skill set he has is to pick up the skills of Mr. Bush and lie about almost everything. I’ve heard his beating up on Newt and his space policy and there is not a truthful word there. It is the same about his lies on the strength of the US military and the “two war” concept.

    You have really gone over to the dark side Mark. RGO

  • E.P. Grondine

    AW –

    “The GOP Renaissance only stared in 2010. We succeeded in stopping Obama in his tracks.”

    That is the campaign platform? Do you think that the voters might ask what the GOP did to help to solve this nation’s (and their own) problems? I am sure that there is some wordsmith out there who will be able to put this in more memorable and more direct ways.

    Googaw –

    “The only hurt feelings here are among a miniscule cult that worships astronauts and mid-20th-century sci-fi “visions.”

    The problem has been getting past that group to raise the problem of planetary defense, and it has not been easy. No surprise, NASA is staffed with believers in that cult, and they are the space media’s market as well.

    Once again, for the umpteenth thousandth time, THE answer to the “Why?” question is CAPS, in my considered opinion.

    Its going to take people on the Moon to build an adequate impactor detection system.

    The next questions are who, how, and how to share the costs internationally.

    Grunsfeld and Obama can turn to B612 for advice on those issues.

  • So Eric A:

    As the chairman of the COMMERCIAL SPACEFLIGHT Federation that represents a broad range of members and interests that will need to be taken care of no matter who wins in November, do you believe that it is wise decision that you would be taking sides in the upcoming election by advising one candidate and criticizing the other, the incumbent president? Especially a President whose policies your COMMERCIAL SPACEFLIGHT Federation has strongly supported?

    Aren’t you at all concerned, even a little teeny weeny bit, that the COMMERCIAL SPACEFLIGHT Federation and the interests of its member companies could suffer if Romney were to somehow lose?

    And WHY do you write certain WORDS in ALL CAPS? I mean, WTF is up with THAT? Please STOP it. This is WRITTEN communications. You don’t have to SHOUT!

  • red

    Romney’s open letter lists Eric and his affiliations like the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, but it states “Organization names are provided for identification purposes only.”. I’m interested to know if the Commercial Spaceflight Federation endorses a particular candidate, or at least a policy of a candidate.

    Defining commercial as fixed cost, skin-in-the-game, commercially designed and owned, etc, does CSF have an official position on policy questions like:

    - commercial participation for MPCV components (e.g.: Europe is considered for MPCV SM; could this be done using U.S. commercial procurement instead?)
    - commercial procurement of SLS boosters and engines
    - any other areas where NASA should make commercial procurements (e.g.: in areas like space technology, ISS, robotic precursor missions?)
    - commercial participation in NASA science missions (e.g.: the new Venture-class Earth observation missions)
    - improvements to the commercial crew program
    - prizes, and how prizes should be implemented (e.g.: appropriate size and subject matter)
    - perhaps a delicate subject given CSF’s membership: competition for national security launches

  • DCSCA

    @D. Messier wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    “I agree with Rand Simberg, who writes that Romney is “continuing to come off (as he did in December) as a soulless, visionless technocrat….”

    Our Rand is self-projecting. In fact, Romney’s vision is not uncommon among venture capitalists and with respect to space, Mitt’s assessment of matters space is similar to that of Ivan Boesky, who quipped to his wife, “What good is the moon? You can’t buy or sell it.” And no, Simberg, Romney doesn’t care.

  • DCSCA

    @Googaw wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    “It is the American people who are mocking these “visions””

    No. It is the filter of the 35-45 yr old journalists, pundits and talking heads in Cableland who are doing the mocking across the media landscape as their way of lampooning the message. And unfortunately, gad messingers like Gingrich don’t help. It’s an easy laugh nad a do-to punchline for a generation who have grown up in a world that never really were aware of a time when man had not walked on the moon and have no life experience, professional ot personal, witnessing the effort of getting there.

  • DCSCA

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    “Mr. Anderson’s lies aside, the more fascinating aspect of all this is that commercial space has arisen as a somewhat significant issue in the presidential campaign.”

    No it’s not.

  • DCSCA

    @Googaw wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Krauthammer’s GOP establishment. His marching orders are to throw it up and see what sticks to the wall – or rather against Newt. Dr. K was notoriously wrong about Reagan, too. A dour soul– but then, somebody has to pick up where Robert Novak left off

  • DCSCA

    @SpaceColonizer wrote @ January 29th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    “And so it was that a man who suggested we fire all the school janitors and replace them with child labor had his campaign ended by enthusiasm for space.”

    Perhaps Newt derived both policies from a film he and Callista enjoyed, titled, ‘The Reluctant Astronaut” in which a childish Don Knotts thinks NASA hired him be an astronaut but in fact, he’s a janitor instead.

  • @Andrew

    “The biggest advocate of commercial space has been Obama – ironically the one everyone pretends is a socialist.”

    Obama has been the most conservative Democratic president in the last 100 years: trying to privatize NASA’s manned space program, forcing people to buy health insurance from the ‘evil’ private health insurance companies (originally a Republican idea) instead of offering a public option, keeping Guantanamo open to detain people perpetually and illegally, continuing the unnecessary war in Iraq for nearly three years, agreeing to continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in the early part of his administration.

    If a Republican President had done all of these things, Democrats would have gone crazy:-)

  • I’m a little concerned and a bit surprised that the Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation has taken a partisan position in favor of one candidate over another. CSF has supported the Obama Administration’s policies. To see its chairman support Romney and criticize the Administration in such a way is likely to rub some people in the White House the wrong way. They might not make the distinction between someone supporting Romney on his own and his position as chairman of CSF.

    CSF and its many members have interests in front of the government regardless of who wins in November. I’m a bit concerned that if Obama wins it could hurt relations with the federation and the larger cause it is fighting for.

    I think CSF has been one of the best things to happen to commercial space in terms of giving this sector a clear voice and advocating for a set of principles, policies and goals that can gain support from both parties.

  • @Coastal Ron:

    And some Democratic Senators are up for re-election. But the entire Republican majority in the House is up for re-election – no one should feel safe this year.

    Um, the majority of incumbents have good reason to feel safe.

  • The NASA budget is already large enough for humans to return to the Moon and to build a Moon base– if such things are prioritized.

    But we’ll probably never see a dramatic increase in the NASA budget until Chinese boots are on the ground on the lunar surface– and Americans are not there to greet them:-)

    With a fascist state on the lunar surface all by itself, a new Sputnik panic will probably ignite new spending for NASA and the US military’s space program. Looking up at a Chinese Moon should ignite the usual xenophobia inherent in American culture:-) And there will probably be a lot of finger pointing between Democrats and Republicans about who lost the Moon!

    Fortunately, only about 1% of total Federal expenditures ($30 billion annually?) on the civilian space program, will probably be needed to get the US back into a dominating position in manned spaceflight again, not the 4.4% required for Kennedy’s race with the Russians. And the US should have a large variety of private vendors to choose from for this new effort probably including companies like the Boeing, Lockheed, the ULA, Bigelow, and Space X.

    However, the reason that we have a civilian space program in the first place was because President Dwight Eisenhower feared that if the manned space program was continued to led by the US military and the military industrial complex, there would be no way to stop the spending and the militarization of space. So if the US military feels that the US is strategically threatened by the Chinese presence on the Moon then Eisenhower’s ultimate nightmare may come true!

  • @Oler:

    Wow that makes us all sleep well at night.

    Speak for yourself, or at least that unfortunate slice of humanity enduring sleepless nights over nothing at all.

    I can see it now…[absurd fantasy follows]

    Did you even bother to check the names of those signing? You saw Griffin and Pace and projected your one-sided beef with them onto the entire endorsement.

    Do you really believe your own rhetoric or is this just the first time you have played in the sand box of Presidential politics and “wow” since you said it (“By now, Romney has heard about commercial space … from me!) he must give a damn what you say and has bought it.

    Do you really believe anyone cares what you believe transpired between two men–one you barely know and the other you’ve likely never met?

    This from a Presidential candidate who in the last go at running for POTUS had no space policy even in the FL primary…

    Your point?

    (I was a McCain supporter)…

    This is probably bull, but I’ll let it slide.

    …and in this run has been entirely dismissive of any suggestion about what to do with NASA even when asked; until he figured out that Newt would talk on space in Florida..and wow started talking to you. Having fallen for the magic carpet ride you try and convince us that in a Presidential campaign when we are trying to figure out where exactly someone will take (on this board) NASA…with this line:

    ““It’s not the right thing to do now to set goals,”

    At some point, you’re going to have to lay out why you think a campaign bus is the best equipped venue for devising a strategy for civil space. I don’t expect that point to be soon, because it would require you to actually invest some thought before you regurgitate the talking points of others.

    Of course not, it is the right time to say “I will study NASA” and get every swinging dick who has anything to do with space involved in that study…

    And cue the willful rewriting of recent history…

    …and we are still suppose to believe that commercial space will work because…he has heard it from “you”.

    …followed by the strawman…

    I am sorry no. Willard Mitt Romney believes in nothing politically but two things 1) he wants to be POTUS and 2) he is willing to say and lie about anything to get there.

    …culminating in vein popping faux outrage. Seriously, Oler. Given how often you blatantly make things up, I don’t think you’re in a position to assess the character of others.

    Except for keeping folks like him with low tax rates…

    40 percent or more is not a low tax rate.

    YOU CANNOT NAME me a single solitary policy matter, including ones of substance like oh health care that Willard has not changed his stripes on to try and get the nomination.

    You can’t name one where he has.

    I have the copy of McCain’s opo research where on some issues Willard has had four or five positions.

    Is it written in crayon? Did a talking manta ray give it to you in his secret undersea lair?

    1. Willard is running around the state 1) lying about what Newt said and 2) making up lies about the strength of the US military.

    1) You made this up.
    2) You made this up as well.

    It is some of the biggest lying since Bush lied or exaggerated or whatever about Saddam.

    Seek help, Oler. No amount of insane rambling is ever going to transform that fantasy into truth.

    2. you wrote “Commercial crew is the best program NASA has (begun before Obama’s inauguration), and supported by many Republicans in the House and Senate.” Where have you been? there is not a single Republican from a space district (ok Dana R probably has some space work)…try again there is not a single Republican from a NASA space district who is supporting commercial space.

    Blatant lie. Off the top of my head, Ralph Hall, Bob Posey, Mo Brooks, Parker Griffith and Rob Bishop all voted for the 2010 authorization.

    Pete Olson will tell you how dangerous it is.

    I’m sure this tangent means something to you, but exactly what does the Congressman have to do with anything? And what is “it?”

    And he knows about as much about it as Romney does.

    I imagine he knows considerably more about it and aerospace issues in general than Romney.

    At some point Eric you should try learning a few things before swimming in the deep waters.

    Says the the guy in the comments from the safety of his armchair.

  • Vladislaw

    Robert G. Oler wrote:

    “Willard is the .1 percent and he is going to wear every minute of that. “

    Actually he is the top .ooo6% of americans by wealth, more like the top 2000 people?

  • Vladislaw

    Prez Cannady wrote:

    “Did you even bother to check the names of those signing? You saw Griffin and Pace and projected your one-sided beef with them onto the entire endorsement.”

    Oler, like myself, concluded the same thing. It was an exibition of a skill set needed by a President, the ability to chose people for your administration. That was like finding THEE worst barrel of something, dumping it out and scraping the bottom. It showed a lot about Mr. Romney’s skill set in that regard and the possible direction of his future space policies.

    “RO: This from a Presidential candidate who in the last go at running for POTUS had no space policy even in the FL primary…

    Your point?”

    The point was obvious, Romney never bothered with homework in the last election. He stated that President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration was good and he didn’t see any reason to change policies or direction.

    This was in 2008 when many were already saying Constellation was in big danger of being cut because of massive budget over runs and blown schedules.

    The VSE also called for Lunar base. Mr. Romney had recently ridiculed Mr. Gingrich over proposing the very thing. So Gov. Romney also illustrated once again he was a flip flopper. He was for a moon base before he was against it. What is that flip flop number 99? Mr.Oler assumes people have enough common sense to see this if they keep up with events.

    “RO: (I was a McCain supporter)…

    This is probably bull, but I’ll let it slide.

    Oler has a paper trail for this.

    “At some point, you’re going to have to lay out why you think a campaign bus”

    In the last 5-6 years, even doing cursoring due diligence Gov. Romney would be more conversant on the topic. America was giving up a capability, the shuttle, we had exercised for 30 years. It’s replacement, the ISS and how we would get our crews there.

    Mr. Romney certainly has the resources and the staff to be briefed on this and at least the current events. He acts like Florida is a gimmie and doesn’t actually have to at least provide some semblance knowledge on a subject in a state is lossing a ton of workers and income to parts of the state. Yes, you could get briefings on a Bus, to suggest otherwise is silly.

  • D. Messier wrote:

    I’m a little concerned and a bit surprised that the Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation has taken a partisan position in favor of one candidate over another. CSF has supported the Obama Administration’s policies. To see its chairman support Romney and criticize the Administration in such a way is likely to rub some people in the White House the wrong way. They might not make the distinction between someone supporting Romney on his own and his position as chairman of CSF.

    I suspect Mr. Anderson will be spending a lot of time on the phone this week fielding angry calls from other officers and members. Check out the list.

    Since Mr. Anderson makes his money selling rides to billionaires on Soyuz capsules, maybe he thinks the best way to enhance his bottom line is to elect someone like Romney who will do nothing to help the U.S. space program. The Obama administration killed the bloated Constellation program, saved the ISS and has done everything it can to kick-start commercial crew. If not for Obama, starting in 2015 the ISS would have been defunded and those Soyuz capsules would have had nowhere to go. For all we know, Romney will take us back to the Bush policy of defunding the ISS.

    Hopefully Mr. Anderson’s colleagues will get an explanation out of him — and take him to the woodshed for being a traitor to the cause. Makes you wonder if maybe they’ll vote him out as chairman.

  • @Earth to Planet Marcel
    “The NASA budget is already large enough for humans to return to the Moon and to build a Moon base– if such things are prioritized.
    True, ESPECIALLY if we get rid of SLS.

    “But we’ll probably never see a dramatic increase in the NASA budget until Chinese boots are on the ground on the lunar surface– and Americans are not there to greet them:-) “
    Claiming fear of the Chinese gaining space supremacy AND being FOR SLS are mutually CONTRADICTORY goals. Because as people have proved to you over and over again, we get the least return on investment from going the SLS route. Look at my latest post in the thread where you stated. “A very high launch rate of about 12 per year could reduce even NASA managed SLS launches down to $400 million per launch and private SLS launches to below $400 million.” after previously posting, “As far as cost per payload mass is concerned, the SLS should be able to place fuel into orbit cheaper than any smaller vehicle.” I proved yet again that was a LIE.

    Again, Marcel, people would respect you more if you would quit defending a position simply because your pride won’t let you admit it is invalid after all of these years of pushing it. It is time to come over from the darkside if you have any sense at all. People would actually admire you for it

  • red

    My post above sounds a bit different now, coming as it does after Doug’s post. That one wasn’t there (or I didn’t see it) when I posted. I do think it should be made clear whether this is the position or Eric personally, or of the CSF. For example, MM above is part of a CSF member company, and it doesn’t sound like he’s convinced.

  • @Vladislaw:

    Oler, like myself, concluded the same thing.

    Which says a great deal about the both of you; none of it flattering. That’s besides the point. It’s obvious you haven’t bothered to check out the other names attached.

    It was an exibition of a skill set needed by a President, the ability to chose people for your administration.

    It was nothing of the sort.

    That was like finding THEE worst barrel of something, dumping it out and scraping the bottom.

    Trust me, it’ll be a cold day in hell before you and Oler find yourselves on a search committee for anything more critical than take-out.

    It showed a lot about Mr. Romney’s skill set in that regard and the possible direction of his future space policies.

    It showed a lot about your animosity to two particular names

    The point was obvious, Romney never bothered with homework in the last election.

    What “homework?” What do you think a campaign is, Jeopardy?

    He stated that President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration was good…

    Is that a problem?

    …and he didn’t see any reason to change policies or direction.

    He said nothing of the sort.

    This was in 2008 when many

    You have a funny definition of “many.” Fits well with your inflated sense of self-importance.

    [Romney] was for a moon base before he was against it.

    That’s a bald faced lie.

    Oler has a paper trail for this.

    And I guess you’re it? Give me a break.

    In the last 5-6 years, even doing cursoring due diligence Gov. Romney would be more conversant on the topic.

    We’re talking about candidates devising strategy for American space affairs on the campaign trail. We’re not talking about candidates humoring you with trivia.

    Yes, you could get briefings on a Bus, to suggest otherwise is silly.

    I know. In your world, briefings amount to five minutes of Googling for the opposite ends of an issue before you flip a coin and make a decision. That’s exactly what we need out of a presidential candidate, right?

  • @D. Messier
    Sorry about the few all caps words in my last post. I just get tired of proving the same points to Marcel over and over again as do a lot of other people. I’ll try to refrain from it from now on. ;)

  • amightywind

    That was like finding THEE worst barrel of something, dumping it out and scraping the bottom.

    I have a three word response to this. Holdren, Garver, Bolden. Surely some of the most reviled people to ever hold the posts. I believe Mitt will be better advised.

    Willard is the .1 percent and he is going to wear every minute of that.

    He sure is. Mitt might be the 10e-6%. For those of us who are capitalists, that is a good thing. Even for you looters, think of how much you have chiseled from him in the form of taxes in his life. Wonderful. Of course the people who invented this 1% strategy summer on the Vineyard, winter in Hawaii, party with the glitterati, and dine on steak and arugula. They will wear every minute of that..

  • @amightywind:

    I have a three word response to this. Holdren, Garver, Bolden. Surely some of the most reviled people to ever hold the posts. I believe Mitt will be better advised.

    I’m sure all three lie awake at night fretting over your contempt.

  • Coastal Ron

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 6:23 am

    The Obama administration killed the bloated Constellation program, saved the ISS and has done everything it can to kick-start commercial crew.

    If Romney is the Republican Presidential candidate, he better hope that his plan for space doesn’t come up, since that will be something that Obama will be able to point to and say “Mitt, you talk about assembling an A-List group of space advisors, and I’ve already done that – it was led by one of the most respected aerospace leaders we have, and included former astronauts, military, academia, and members of the commercial sector. And you talk about being prepared to cancel a Moon program that lacked a business case, and not only have I done that, but I was able to get Republican support for doing it. You are just copying what I have already done.

    What’s Romney going to say? “Well you copied what I did on healthcare…;-)

  • Bob Steinke

    Eric,

    I have the same concerns as Michael Mealling and Rick Boozer. Yes, when you talk one-on-one with Mitt the candidate he may seem very enthusiastic about using private industry instead of NASA bureaucracy in theory. But if he gets elected will it actually be on his priority list? WIll he spend political capital to defend funding for commercial crew and CRuSR? It seems more likely that he will appoint a new administrator on principle of removing someone that was appointed by a democrat, and then proceed to ignore space for the next four years. And it seems likely that the person he would appoint would be Mike Griffin. That would result in Constellation part 2 and, sorry we can’t spare any money for unproven commercial operators.

  • JPSpace

    Does anyone really believe Eric speaks for CSF on this? They have been supporters of Obama’s space policy since the beginning. I’m aware of several corporate members of CSF who are let’s say “re-evaluating” their membership – or more likely – Eric’s Chairmanship of CSF due to this serious error on his part. He could have just used his Space Adventures title, and not CSF. Griffin didn’t use his UAH title. Volunteer, not-for-profit organization’s leaders should not use their title to endorse candidates. And in this case, he is endorsing the least supportive candidate for the mission of the CSF! This is going to get interesting…

  • common sense

    @ amightywind wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Comical as usual.

    Romney is nothing of a capitalist. He made a career preying on others’ hard work. Other capitalists. You probably have no idea what a capitalist is. Nothing newsworthy but here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitt_Romney

    At best he is a money engineer nothing creative in whatever he did. Never did he try to actually build something except cash.

    I assume you never ever have steak do you? Do you actually know what arugula is? Where you find arugula? Now. Are you saying that eating actual wild herbs is the common of the elite? I did not know that Hawaii was such an elite 1% place to go on vacation to… Your arguments are so weak. Man. Come on you can do better but I fear you’re losing steam. Have for some time now.

  • Robert G. Oler

    y come true!
    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 1:20 am
    I wrote:

    (I was a McCain supporter)…

    You replied:
    This is probably bull, but I’ll let it slide…

    you obviously dont know what you dont know.

    and then you wrote: “At some point, you’re going to have to lay out why you think a campaign bus is the best equipped venue for devising a strategy for civil space.”

    and you dont know what you know.

    But you have made my point for me. Willard has been running for President (with a brief stop when he withdrew following the 08 FLA primary making McCain the nominee) for almost 5 years. One does not make policy “on the bus” unless it is campaign strategery, one makes it at campaign hq…something that is a perpetual thing with Willard.

    Yet not for a moment has he thought about human spaceflight nor has he even entertained the unsolicited offers of a space policy outline by “someone” (groups are doing this all the time). HE (Willard) did not even have the foresight to do this after some debate questions on human spaceflight but only got interested in it when he knew Newt would make a point of it.

    Instead what Willard is up to is typical GOP establishment assasination politics and Eric A fell into it.

    The typical thing when “something” becomes an issue that the candidate cannot or wont directly address is to find “experts” who will side with the candidate in some ambigous statement that is designed to put the other person on the defensive and give the guy who is in need of some help some support.

    In South carolina in 00 when Bush went after McCain, Bush had no real vet credentials (he fought the godless Cubans from Pete’s bar on HIghway 3) and he needed to slime McCain so they got all the radio talk show host to talk about how McCain was “unbalanced” and then found some flunkie who had actually criticized Bush’s dad (Bush 41) over vet issues and without so much as a grin Bush got him up on stage and sat silent as he went after McCain.

    Eric is serving the flunkie role here.

    ASide from his role in getting millionaires rides on Soyuz he claims some status in commercial space…so they pull in some real heavy hitters who are “names” but really opposed to commercial space and balance it with well Eric.

    Unless ERic could post as some rep of commercial space; there would be no Eric on the list. .

    What is really Bush league about Eric’s statements is that he does this on the face of Willard simply lying about what Gingrich said. no if and or buts Willard is simply going around Florida lying about what Gingrich said…

    And people like you and Whittington and all are falling in line.
    RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    JPSpace wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Does anyone really believe Eric speaks for CSF on this? They have been supporters of Obama’s space policy since the beginning. I’m aware of several corporate members of CSF who are let’s say “re-evaluating” their membership – or more likely – Eric’s Chairmanship of CSF due to this serious error on his part.”

    NO I am sure Eric speaks for Eric and he got caught up in the “speaking to maybe power” thing and did not think out how he was being used.

    Eric could have signed the letter “Adolph Hamerstam” as long as he used the title of “Chairman CSF” that is all they wanted.

    Robert G. Oler

  • amightywind

    Romney is nothing of a capitalist. He made a career preying on others’ hard work.

    No. He *risked* the capital of his own firm to resuscitate dying companies, or to maximize the value for shareholders of companies that have failed through orderly liquidation. That is the essence of capitalism. He is not a predator. He is a savior.

    Do you actually know what arugula is? Where you find arugula? Now. Are you saying that eating actual wild herbs is the common of the elite?

    I watch enough of the cooking channel to know that. (Hottest girls on TV!) And yes, it is a pretentious green, much more so than good old American ice burg lettuce!

  • @Rick Boozer

    “Again, Marcel, people would respect you more if you would quit defending a position simply because your pride won’t let you admit it is invalid after all of these years of pushing it. It is time to come over from the darkside if you have any sense at all. People would actually admire you for it”

    Sorry Rick but the SLS will enable the US to totally dominate cis-lunar space. There will be no other machine out there with its capability and its ultimate flexibility.

    I have a tendency to believe NASA studies on this issue since they’ve actually put real people into space– not just talk about it.

    But you tend to believe a Snake Oil salesman like Elon Musk whose never put anyone into space, yet never saw a tax payer dollar he didn’t like:-)

    We all have our preferences!

  • Burnell

    I think that Romney is just indulging in more rhetoric about how he will support the space program, you see him in office I’ll bet he’ll turn around and say its to expensive like most of the rest of the politicians do.

    I’m confused, the argument of cost seems to be based on a government program as if it were a private business, it isn’t. If cost were the argument used to justify everything the defense industry would have been severely cut a long time ago, and NASA would have gotten more funding. The politician argument seems to be that NASA spends large amounts of money and wastes a lot of it, therefore it doesn’t get support; but based on support for other programs the real problem seems to be that it doesn’t spend enough money to bring in large amounts of money to various districts which then translates into political support which then brings in more money.

    Has the whole argument for cost and spending meant any increase of support for the space program, or has it meant a never ending series of cuts and the refrain that you must do more with less, irregardless if that is even possible?

    It seems to me that support for NASA at least in regards to politicians comes down to a simple formula, in that support is high in direct proportion to amount of money spent in a politician’s district, and low for areas where it spends comparatively little money. Of course a politician will usually say it is supporting the space program, but then based on its actions it will only really support based on it’s money flowing into its districts.

    Maybe the argument in terms of support should less talk about cost but more about how it should actually spend more money not less and spread it around the country, which then translates into support which then translates into funding then more support, and translates into more lobbyists etc. etc. It’s rather like how the defense industry gets continuous support not for any specific need but partly because it generates large amounts of jobs and income flowing into many many different districts, this then translates into a continuously increasing funding support which then leads to a rock solid funding base, because the politicians own livelihood both in terms of campaign financing and votes is dependent on he or she keeping the money rolling in.

    Using the “pork barrel” argument for say continuous support for NASA you can see that it really wouldn’t matter what it spent on or how expensive it was, as long as it spent lots across x districts, and more of it and the more wasteful the better because that means more money spent and more support. Government agencies do not typically get support based on how efficient they are so why is it fair to always have a never ending refrain about how NASA needs to be more efficient and never use the same criteria to critique other agencies?, and then another question has more efficiency translated into it doing more and into it having more support?

    Personally I am of the opinion that more funding will come with a PRC Cold War event, then we can do it right this time, and have NASA spend enough to lock it in the politicians self interest equation, who then will keep it funded.

    Notice I’m not for private or public, view it as a partnership as it has been in the past for other frontiers, example railroads were not pure private, they depended heavily on Congress granted land grants and other incentives. What I would like to see is a politician put his money where his mouth is in terms of funding, and I just see Romney doing more of the same old rhetoric.

  • @Oler:

    Don’t have time to deal with your crazy descent into alternative history and third-rate attempt at punditry. You lied about Anderson being the only commercial interest to sign the endorsement letter. You lied about “space district” congressional Republican support for private spaceflight. You lied about Romney’s position on civil space policy. And now you’re arguing that a candidate’s staff with an office suite has everything it needs to engineer missions and rockets.

    Don’t really care what’s driving you down the road to Crazytown; but at this point you’re magnificently boring.

  • It is no surprise but we do not believe what Mr. Romney is pushing. It will just be four more years of what we have now if Mr. Romney does indeed get the nomination.

    http://www.teapartyinspace.org/?q=content/tea-party-space-endorses-newt

    http://www.teapartyinspace.org/?q=content/mitt-romneys-lack-space-vision

    Respectfully,
    Andrew Gasser
    TEA Party in Space

  • @Steinke:

    I have the same concerns as Michael Mealling and Rick Boozer. Yes, when you talk one-on-one with Mitt the candidate he may seem very enthusiastic about using private industry instead of NASA bureaucracy in theory. But if he gets elected will it actually be on his priority list? WIll he spend political capital to defend funding for commercial crew and CRuSR?

    If Romney changed absolutely , you’d still get commercial cargo within a year or two and crew shortly thereafter. Civil space has been on this trajectory for a decade, and Romney’s Administration would have to actually make the effort to thwart it.

    This notion that there is a nefarious, powerful force out to kill commercial space is a figment of your imagination.

    It seems more likely that he will appoint a new administrator on principle of removing someone that was appointed by a democrat, and then proceed to ignore space for the next four years.

    You think Gingrich would consolidate the duties of NASA administrator, deputy administrator, associate administrator for HEOMD, and C3PO management into his own.

    And it seems likely that the person he would appoint would be Mike Griffin.

    Possibly.

    That would result in Constellation part 2…

    So your prediction is Griffin cancels SLS and by some magic convinces Congress to reboot Constellation?

    …and, sorry we can’t spare any money for unproven commercial operators.

    So why didn’t he do that between 2005 and 2009? This Griffin you speak of is a fictional character, and that’s all she wrote.

  • Sorry Rick but the SLS will enable the US to totally dominate cis-lunar space. There will be no other machine out there with its capability and its ultimate flexibility.

    Mindless, baseless blather.

  • @Williams:

    Sorry Rick but the SLS will enable the US to totally dominate cis-lunar space.

    It’s ridiculous to talk this way of a vehicle that hasn’t even gone undergone PDR in pursuit of a strategy that doesn’t even exist yet.

    There will be no other machine out there with its capability and its ultimate flexibility.

    There’ll be no other rocket with its lift. It’s overall capability and “flexibility” (whatever you mean by that) will be determined by its availability to fly, rideshare risks, and demand for its services.

    But you tend to believe a Snake Oil salesman like Elon Musk whose never put anyone into space, yet never saw a tax payer dollar he didn’t like:-)

    Elon Musk did build and fly a 10 ton lifter and a reusable cargo capsule. He brought it to this stage for under $2 billion–or about how much Congress spent to take SLS to…well…nowhere yet.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Marcel F. Williams wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Sorry Rick but the SLS will enable the US to totally dominate cis-lunar space. There will be no other machine out there with its capability and its ultimate flexibility. >>

    Nor its cost and really I dont think it has a lot of flexibility. Anyway enjoy the world you live in RGO

  • common sense

    @ amightywind wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    “No. He *risked* the capital of his own firm to resuscitate dying companies, or to maximize the value for shareholders of companies that have failed through orderly liquidation. That is the essence of capitalism.”

    He might on occasion, sure. Maximizing value for shareholders is the essence of Wall Street not capitalism. You are mistaking them.

    “He is not a predator. He is a savior.”

    Hallelujah! Is it the way he’ll appeal to your base?

    “I watch enough of the cooking channel to know that. (Hottest girls on TV!)”

    Haven’t watch in some time, I could not tell. Bam!

    “And yes, it is a pretentious green, much more so than good old American ice burg lettuce!”

    Not bad. But hey, you’re wrong again… Nice try though.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettuce

    “History

    The earliest depiction of lettuce is in the carvings at the temple of Senusret I at Karnak, where he offers milk to the god Min, to whom the lettuce was sacred. Lettuce was considered an aphrodisiac food in Ancient Egypt, and appears as such in The Contendings of Horus and Seth. Later, Ancient Greek physicians believed lettuce could act as a sleep-inducing agent. The Romans cultivated it, and it eventually made its way to the Papal Court at Avignon, France.[7]“

  • gregori

    @amightywind

    He sure is. Mitt might be the 10e-6%. For those of us who are capitalists, that is a good thing. Even for you looters, think of how much you have chiseled from him in the form of taxes in his life.

    If you do anything well, you give me my one laugh a day that keeps the doctor away. Utterly comical stuff. Being a ‘capitalist’ implies you are for making a profit, something that your much vaunted “traditional NASA policy” fails horribly to do.

    I think you might have outed yourself as one of the “looters” you are accusing everyone else of being. The traditional NASA model is not funded by profits or productivity, but taxing others who don’t get anything from spaceflight and funneling that money to politically connected contractors and jobs in certain districts without competition or market discipline.

  • @Earth to Planet Marcel
    “We all have our preferences!”
    I actually would prefer that you be correct, since what you want is what my taxpayer dollars are being spent on right now. If you were right, the part of my taxes that go toward SLS would not be a waste. However, reality is external to us and the fact that my preference is for you to be right does not matter. Objective reality will be the way it is regardless of our subjective wishes.

    As for NASA studies, as I said repeatly, my opinion is based on NASA studies such as this one:
    http://images.spaceref.com/news/2011/21jul2011.pdf
    And since that study compares the merits SLS-based deep space systems to other alternatives, it is more likely to valid than the one you quote that only considers an SLS based system.

    You would make a lousy scientist, Marcel. If you had to make a choice in your research between what you want to believe and whatever the evidence indicates, you would choose the former just because you don’t like it.

    As Rand said, “Mindless, baseless blather.” It appears either you never had a course in evidence-based critical thinking, or it just didn’t stick.

  • Googaw

    Burnell: You express the philosophy of NASA corruption and waste so well. And as a bonus you believe it’s a good thing! Borrow even more money from China to fund even more centrally planned cosmic fantasies. And make sure the money gets wastefully spread around as many Congressional districts as possible so that they don’t dare cancel it when it goes astronomically over budget. Damn the taxpayers, full speed ahead!

    E.P. Grondine; it should be pretty easy to get past the astronaut cultists to do planetary defense, since, Hollywood notwithstanding, astronauts are nowhere close to being necessary for it. If in fact what you are trying to do is defend the planet rather than look for more excuses to launch and admire heavenly pilgrims.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Andrew Gasser wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    no no it will be worse then that. What the Willard campaign is being presented by several people through the good offices of Hutchinson and Olson is a notion that Orion becomes the crew/return etc flying on a a EELV. This is married with the notion of a European “contribution” of a service module for the entire thing.

    This is going to become the Willard space program. RGO

  • MrEarl

    Frankly, it really doesn’t matter who is elected president. Congress has supported an SDLV and Orion/MPCV since 2004, twice saving it from cancelation or reduction of funding in the 2011 and 2012 budgets.

    Neither, Obama or any of the contenders have shown that they are willing to spend the political capital it would take to end an SDLV or MPCV. The best thing that can be done now is to hold NASA’s feet to the fire on cost, timeframes and capabilities while creating international and corporate partnerships to advance human exploration and exploitation of space.

  • Coastal Ron

    MrEarl wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Congress has supported an SDLV and Orion/MPCV since 2004, twice saving it from cancelation or reduction of funding in the 2011 and 2012 budgets.

    An interesting, and true, observation.

    I guess I take solace in the fact that it is steadily shrinking in program scope, which could mean that next we will see it shrink from the SLS & MPCV to just the MPCV, and soon after than the MPCV will be ended or turned into a one-off demo.

    I could be wrong, but with only two data points that looks like the trend. I’ll keep my fingers crossed…

  • @Andrew Gasser:

    http://www.teapartyinspace.org/?q=content/tea-party-space-endorses-newt

    http://www.teapartyinspace.org/?q=content/mitt-romneys-lack-space-vision

    I see Tea in Space is adding willfully misrepresenting views and history to its all too thin list of contributions.

  • A few things Prez

    There is no mis-representing what Mr. Romney wants to do. He wants Augustine #2. He said it as much in his 20 minute space speech where he spent about 7 minutes actually talking about space. Again, if you want the monolithic, big porker space program run by Dr. Griffin, Mitt Romney is your guy.

    We do not want that and we like Newt. Good people can disagree.

    Our accomplishments are actually remarkable. We have developed wonderful relations with a lot of members inside and outside the science committee. Moreover, we have educated many staffers AND members on the importance of Space Act Agreements. This will be huge going forward. Finally, there are not too many people, besides the big porker congressmen and women, who do not know what a drag SLS and JWST are on our nation’s space program.

    We are doing a heck of a lot with the resources we have.

    Respectfully,
    Andrew Gasser
    TEA Party in Space

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amE82rdykOg

  • Robert G. Oler

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I see Tea in Space is adding willfully misrepresenting views and history to its all too thin list of contributions.”

    No that is Willard Mitt Romney, he is literally lying through his smiling mouth about almost everything RGO

  • @Gasser:

    There is no mis-representing what Mr. Romney wants to do. He wants Augustine #2. He said it as much in his 20 minute space speech where he spent about 7 minutes actually talking about space.

    1. It would be Augustine #3.
    2. Romney suggested no such thing.

    Again, if you want the monolithic, big porker space program …

    You mean like the one that exists today and has existed for the agency’s entire history?

    …run by Dr. Griffin…

    1. There’s no evidence whatsoever that Griffin will be Romney’s pick for the Administrator, and
    2. you can thank Dr. Griffin’s administration for the COTS contracts about to bring cargo lift back to the United States.

    …Mitt Romney is your guy.

    You keep saying as much, but all you do is yap nonsensically at the only candidate who hasn’t cut his teeth on pork barrels.

    We do not want that and we like Newt. Good people can disagree.

    Good people can. Then there are people like you, who defame conservatives who actually live the creed while waving the Tea Party banner. That requires more than disagreement. It demands ridicule.

    Our accomplishments are actually remarkable. We have developed wonderful relations with a lot of members inside and outside the science committee.

    In short, you’re a lobbyist.

    Moreover, we have educated many staffers AND members on the importance of Space Act Agreements.

    I imagine your educational efforts are worth as much as offering grown mean breathing lessons and potty training.

    This will be huge going forward. Finally, there are not too many people, besides the big porker congressmen and women, who do not know what a drag SLS and JWST are on our nation’s space program.

    Probably because they know you’re full of it. SLS and JWST aren’t holding up the emergence of commercial lift, cislunar propellant, or any of the other steps towards putting together a space-faring infrastructure. The hold up is a lack of a civil space strategy that Congress can buy. And that’s a failure we can pin squarely on you and folks in your trade.

  • @Prez Cannady

    Yeah! NASA has a long history of failure. Less than 4 years after its creation, it put a man into orbit. Just 11 years after its creation, it put men on the Moon. And in 1981 NASA created the first space plane.

    Space X was founded 10 years ago and still hasn’t placed a single human into orbit. We’re waiting Elon:-)

    NASA space probes have landed on Mars and roved the Martian surface and visited the outer planets. The Hubble telescope has peaked far into the universe. There is no space organization that even comes close to what NASA has accomplished.

    The SLS is a lot simpler space vehicle to develop than the Space Shuttle. And to doubt if NASA vendors like Boeing and Lockheed and Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne can build rockets and rocket engines anymore is just silly.

  • DCSCA

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Elon Musk did build and fly a 10 ton lifter and a reusable cargo capsule.

    Please post the multiple-use flight data. ………..

    And, of course, nobody needs an orbiting cheese box that cannot sustain life. What is contracted for is an operational cargo/crew delivery system to the ISS which is not in place and not operation. But it was very pretty launch/ Still there’s a more economical way to warm cheese for a melt- we call it a microwave oven. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ January 30th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    never expend political capital doing what events are going to do for you RGO

  • @Rick Boozer

    ” As for NASA studies, as I said repeatly, my opinion is based on NASA studies such as this one:
    http://images.spaceref.com/news/2011/21jul2011.pdf

    And since that study compares the merits SLS-based deep space systems to other alternatives, it is more likely to valid than the one you quote that only considers an SLS based system.You would make a lousy scientist, Marcel. If you had to make a choice in your research between what you want to believe and whatever the evidence indicates, you would choose the former just because you don’t like it. As Rand said, “Mindless, baseless blather.” It appears either you never had a course in evidence-based critical thinking, or it just didn’t stick.”

    *********

    First of all, manned deep space missions are impossible using chemical rockets unless we intend to unnecessarily risk the lives of the astronauts in vessels that are not properly shielded with several hundred tonnes of mass shielding. So unless there is some major break through in radiation protection for astronauts, using chemical rockets for journeys to asteroids is simply a fantasy. I’m not sure why NASA continues to show interplanetary vehicles without mass shielding and then go on to say, “Of course, we still need to solve the problem of radiation exposure.”

    Secondly, the primary purpose for the next launch vehicles should be for the assembly of a permanent base on the Moon, not for wasteful lunar sortie missions. Robots controlled from Earth can rove the lunar surface continuously taking videos and collecting samples from all areas of the Moon and then bring them back to a centrally located Moon base for export back to Earth.

    Third, the SLS is not incompatible with space depots and can actually place fuel into orbit cheaper than any smaller launch vehicles. 130 tonnes placed into orbit by single SLS launch could provide fuel for at least three or more round trips from LEO to L1and back by a commercial ACES 41 vehicle, depending on how much of their own fuel they carried into orbit.

    Fourth, the best fuel depot is actually on the lunar surface using fuel manufactured from lunar water to fuel reusable lunar landers. Reusable lunar landers would require only one SLS launch to L1 or to lunar orbit– instead of two– for manned missions which substantially reduces recurring cost.

    Five, once the expendable RS-25 engines are in full production, the manned SLS could be reconfigured to use a core stage and an upper stage only in order to reach L1 or lunar orbit, without the need for side mounted solid or liquid boosters, substantially reducing cost.

    Six, both the Falcon 9 and the Delta IV rockets have such limited fairing sizes that they would place sever limitations on the size of the habitat modules needed to be placed on the lunar surface. One of the primary goals of a lunar base is to see if humans can actually remain sane on the lunar surface for months or for years. Forcing them into cramped quarters for months or years would help their sanity.

    Seven, the small fairing sizes of the Falcon 9 and Delta IV heavy could not be used to deploy the large Olympus BA-2100 space stations into orbit for the commercial industry.

    Eight, the small fairing sizes of the Falcon 9 and Delta IV heavy would put severe limitations on the size of space telescopes placed within cis-lunar space.

    Nine, the RS-25 could provide man-rated rocket engines for a commercially used single core Delta IV rocket without any huge development cost to the ULA and the increased demand for the RS-25 could significantly reduce the cost of SLS launches.

    And, by the way, my published research articles are cited in science journals by scientist from all over the world:-)

    Marcel F. Williams

  • DCSCA

    @JeffFoust
    @Stephen C. Smith

    Might be interesting if you could post/monitor the local numbers on how the Space Coast counties vote Tuesday after Romney & Newt’s positions. Could be different from the rest of the state and it might get lost in the overall reporting of the returns in the national media. Smitty is down among ‘em so he might have a good sense what the local chatter is.

  • Jeff Foust

    Yes, DCSCA, I’ll be checking the results of today’s primary in Brevard County compared to the rest of the state.

  • MrEarl

    Oler:
    You’ve been predicting the the demise of the SDLV since 2009 when all evidence has pointed to it’s continuation. Kinda like searching for WMDs in Iraq.

  • This image is on the front page of this morning’s Florida Today.

    I have my own interpretation, but you folks can decide for yourself. :-)

  • @Earth to Planet Marcel
    “First of all, manned deep space missions are impossible using chemical rockets unless we intend to unnecessarily risk the lives of the astronauts in vessels that are not properly shielded with several hundred tonnes of mass shielding.”
    Going to the Moon is a deep space mission since it is beyond the radiation shield protection of the van Allen belts, even though it is not beyond Earth’s gravity well. As an astrophysicist I can tell you lunar missions face the same radiation hazards from CMEs, cosmic rays etc as asteroid or interplanetary missions. The Apollo astronauts were lucky none of these events took place during their time in transit to the moon above the belts, in lunar orbit, or on the lunar surface. The one exception would be if the astronauts can wait it out in a moonbase covered with enough regolith, but that won’t help anyone in lunar orbit, caught out on the surface or on their way to the moon.

    As for the rest of your list regarding technical points about SLS . . .
    None of the points you made address the economic realities of the situation. The laws of economics are as unforgiving as the laws of physics in space as they are anything else. Cost seems to always be the least important issue to you, and rockets get built with money. Plus I never said anything like the SLS is incompatible with depots, just not as econonomically practical. There are studies, including the one I cited earlier that show the issues you brought up can be worked around. The workarounds are a lot less expensive than building SLS. And here is yet another article illustrating nonSLS solutions:
    http://ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/AffordableExplorationArchitecture2009.pdf

    Get this through your head, Marcel, I am for a lunar base at least as much as you are. In fact, if you are in your 30′s or early 40s, I have been for it since before you were born. But I and other people see your position on SLS as the problem not the solution. It will take longer and cost more money. Again, http://images.spaceref.com/news/2011/21jul2011.pdf

    But you are a fanatical True Believer in the One Way of the SLS, so no amount of evidence will pursuade you. Hell, you’re a High Priest. It’s useless to try to talk someone out of there religion, but I’m doing this for the benefit of other people whose thoughts are not set in stone. I too (for decades) used to think a Big M_____ F______ Rocket of Saturn V class or larger was the only way, until I gave other methods honest consideration. But I changed with the times, you’re still stuck with a 1960′s mentality.

  • @Marcel Williams:

    Yeah! NASA has a long history of failure. Less than 4 years after its creation, it put a man into orbit.

    How does putting a single man in orbit on throwaway for $625 million each a starting year after the Soviets amount to an achievement?

    Just 11 years after its creation, it put men on the Moon.

    How does a handful of lunar layovers costing $140 billion amount and teaching us next to nothing about exploiting space amount to an achievement?

    And in 1981 NASA created the first space plane.

    How does fielding a $1.2 billion a launch semi-reusable death trap amount to an achievement?

    Space X was founded 10 years ago and still hasn’t placed a single human into orbit. We’re waiting Elon:-)

    Given how scatter shot your standards are for “achievement” in this area, you’d think you’d be drooling all over SpaceX just for making the attempt.

    NASA space probes have landed on Mars and roved the Martian surface and visited the outer planets.

    How is painfully more expensive cosmic navel gazing an achievement?

    The Hubble telescope has peaked far into the universe. There is no space organization that even comes close to what NASA has accomplished.

    Because few space organizations have as screwed up a definition of “accomplishment” as NASA does. The principle space policy aim and budgetary elephant in most nations is more and better satellite applications.

    The SLS is a lot simpler space vehicle to develop than the Space Shuttle.

    See as integrated risk hasn’t been tabulated for SLS yet, it’s obvious you’re making this up.

    And to doubt if NASA vendors like Boeing and Lockheed and Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne can build rockets and rocket engines anymore is just silly.

    Please, child. Show me where anyone said any such thing.

  • Correction to above post: instead of cosmic rays in general, I meant to say cosmic ray bursts. I should have also added gamma ray bursts. But cosmic rays continually occur all the time at low levels.

  • you can thank Dr. Griffin’s administration for the COTS contracts about to bring cargo lift back to the United States.

    Not really. He didn’t want to do it. It only happened due to pressure from the White House.

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Oler:
    You’ve been predicting the the demise of the SDLV since 2009 when all evidence has pointed to it’s continuation. Kinda like searching for WMDs in Iraq….

    Having done the later I know a goatrope that is going to end badly for the folks who cranked it up This is the year RGO

  • DCSCA

    @JeffFoust- Thanks. FYI, Houston Chronicle reporter on CSPAN this morning gave a fairly good assessment of where ‘space policy’ is at– until he got to the last question and criticized the decision not to place an orbiter in Houston as ‘political.’

    @Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Might be interesting to hear any local chatter you pick up fromk the locals at the bars and and grocery stores.

  • MrEarl

    “This is the year RGO”

    You sound like a Cubs/Orioles fan.

  • @Simberg:

    Not really. He didn’t want to do it. It only happened due to pressure from the White House.

    Try as I might, can’t even find second or third hand reports of Griffin opposing COTS between his appointment and August 2006.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Googaw –

    “E.P. Grondine; it should be pretty easy to get past the astronaut cultists to do planetary defense, since, Hollywood notwithstanding, astronauts are nowhere close to being necessary for it. If in fact what you are trying to do is defend the planet rather than look for more excuses to launch and admire heavenly pilgrims.”

    It isn’t the astronaut cultists, though there’s enough of them around, who have an entirely unrealistic view of the jobs and lives of astronauts.

    It’s generally the Mars utopianists, along with some anti-nuke tech greens. And then you have the astrophysicists and ET folks in charge of the telescope budgets.

    And the entire whole is institutionally entrenched and supported.

    Some 30 years after the Alvarez’s initial work, I still read articles about “THE ASTEROID IMPACT THAT KILLED THE DINOSAURS”. Like that’s even close to right. That’s when it isn’t a volcano or something else like gradual climate change.

    Get it straight: it was the impact of three COMETS or comet fragments.

    And climate collapse and starvation caused by comet impact killed off the mammoth. Period.

    We’re going to need astronauts to construct and maintain the necessary detection systems. See CAPS.

    RB –

    “Objective reality will be the way it is regardless of our subjective wishes.”

    In my experience, not as long as objective reality can be avoided.
    And when it finally can not, there’s usually some kind of mental escape mechanism.

    Consider the Ares, for example.

    We could have had DIRECT and two manned launch systems…

    And Griffin is now one of Romney’s space advisors.

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    “This is the year RGO”

    You sound like a Cubs/Orioles fan…..

    Aggies RGO

  • @Rick Boozer

    Rick Boozer: “Going to the Moon is a deep space mission since it is beyond the radiation shield protection of the van Allen belts, even though it is not beyond Earth’s gravity well. As an astrophysicist I can tell you lunar missions face the same radiation hazards from CMEs, cosmic rays etc as asteroid or interplanetary missions. The Apollo astronauts were lucky none of these events took place during their time in transit to the moon above the belts, in lunar orbit, or on the lunar surface. The one exception would be if the astronauts can wait it out in a moonbase covered with enough regolith, but that won’t help anyone in lunar orbit, caught out on the surface or on their way to the moon.”

    MW: The Moon is only a few days away. A round trip to an asteroid, on the other hand, would be a multi-month journey through interplanetary space that could expose astronauts to deadly levels of radiation during a major solar event. Lunar habitats can be easily shielded from cosmic radiation and solar events by a few meters of lunar regolith in a place where there is no shortage of such material. This is one of the reasons why I’m against lunar sorties and for a lunar base. You’re correct that astronauts traveling within cis-lunar space to the Moon would be in danger, but they’d be in a lot more danger traveling several months through interplanetary space. The travel time between LEO and the Moon could be substantially reduced if more fuel could be utilized– another reason for using the SLS to deploy large amounts of fuel to space depots:-)

    Rick Boozer: “As for the rest of your list regarding technical points about SLS . . .
    None of the points you made address the economic realities of the situation. The laws of economics are as unforgiving as the laws of physics in space as they are anything else. Cost seems to always be the least important issue to you, and rockets get built with money. Plus I never said anything like the SLS is incompatible with depots, just not as econonomically practical. There are studies, including the one I cited earlier that show the issues you brought up can be worked around. The workarounds are a lot less expensive than building SLS. And here is yet another article illustrating nonSLS solutions:
    http://ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/AffordableExplorationArchitecture2009.pdf

    MW: NASA is not a corporation so the real question you have to ask is if the SLS/MPCV development is sustainable with the $8.4 billion a year President Obama inherited from George Bush for manned spaceflight related activities. I’ve seen no budget higher than $4 billion a year for SLS/MPCV development, so the answer is clearly yes. That should leave $4.4 billion for developing a lunar lander and lunar base architecture.

    However, these funds are not available for a lunar base program because NASA’s still running an expensive LEO program in the form of the ISS ($3 billion a year) and the ISS related Commercial Crew development program. The Augustine Commission’s solution to this problem was to increase the annual NASA budget by about $3 billion. But because the President terminated the Constellation (a program I did not like) and any return to the Moon (a program I did like), the Congress became hostile to any budget increases for an agency with no clear direction. And, ironically, this has allowed Congress to cut the NASA budget while significantly underfunding Commercial Crew development.

    But the economic burden of continuing the $3 billion a year ISS program is NASA’s real problem, IMO.

    In the long run, however, the only way we’re going to dramatically reduce the cost of space travel for both NASA and private commercial space launch companies is by– dramatically increasing the demand for rocket launches!

    The Federal government, or a smart State, could do that easily, without any tax payer funds, by simply setting up a national and international space lotto system so that average people in America and around the world could risk a dollar or two every year for a chance of winning a trip aboard a private commercial American space rocket to a private American commercial space station plus $250,000 to compensate them for their time off for astronaut training. The $250,000 might be enough for billions of people in third world countries to participate all by itself:-) NASA could also subsidize the national space lotto component with a billion from its own budget to guarantee at least 6 to 10 private launches per year which should add more confidence and stability for those seeking to invest in commercial crew industries.

    Since I’m strongly in favor of utilizing the ULA’s ACES technology for the manned SLS upper stage while also utilizing the RS-25 engines for the ULA’s Delta IV rocket, the increased demand for such components could dramatically reduce the cost of space travel for both private industry and for NASA. Commercial utilization of the SLS to deploy Bigelow’s Olympus space stations should also help to reduce the cost for the SLS architecture.

  • @Prez Cannady

    Prez Cannady: “How does putting a single man in orbit on throwaway for $625 million each a starting year after the Soviets amount to an achievement? How does a handful of lunar layovers costing $140 billion amount and teaching us next to nothing about exploiting space amount to an achievement?

    MW: NASA’s not a corporation. Its purpose was to do a job that the American people asked it to do and which the private corporations refused to do. And NASA did it! And most American’s consider the Moon landings as one of our greatest achievements. You should have seen the hysteria in New York when John Glenn returned from space as a hero in 1962. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then just check Youtube:-)

    @Prez Cannady: “How does fielding a $1.2 billion a launch semi-reusable death trap amount to an achievement?”

    MW: We learned that a reusable winged vehicle was possible to develop and now private space companies are developing their own. We also developed an incredible hydrogen engine, the RS-25, that is going to be use as an expendable rocket engine for the SLS program. And I’d like to see it used for the Delta IV.

    @Prez Cannady: “Please, child. Show me where anyone said any such thing.”

    MW: You imply that every time you say NASA can’t build the SLS. NASA doesn’t build rockets, NASA vendors do. And, someday, even a company like Space X might become a NASA and a DOD vendor.

    Marcel F. Williams

  • @Earth to Planet Marcel
    “MW: The Moon is only a few days away. A round trip to an asteroid, on the other hand, would be a multi-month journey through interplanetary space that could expose astronauts to deadly levels of radiation during a major solar event.
    Marcel, why do you keep writing as if I’m arguing against a Moon base ,when I am for it? Yes, let’s go to the Moon first. What IS your problem?

    Indeed, the low level radiation on a long trip is cumulative. But that does not change the fact that as, even you say, people in transit to the Moon or in Lunar orbit will be susceptible to intense transient radiation events. Yes, as I said they would be protected in a base once they got to the Moon, but they have to be in those other two vulnerable situations to get to the base and thus require the same type of radiation protections. Those fast but overwhelmingly intense transient solar and cosmic events can happen at any time without warning. That fact exists no matter how much you shorten the time. Thus, all you would accomplish by shortening the trip time is to somewhat lessen the probability of a disaster on any one trip, not stop it in the long run. There will be disasterous trips due to radiation, no matter what, if radiation shielding does not exist. This is my field, Marcel. You evidently know less about it than you think.

    “In the long run, however, the only way we’re going to dramatically reduce the cost of space travel for both NASA and private commercial space launch companies is by– dramatically increasing the demand for rocket launches!
    WOW! For once you spoke the truth. And SLS is slowing that process by cannibalizing funds from Commercial Crew and using up money that could be used for implementing depot technology, radiation protection technology and landers now to speed up our return to the moon.

    “Since I’m strongly in favor of utilizing the ULA’s ACES technology for the manned SLS upper stage while also utilizing the RS-25 engines for the ULA’s Delta IV rocket, the increased demand for such components could dramatically reduce the cost of space travel for both private industry and for NASA.”
    Using ACES technology with boosters other than SLS would increase both total tonnage lifted from Earth for less cost and demand for those components to an even greater extent (as the ULA study indicates). Just replace the name “Ares V” with “SLS” when you read the ULA study and you’ll get the idea.

    “However, these funds are not available for a lunar base program because NASA’s still running an expensive LEO program in the form of the ISS ($3 billion a year) and the ISS related Commercial Crew development program.”
    Again I reference the studies I have already mentioned. Why cancel ISS when we can cancel SLS, get back to the Moon without developing an expensive new rocket and build that lunar base for what we would have spent on SLS?

    “MW: You imply that every time you say NASA can’t build the SLS. NASA doesn’t build rockets, NASA vendors do. And, someday, even a company like Space X might become a NASA and a DOD vendor. “
    SpaceX is already a NASA vendor and they’re working on getting the DOD. And NASA is indeed building SLS from the standpoint that they will be designing and developing it while constantly overseeing and supervising the work done by the contracted commercial companies (In the same manner it can be said they built the Shuttle). SpaceX is a vendor as much as those other companies are, the differnce being SpaceX is designing and developing their launchers themselves rather than NASA doing it.

  • @Marcel:

    MW: NASA’s not a corporation.

    So it doesn’t have to accomplish anything?

    Its purpose was to do a job that the American people asked it to do and which the private corporations refused to do. And NASA did it!

    So if the American people told it to jump of a bridge, you’d count that as an accomplishment?

    And most American’s consider the Moon landings as one of our greatest achievements.

    Seeing as thirty years ago, the opposite was true, it seems NASA’s greatest accomplishment is fishing for compliments.

    You should have seen the hysteria in New York when John Glenn returned from space as a hero in 1962.

    You could throw a parade for just about anything in New York.

    We learned that a reusable winged vehicle was possible to develop…

    Nonsense. There was nothing to “learn” there. “We” knew in advance is was possible to develop a winged reusable vehicle.

    …and now private space companies are developing their own.

    Which has nothing to do with NASA’s (lack of) accomplishments.

    We also developed an incredible hydrogen engine, the RS-25, that is going to be use as an expendable rocket engine for the SLS program.

    Isn’t that like being proud of eating a sandwich you made almost half a century ago?

    And I’d like to see it used for the Delta IV.

    Because you like saying and doing random things?

    You imply that every time you say NASA can’t build the SLS.

    I’ve said no such thing, liar.

  • Vladislaw

    “Its purpose was to do a job that the American people asked it to do and which the private corporations refused to do.”

    Can you also show me where the American people said “make the resulting NASA system cost at least 6 to 10 times more expensive than a commercial system.”? Also did the American people say “and make sure it is laden with pork and includes at least 3-4 extra engineers per position so every space state gets a piece of the pie.”?

    Come on, NASA’s record, influenced by congress and it’s drive for corporate donations for pork speaks for itself, why try and defend the indefensable.

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>