Congress, NASA

House appropriators seek changes to commercial crew

On the eve of the full House Appropriations Committee’s markup of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill, the committee released its draft report accompanying the bill, which includes additional details and policy direction for the agencies funded by the legislation. While the bill itself included no specifics about NASA’s commercial crew program, the report does call for significant changes for the program.

“The Committee supports the goal of achieving independent and redundant access to the International Space Station (ISS) but remains concerned about many aspects of NASA’s approach to the commercial crew development program,” the report states on page 69. Those areas of concern include NASA’s high projected overall costs for the program ($4.868 billion) and “insufficient safeguards” for the government regarding intellectual and physical property that, the report claims, runs the “risk of repeating the government’s experience from last year’s bankruptcy of the solar energy firm Solyndra.” In addition, the committee claims the program’s goal of establishing an American capability to access the ISS as soon as possible is “potentially inconsistent” with the goal of also developing a new industry, and that there’s no detailed plan for the eventual shift from Space Act Agreements to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) based contracts.

The committee report offers a solution to most of all of those issues: limiting future awards to either a single company or two companies in a “leader-follower” arrangement where one company would get the majority of the funding. Those awards would also be done under FAR-based contracts. Doing this, the report claims, would reduce the total costs of the program and free up money for other NASA priorities. “In a climate of decreasing non-defense discretionary spending, the Committee does not believe that the Administration’s proposed budget runout for commercial crew is sustainable.”

The report is not the first time House appropriators have proposed strictly limiting competition in future phases of the commercial crew program. In a hearing in March, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), chairman of the CJS subcommittee, asked presidential science advisor John Holdren if it made sense to combine the existing commercial crew competitors into a single “star team”. Later last month Wolf also quizzed NASA administrator Charles Bolden on limiting the commercial crew program to no more than two companies.

In response to the report language, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) issued a statement praising the funding for the commercial crew program ($500 million) but expressing concern about the limited number of competitors and FAr-based contracts. “It is best to leave decisions on program management to the NASA human spaceflight professionals who have access to all the information and have worked closely with all the competing companies,” said Michael Lopez-Alegria, the former astronaut who became president of the CSF last month. “If the language in the report were applied to the current round of competition, it would result in a significant delay in restoring U.S. human access to orbit.”

The only other part of NASA’s budget where the report goes into the same level of detail is NASA’s planetary sciences program. It directs NASA “to promptly submit its [Mars] Next Decade mission concept to the NRC for evaluation,” a reference to the restructured Mars program included in the budget, in order to see if it complies with the direction in last year’s planetary decadal survey that put a Mars mission as the top flagship priority provided it led to sample return. If the NRC finds it doesn’t the funds would go instead to begin work on a Europa orbiter (the second-ranked flagship in the decadal).

The full House Appropriations Committee will markup the CJS bill at 10 am Thursday.

137 comments to House appropriators seek changes to commercial crew

  • Dark Blue Nine

    All to save less than one month’s worth of what is spent on MPCV/SLS…

  • Engineer in Houston

    Hutschison, Wolf, Nelson – I just have to shake my head at the level of micro-management going on there, and wonder where it’s coming from. Commercial Crew is one of the few things being done right, and it’s being targeted to fund pork. SLS will cost perhaps $20 billion through 2022 and fly two or three missions in that time. And which program is not affordable? Reminds me of the old saying, “If ‘pro’ is the opposite of ‘con’, what is the opposite of progress?”

  • Bennett

    What Dark Blue Nine wrote:

    The irony is just killing me. I need to donate some money to my Federal Rep’s reelection coffers, so I can rage at them in person about this fiasco.

    As if I needed this affirmation of corruption..

  • Robert G. Oler

    This is goofy its right wing political nonesense…RGO

  • Mark

    It’s a little more than that. The Solyndra in space project could prove to be a horrible precedence unless it is changed soon.

  • BeanCounterfromDownunder

    So Far CCDev has cost NASA:
    2010 $50 million
    2011 $270 million

    Now CCiCap
    2012 say $500 million

    So in total well short of $1 billion. Where the heck is NASA going to spend the other $3.686 billion? Don’t tell me, under FAR most will go to overhead.

    Let’s compare. Orion/MPCV $4 billion and to finish another $4-5 billion. Easy to see why the porksters in Congress don’t want Commercial Crew to succeed.

  • josh

    lol, what a load. rep hall is one of the biggest hacks in politics today, 100% in the pocket of big aerospace lobbyists.

    this is a deliberate (and completely obvious) attempt to sabotage ccdev.

  • Malmesbury

    In a recent hearing, Bolden was asked why they don’t down select to Atlas 5 now.

    Bolden replied that it wouldn’t necessarily be Atlas 5 if they down selected to one launcher. Funny that very few people have picked up on *that* nose punch….

    Can you imagine the scene? – “As directed by Congress, we have selected a sole provider for Commerical Crew – SpaceX” {insert rioting in Congress here}

    “It’s a little more than that. The Solyndra in space project could prove to be a horrible precedence unless it is changed soon.”

    Yup – can you imagine if they properly competed real hardware for military contracts. I don’t mean build some prototypes that have vaguely the same shape, pick one and spend a decade building the real deal (see F-22, F-35 etc). I mean actual real, ready to rock stuff. Paid for with milestone payments…..

  • Here’s the Florida Today report on the House bill.

    Space Florida executive Frank DiBello was fairly blunt about how damaging this is.

    “What I view as Congressional obstruction of free market principles almost always leads to higher costs to orbit, decreased launch rates and less research, innovation and job creation,” said Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida. “It’s in NASA and the nation’s best interests to keep the competition going as long as they possibly can within budget realities.”

    Personally, I think this is Boeing’s handiwork …

    And considering China-phobe Frank Wolf is behind this, I’m surprised he didn’t add language that:

    * Forbids Charlie Bolden from ever uttering the word “China.”

    * Forbids anyone at NASA from eating at a Chinese restaurant.

    * Orders the removal of all fine china from the NASA HQ cafeteria.

    * Directs that no DVDs of Kung Fu Panda may be watched on the ISS.

  • KDP

    I think Josh nails it:

    “this is a deliberate (and completely obvious) attempt to sabotage ccdev”

    Often in these forums there is talk about the “lack of common sense” in congress, or “how stupid can these people be.” If instead we accept that these individuals beat out others throughout their careers to get where they are and, therefore, it’s unlikely they are stupid, where does that leave us?

    They are smart — “crazy like a fox” smart. They know exactly what they are doing and they are spending their political capital in ways that they believe serve their own “intelligent self-interest.” (election donations? out-an-out pay-offs?)

    As they are the entrenched gate-keepers, the only solution I see is to convince them that their self-interest is best served by supporting the “right things.” The Kraft/Moser letter to the Texas reps is an example of an attempt at this.

    Any other ideas?

  • amightywind

    Those areas of concern include NASA’s high projected overall costs for the program ($4.868 billion)

    Holy smokes! I thought newspace was supposed to be cheap and fast. They have proven to be neither.

    and “insufficient safeguards” for the government regarding intellectual and physical property

    Another way of saying that the American taxpayer funds the development of newspace and Musk gets to keep and sell the vehicles back to us again. Shrewd. I’m glad congress is coming around to that one.

    Committee does not believe that the Administration’s proposed budget runout for commercial crew is sustainable.

    Code for Romney reforms or kills this program when he takes office.

    that, the report claims, runs the “risk of repeating the government’s experience from last year’s bankruptcy of the solar energy firm Solyndra.

    The American taxpayer has been badly burned by allowing this Administration to funnel money to its supporters in the name of ‘venture capital’. It is Obama’s and Chu’s saddest legacy. Also, there have been no reprisals at the Energy Department for the failure of Solyndra.

  • MrEarl

    Most on this blog like to rail against the goofy right wing, i.e.Republicans, when the Democrats, the president’s own party, are just as complicit in this.
    It really comes down to an administration that is tone death to what the members of congress from both parties are saying. No one has made the case for the importance of commercial crew to congress. How it will end our dependency on the Russians for crew transfers and helps the American space industry. Considering what happened to the commercial crew budget in FY’12, you would think the administration would have worked with members of congress to get some sort of consensus on the program. No, they just do the same thing again! That is the definition of crazy.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Mark wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 12:11 am

    It’s a little more than that. The Solyndra in space project could prove to be a horrible precedence unless it is changed soon.>>

    You might be the person Simberg was talking about when he went on about Tourette’s syndrome.

    commercial crew or cargo HAS nothing incommon with Solyndra…you keep going on about this. Are you and the rest of the folks who mention it that goofy?

    OK Solyndra was a loan guarantee…it didnt work out. But commercial crew and cargo are pay for performance….

    I know facts are hard Mark…but try some.

    Second. Solyndra failed, commercial crew is poised on the pad…go figure RGO

  • I spent a few minutes on OpenSecrets.org.

    In 2011-2012 to date, Wolf has received $6,000 from Lockheed Martin, $4,000 from Orbital Sciences, $2,000 from Boeing, and $2,000 from ATK. Nothing from SpaceX.

    In the 2009-2010 election cycle, Wolf received $12,400 from Orbital Sciences, $8,000 from United Space Alliance, $7,000 from Lockheed Martin, $4,000 from ATK, and $3,750 from Boeing. Nothing from SpaceX.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Holy smokes! I thought newspace was supposed to be cheap and fast. They have proven to be neither.>?>

    it is Windy…go research when the shuttle was suppose to fly and when it did…go research the cost of building it and the cost of the entire contract for commercial cargo. Do that assignment and you will be smarter.

    Remember the Falcon 9 second stage was not spinning out of control

    You are beomcing like Whittington…wrong on everything RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Most on this blog like to rail against the goofy right wing, i.e.Republicans, when the Democrats, the president’s own party, are just as complicit in this.
    It really comes down to an administration that is tone death to what the members of congress from both parties are saying.>>

    that is wrong. Pete O, Kay B. etc just dont want to hear the case. they are “stuck on pork”.

    Extract the GOP right wing from the mix and The Republic is so much better off…including in space flight. RGO

  • MrEarl wrote:

    No one has made the case for the importance of commercial crew to congress. How it will end our dependency on the Russians for crew transfers and helps the American space industry.

    Huh?!

    Apparently you haven’t been watching the congressional hearings. Charlie Bolden, John Holdren and many NASA executives have testified before Congress in recent weeks to patiently explain to these people over and over the importance of commercial crew. They don’t care unless the money is coming to their districts.

    Some of these hearings are archived on my YouTube channel, if you’re interested.

    Several members of Congress have told Bolden they prefer to use Russia because it’s existing technology. They’re tone deaf to what Bolden is telling them.

  • joe

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 10:41 am
    “Second. Solyndra failed, commercial crew is poised on the pad…go figure RGO”

    Commercial crew is poised on the pad? Really?

    If you are talking about the planned Falcon 9 launch (now scheduled for May 7), that is a test flight for the COTS program. It is not a part of commercial crew.

  • Robert G. Oler

    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Commercial crew is poised on the pad? Really?”

    LOL got me…commercial cargo is poised on the pad…sorry the editor regrets the mistake and thank you for pointing it out…I of course had no idea that the Falcon 9 Dragon getting ready to go was not crewed…(just in case missed it there is a snark there)

    RGO

  • Same old story, certain House members will do anything to stop NASA dollars being spent outside their districts. It smells like Boeing has already been selected in some back-room deal. Once they get Congress to sign off on a single provider we’ll see costs soar until human space access passes to another country just as the satellite business has (wait human space access has already passed to another country, Russia).

    [sigh]

  • Robert G. Oler

    Mark wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 12:11 am

    could prove to be a horrible precedence unless it is changed soon.”

    yes imagine if the people building SLS and Orion got paid for actually meeting milestones…yikes that would put the end to the program.

    Other then the babble of getting Willard to flip floop once again and embrace Newts lunar plan (which is laughable) I am trying to figure out what plan you would have?

    There is no political support in The Republic for a massive human expedition to anywhere…the Florida primary showed that.

    You use to support the effort such as commercial crew and cargo, you said so in The Weekly Standard piece that you had your name put to…but now you supported it when Bush43 was President…

    But now no…why?

    Other then funding a government lead, government controlled effort SLS/Orion that is in all shapes and forms just like projects you use to be against…And it is hard to see Reagan supporting those things? Do you really think he would support a government lead government operated no fixed contract performance over a fee for service, fee for milestone performance contract?

    What happened to you? have you just gone over the Obama hate ledge?

    Curious…what is your plan? RGO

  • MrEarl

    Oler:
    Republicans may be the most vocal but the silence from the Democrats is deafening. The two most obvious conclusions are they agree or don’t care in which case they should not even be on these committees.

    Steven Smith:
    Let me re-iterate:
    Considering what happened to the commercial crew budget in FY’12, you would think the administration would have worked with members of congress to get some sort of consensus on the program. No, they just do the same thing again! That is the definition of crazy. Members of these committees seemed genuinely surprised at the at the budget numbers put forth by this administration. Since the budget was slashed in FY’12, Holdren (at who’s feet I lay most of this blame) Bolden and others should have worked with the committee staff to reach a consensus before the budget was even released.
    Let’s face it, this administration couldn’t sell air conditioners in Florida in July.

  • joe

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 11:32 am
    “LOL got me…commercial cargo is poised on the pad…sorry the editor regrets the mistake and thank you for pointing it out…I of course had no idea that the Falcon 9 Dragon getting ready to go was not crewed…(just in case missed it there is a snark there)”

    The subject of this article/discussion is commercial crew. But, since you chose to change the subject to commercial cargo; Space X original promise (when the COTS program began) was to be flying operational cargo missions by November 2009. It is now 30 months (two and one half years) beyond that date and they are still trying to field a test flight.

    Last I heard Space X is now promising commercial crew flights in 2017. Using the ‘metrics’ applied by many around here to SLS/MPCV that means that commercial crew will not be ‘poised on the pad” until at least 2020.

  • Coastal Ron

    MrEarl wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Most on this blog like to rail against the goofy right wing, i.e.Republicans, when the Democrats, the president’s own party, are just as complicit in this.

    Maybe you’re just tone deaf to it? But I think the reason why Republicans get so much prominence in this current space debate is that they are supposed to be against massive government-run things, and pro-commercial.

    There are commercial solutions for all of the NASA’s most pressing transportation problems, and future commercial solutions for all of NASA’s future transportation needs. All of them less expensive than Congress having NASA build and own them.

    So where are the pro-commercial Republicans? Rohrabacher is the most prominent, and with any luck he’ll take over from Wolf next year and bring some sanity back to NASA’s funding priorities – back in line with what Republicans supposedly stand for.

    No one has made the case for the importance of commercial crew to congress.

    All right, now you’re just being stupid. And I like you, although we have our differences, so please, don’t be stupid.

    How in any way does NASA telling Congress that they’ll need another Iran- North Korea-Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSA) waiver, AND they’ll need to send more money to Russia for getting our astronauts to our space station not making the case for a domestic crew transportation solution?

    Isn’t being 100% reliant on another country for access to space important?

    Huh?

  • Last I heard Space X is now promising commercial crew flights in 2017.

    Where did you hear that?

    Rohrabacher is the most prominent, and with any luck he’ll take over from Wolf next year

    He’s not even in line for that. He may take over from Ralph Hall, but not Wolf.

  • Robert G. Oler

    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    ” Space X original promise (when the COTS program began) was to be flying operational cargo missions by November 2009. It is now 30 months (two and one half years) beyond that date and they are still trying to field a test flight.”

    you must not be an engineer or a manager or well even all that well informed.

    SpaceX and OSC (which are the commercial cargo folks) have both experienced the normal teething problems that both commercial and government programs take. There has to be a “start date” for everyone to plan to, but since Boeing has failed to meet those dates with even the “mature” line of commercial airliners…it doesnt surprise me that new firms getting into a new line of business developing new products are having some teething problems…and dates are moving to the future.

    Does it surprise you?

    If OSC was about to launch a full up flight and SpaceX was still a year away I would be concerned about SpaceX and of course vica versa…but both seem to be pacing pretty reasonably each other so the metric is probably a good one.

    As for commercial crew. Assuming SpaceX is one of the groups chosen, I would expect less “false starts” from them. Maturity will have grabbed most of theprogram by then…there are some “new” parts of the crewed vehicle (LAS for instance) but less then now. Plus the organization will have a maturity it does not now.

    In the meantime neither of these programs are spending about 1.5 billion a year (like SLS and Orion respectively) in fact none of these groups has asked for a dime more federal money.

    When I got my companies Part 142 certificate I had a start date with my launch customer…I had written Part 142 (and before that Part 121 Appendix H programs) for quite a long time, knew everyone at the FSDO…things were going pretty much on track, we were slipping some on the time line…but then 9/11 happened and we slipped an entire 9 months as one new requirement came on after the next. I was pretty mature in terms of dealing with these issues (ie I knew all the feds and how to do it) so while I was getting a new 142 everyone else who had to go through recert…took a good 8 months longer)…it didnt cost my launch customer a dime…I had to eat it all.

    thats the difference here.

    RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Oler:
    Republicans may be the most vocal but the silence from the Democrats is deafening.”

    I dont disagree with that…I can deal with silence all day long. Out right obsstruction particularly when in theory it goes against long held ideology is quite another thing…and I have no problem mocking it RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    remember…Cx spent 15 billion dollars…that is three times the cost in constant dollars of teh ENTIRE GEMINI program…and really was no where near flying anything.

    So for you to gripe about modest slips with no real dollar impact seems “Whittingtonish” RGO

  • joe

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 2:00 pm
    Robert G. Oler wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Whenever you cannot address and issue directly you resoty to name calling and references to you rather amazing (to put it mildly) career.

    No point in continuing this.

  • Coastal Ron

    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Space X original promise (when the COTS program began) was to be flying operational cargo missions by November 2009.

    You’re pretty hung up on this, huh?

    But of course they didn’t “promise” any such thing. Can you produce a document that says “SpaceX promises to…”?

    SpaceX and Orbital did announce their program goals, and yes, their original goals were to be flying well before now. But NASA did not propose those dates, and Griffin’s NASA originally recommended against the setting of dates.

    Curious though that you are so focused on a program where NASA doesn’t pay for late completions, but you could care less about Cost-Plus contractors that extract $Millions from NASA. Why is that?

  • Dark Blue Nine

    For all the hay being made over this, at the end of the day, it’s just report language, which the Administration and NASA are not required to abide by. That said:

    “Those areas of concern include NASA’s high projected overall costs for the program ($4.868 billion)

    Holy smokes! I thought newspace was supposed to be cheap and fast. They have proven to be neither.”

    Compared to what?

    That $4.9B is for the development and operation of two commmercial crew providers through the end of the ISS program.

    That’s less than half of what was spent on Ares I/Orion ($10B+) through one suborbital test flight.

    That’s less than one-sixth of what is budgeted for SLS/MPCV ($30B) through its first crewed flight.

    That’s less than 1/40th of what was spent on the Space Shuttle ($200B) through its life-cycle.

    The commercial crew program is the lowest cost U.S. government human space transportation program ever. If that’s still too expensive for you, then the U.S. government shouldn’t be in the human space flight business at all.

    “and ‘insufficient safeguards’ for the government regarding intellectual and physical property

    Another way of saying that the American taxpayer funds the development of newspace and Musk gets to keep and sell the vehicles back to us again. Shrewd. I’m glad congress is coming around to that one.”

    What a crock. If Shana Dale or any of the other staffers working for Wolf and the House approps subcommittee bothered to research (a lousy Google search would suffice) and think before they wrote report language, they’d know that these Space Act agreements have reams and reams of intellectual and physical property protections. Intellectual property alone in the old RpK agreement took up 14 pages (articles 12 and 13 in the link below).

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/162330main_SPACE_ACT_AGREEMENT_FOR_COTS.pdf.

    Heck, NASA even has march-in rights under these agreements, something the government doesn’t have even in many defense production contracts under the FAR.

    “Committee does not believe that the Administration’s proposed budget runout for commercial crew is sustainable.

    Code for Romney reforms or kills this program when he takes office.”

    More bull. If a $4.9B runout through 2020 for the development and operation of two commercial crew transport systems is unaffordable, then why is a $30B runout through 2021 for the development and one test flight of SLS/MPCV affordable? If we can’t afford commercial crew, then we sure as heck can’t afford a program that is SIX times larger over the same budget.

    Whenever the discretionary cuts come — under the existing budget agreement or in a new Romney or Obama budget — they’re going to be big. And the big money is not in commercial crew. It’s in SLS/MPCV.

    “that, the report claims, runs the “risk of repeating the government’s experience from last year’s bankruptcy of the solar energy firm Solyndra.

    The American taxpayer has been badly burned by allowing this Administration to funnel money to its supporters in the name of ‘venture capital’. It is Obama’s and Chu’s saddest legacy. Also, there have been no reprisals at the Energy Department for the failure of Solyndra.”

    More ignorant bull. DOE guaranteed a private bank load to Solyndra. Commercial crew is an agreement to pay upon delivery for certain development and flight milestones. Neither is a “venture capital” investment by the government in any company. The government doesn’t own a percentage of any of these companies like a venture capitalist does. Any congressional staffer who makes such an argument is ignorant of the basics of Western finance and shouldn’t be advising anyone in Congress.

    As for damage done to the American taxpayer, the loan guarantee for Solyndra totalled $527M. That’s less than half of what the taxpayer lost on X-33, about 1/10th of what the taxpayer lost on the Space Launch Initiative, and about 1/10th of what the taxpayer lost on Ares I.

    If you want to stop wasting taxpayer dollars, then we should stop funding internal and traditionally contracted launch development programs at NASA long before we worry about stopping DOE loan guarantees like Solyndra.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “No one has made the case for the importance of commercial crew to congress.”

    “Considering what happened to the commercial crew budget in FY’12, you would think the administration would have worked with members of congress to get some sort of consensus on the program.”

    How do you know that they havn’t been trying to work with Congress? Have you been privy to meetings between the White House, NASA, and various congressional committees?

    Absent that kind of insight, your statement is not consistent with the fact that there are members of Congress who are supporting commercial crew.

    http://adams.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=266964

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/04/15/muncy-support-for-commercial-crew-growing-in-congress/

    The Administration and NASA are making progress. But no argument, no matter how brilliant, is going to convince someone like Wolf who is bought and paid for by other interests, as Stephen showed above.

    “Members of these committees seemed genuinely surprised at the at the budget numbers put forth by this administration.”

    Or they’re feigning shock and outrage when the Administration explains budgets that are contrary to their interests.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “Last I heard Space X is now promising commercial crew flights in 2017.”

    No, they’re not. Just last October, Musk testified that 2014 is the likely first flight date for commercial crew.

    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=38858

    Most of the commercial crew partners think they can start flights one to a few years before NASA’s nominal 2017 planning date. Boeing quotes 2015-16, for example:

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/04/04/boeing-completes-cst-100-parachute-drop-test/

  • Vladislaw

    When COTS was started it was plan B for cargo resupply. Ares 1 was going to be plan A. As Bill Gerstenmaier stated before congressional committee hearings, when asked about the delays, the plans changed.

    When Ares 1 kept falling behind schedule and then canceled the roles were reversed. COTS became Plan A and there no longer was a plan B at all.

    Bill said that because it was now imperative that COTS succeed NASA decided to buy down risk to help mitigate loss of mission.

    More funds were allocated and NASA gave more milestones that had to be completed to reduce risk. He said that added 12-14 months.

    So it can not all be pinned on the launch providers. There were other delays on the NASA side and one from the Airforce because of launch scheduling.

    SpaceX has not met all it’s dates, but their side of the ledger does not account for the total length of the delay, NASA had their share also.

  • amightywind

    More bull. If a $4.9B runout through 2020 for the development and operation of two commercial crew transport systems is unaffordable, then why is a $30B runout through 2021 for the development and one test flight of SLS/MPCV affordable?

    In a word, mission. SLS (nee’ Ares) will allow Americans to explore asteroids. Crew transport will deliver fresh track suits to the Soviets.

    The government doesn’t own a percentage of any of these companies like a venture capitalist does.

    Any person who would cut such a deal is either profoundly incompetent or incalculably corrupt. We are talking about the Obama/Chu Green Energy Department. They are both.

    That’s less than half of what the taxpayer lost on X-33, about 1/10th of what the taxpayer lost on the Space Launch Initiative, and about 1/10th of what the taxpayer lost on Ares I.

    We the taxpayers own the valuable technology of the traditional programs. The government does not even get a cut of the liquidation of Solyndra’s assets. Shrewd. But shrewdness isn’t the point, is it? Rewarding political contributors is.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “Space X original promise (when the COTS program began) was to be flying operational cargo missions by November 2009.”

    No, they didn’t. Per the original milestones in NASA’s Space Act agreement with SpaceX, the COTS Demo 3 Mission wasn’t scheduled until March 2010.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEAQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nasa.gov%2Fcenters%2Fjohnson%2Fpdf%2F216459main_spacex_amend_2.pdf&ei=06SZT9eSHcfb0QGqxNXCCg&usg=AFQjCNELF3lH3pvr_FtaUeLT61NScP1Rrw

    Operational CRS missions wouldn’t have started until after that.

    “It is now 30 months (two and one half years) beyond that date and they are still trying to field a test flight.”

    Whether they’re 1, 2, or 3 years over the original schedule misses the point that they’re years ahead of SLS/MPCV getting into orbit. If you don’t like slippage on the COTS schedule, then you should abhor the year-for-year slippage on the Ares I/Orion and SLS/MPCV programs.

  • Vladislaw

    Dark Blue Nine wrote:

    “The commercial crew program is the lowest cost U.S. government human space transportation program ever. If that’s still too expensive for you, then the U.S. government shouldn’t be in the human space flight business at all.”

    Great point. How can a person honesty argue against that.

    “More bull. If a $4.9B runout through 2020 for the development and operation of two commercial crew transport systems is unaffordable, then why is a $30B runout through 2021 for the development and one test flight of SLS/MPCV affordable? If we can’t afford commercial crew, then we sure as heck can’t afford a program that is SIX times larger over the same budget.”

    Another good point and the part the kills me.

    A program that will break the NASA monopoly for human access to LEO and open LEO up for commercial operations and do it for less that NASA can, is a no brainer. It also opens up more options for NASA with their declining budget.

    Space accounts for 300 billion a year and has been averaging 12% a year even in the bad times is a growth sector that America should not take lightly.

    America is the top brand in space, thanks to Apollo, and any American commercial firm will be able profit from that but not forever. We can capture a lot of industries that will develop relating to human access and working in space. The paradiam shift is going to happen and we can be riding the front of the wave or not.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “In a word, mission. SLS (nee’ Ares) will allow Americans to explore asteroids.”

    No, it won’t. NASA will still have to spend tens of billions of more of your taxpayers dollars on other systems before it has a capability to do any actual human space exploration. Kraft and Moser recently made this point in an op-ed:

    “The current national human exploration strategy, which is based on development of the SLS, is economically unaffordable. The SLS-based strategy is unaffordable, by definition, since the costs of developing, let alone operating, the SLS within a fixed or declining budget has crowded out funding for critical elements needed for any real deep space human exploration program.”

    http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Space-Launch-System-is-a-threat-to-JSC-Texas-jobs-3498836.php

    “‘The government doesn’t own a percentage of any of these companies like a venture capitalist does.’

    Any person who would cut such a deal is either profoundly incompetent or incalculably corrupt.”

    So the Administration is “incompetent and incalculably corrupt” when the government does not take part ownership in aerospace and energy companies.

    But government is also incompetent and corrupt when the government takes part ownership in auto companies like GM or financial companies like AIG.

    Maybe you should change your screenname to “MightyHypocritical”?

    “We the taxpayers own the valuable technology of the traditional programs.”

    The value to the taxpayer of aerospace technology that never flies is very little.

    And again, NASA has march-in rights under the commercial crew/cargo agreements in the unlikely event that Blue Origin, Boeing, OSC, Sierra Nevada, or SpaceX declare bankruptcy.

    “Rewarding political contributors”

    Like how Wolf has been rewarded by the “traditional programs”, MightyHypocritical?

  • joe

    Dark Blue Nine wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    “No, they’re not. Just last October, Musk testified that 2014 is the likely first flight date for commercial crew.”

    But that was last October, last October the Space X COTS flight test was scheduled for last December.

  • In a word, mission. SLS (nee’ Ares) will allow Americans to explore asteroids. Crew transport will deliver fresh track suits to the Soviets.

    SLS does nothing except throw a lot of mass into low earth orbit at exorbitant cost, sometime in the 2020s. It has no other capabilities, and there is no funding for the vehicles that would actually explore the asteroids. Commercial Crew will allow NASA astronauts and many others to get into orbit within this decade much more cost effectively, saving enough money to allow both government and private ventures to asteroids.

  • John Malkin

    amightywind wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Holy smokes! I thought newspace was supposed to be cheap and fast. They have proven to be neither.

    The point of Commercial Cargo and Crew started by George Bush wasn’t faster and cheaper. It was to allow NASA to focus on more than just getting cargo and crew to orbit. It just so happens that it’s been cheaper and faster than any other NASA cargo/crew development project. Over half the money is coming from the companies themselves unlike traditional NASA programs. It’s a deal for the American people but when has the government really wanted to save the American people money.

  • John Malkin

    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    COTS and CCDev are not tied directly together. Delays with COTS are having little impact CCDev. Continuous under funding has caused delays with CCDev.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “But that was last October, last October the Space X COTS flight test was scheduled for last December.”

    I was talking about commercial crew, and you’re talking about commercial cargo. Finalizing rendezvous s/w for a cargo mission is not going to hold up work on the escape system for a crew vehicle. They’re not on the same critical path.

    Moreover, even if we were talking about the same program with the same critical path, it’s hard to see how four-month slip late in a launch schedule for one cargo demo mission (much of which is driven by range scheduling issues irrespective of the vehicle’s issues) correlates with the three-year difference between what you claimed for the first crewed Dragon flight versus what was in Musk’s testimony.

    And again, what is the point behind your nitpicking? So what if SpaceX is a couple years behind schedule? Depending on how you count it, Ares I/Orion slipped FIVE to SEVEN years before it was brought to a close. MPCV, only in existence for a year, has already slipped a year, and won’t fly uncrewed for another HALF DECADE anyway. If I was you, I’d save my contempt for the programs with real schedule problems.

  • Coastal Ron

    amightywind wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    In a word, mission. SLS (nee’ Ares) will allow Americans to explore asteroids.

    So now you’re backing Obama’s asteroid goal? Next you’ll be backing Obamacare… ;-)

    However what you said is just a vacuous statement – kind of like justifying the SLS by saying “it will allow Alabama to land pigs on Pluto”. There are no funded missions for either, and even if there were, neither by itself justifies the $30B+ it will take to get the SLS operational.

    You shed crocodile tears over a $535 million loan guarantee to a company trying to compete against China, yet you think dropping $30B on something that has ZERO funded demand is OK. Weird.

    Study after study has confirmed that we can explore beyond LEO faster and less expensively by canceling the SLS and using existing commercial rockets. Apparently you really don’t care about money – only the politics behind the money.

  • MrEarl

    I expected better from you DBN. Two links, one to a Florida Congresswoman and the other to an article from a New Space booster site on the musings of a New Space lobbyist, is all you can come up with to show; “the fact that there are members of Congress who are supporting commercial crew.”?! Pretty weak.

    I think fact that congress has cut the CCDev program by over $300 million bucks for two years in a row is a pretty good indication that this administration has done a really lousy job of selling congress on the idea that CCDev is important to the future of American manned space flight, if they have even tried to sell it at all. It should be a pretty easy argument to make but, again, this administration just shows its incompetency.

  • joe

    Dark Blue Nine wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 4:51 pm
    “And again, what is the point behind your nitpicking? So what if SpaceX is a couple years behind schedule?”

    Actually its two and a half years behind schedule and still counting. That is over 60% off from their original schedule so far.

    Sorry for the nitpicking on such a trivial matter.

    Have a nice evening.

  • John Malkin

    At least this administration funded it. The last one didn’t fund Commercial Crew at all.

  • Coastal Ron

    MrEarl wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I think fact that congress has cut the CCDev program by over $300 million bucks for two years in a row…

    You are forgetting how our system of government works. The Administration proposes a budget amount, but Congress actually determines the amounts. The President can veto their amounts by vetoing the spending bills, but otherwise all the President can do is suggest, propose, cajole, entice, persuade, and so on.

    Based on what Congress has funded in the past, Commercial Crew could be in for a 25% increase ($406M vs ~$500M) while the SLS and MPCV are held at their current funding levels. That’s a positive trend I can live with.

    is a pretty good indication that this administration has done a really lousy job of selling congress on the idea that CCDev is important to the future of American manned space flight, if they have even tried to sell it at all.

    Again you’re being disingenuous. You already know that Congress knows about our reliance on Russia for access to the ISS, that Russia is steadily increasing the prices they charge for that monopoly, and that NASA is going to be needing another INKSA waiver in order to continue using the Soyuz. This has been the status quo for over 11 years.

    So either we have the most incompetent elected officials in history watching over NASA (and their staff too), or else you are wrong.

    In this case the evidence strongly indicates the later.

  • As for when SpaceX will fly commercial crew, at last week’s press conference Elon Musk said that if this COTS 2/3 flight goes well, and everything else goes well in the future, he could be ready for crew in three years. Of course, those are a lot of ifs, and he acknowledged that.

    Working in the favor of SpaceX is that Dragon was originally designed for crew and dumbed down for cargo, so they can get three years’ experience flying Dragon while they work NASA to come up with a crewed version.

    The recent delays to perfect the flight software pay off in the long run because the software will probably be the same for future flights.

    And although I’m troubled that SpaceX hasn’t made its targeted dates, neither has any other human space flight program. We put Man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s as originally proposed, but otherwise the long history of human space flight is littered with delays and tragedies.

    Just as no one today remembers all the delays with Mercury, nor will they remember years from now all the delays with SpaceX.

    The last simulation went perfectly, so NASA and SpaceX are quite happy and go for launch.

  • BeanCounterfromDownunder

    MrEarl wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Nothing to do with a lousy selling job, simply vested interests in Congress. As the fiscal situation tightens, watch what happens to SLS and MPCV. By then, CRS will be flying with SpaceX and possibly Orbital. CCiCap will be achieving milestones and the future will be changing away from traditional cost-plus to competitive. A new age for space flight. OK perhaps a bit OTT but one can hope.

  • joe

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 7:38 pm
    “Working in the favor of SpaceX is that Dragon was originally designed for crew and dumbed down for cargo, …”

    Could you be a little more specific about what that statement means. Are you asserting that the Dragon Vehicle already has a verified ECLSS system and other crew interfaces? And that these were simply left out of the cargo version? That would be truly amazing, but links to the details would be helpful. If that were true, why would they need any commercial crew money at all? Why would it take another “three years” to be ready for a crewed flight?

    By the way, this is 2012. 2012 plus “three years” is 2015 not 2014 as “Dark Blue Nine” stated above. I have heard 2017. Who knows? That is the problem.

  • BeanCounterfromDownunder

    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I know that Dragon was originally conceived for crew however no real design or hardware had been undertaken bar some basic mockups. Possibly Stephan was getting a bit enthusiastic.
    So far as when, this has always been a matter of:
    1. Funding levels, and
    2. Contract arrangements.

    Reduced funding has mean’t extending timelines and contracting arrangements offset I believe so far by SAAs which have reduced timelines, so take your pick. If NASA goes back to FAR, expect at least a doubling of the timelines and probably tripling of cost due to overheads involved in these contracts. The irony of the situation is that reduced funding has forced NASA to adopt SAAs in lieu of their preference of FAR contracts with faster and less costly results. This is something that is totally repugnant for Congress and the usual porksters.

  • vuture4

    Mr. Earl: ” this administration just shows its incompetency.”

    The Obama administration has been quite competent in creating the Commercial Crew program and quite aggressive in selling it to try to repair the horrible and ongoing damage done by Constellation. Unfortunately some members of Congress only listen to lobbyists and horse-traders (I would have to put Mr. Nelson in this group) while others, like Mr. Posey, believe that Mr. Obama is evil incarnate. It’s our responsibility as taxpayers to elect people from both parties capable of critical thinking and reasoned discourse. if we elect only people who want to win at any cost, logic and reasoning will be irrelevant.

  • Robert G. Oler

    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    “But that was last October, last October the Space X COTS flight test was scheduled for last December.”

    as I noted and you simply dismissed…this is not uncommon in technical programs particularly with new companies…the fact that it is astounding to you is trivial.

    as for “Dragon Vehicle already has a verified ECLSS system and other crew interfaces? ” ECLSS no, but those are pretty trivial…

    interfaces…gee that will be the easiest thing that they do. Dragon is fly by wire totally they will do it differently; but IPADS would work! The other day we more or less flew the Boeing with IPADs…

    when you have some technical background the things you see as mountains would be so large. until then its the Sound of Music for you, Wind and the others. RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    well said RGO

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “I expected better from you DBN. Two links”

    Okay, here’s another link to an op-ed from another congressman who’s supportive:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/219755-future-innovation-needs-public-private-balance

    Heck, this op-ed is less than a month old and was even highlighted on this blog:

    http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/04/05/briefly-mikulskis-supernova-browns-letter-palazzos-public-private-support/

    At some point, you have to take your metaphorical head out of your arse, learn to do some of your own research, and pay attention to what individual congressmen are actually saying instead of what you think they’re saying.

    “the musings of a New Space lobbyist”

    I’m betting Muncy, as both a current lobbyist and as a longtime, former staffer in the House authorization committee for NASA, has a better handle on which way the winds are blowing in Congress than you (or I) do.

    “I think fact that congress has cut the CCDev program by over $300 million bucks for two years in a row is a pretty good indication that this administration”

    You’re using one fact and a leap of logic to place blame in the absence of any other evidence or insider knowledge, when it’s clear that key chairmen like Wolf are bought and paid for by interests that are threated by NASA’s commercial space transportation programs, when other congressmen are writing op-eds and making statements in support of these programs, and when former staffers and lobbyists who are obviously better connected than you (or I) are telling you that the tide is slowly turning.

    I’m no fan of the Obama Administration, but they have managed to secure almost a billion dollars in development funding for commercial crew so far, on top of securing proper funding for commercial cargo for even more years — all in the face of congressmen like Wolf, Shelby, Hutchison, and others who are so conflicted by private and parochial interests that they’re willing to contradict the very conservative principles they’ve sworn to uphold. It’s far from a perfect lobbying performance, but it’s also far from incompetent.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “Actually its two and a half years”

    Again, no, it’s not. The COTS Demo 3 Mission was scheduled for March 2010. We’re in April/May 2012. That two years and one/two months, not two years and six months.

    “Sorry for the nitpicking on such a trivial matter.”

    I never said it was “trivial”. I said that it doesn’t make sense to get your panties in a twist over 2 versus 2.5 years on a ~$300 million project like Dragon cargo, when NASA blew $10 billion on Ares I/Orion only to see it slip 5-7 years, when the $30 billion (with a “b”) SLS/MPCV has already slipped a year in its first year of existence (and can no longer meet its legislated schedule), and when the $30 billion SLS/MPCV won’t get an uncrewed capsule into space for another half decade, at least.

    You (and congressmen like Wolf) have lost the forest for the trees. If you want to fix NASA’s human space flight program, you have to fix the big projects with the big schedule slips. Focusing on the little slips in the little projects does, well, little. It’s noise.

    “not 2014 as ‘Dark Blue Nine’ stated above”

    I did not state such. Musk did in congressional testimony. Follow the link.

    “I have heard 2017. Who knows? That is the problem.”

    The “problem” here is the FUD in your head based on unsubstantiated rumors that you’ve “heard”. If you’d rather believe the voices in your head instead of testimony provided to you in black-and-white, there’s not much any of the rest of us can do for you.

  • Robert G. Oler

    There is a basic reality at work here.

    No matter how delayed…when DRagon flies to the station, berths and returns…it will change everything.

    If SLS were to ever fly…nothing changes.

    and the trick is that SLS will never fly.

    Embrace the horror defenders of the status quo. The world is about to turn RGO

  • Coastal Ron

    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Could you be a little more specific about what that statement means.

    You already know what he means, as you have already talked about his subject on other blogs.

    However, just to recap for others, SpaceX designed Dragon to be a multi-purpose spacecraft – able to operate autonomously and carry cargo, as well as operated by one or more crew and carry up to seven people.

    The least complicated version is the cargo version, which is what SpaceX has a contract with NASA to delivery cargo to the ISS. This version is human-rated for crew access and being attached to the ISS. The cargo version is also designed for returning cargo from the ISS, so it does have a simple environmental control and thermal control system.

    For carrying crew, SpaceX is working on the additional systems that will be needed such as a Launch Abort System (LAS), seating, crew controls and an ECLSS. That is what the CCDev-2 program has been working on developing.

    Are you asserting that the Dragon Vehicle already has a verified ECLSS system and other crew interfaces?

    You already know the answer to this question too – trying to trick people into saying one small thing wrong and then pouncing on them? That is your usual M.O.

    But just so everyone knows, Paragon Space Development Corporation, who is building the ECLSS for the MPCV, partnered with SpaceX for CCDev-2. From their press release:

    Paragon joins the team as an Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) subject matter expert to assist in the maturation of the crewed SpaceX Dragon capsule, through the CCDev2 milestones.

    So no, Joe, SpaceX doesn’t have a “verified ECLSS system” three years before it needs one. Why should they?

  • Googaw

    Meet the NewSpace.

    Same as the OldSpace.

  • DCSCA

    @Stephen C. Smith wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    “As for when SpaceX will fly commercial crew, at last week’s press conference Elon Musk said that if this COTS 2/3 flight goes well, and everything else goes well in the future, he could be ready for crew in three years. Of course, those are a lot of ifs, and he acknowledged that.”

    =yawn= More schedule projections at a presser. The only thing reliable about Space X is it’s unreliability– particularly when it comes to Musk musings on schedules and time frames.

    “The recent delays to perfect the flight software pay off in the long run because the software will probably be the same for future flights….And although I’m troubled that SpaceX hasn’t made its targeted dates, neither has any other human space flight program.”

    `Unacceptable. Lame excuse, too. This repeated failure in management is more the rule than the exception with Musk, who has time for puff piece profiles on 60 Minutes and appear on The Daily Show but suddenly balks a week before a much ballyhooed launch dated and stalls for more time to get his software ducks in a row and he’s had well over a year to do that. They’re contracted to get cracking and deliver the groceries-not run an opened-end test program. 2017 is the year floated on the news channels for an attempt at a LEO crewed flight- and given Space X’s poor record at meeting target dates, lack an independently verified and flight tested ECS and LES, don’t expect Dragon to be doing it.

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 2:00 pm
    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    ” Space X original promise (when the COTS program began) was to be flying operational cargo missions by November 2009. It is now 30 months (two and one half years) beyond that date and they are still trying to field a test flight….you must not be an engineer or a manager or well even all that well informed.”

    Clearly you’re neither. And you indulge in more false equivalency. Space X is not the government. It’s past time for Congress to call Space X managment on to the carpet for some hearing and accounting. The commercial apologits in NASA are useless and the quicker they’re purged from the space agency, the better.

    Space X has been contracted to deliver goods and services, not run open-ended test program and they continue to fail to meet much ballyhooed schedules hyped with press releases and promises of things to come. This repeated failure in management is more the rule than the exception. Musk has time for puff piece profiles on 60 Minutes and appear on The Daily Show but stalls for more time to get his software ducks in a row and he’s had well over a year to do that. They’re contracted at taxpayer expense to get cracking and deliver the groceries– and they’re not doing it.

    “The commercial crew program is the lowest cost U.S. government human space transportation program ever.” Nonsense, as usua!. Or to use your own words, “The value to the taxpayer of aerospace technology that never flies is very little.” And as they’ve flown NOBODY, it’s worthless. Just throwing good money after bad.

    ‘The commercial crew program’ has failed to fly ANYBODY. It is NOT a United States government HST program nymore than American Airlines is the carrier for the U.S. government. but a ‘private enterprised’ operation, as NewSpacer like to boast, which contnues to fail to meet schedule, begs for government subsidies and .
    The value to the taxpayer of aerospace technology that never flies is very little.”

  • DCSCA

    @Stephen C. Smith wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    “As for when SpaceX will fly commercial crew, at last week’s press conference Elon Musk said that if this COTS 2/3 flight goes well, and everything else goes well in the future, he could be ready for crew in three years. Of course, those are a lot of ifs, and he acknowledged that.”

    =yawn= More schedule projections at a presser. The only thing reliable about Space X is it’s unreliability– particularly when it comes to Musk musings on schedules and time frames.

    “The recent delays to perfect the flight software pay off in the long run because the software will probably be the same for future flights….And although I’m troubled that SpaceX hasn’t made its targeted dates, neither has any other human space flight program.”

    =eye roll= FALSE EQUIVALENCY. Space X is a private enterprised for profit firm, not the government space agency. Unacceptable. Lame excuse, too. This repeated failure in management is more the rule than the exception with Musk, who has time for puff piece profiles on 60 Minutes and appear on The Daily Show but suddenly balks a week before a much ballyhooed launch dated and stalls for more time to get his software ducks in a row and he’s had well over a year to do that. They’re contracted to get cracking and deliver the groceries-not run an opened-end test program. 2017 is the year floated on the news channels for an attempt at a LEO crewed flight- and given Space X’s poor record at meeting target dates, lack an independently verified and flight tested ECS and LES, don’t expect Dragon to be doing it.

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 2:00 pm
    joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    ” Space X original promise (when the COTS program began) was to be flying operational cargo missions by November 2009. It is now 30 months (two and one half years) beyond that date and they are still trying to field a test flight….you must not be an engineer or a manager or well even all that well informed.”

    Clearly you’re neither. And you indulge in more FALSE EQUIVALENCY. Space X is not the government. It’s past time for Congress to call Space X managment on to the carpet for some hearing and accounting. The commercial apologits in NASA are useless and the quicker they’re purged from the space agency, the better.

    Space X has been contracted to deliver goods and services, not run open-ended test program and they continue to fail to meet much ballyhooed schedules hyped with press releases and promises of things to come. This repeated failure in management is more the rule than the exception. Musk has time for puff piece profiles on 60 Minutes and appear on The Daily Show but stalls for more time to get his software ducks in a row and he’s had well over a year to do that. They’re contracted at taxpayer expense to get cracking and deliver the groceries– and they’re not doing it.

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    “The commercial crew program is the lowest cost U.S. government human space transportation program ever.” Nonsense, as usual. Or to use your own words, “The value to the taxpayer of aerospace technology that never flies is very little….” little as in they’ve flown NOBODY. Then you say this: “So what if SpaceX is a couple years behind schedule?” So tick-tock, tick-tock they have a lot to prove, that’s what’s so, like launching on time for a start. So it’s bad business to contract for goods and services and repeatedly fail to deliver on time and break that contract- it’s a self-touted private enterprised firm subsidied with tax dollars and by all takes so far, pootly managed and not the kind of commercial firm NASA should be dealing with. ” If you want to fix NASA’s human space flight program..” you terminate all funding for LEO commercial operations, channel rsources into BEO spacecraft and SLS development and leave LEO to commercial to develop on their own– and splash the ISS. By your own numbers, roughly $1 billion has been diverted into CC development and nothing’s flying– and at $63 million/seat on Soyuz, that pay to ferry 15 astronauts up to the dying ISS over five to seven years, given the international platform only houses a crew of six. Nope, subsidizing commercial is a waste of resources and the commercialists at NASA are wrong headed as well. Kraft is in error on the SLS, too, for he’s looking at SLS from an engineering perspective rather than as a political chip. His experience is experience is in flight operations, not space policy development. If he had any leverage at it, he’d have never let Skylab splash. He’s in his 90s now, retired, long critical of NASA management practices since the late 1980′s and has about as much relevance in planning 21st century space policy as Herman Oberth did watching shuttle lauinches in 1985. He pitched the right idea three years ago and it fell on deaf ears.

  • DCSCA

    @Googaw wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 1:37 am

    LOLOLOL Yeah, they don’t know what they don’t know… but it seems they’re learning.

  • @Thortang

    Why do we reelect these people? Reams of new laws, gilded entitlement programs, letting the space program die. Who’s electing these people? why isn”t there an effort to inform them of our desires, a website that, with one letter, will notify the president, senators, representatives, and our local paper with our suggestions and demands?

  • amightywind

    The only thing reliable about Space X is it’s unreliability– particularly when it comes to Musk musings on schedules and time frames.

    Never has so much been said about a company that has done so little. MSNBC writes SpaceX has a Lofty Goal: Too Save Humanity.”. Are you kidding me? Orbital will be performing precisely them same modest mission. The most likely thing to happen around May 7 is another schedule slip.

  • MrEarl

    I think it’s strange DBN that you want me to do the research to prove your points.
    Here are two quotes from a previous Space Politics post you just referenced, both from Democrats.
    “I look at every program in your budget and it seems to take a hit, except for the commercial crew,” Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) said to Bolden at one point in the nearly two-hour hearing. “I wonder if you can tell me how we can expect support on this committee for an 104% increase when you have yet to provide to us, despite being asked numerous times, frankly, General, a credible cost and schedule estimate that justifies an annual funding stream.”
    “We basically have to take it on faith that your budget requests are neither too small or too large,” Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), the ranking member of the committee, said in her opening statement in regards to commercial crew, “and that these vehicles will show up before it is too late for them to provide more than a year or two of support for the International Space Station.” She was also skeptical that these vehicles would be able to provide crew transportation services less expensively than Soyuz vehicles, or open up new markets beyond space tourism. “I can’t justify to my constituents the expenditure of their tax dollars so that the super-rich can have a joyride.”
    This administration can’t even get his own party members behind this.
    As for Muncy, I’ll grant that he would have better inside knowledge than either of us but you should also admit his job is to sway congressional and public opinion. If you really read that post, Muncy explains the importance of Commercial Crew but it’s the reporter and the headline writer that jumps to the conclusion of congressional support.
    In Washington, during budget hearings especially, support = money. That’s the bottom line and the only thing that matters. It’s way past time that for you to take your metaphorical head out of your arse.

  • Coastal Ron

    MrEarl wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 9:04 am

    In Washington, during budget hearings especially, support = money. That’s the bottom line and the only thing that matters.

    Actually it doesn’t matter what politicians say – Mitt Romney is a good example of that, in that at one time or another he has disagreed with himself on many core issues – it only matters what they do.

    And at this point, regardless what various politicians are saying in public, the relevant House & Senate budget committees have indicated that they are planning to increase funding for the Commercial Crew program.

    You believe what politicians say too much…

  • joe

    Dark Blue Nine wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 12:17 am

    “Again, no, it’s not. The COTS Demo 3 Mission was scheduled for March 2010. We’re in April/May 2012. That two years and one/two months, not two years and six months.”

    I have seen copies of the original COTS agreements. The schedule at that time had Space X beginning operational cargo flights in November 2009. By that schedule they will not be up to that point even if the test flight scheduled for next month succeeds.

    You may have seen some later documentation that formally slipped the schedule to the right, but that is a schedule slip as well. When things like that happened on Constellation Systems (or any other project the locals do not like) it was asserted a proof the program was flawed and should be cancelled immediately. When it happens with Space X it suddenly becomes standard operating procedure. Contort reality all you wish, that is a glaringly hypocritical double standard.

    At any rate you are now down to “nitpicking” whether Space X is two years and six months behind schedule or two years and two months behind schedule. That is at best a waste of time.

    You have had your say (complete with the requisite juvenile insults) on the subject multiple times. I have already been drawn into repeating the same indisputable point multiple times. Say anything you like, I will not be answering you on this subject any further.

  • Vladislaw

    “Orbital will be performing precisely them same modest mission. “

    Each Orbital mission will not only cost more but will not have down cargo capability.

    So not the same thing.

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 9:04 am

    This administration can’t even get his own party members behind this.>>

    another interesting post from you…I would make two points.

    First to the notation above. Obama is one of the weaker Presidents to be elected in the “modern” (read FDR and beyond) presidency. Mark Halprin got a time out on MSNBC after Morning Joe goaded him into saying this (ie promising him the delay woudl beep it out) but Obama is in his words “a weak dick” and thats about right. Despite being elected by large majorities a solid mandate; he has in large measure been ineffective at enforcing either party discipline or retribution for people who dont sing along with him…or using the power of the Presidency to coerce “support”.

    Why? well there are lots of blogs dedicated to that topic and I am not shy at expressing my views…but the truth is that you’re statement is correct.

    Second however you dont really understand The Congress. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Rep S. Jackson Lee…pick some GOP flunkies from Texas (almost any one of them) wouldnt know the inside of a space shuttle from the starship Enterprise. I think it was Lee who thought that the roves on Mars might see the flags left by Armstrong…Pete Olson is similar a goofball, he has made some statements which welll are goofy.

    This is something that the founding fathers would both weep at and be happy about. Stupidity of course is never a good thing…but most membes of the House are really concerned with what happens in their district and shape almost every policy, argument, and politic toward that issue…they have to be reelected every two years…and as Olin Teague told me personally on his last walk around TAMU “what happens in Grossbeck is far more important to me then what is happening in Iran”

    That was “down home folksy ness” on Congressman Teague’s part. “Tiger” Teague was a bright person who could talk intelligently and nationally on almost every subject…and that includes how to be a Congressperson.

    If Obama had any leadership whatsoever…Bernice would in the end come along. RGO

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “In Washington, during budget hearings especially, support = money. That’s the bottom line and the only thing that matters.”

    Agreed. And commercial crew got over $400 million worth of support last year and is going to get at least $500 million worth of support this year. The amounts getting funded are consistently larger than the amounts getting cut. The budget is going up. The total is nearly $1 billion. And that’s on top of a half billion that has been spent/dedicated to COTS development, and a few billion that has been committed to follow-on CRS services contracts.

    Is it perfect? No way. Is it the calamity you’re making it out to be? Hell no.

    You’re so blinded by your position that you’re posting a budget argument that doesn’t even support your claim. Get out of the echo chamber in your head, read widely, think critically, and get some perspective.

    “I think it’s strange DBN that you want me to do the research to prove your points.”

    I never asked you to prove my points. I asked you to do your homework before you draw extreme, uninformed conclusions.

    You’re doing the Chicken Little routine and claiming a lobbying debacle over a couple $300M cuts to programs that have garnered well over a billion dollars in funding so far, have secured contracts for a few billion more in services, have budgets that are going up, have legislative experts stating that the tide is turning, and that have congressmen giving speeches and writing op-eds supporting them. An op-ed that’s not even a month old and was discussed and linked on this very website!

    I’m sorry to be blunt, but if that’s not the definition of having your head up your arse on an issue, I don’t know what is.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “Meet the NewSpace.

    Same as the OldSpace.”

    If you think that there’s no value in human space flight and never will be, then any human effort in this direction will always be worthless to you, regardless of the amounts and time spent. If you think the only valuable things that can be done in space are communications and remote sensing, that’s certainly a viable argument given where the money has been made over the past five decades, and there’s nothing anyone can say that will change your position.

    That said, if you think that there can be value in human space flight, there is a huge difference between development programs that cost hundreds of millions (with an “m”) of dollars, that slip 2-3 years but still get to orbit versus development programs that cost tens of billions (with a “b”) of dollars, that slip 5-7 years, and that never get to orbit. Some people call the former “newspace” and the latter “oldspace”, but whatever you call them, if you care about the future of human space flight, the former is obviously better than the latter.

  • MrEarl

    Oh Ron, let me be blunt; this administration asked for $800 million to fully fund a vibrant Commercial Crew program and congress cut that to $500 million and told them to down-select to one or two companies. Spin it any way you want but this is a rebuke this administration’s plans.

  • common sense

    @ MrEarl wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Oh come on. If you have ever been in a large company/organization you ought to know how budgets work. The beancounters will most always cut your request and yes often they cut it in half. So asking for $800M may have been a way to get $500M. Yes I do speculate but so do you quite often on this and other subjects. What we know though is that with the current budget we have several companies making strides in the NewSpace commercial approach. And that is what counts.

    I hope this will soon be used throughout the government. DoD first if you don’t mind, then possibly DHS, etc.

    Did I mention, ever, that SLS/MPCV will die? And it won’t be pretty. Just watch.

  • By the way, this is 2012. 2012 plus “three years” is 2015 not 2014 as “Dark Blue Nine” stated above. I have heard 2017.

    You keep saying that “you have heard” 2017, but you never tell us where you “heard” it (perhaps the voices in your head)? SpaceX has never said 2017, as far as I know. They have always said 2014 or 2015.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “I have seen copies of the original COTS agreements. The schedule at that time had Space X beginning operational cargo flights in November 2009.”

    I have hardcopies, and they match what is on the web. I’m sorry, but you misread or you’re misremembering.

    “When things like that happened on Constellation Systems (or any other project the locals do not like) it was asserted a proof the program was flawed and should be cancelled immediately.”

    That’s not the argument I made above. I’m not arguing that Orion/MPCV should be terminated after a year or two of schedule slippage.

    I’m arguing that it should be terminated after MORE THAN A HALF DECADE of schedule slippage, which has put them AT LEAST FIVE YEARS AWAY from doing what SpaceX did last year and from what OSC will do this year.

    Even if we dismiss the COTS documentation and SpaceX testimony I linked to and take your 2017 date for the first crewed Dragon flight, that will still happen FOUR YEARS BEFORE Orion/MPCV flies a crew.

    The internal, traditionally contracted human space flight development programs are consistently on a path to do things A HALF DECADE AFTER the commercial programs have done them. And they’re spending TWO ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE MORE TAXPAYER MONEY to do it. That’s nuts.

    I’m sorry, but as a fellow insider, I don’t understand why you’d want to spend time arguing the fairness of schedule comparisons. Why aren’t you angry that you’re forced to waste your career (or your coworkers are forced to waste their careers) and 100x the taxpayer’s money building the same routine stuff as industry a half decade after industry has built it? We’re effin NASA! We should be building advanced propulsion, transit stages, habs, and landers for actual exploration missions, not another friggin rocket and capsule.

    “Contort reality all you wish, that is a glaringly hypocritical double standard.”

    I’m sorry, but no, it’s not. I’m using the same metrics of time and dollars invested, and Constellation or its legacy programs are consistently at least a half decade behind and about 100x more expensive than the commercial programs when it comes to fielding uncrewed and crewed capsules.

    We need to stop competing with industry and reinventing the wheel, both of which we do very, very poorly, and do what NASA was designed to do — build aerospace vehicles that no one else has built and do things in space that no one has done before.

    “… whether Space X is two years and six months behind schedule or two years and two months behind schedule. That is at best a waste of time.”

    Yes, you’re finally getting it!

    “Say anything you like, I will not be answering you on this subject any further.”

    Sorry you feel that way, but I’ve repeatedly invited/cajoled you to discuss the elephant in the room — the big schedule slips on the big programs and how they duplicate what industry is doing a half decade late.

    But if you’d rather compare pine needles while the forest is on fire, there’s not much more I can do to get you to pay attention to the real problem.

  • When things like that happened on Constellation Systems (or any other project the locals do not like) it was asserted a proof the program was flawed and should be cancelled immediately.

    Not just on that basis. There were also massive cost overruns, and a fundamentally flawed design, for a vehicle that was going to be unaffordable to operate.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “MSNBC writes SpaceX has a Lofty Goal: Too Save Humanity.”. Are you kidding me? Orbital will be performing precisely them same modest mission.”

    OSC wasn’t founded to settle Mars, they don’t have a independently wealthy CEO who has made it his mission (or one of his missions) in life, they’re not developing a crew vehicle, they’re not developing a heavy lift vehicle, they’re not developing a reusable vehicle, and they’re not building their own launch site.

    I’m not saying whether any of that is good or bad. It’s just why SpaceX gets more attention than OSC. Even if you’re jealous of the attention that SpaceX gets, if you bother to follow what the two companies are doing, the extra attention that SpaceX’s additional activities attract should not surprise you.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “congress… told them to down-select to one or two companies”

    Just to be clear, Congress “told them” in report language. There’s a difference between legislation and report language. Departments and agencies are legally bound to follow the former. They’re not bound, legally or otherwise, to follow the latter.

    Commercial crew was scheduled to downselect to two companies in the next round, anyway. I would be surprised if NASA followed the House report language to the letter and downselected to one company.

  • As for Dragon being for cargo or crew, all one has to do is spend one minute on the SpaceX.com web site to find that out.

    But for those too lazy to look it up, click here.

    All Structures and Mechanisms are designed to be capable of supporting crew transportation, consistent with all relevant NASA standards and Factors of Safety

  • MrEarl

    WOW DBN!! You are so deep in denial I don’t ever see you coming back to reality.

    “And commercial crew got over $400 million worth of support last year” (out of $850 million requested) “ and is going to get at least $500 million worth of support this year.” (Again out of over $800 million requested)
    A program that’s had its budget request slashed by 40% or more two years in a row does not have a great deal of support. (COTs is a separate matter and not started by this administration.) You reference a couple of obscure op-ed’s to prove the “tide is slowly turning” in support, when all other indicators are pointing in the opposite direction.

    The funny part is that SLS and MPCV have their budgets increased, usually at the expense of CCDev, yet you insist that their cancelation is coming soon.

    I’m not in any way saying that the sky is falling for CCDev, but I am disappointed that the down-select is coming.
    I’m just remarking how poorly this administration has handled what I think should have been an easy sell to congress and the American people.

  • Coastal Ron

    MrEarl wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Oh Ron, let me be blunt…

    You haven’t been yet. Kind of squishy actually.

    …this administration asked for $800 million to fully fund a vibrant Commercial Crew program…

    To be exact, $829.7M for FY2013.

    …and congress cut that to $500 million…

    Last year they only allocated $400M, and now they are between $500-525M. Sure it’s not the full amount, but it’s funded, and it’s funding level is increasing. I don’t care how you see it, but I like the direction it’s going. Next year it could go up even further, which is still within the timeframe needed to replace Soyuz by the end of 2016.

    I know you are a Danny Downer type of guy – glass half-empty and so on – but maybe I’ve lived through tougher times than you or something, because this is neither surprising (it happens all the time in Congress) and it’s not fatal to Commercial Crew (which Congress does support).

    When life gives me lemons, I make lemonade – would you like a glass? ;-)

  • joe

    Rand Simberg wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 12:50 pm
    “(perhaps the voices in your head)”

    Yes, back to the juvenile insults again (your last refuge when you have nothing else to say).

    Given other people you have asserted as having mental deficiencies (including, but not limited to, Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan), I take any insult from you as a complement.

    Have a nice day.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “The funny part is that SLS and MPCV have their budgets increased,”

    No, the MPCV/SLS budget has not increased year over year. Here’s the budget history:

    FY11 Enacted $2,732M
    FY12 Enacted $2,703M
    FY13 House $2,479M
    FY13 Senate $2,682M

    MPCV/SLS got its budget cut about $30M in FY12, and will get its budget cut again between $20M and $200M in FY13.

    Contrast that with commercial crew, which will get an increase of about $100M, a 25% plus-up, going from FY12 to FY13.

    As an aside, development programs typically require funding profiles that resemble bell curves. They’re not sustainable over the long-term with level or declining funding. At some point, MPCV/SLS will face this reality, and it will likely result in the same year-over-year slips that we saw in Constellation and ISS.

    The commercial programs are in a unique situation in that industry partners can bring additional resources to the table. So, although NASA’s commercial crew budget is going up, even if it was going down, the industry partners could make up for the shortfall and create a total public/private funding profile that resembles a Bell curve.

    “yet you insist that their cancelation is coming soon.”

    I have stated that if the budget agreement holds or if large cuts are otherwise made to discretionary spending in a new Romney or Obama budget, the only place those magnitude of cuts can be made in the NASA budget is MPCV/SLS. That could result in termination, but termination is more likely under a Romney Administration that is promising a top-to-bottom review of NASA’s purpose than under an Obama Administration that is at least nominally invested in MPCV/SLS.

    “I am disappointed that the down-select is coming.”

    A downselect was always coming in the next phase. The only significant changes that Wolf’s language introduce is whether it’s a downselect to one or two partners and whether those partners perform under the Space Act or the FAR. Wolf’s language was inserted in the report accompanying his bill, which means that it will not be voted on by the House or Senate and thus does not carry the weight of law. It’s just the sense of Wolf and some members of his subcommittee, which the Administration and NASA are free to ignore. I imagine that they will ignore the report language on these points. That will result in more angry tirades from Wolf, but little else. Who cares?

    “I’m just remarking how poorly this administration has handled what I think should have been an easy sell to congress and the American people.”

    You can tell from the opinions on this blog that it was an easy sell to the American people.

    But even common sense accompanied by a mountain of evidence is rarely an easy sell in Congress. There are almost always oppossed interests who have bought the positions of key congressmen.

  • Vladislaw

    “The funny part is that SLS and MPCV have their budgets increased, usually at the expense of CCDev, yet you insist that their cancelation is coming soon. “

    If SLS’s budget is increasing why was Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson ranting at Administrator Bolden about his decision to move 300 million from SLS …

    The only real supporters of SLS are porkers and those that trade votes with the porkers “I’ll vote for your pork if you vote for mine”

  • Martijn Meijering

    There were also massive cost overruns, and a fundamentally flawed design, for a vehicle that was going to be unaffordable to operate.

    It is also unnecessary for exploration, and its opportunity cost may include cheap lift in our lifetime.

  • Das Boese

    MrEarl wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    A program that’s had its budget request slashed by 40% or more two years in a row does not have a great deal of support. (COTs is a separate matter and not started by this administration.) You reference a couple of obscure op-ed’s to prove the “tide is slowly turning” in support, when all other indicators are pointing in the opposite direction.

    As was already said, a budget request may or may not represent what’s actually expected to pass and it may be modified from the actual needs to alter the expected outcome after negotiations. Pointing to that as a sign of waning support is just silly.

    Meanwhile the real budgets have gone up year after year.

    The funny part is that SLS and MPCV have their budgets increased, usually at the expense of CCDev, yet you insist that their cancelation is coming soon.

    The cancellation of these programs is inevitable because they’re fundamentally flawed in a multitude of ways, wether they’re adequately funded or not (they’re not). No amount of money you throw at them will fix the lack of payloads for SLS, the severely limited capabilities of MPCV or the high operating costs for both.

    I’m just remarking how poorly this administration has handled what I think should have been an easy sell to congress and the American people.

    When about half of your congress (and your populace) is opposed to anything this administration does on principle, and all of them care more about pork than actual progress in space, how’s that supposed to work?

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “‘The commercial crew program is the lowest cost U.S. government human space transportation program ever.’ Nonsense, as usual.”

    Okay. Show us your work.

    Mercury/Gemini was $8.9B. Apollo was north of $100B. Shuttle cost $200B. Ares I/Orion, which never even made it orbit, cost something north of $10B. MPCV/SLS will cost about $30B through its first crewed flight.

    Which of these programs costs less than commercial crew at $4.9B over its life-cycle?

    Or are you just cranking to crank?

    “So tick-tock, tick-tock they have a lot to prove, that’s what’s so”

    Wow, that is one cogent, coherent, winning argument there.

    It gives me a lot to think about while I wait for the first crewed MPCV flight circa 2021. Good thing I’ve got a decade to think it through.

    “If you want to fix NASA’s human space flight program.. you terminate all funding for LEO commercial operations, channel rsources into BEO spacecraft and SLS development… and splash the ISS”

    Destroy a $100B asset so we can save a few billion on commercial operations, which will have practically no impact on a multi-ten billion dollar life-cycle cost of MPCV/SLS, which starts at $30B just through the first crewed test flight.

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    Of course, you’re just cranking to crank.

    “By your own numbers, roughly $1 billion has been diverted into CC development and nothing’s flying”

    Falcon 9 has flown twice. Dragon has flown once. Dragon is scheduled to fly to ISS next month. Cygnus/Antares are scheduled to fly this year.

    In the meantime, $10 billion was spent on Ares I/Orion, resulting in one ballistic test launch, and something approaching $6 billion has been spent on MPCV/SLS, with no launches, ballistic or otherwise, to show for it.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock… $16 billion of our U.S. taxpayer dollars have gone to internal and traditionally contracted NASA space transportation development programs with no launches to show for them.

    “Kraft is in error on the SLS, too, for he’s looking at SLS from an engineering perspective rather than as a political chip.”

    Oh, so SLS is not a serious engineering project. It’s a political chip.

    I feel so much better seeing tens of billions of our U.S. taxpayer dollars going to it now.

    “His experience is experience is in flight operations, not space policy development.”

    Same goes for the other Apollo-era heroes that you idolize like Armstrong and Cernan. So why do you discount Kraft and Moser’s op-ed and not theirs?

    Engaging in a little more false equivalency, aren’t you?

  • joe

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    “As for Dragon being for cargo or crew, all one has to do is spend one minute on the SpaceX.com web site to find that out.

    But for those too lazy to look it up, click here.

    All Structures and Mechanisms are designed to be capable of supporting crew transportation, consistent with all relevant NASA standards and Factors of Safety”

    I am well aware of Space X assertion on this point. However, even if true, adhering to the applicable standards for Structural/Mechanical and safety factors is only one part among many for making a vehicle crew ready. The design of the ECLSS system and crew interfaces (complete with appropriate redundancy) is another and the list could go on.

    To say that (as you did – see post April 26th, 2012 at 7:38 pm) “Dragon was originally designed for crew and dumbed down for cargo” is both inaccurate and misleading.

  • Coastal Ron

    joe wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    To say that … is both inaccurate and misleading.

    Inaccurate and misleading in what way? What specifically?

    You’re a great criticizer Joe, but not so good at contributing.

    If you don’t like the way that people describe something, then why don’t you offer us your own description?

    Go read what SpaceX has said publicly, and characterize both what they say they are doing and what your evaluation is. You know, contribute to the conversation. Oh, and also try to use direct quotes from SpaceX instead of “rumors” that you hear from who knows where.

  • common sense

    “To say that (as you did – see post April 26th, 2012 at 7:38 pm) “Dragon was originally designed for crew and dumbed down for cargo” is both inaccurate and misleading.”

    And you know that because? You saw the CAD files, the analyses and all supporting documents?

  • DCSCA

    Dark Blue Nine wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
    “‘The commercial crew program is the lowest cost U.S. government human space transportation program ever…. Show us your work.” ROFLMAO Show us yours. LOL Firstly, commercial crew is not a ‘government’ program by your own labelling- private enterprised ventures. But show us yours anyway- oh wait, you have, you’ve flown NOBODY.

    “Falcon 9 has flown twice. Dragon has flown once. Dragon is scheduled to fly to ISS next month. Cygnus/Antares are scheduled to fly this year.” =yawn= So let’s review- you cite two test flights of an ”iffy’ LV with no independenly verified data to assure crew survivability (or freight for that matter); you cite the test flight of one boiler plate w/no operational ECS to sustain human life, no LAS which carried a few kilos of cheese (that should hold a crew of six on the ISS for a week or two, eh?)– then tag it all with more promises of ‘things to come’ — yet Space X fails to deliver what it has already promised with much ballyhooed fanfare on time. The only thing reliable about Space X is its unreliability. Space X has been contracted to provide goods and services, not operate an ‘opened test program’ and the service it’s proposing to develop is a redundancy anyway to a doomed space platform, a Cold War relic representing planning from a quarter century ago for a HSF exploration program now shelved and which was planned for splash a few years ago in 2015. Russian Progress spacecraft have been servicing habitated LEO space platforms for over 34 years and Soyuz has been flying for over four decades, hard-docking to said platforms, not just rendezvousing for grapple. So a desperate clique of commercialists inside NASA and out try to pitch the doomed ISS- which has yet to return anything close to justify the $100 billion expense- as a ‘faux’ market, worthy of government subsidies for commercail LEO HSF and cargo runs. If there was no ISS, commercial is DOA.

    “$16 billion of our U.S. taxpayer dollars have gone to internal and traditionally contracted NASA space transportation development programs with no launches to show for them.” =yawn= False equivalency. Government managed/operated space projects of scale have been successfully launching, orbiting/and returning crews back from space for over half a century including trips to the moon. Commercial space has failed to launch, orbit or safely return anyone yet.

    “I feel so much better seeing tens of billions of our U.S. taxpayer dollars going to it now.” Good, because the future of HSF is with government managed and operated BEO projects of scale, not yet-to-be-reality- commercial LEO jaunts to limited lifetime space platforms delivering groceries and a few crew to a platform, doomed to splash, that at best can support six people. Too bad the ISS wasn’t anchored to the Ocean of Storms as a lunar research base- then your servicing proposals might get more support from the exploration community. LEO is a ticket to no place and the smart move is to consolidate government space operations for BEO projects o scale, planning and development, terminate all government subsidies for LEO commerical HSF firms and leave them to the ways and means of the free market to discern and decide which merit the investment of private venture capital for LEO operations.

    “So tick-tock, tick-tock they have a lot to prove, that’s what’s so”
    “Wow, that is one cogent, coherent, winning argument there.” It surely is, particularly in response to “So what if SpaceX is a couple years behind schedule?” — your own rationalization for failure. Failure to meet yuur contractual obligations in private industry is a no-no, and indicative of poor managment. Which is why you try to rationalize poor business practices and failures to deliver goods and services on time by commercial. So we’ll wait and see if Lucy yanks the football away again on May 7. And, of course, the SLS is a serious engineering project- why you’d muse otherwise is odd- but at this point it’s a more political chip as Congress is filling the leadership vaccum left by the Executive on matters space. A more immediate engineering test project for you to sweat is the pencilled in May 7 test flight by the Musketeers. We’ll allow a mulligan for Florida weather, but anything else, penalty strokes for sure. Given their track record, a slice into the rough wouldn’t be surprising. Have your press releases ready. For a bad day will most decidely bring a call for Congressional hearings on their competence. So yes.. they have a lot to prove, fella. Tick-tock, tick-tock…

  • DCSCA

    “Some people call the former “newspace” and the latter “oldspace”, but whatever you call them, if you care about the future of human space flight, the former is obviously better than the latter.”

    Except it’s not. It’s false equivalancy.

    ‘OldSpace’ has been successfully flying people into space for over fifty years- incliding vogages to the moon. ‘NewSpace’ has failed to launch, orbit and safely return anybody. So if you truly care about human spacefight, go with the people that have shown they know how- not the ones who’ve shown they don’t know how. “I wish it wasn’t so hard,” says Space X’s Elon Musk. Except it is. That’s why governments do it.

  • Coastal Ron wrote:

    Go read what SpaceX has said publicly, and characterize both what they say they are doing and what your evaluation is. You know, contribute to the conversation. Oh, and also try to use direct quotes from SpaceX instead of “rumors” that you hear from who knows where.

    common sense wrote:

    And you know that because? You saw the CAD files, the analyses and all supporting documents?

    Thanks guys, but I think we all know that individual is a troll. His tactic was straight out of the Karl Rove playbook — accuse your opponent of what you yourself are guilty of.

    As I always say, best way to handle trolls is to ignore them. Ten days until history. The closer we get to May 7, the more frustrated they’ll be, so expect the troll attacks to go up. But come May 7 … we win. Well, actually, NASA and the United States economy win.

  • joe

    BeanCounterfromDownunder wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    “joe wrote @ April 26th, 2012 at 9:51 pm
    I know that Dragon was originally conceived for crew however no real design or hardware had been undertaken bar some basic mockups. Possibly Stephan was getting a bit enthusiastic.
    So far as when, this has always been a matter of:
    1. Funding levels, and
    2. Contract arrangements.”
    A well-reasoned answer (I hope being told that by a “frustrated troll” doesn’t get you in trouble with any of your friends.

    I understand that receiving less money than you were told to expect effects schedules, but that problem has arisen in literally every American HSF program since Apollo.

  • Robert G. Oler

    joe wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 4:01 pm
    crew interfaces (complete with appropriate redundancy) is another and the list could go on. >>

    that is a relatively goofy statement. a vehicle that meets the requirements to ISS uncrewed will easily do so with crew in terms of interface…seesh RGO

  • vulture4

    DSCA: “Russian Progress spacecraft have been servicing habitated LEO space platforms for over 34 years and Soyuz has been flying for over four decades, hard-docking to said platforms, not just rendezvousing for grapple”

    Unfortunately Russian quality control has slipped in recent years, resulting in two near-fatal incidents when one of the pyrotechnic bolts joining the descent and service modules failed to separate. Additional failures have included the Mir fire, the Progress collision, and numerous other failures of planning, preparation and quality control documents at jamesoberg.com. Russia is a viable partner in the ISS program, but to make it the sole path of access to ISS was a serious error by the Bush Administration. It would have been more rational to continue the OSP program and maintain the Shuttle in operational status until an alternative vehicle providing LEO access was available.

  • joe

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ April 28th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    “joe wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    crew interfaces (complete with appropriate redundancy) is another and the list could go on. >>

    that is a relatively goofy statement. a vehicle that meets the requirements to ISS uncrewed will easily do so with crew in terms of interface…seesh RGO”

    You left out the ECLSS part.

    Additionally you obviously have no idea what crew interfaces means.

    Since you are such an expert, a few questions:

    - Will the Dragon Vehicle Passengers be using launch/entry suits?

    - If so how will these launch/entry suits be plugged into (I would say interfaced, but that word appears to confuse you) the Dragon ECLSS?

    - What forces will the crew be subjected to on parachute deployment and what occupant protection will the Crew Impact Attenuation System (CIAS) have to provide to accommodate them?

    - What forces will the crew be subjected to if the Launch Abort System must be used and what occupant protection will the CIAS have to provide to accommodate them?

    Again the list could go on, but those will do for a start.

    Yes, “seesh”, indeed.

  • DCSCA

    @vulture4 wrote @ April 28th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    “Russia is a viable partner in the ISS program, but to make it the sole path of access to ISS was a serious error by the Bush Administration.”

    No space advocate disputes the flaw in planning regarding the infamous ‘gap’ – but gaps are very much SOP with USA space planning. There’s simply no coherent philosophy for HSF in the United States. Tom Wolfe once noted that the only person who ever had one within NASA was Wernher Von Braun– and he was eased out as Apollo came tro a close. Flying shuttle semi-annually or quarterly for servicing the ISS would have been smarter planning- but risky, still if they could have made the numbers work, it would have been preferable. But they couldn’t, wouldn’t and the mess w/Constellation is well known. Griffin’s Ares was a lousy rocket to build a long term program around. So the 1970′s shuttles go to museums. But that’s American space policy- fits and starts. Always has been and in the U.S., always will be. Space exploration is not part of the national character as it is with, say Russia, and– it appears- the PRC. Support in America has always been a broad but shallow pool. All those bureaucrats in Washington looked up and over their noses as Discovery flew overhead, but where were they in he budget fights. Same in NYC, where the media types all whooped over Enterprise soaring over Midtown like it was a first– except the same orbiter made exactrly the same flight over NYC 30 years ago. And the city did the same thing- looked up, clapped and took photos.

  • DCSCA

    @Stephen C. Smith wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    “But come May 7 … we win.”

    Another press release. And what else can you say. Demonstrating a lesser redundancy of what already has been operational for 34 years, subsidized w/tax dollars no less, is a sin, not a win. And a waste of dwindling resources. Spin all you want but Space X is months/years off schedule and keeps slipping their own ballyhooed launch dates– not a confidence building sign for a private enterprised firm contracted to deliver goods and services.

    More schedule slippages (beyond a genuine weather delay) will simply reinforce the perception that the only thing reliable about Space X is their unrelability.

    And any failure would be a disaster, in more way than one. Yeah, there’s a lot more riding on top of that Falcon 9 besides a Dragon. Meanwhile, tick-tock, tick-tock… May 7 approaches.

  • Coastal Ron

    joe wrote @ April 28th, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Since you are such an expert, a few questions:

    - Will the Dragon Vehicle Passengers be using launch/entry suits?

    - If so how will these launch/entry suits be plugged into (I would say interfaced, but that word appears to confuse you) the Dragon ECLSS?

    As I recall, you told Paul Spudis that you were an engineer, and that you have some specialization in environmental systems – on Orion I think. Right? So I can see how you would be so interested in how other companies have solved the problems that you have worked on.

    However you somehow equate a lack of public technical details to a lack of any planned solution for them.

    For instance, why would SpaceX publicize what kind of connection systems they were going to use for their crew environmental system? Don’t you think they have better things to be talking about And you somehow hold that against them. Pretty nutty, huh?

    Of course SpaceX customers would be able to ask about these details, and get a first hand look at the solutions. But why would you give the public, which consists of domestic and foreign competitors, all the details of your proprietary solutions? You’d really have to be nuts to do that.

    Don’t be nutty.

  • pathfinder_01

    Joe there are specifications for anything bound to go to the ISS. In short Space X must meet ssp 5080 in order to visit the ISS(in any form manned or cargo) and must meet CCT-req1030 to transport crew to the ISS. Thanks to Itar both are controlled.

    As for space suits Elon is thinking about making his own, but there are several companies that can do that for you. Heck the shuttle did not have any space suits for crew until after Challenger! I don’t think that a pressure suit (1930’s technology) that is only used if the spacecraft looses pressure or if the life support fails or protection against chemical leak and fire(maybe) will present huge insurmountable problems in the year 2011. Heck, you can buy one used from the Russians for $10,000 or so if you want.

    As for landing, the dragon was designed with an eye towards human ratting. I don’t think anyone would design the thing to have excessive unsurvivable forces upon landing. The amount of g-forces the human body can withstand as well as methods to calculate, test and control are pretty well understood.

  • pathfinder_01

    Oh as for the ECLS dragon cargo does not have a life support system able to support a crew to and from the ISS. It is lacking CO2 removal (which frankly is done via lioh in most transport spacecraft).

    However it does have humidity control, temperature control, fire detection,

    They are working with paragon(the same company developing the life support for Orion). As for the parachute system they used the same company that designed the parachutes for Orion(which was worrisome, but at least Dragon passed it’s first parachute test(Orion left a crater).

    Here is an interesting paper on it :

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110014250_2011013540.pdf

    and Dragon lab:

    http://www.labflight.com/html/design_loads.html

  • DCSCA

    “But why would you give the public, which consists of domestic and foreign competitors, all the details of your proprietary solutions?” Because the ‘public’ has paid for the privledge through subsidies.

  • joe

    pathfinder_01 wrote @ April 29th, 2012 at 4:45 am
    “They are working with paragon(the same company developing the life support for Orion).” ….
    Here is an interesting paper on it :”

    This is exactly where I thought the process was and I thank you for the link to the article (which I have added to my library).

    That is a lot different from the crewed version of Dragon being the already existing baseline and the cargo version being “dumbed down” from that

  • joe

    pathfinder_01 wrote @ April 29th, 2012 at 4:13 am
    “Joe there are specifications for anything bound to go to the ISS. In short Space X must meet ssp 5080 in order to visit the ISS(in any form manned or cargo) and must meet CCT-req1030 to transport crew to the ISS. Thanks to Itar both are controlled.”

    Understood, but I was not talking about ISS prox ops and berthing. Sorry for not making myself clear (no sarcasm intended – several people seemed to have misunderstood).

    What I am talking about is occupant protection for the crew on launch and landing. The Space Shuttle, for all its short comings (real and imagined) has given passengers a much smoother ride than any capsule (no matter how well designed) will be able to do. The loads (not just steady state, but impact) will be much greater. It is not just a matter of buying a suit “one used from the Russians for $10,000”, unless you want to design the entire rest of your CIAS around the suit and then modify the rest of your pressure vessel to fit the CIAS.

    One of the dangerous problems in this kind of subject is the tendency to assume that what someone else is working on is easy, where your activities are (of course) the hard stuff.

  • pathfinder_01

    Ah ssp5080 isn’t about proxity and berthing. It is about maintaining a safe working environment inside the capsule. The capsule is considered habitable space and must conform to the same regulations as an ISS module. All visiting craft must meet that regulation. As for designing it in, there were four levels of COTS, that any company could compete for.

    COTS A: Unpressurized Cargo delivery

    COTS B: Pressurized Cargo delivery

    COTS C: Cargo return

    COTS D: Crew capability.

    Space X and Orbital were going to go for COTS D, but each was talked down a level and in Orbital’s case two. Dragon was designed with an eye towards being a manned spacecraft. Therefore, I would doubt they would design the thing without a hatch big enough to accommodate an astronaut in a space suit. Now design the thing to support spacewalks like Orion, Probably not as it would require up to 7 people to get into a space suit so that one guy can go out. Esp. since its destination would usually be a space station (which has airlocks).

    CCT-req1030 has requirements about how much g force a crew can be subjected to. Anyway the limit is 3g for sustained g forces and there are allowances for certain situations like abort(the abort system must be able to bring the crew to safety 90% of the time) and possibly landing. Anyway last time I checked the problem of how to safely land a crew via parachute over water had been solved by Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. Space wants to switch to land landings eventually to aid with reusability but have decided to go for water landings for now(i.e. not bite off more than they can chew).

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “Show us yours.”

    I did. Where are your figures and references? What other U.S. human space flight system costs less than the $4.9B life-cycle total for commercial crew?

    I’m waiting, fella… tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

    “you cite two test flights of an LV”

    That’s two more flights than Shuttle had before crew flew on it. And it’s one more flight than what SLS is scheduled to have before crew flies on it.

    Even the lowliest technician knows the difference between 0, 1, and 2 flights. You must not be a very good technician there, fella.

    “you cite the test flight of one boiler plate w/no operational ECS to sustain human life”

    No, the Dragon’s internal volume on the COTS 1 mission was pressurized with a breathable atmosphere, temperature control, and humidity control. The stats are available on wikipedia, among other places.

    Wow, you are one awful technician there, fella.

    “operate an ‘opened test program’”

    What the heck is an “opened test program”?

    You are one awful, illiterate technician there, fella.

    Or are you just cranking to crank?

    “Russian Progress spacecraft have been servicing habitated LEO space platforms for over 34 years and Soyuz has been flying for over four decades”

    Yes, they’re Russian, not American, fella.

    False equivalency, my awful, illiterate, technician.

    “If there was no ISS, commercial is DOA.”

    No, both Atlas V and Falcon 9 have lengthy manifests of military and commercial payloads.

    Gee, you can’t get anything right, can you fella?

    Not even awful, illiterate technicians are this dumb. You must be cranking to crank.

    Right, fella?

    “Government managed/operated space projects of scale have been successfully launching, orbiting/and returning crews back from space for over half a century including trips to the moon”

    Not for a long time to come in the U.S. The last Shuttle flew last year. MPCV/SLS isn’t scheduled to launch its first crew until 2021, if the program isn’t terminated in the intervening decade.

    In addition to being an awful and illiterate technician, you don’t stay current either, do you, fella?

    “… can support six people.”

    No, the ISS can support seven crew with a larger commercial crew rescue capability augmenting/replacing Soyuz.

    But I guess that I shouldn’t expect a awful, illiterate technician to understand the difference between 6 and 7 when they apparently don’t know the difference between 0, 1, and 2.

    Right, fella?

    “It surely is, particularly in response to ‘So what if SpaceX is a couple years behind schedule?’ — your own rationalization for failure.”

    Well, if that’s failure, then what is the schedule for MPCV/SLS, which won’t perform an uncrewed test flight until 2017 at the earliest — something that Dragon/Falcon 9 achieved last year and that Antares/Cygnus is scheduled to achieve this year?

    Oops! There I go again, expecting an awful, illiterate techician to understand simple integers.

    My mistake, fella.

    “And, of course, the SLS is a serious engineering project- why you’d muse otherwise is odd”

    Because you wrote that SLS is a “political chip”, that’s why.

    Do you suffer from memory loss, too, fella?

  • Martijn Meijering

    Government space is for losers who can’t hack it in a competitive environment – winners don’t need protection from market forces. And don’t confuse losers with Old Space and winners with New Space, I’m convinced ULA will be one of the winners if we finally do get commercial crew, and even more sure some of the commercial entrants will lose (easy prediction that). No amount of logic is going to make a loser support a competitive environment.

  • Martin Meijering wrote:

    I’m convinced ULA will be one of the winners if we finally do get commercial crew …

    Both ULA and SpaceX are sniffing around LC-39A, so it looks like they’re thinking that they want to leave their Cape pads for unmanned flight and use 39A for crew.

    Maybe they see a cost savings by sharing a pad for crew which will be used less frequently than the Cape pads.

  • joe

    pathfinder_01 wrote @ April 29th, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    OK, so they have requirements for crew safety; I never said they did not. This whole discussion began with a statement implying that all of the design work for a crewed Dragon was already in place.

    I contended that it was not. You actually agreed with my position on ECLSS “ECLS dragon cargo does not have a life support system able to support a crew …”, “They are working with paragon(the same company developing the life support for Orion)…”.

    I contend the same is true for crew safety, LAS, etc. I am not trying to play a gottcha game with you (or anyone else), only to establish a common set of agreed upon facts in discussing these issues.

  • Coastal Ron

    joe wrote @ April 30th, 2012 at 8:36 am

    This whole discussion began with a statement implying that all of the design work for a crewed Dragon was already in place.

    No Joe, it didn’t. You keep trying to turn it into that subject, as you have for more than a year on different blogs. Why do you do that?

    The original statement was that Dragon was designed to eventually carry crew. That means if has the capability to upgraded from cargo to crew. No one, including SpaceX, has said that all of the crew systems were designed, built, tested and installed.

    I know you don’t like SpaceX, but this is really odd behavior on your part.

  • pathfinder_01

    “No, the ISS can support seven crew with a larger commercial crew rescue capability augmenting/replacing Soyuz.”

    Actually the ISS can support a crew of 7 with a surge capacity of 14. Meaning long term(i.e. months) 7 can stay aboard but if needed short term(i.e. when the shuttle docked for a week or two) it could support 14. Basically if the commercial crew craft carry extra supplies (or supplies are sent ahead via cargo) and allow for sleeping then it is possible to have more than 7 aboard. In fact the highest number of people aboard was 13 I think.

    So it is possible to have short missions overlapping with the long term missions on the ISS. In addition the Russian plan to add a crew quarter in 2013 via the Nauka module so that they can have the option of sending three Russians to the ISS (or a tourist).

  • common sense

    ECLSS ah ECLSS the most important sub-system of all. And not just the most important but one that a private company ought to provide to some anonymous Internet posters just to assuage their fears of human rating compliance. Or… Or someone is looking for a job as an ECLSS engineer?

    I wonder: Is it possible that those who have concerns with SpaceX and SpaceX alone of course (not Boeing, BO, SNC, etc), is it possible they come up with some well thought out question? Something we could try to address? Not some undisclosed proprietary design issue.

    Otherwise we could talk about ECLSS. Hey what about other important design decisions: Battery location? Propellant feed lines for the DRACOs? Hatch hinge point design? Paint for the SpaceX logo maybe? Should they put the South-African flag along the US flag on Dragon?

    You know some serious questions!

  • joe

    pathfinder_01 wrote @ April 30th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    “Actually the ISS can support a crew of 7 with a surge capacity of 14. Meaning long term(i.e. months) 7 can stay aboard but if needed short term(i.e. when the shuttle docked for a week or two) it could support 14. Basically if the commercial crew craft carry extra supplies (or supplies are sent ahead via cargo) and allow for sleeping then it is possible to have more than 7 aboard. In fact the highest number of people aboard was 13 I think.

    So it is possible to have short missions overlapping with the long term missions on the ISS. In addition the Russian plan to add a crew quarter in 2013 via the Nauka module so that they can have the option of sending three Russians to the ISS (or a tourist).”

    You seem to have a good working knowledge of the current ISS capabilities, so a couple of questions related to the discussion above:

    - Given the current research capabilities, how many crew would the ISS need to make complete use of them?

    - Given what you know of future approved research capabilities, how many crew would the ISS need to make complete use of them?

  • Vladislaw

    Considering how many racks you have with the combined ESA, JAXA and US it would really depend on how hands on intensive each experiment is. It takes a couple crew just to keep the station going. I believe if there was more frequent crew service that both the ESA and JAXA would want more of their own researchers there. Japan is interested in Bigelow so it appears they are serious about more time in space.

  • pathfinder_01

    “- Given the current research capabilities, how many crew would the ISS need to make complete use of them?”

    “- Given what you know of future approved research capabilities, how many crew would the ISS need to make complete use of them?”

    http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/543572main_Section%20403(b)%20Commercial%20Market%20Assessment%20Report%20Final.pdf

    As with anything depends on budget and mission. NASA hopes to fund up to 4 CCDEV flights a year of 4 seats. However a min of two is needed to rotate ISS crew. If NASA goes with 6 month missions it better simulates BEO flight but the trade off is fewer people(in a time period) on which to draw conclusions. If it stays with 3-4 month flights it needs 4 flights to rotate.

    Just having commercial crew allows NASA to go to a 4 person crew (right now the limit is 6 people total. 3-4 Americans (or ESA or Japan), 2-3 Russian. This is due to Soyuz being the lifeboat and being limited to carrying 3 per capsule. Soyuz also limits what size astronaut can go to the ISS (the shuttle could accommodate taller and shorter/heavier people). So a portion of the Astronaut core is unable to serve at this moment just because they can’t fit into Soyuz.

    That would possibly leave up to 3 seats left over for other things/missions (depending on how much cargo they carry). Canada was interested in purchasing a seat for its crew and I think if it were cheap enough other countries may want to increase their time there. Remember ESA and Japan both have dedicated labs on the ISS.

    Other uses could be for BEO missions (if you ever read Mars DRM 5.0) it used two Orions. One of them could have been replaced by a much cheaper ccrew craft.

    Even one of my favorite mission pre Columbia would have used the shuttle to man (and service) a BEO craft that departed from the ISS to l1/l2:

    http://history.nasa.gov/DPT/Architectures/Moon%20-%20L1-Moon%20Exploration%20Architecture%20DPT%20Jun_00.pdf

    A commercial crew craft could do this mission in conjunction Orion plus a upper stage like the delta one (DCSS) and do it cheaper with existing/near term rockets rather than SLS.

    A minor mission might be Hubble(it needs a deorbit rocket).

  • DCSCA

    @Martijn Meijering wrote @ April 30th, 2012 at 7:11 am

    “Government space is for losers who can’t hack it in a competitive environment – winners don’t need protection from market forces.”

    Except, of course, that over the 80 plus year history of modern rocket development, ‘market forces’ have never led the way in this field, chiefly due to the largess of capital investment needed. It has always been governments, in various guises and for a variety of military or geopolitical motives, which have moved the science and technology forward. Witiness Goddard, all but starved for funding from the private sector save stipends from Guggenheim and interest from Lindbergh while in the same period, Von Braun’s research was flush with Reichmarks for government rocket development. When Sputnik was lofted, it was not the private sector that responded but government. Every time the ‘market’ was presented with the opportunity to take the lead in this field, it has balked, letting the government carry the fiscal load, thus socializing the risk. Commerical has always swept in afterwards to cash in where it could.That formula hasn’t changed. The private capital markets remain wary of commercial HSF ventures so in desperation, commercialists inside and outside NASA try to relabel the ISS a ‘market’ and beg for subsidies when, in fact, it’s a ‘faux market’ for a crew of six and has yet to justify the $100-plus billion investment. LEO is a ticket to no place and every government dollar wasted on it is that much less for BEO mission planning and spacecraft/LV development.

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ April 30th, 2012 at 12:44 am

    “‘The commercial crew program is the lowest cost U.S. government human space transportation program ever…. Show us your work.” LOL Show us yours. LOL Firstly, commercial crew is not a ‘government’ program by your own labelling- private enterprised ventures. But show us yours anyway- oh wait, you have, you’ve flown NOBODY.

    “you cite two test flights of an LV” That’s two more flights than Shuttle had before crew flew on it.” False equivalency. Falcon is not the space shuttle. And Dragon most decidedly is not a winged, crewed vehicle. NASA has nothing to prove; Space X has everything to prove. And, of course, post ground SRB testing, the integrated STS system in its final configuration was designed and planned to fly crewed in an all-up test w/test pilots on its first four test flights. Falcon/Dragon lofted a wheel of cheese. =eyeroll=

    “No, the ISS can support seven crew with a larger commercial crew rescue capability augmenting/replacing Soyuz.” =can?= Another press release. It’s stated operational crew is six. There’s three there now. So that must mean they’re doing double the work, eh… =eyeroll=

    ISS-
    Crew Fully crewed 6
    Currently onboard 3
    (Expedition 31)

    source- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station

    Sure, stuff 20 aboard for a day or two as well. But its optimum operational crew is six.

    “If there was no ISS, commercial is DOA.” No, both Atlas V and Falcon 9 have lengthy manifests of military and commercial payloads.” =yawn= The discourse is on HSF. But you do love hyping that Falcon 9 after its two test flights. The roll rates were in question on the last one… but we’ll let that one go. Bad PR.

    ‘So what if SpaceX is a couple years behind schedule?’ — your own rationalization for failure.” Well, if that’s failure…” It is. And it’s an exceptionally poor rationale for a quarterly driven, profit-oriented, private sectored firm. The only thing reliable about Space X is its unreliability. Space X has been contracted to provide goods and services, not operate an ‘open ended test program’ and the service it’s proposing to develop is a redundancy anyway to a doomed space platform, a Cold War relic representing planning from a quarter century ago for a HSF exploration program now shelved and which was planned for splash a few years ago in 2015. Russian Progress spacecraft have been servicing habitated LEO space platforms for over 34 years and Soyuz has been flying for over four decades, hard-docking to said platforms, not just rendezvousing for grapple. The fact that they’re Russian built and not emblazoned w/a corporate logo of a private corporation is irrelvant. And any atempt by Space X PR touts to try to label its ‘private’ venture (whose launch pad was refurbished w/taxpayer funds BTW) as ‘America’s space program’ is as bogus as American Airlines boasting it’s the national carrier for the USA. And it will be relentlessly challenged.

    And so what if Progress and Soyuz are Russian-built. They work. And dissing a partner’s hardware is bad business BTW. The Mobile Servicing System (MSS), on the ISS was built in Canada…. it’s not ‘American’ either. Progress and Soyuz are a proven, reliable, operational system to a doomed LEO international platform with an international crew. Freeze-dried shrimp delivered by Progress taste just as good as those proposed to be carried up on a lesser and redundant system like Dragon and grabbed by a Canadian arm to be pulled in for berthing.

    “…you wrote that SLS is a “political chip”, that’s why.” And it is.

    “Oops! There I go again, expecting an awful, illiterate techician to understand simple integers.” Hmmm, let’s review, government space programs have been successfully launching orbiting and returning humans from LEO and BEO space flights for over 50 years…. commercial HSF’s number of successful launches to LEO and safely returned HSFs in the same period: 0. To BEO: 0. Simple integers got any technician, indeed. Tick-tock-tick-tock…

    @pathfinder_01 wrote @ April 30th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    “No, the ISS can support seven crew with a larger commercial crew rescue capability augmenting/replacing Soyuz.”

    “Actually the ISS can support a crew of 7 with a surge capacity of 14″– Sure, thay could suff 20 people in there for a few days in a pinch. The point is its operational crew is six. See above.

    @Stephen C. Smith wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Garbage in, garbage out, eh. So your sales pitch is they build a bigger trash can.

    @pathfinder_01 wrote @ April 29th, 2012 at 4:13 am

    “As for space suits Elon is thinking about making his own…”

    Musketeers make for great halloween costumes, too. This is the same person that told Scott Pelley he was planning to buy a Russian ICBM and launch a greenhouse to Mars and then televise it to generate ‘interest’ in space… never mind he failed to consider the obvious contamination of Mars w/organic plant materials. Rather than worrying about wardrobe, he best just get his rocket up on time and meet a simple lauch schedule for a change. Meeting schedules is a good habit to get into for the managemnt of a for profit, private enterprises firm contracted to provide goods and services, not operate an ‘open-ended test program.’.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “Show us yours.”

    Again, I did. See the figures in the earlier post above. And again, where are your figures and references? What other U.S. human space flight system costs less than the $4.9B life-cycle total for commercial crew? Name one. Just one.

    I’m still waiting, fella… tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

    “False equivalency. Falcon is not the space shuttle. And Dragon most decidedly is not a winged, crewed vehicle.”

    So? What do wings have to do with unmanned test launches? You want to make sure that the rocket stack doesn’t blow up. We know that Bernoulli’s Principle works.

    You are one sucky technician.

    “NASA has nothing to prove”

    NASA hasn’t developed a new launch system since the Space Shuttle. It’s been 30 years. And the last 20 years are one long litany of incomplete and failed developments — X-33/VentureStar, Space Launch Initiative, Orbital Space Plane, Crew Exploration Vehicle, and Ares I/Orion — that have cost the taxpayer tens of billions of dollars with nothing flown to space to show for it.

    When it comes to launch vehicle development and new human space transport systems, today’s NASA has everything to prove.

    “But its optimum operational crew is six.”

    Sorry, fella, but you still can’t count. It’s seven, not six.

    “Crew Size: Up to seven people at assembly complete”

    “ultimate status as a research facility with up to seven crew members”

    er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/ISS_Assembly_Completed_Lithograph.pdf

    “Crew size: up to 7″

    http://www.braeunig.us/space/specs/iss.htm

    You are one really sucky technician.

    “The discourse is on HSF.”

    You stated that these companies would go out of business without human space flight. But you’re wrong. All human space flight activities could disappear from the face of the Earth tomorrow, and ULA and SpaceX would still have long manifests of unmanned commercial and military payloads, OSC would still have a large satellite business, Boeing would still sell jetliners, and Sierra Nevada would still have multiple lines of defense products.

    C’mon, think there, fella.

    “The roll rates were in question on the last one”

    No, they weren’t. The last Falcon 9 launch was the COTS 1 Mission, which proved the fix to the roll issue on the Falcon 9′s maiden launch.

    You can’t get anything right, can you, fella?

    “And so what if Progress and Soyuz are Russian-built.”

    Nothing, as long as you’re anti-American and support sending nearly a half-billion U.S. taxpayer dollars and thousands of U.S. jobs overseas to a government that actively opposes U.S. interests and supports brutal dictators like the Assad regime in Syria.

    But you wouldn’t be anti-American, would you, fella?

    “The Mobile Servicing System (MSS), on the ISS was built in Canada…. it’s not ‘American’ either.”

    No American tax dollars were sent to Canada to build the MSS. And even if they were, Canada isn’t supporting dictators in the Middle East.

    C’mon, think there, fella.

    “Hmmm, let’s review, government space programs have been successfully launching orbiting and returning humans from LEO and BEO space flights for over 50 years…”

    Nope, not “over 50 years”. The first manned Mercury flight was in 1961. The last Shuttle flight was in 2011. There are no U.S. civil human space flight launches scheduled for 2012. In fact, there’s not another one scheduled for another decade.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

    “Simple integers got any technician, indeed.”

    Simple integers certainly do “get” you a lot, fella. In addition to not understanding the difference between 0, 1, and 2 or the difference between 6 and 7, now you don’t understand the difference between 50 and over 50.

    I really hope that you’re just cranking to crank.

    Otherwise, you are one really, really sucky technician, fella.

  • DCSCidiot drooled: And it’s an exceptionally poor rationale for a quarterly driven, profit-oriented, private sectored firm.

    No matter how many times you repeat this ignorant idiocy, SpaceX remains not “quarterly driven.”

  • DCSCA

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ May 1st, 2012 at 10:23 am

    “False equivalency. Falcon is not the space shuttle. And Dragon most decidedly is not a winged, crewed vehicle.” So?” So it’s false equivalancy.
    “You stated that these companies would go out of business without human spaceflight. But you’re wrong.” No, you’ve said that. What was said is as follows: “So a desperate clique of commercialists inside NASA and out try to pitch the doomed ISS- which has yet to return anything close to justify the $100 billion expense- as a ‘faux’ market, worthy of government subsidies for commercail LEO HSF and cargo runs. If there was no ISS, commercial is DOA.” Your ISS references state ‘up to 7′ It can obviously hold more for shorter periods but the optimum crew is 6 and currently it has only 3. Not very cost effective and barely worth a Progress servicing let alone developing a lesser redundancy w/Dragon.

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

    There’s high confidence in Branson’s enterprise and that is most likely the next logical step in commercial HSF efforts- the suborbital jaunts should be entertaining- whivh is what they are, an entertainment enterprise. You’ve shown nothing but schedule slippages and paper projections. And fly nobody. The only thing reliable about Space X is their unreliability. Maybe one day you’ll ‘deliver the goods’ – on schedule for a change. Or maybe not. Regardless, they’re behind schedule and uncertainity is not a sharp characteristic of a commercial enterprise in business to make a profit. May 7 is not going to happen. What a surprise. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

    “Nothing, as long as you’re anti-American …” LOL ‘now the flags and footprints’ argument… who do you think you are, Mitt Romney?? It’s an international space platform and you cite the partners in your own data. =eyeroll= There’s a McDonald’s in Red Square, Rolls Royce dealerships in moscow and U.S. astronauts rode Soyuz to the ISS and ate the free-dried shrimp delivered by Progress spacecraft even during the time frame shuttle was flying. So our astronauts are anti-American in your view now. And they clung to a Canadian built arm- very anti-American, eh, photographed by Japanese-made TV and digital cameras. Don’t the remember Pearl Harbor? The Cold War’s been over twenty years, fella, and the ISS is a dinosaur from that era. . Corporations owe no loyalties to any nation state and to infer.imply that Space X is America’s space program is blatantly false. Dragon’s are emblazoned w/Space X corporate logos. Space X is trying to fly for Space X- — for profit, not for any faux ‘footprints and flags’ motivates. Space X does not represent the space program of the United States of America, thank God.=eyeroll=

    “Nope, not “over 50 years”.” Hmmm, let’s review, my posting says: government space programs have been successfully launching orbiting and returning humans from LEO and BEO space flights for over 50 years….” True. Gagarin was launched over 51 years ago- on an orbtial flight. Shepard and Grissom were nto orbital flights BTW. Then Titov flew. Commercial HSF’s number of successful launches to LEO and safely returned HSFs in the same period: 0. <- True. To BEO: 0. <– True. Simple integers got by any technician, indeed. Here's tw more – 5/7. If the weather's good, there's no excuse not to fly.. but if it's a no-go, no doubt Musk will hold a presser and create one. Tick-tock, tick-tock….
    Rand Simberg wrote @ May 1st, 2012 at 11:29 am
    You’d do well to bone up on corporate operations as it is a decided plus for firms to securing financing by meeting scheduling and showing profits on a quarterly basis.

    Dark Blue Nine wrote @ May 1st, 2012 at 10:23 am

    “False equivalency. Falcon is not the space shuttle. And Dragon most decidedly is not a winged, crewed vehicle.” So?”

    So it’s false equivalancy. End of story,

    “You stated that these companies would go out of business without human space flight. But you’re wrong.” No, you’ve said that.

    My post reads as follows: “So a desperate clique of commercialists inside NASA and out try to pitch the doomed ISS- which has yet to return anything close to justify the $100 billion expense- as a ‘faux’ market, worthy of government subsidies for commercail LEO HSF and cargo runs. If there was no ISS, commercial is DOA.” Context, is everything, fella.

    Your ISS references state ‘up to 7′ It can obviously hold more for shorter perios but the optimum crew is 6 and currently it has only 3. Not very cost effective and barely worth a Progress servicing let alone developing a lesser redundancy w/Dragon. Maybe it’s enought to consume a wheel of cheese in they manage to get it close to get grappled.

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

    Commercial HSF – orbital and cargo flight planning for the Muscketeer clan to the ISS would be DOA. There’s high confidence in Branson’s enterprise and that is most likely the next logical step in commercial HSF efforts- the suborbital jaunts should be entertaining- whivh is what they are, an entertainment enterprise. You’ve shown nothing but schedule slippages and paper projections. And fly nobody. =yawn= Most likely never will. The only thing reliable about Space X is their unreliability. Maybe on May 7 you’ll ‘deliver the goods’ for a change. Or maybe not. Regardless, they’re behind schedule and uncertainity is not a sharp characteristic of a commercial enterprise in business to make a profit. Tick-tock, tick-tock, fella.

    “Nothing, as long as you’re anti-American …” LOL ‘now the flags and footprints’ argument… who do you think you are, Mitt Romney?? It’s an international space platform and you cite the partners in your own data. =eyeroll= There’s a McDonald’s in Red Square, Rolls Royce dealerships in moscow and U.S. astronauts rode Soyuz to the ISS and ate the free-dried shrimp delivered by Progress spacecraft even during the time frame shuttle was flying. So our astronauts are anti-American in your view now. And they clung to a Canadian built arm- very anti-American, eh, photographed by Japanese-made TV and digital cameras. Don’t the remember Pearl Harbor? The Cold War’s been over twenty years, fella, and the ISS is a dinosaur from that era. . Corporations owe no loyalties to any nation state and to infer.imply that Space X is America’s space program is blatantly false. Dragon’s are emblazoned w/Space X corporate logos. Space X is trying to fly for Space X- — for profit, not for any faux ‘footprints and flags’ motivates. Space X does not represent the space program of the United States of America, thank God.=eyeroll=

    “Nope, not “over 50 years”.” Hmmm, let’s review, my posting says: government space programs have been successfully launching orbiting and returning humans from LEO and BEO space flights for over 50 years….” True. Gagarin was launched over 51 years ago- on an orbtial flight. Shepard and Grissom were nto orbital flights BTW. Then Titov flew. Commercial HSF’s number of successful launches to LEO and safely returned HSFs in the same period: 0. <- True. To BEO: 0. <– True. Simple integers got by any technician, indeed. Here's tw more – 5/7. If the weather's good, there's no excuse not to fly.. but if it's a no-go, no doubt Musk will hold a presser and create one. Tick-tock, tick-tock….

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “So it’s false equivalancy.”

    Which has no relevance to the discussion. So what if one crew vehicle is a capsule and another is winged body? Both have rocket engines, and the point is to test those under launch conditions before you put crew on them.

    You are one lousy technician, fella.

    “No, you’ve said that.”

    No, I did not. You wrote it, twice in this thread. Here are your words again:

    “If there was no ISS, commercial is DOA.”

    And again, commercial space doesn’t go away without ISS or human space flight. ULA and SpaceX have long manifests of unmanned commercial and military payloads, OSC has a large satellite business, Boeing sells jetliners, and Sierra Nevada has multiple lines of defense products.

    You’re so illiterate, fella, that you don’t even know what you’ve written.

    “Your ISS references state ‘up to 7′ It can obviously hold more for shorter periods”

    It’s not a temporary crew size. The ISS can support seven crewmembers permanently with the right crew rescue capability:

    “Once assembly is completed… a permanent crew of seven astronauts should allow 160 hours/week of time dedicated to experiments.”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=nuEYQB1ImPcC&pg=PA315&lpg=PA315&dq=international+space+station+maximum+crew+seven&source=bl&ots=YxnQ7TnI0B&sig=YElmw3LP2kG57-DpONiWScw_Xp8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=j-OjT_jhHIy36QGAsKzECQ&ved=0CGMQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=international%20space%20station%20maximum%20crew%20seven&f=false

    You can’t get anything right, can you fella?

    “There’s high confidence in Branson’s enterprise”

    Which is a suborbital effort, not orbital.

    That’s false equivalency right there, fella.

    “nothing but schedule slippages and paper projections.”

    Two Falcon 9 launches and the orbit and return of the Dragon capsule are not “nothing”.

    More false equivalency, fella.

    “So our astronauts are anti-American in your view now.”

    No, unlike you, there are no NASA astronauts that publicly support sending a half-billion U.S. taxpayer dollars and thousands of American jobs overseas to a country like Russia that opposses U.S. interests abroad and that supports brutal dictatorships like the Assad regime in Syria.

    “And they clung to a Canadian built arm- very anti-American, eh, photographed by Japanese-made TV and digital cameras.”

    We didn’t send a half-billion U.S. taxpayer dollars and thousands of American jobs overseas to Canada or Japan to build that arm or those cameras. Unlike Russia, those countries paid for all of their own contributions.

    And even if they didn’t, Canada and Japan don’t protect dictatorships like the Assad regime in the United Nations.

    That’s two counts of false equivalency there, fella.

    “Don’t the remember Pearl Harbor? The Cold War’s been over twenty years”

    I’m talking about current events, like Russia sending troops to Syria to help protect the Alawites and quash protestors there:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/russian-anti-terror-troops-arrive-syria/story?id=15954363

    You’re equating current events to international relations and wars from ~20-70 years ago. Try to stay current, fella, so you don’t engage in so much false equivalency.

    “Dragon’s are emblazoned w/Space X corporate logos. Space X is trying to fly for Space X- — for profit, not for any faux ‘footprints and flags’ motivates.”

    Dragon space capsules are emblazoned with the U.S. flag, my blind, illiterate, lousy technician.

    http://www.popfi.com/2010/12/08/spacex-to-launch-private-spacecraft-today/

    Once again, you can’t get anything right, can you, fella?

    “Space X does not represent the space program of the United States of America, thank God.=eyeroll=”

    Until MPCV/SLS are flying regularly a decade or more from now (if ever), SpaceX and other commercial providers are the only human space launch program that the United States has.

    Face reality, fella.

    “Gagarin was launched over 51 years ago”

    The Soviets didn’t launch anyone in 1966 or 1972. It still doesn’t add up to “over 50 years”.

    Another swing and a miss there, fella.

    “Simple integers got by any technician, indeed.”

    They certainly got by you again. You still can’t count to 50 accurately, my lousy, illiterate technician.

    “If the weather’s good, there’s no excuse not to fly”

    Since when did NASA needing more time with the software become an “excuse not to fly”:

    “The launch of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida had been set for May 7, but SpaceX said liftoff would be held up while NASA was double-checking changes in the flight software.”

    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/03/11525131-spacex-chief-wants-to-be-spaceflier?lite

    Wow, you really, really can’t get anything right, can you, my blind, illiterate, lousy technician?

    But it sure is fun to watch you try, fella.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “So it’s false equivalancy.”

    Which has no relevance to the topic of test launches. Whether the payload is a capsule, lifting body, or winged vehicle doesn’t matter. All launch on rocket engines, which should be tested under actual launch conditions before risking astronauts’ lives on them.

    You’re a really lousy technician, aren’t you, fella?

    “No, you’ve said that.”

    No, I have not. You did, twice in this thread. Here are your exact words again:

    “If there was no ISS, commercial is DOA.”

    And again, the ISS and all human space flight activities could disappear tomorrow, and ULA and SpaceX would still have long manifests of unmanned commercial and military payloads, OSC would still have a large satellite business, Boeing would still sell jetliners, and Sierra Nevada would still have multiple lines of defense products.

    You’re such an illiterate technician that you don’t even know what you’ve written, fella.

    “Your ISS references state ‘up to 7′ It can obviously hold more for shorter periods”

    It’s not a temporary crew size. With the right crew rescue capability, the ISS can support seven crewmembers permanently:

    “Once assembly is completed… a permanent crew of seven astronauts should allow 160 hours/week of time dedicated to experiments.”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=nuEYQB1ImPcC&pg=PA315&lpg=PA315&dq=international+space+station+maximum+crew+seven&source=bl&ots=YxnQ7TnI0B&sig=YElmw3LP2kG57-DpONiWScw_Xp8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=j-OjT_jhHIy36QGAsKzECQ&ved=0CGMQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=international%20space%20station%20maximum%20crew%20seven&f=false

    You really can’t get anything right, can you, fella?

    “There’s high confidence in Branson’s enterprise”

    Which is a suborbital effort, not orbital.

    That’s false equivalency right there, fella.

    “nothing but schedule slippages and paper projections.”

    Two Falcon 9 launches and the orbit and return of the Dragon capsule are not “nothing but… slippages and… projections”.

    More false equivalency, fella.

    “So our astronauts are anti-American in your view now.”

    No. Unlike you, no NASA astronaut publicly supports sending a half-billion U.S. taxpayer dollars and thousands of American jobs overseas to purchase services from a government that is oppossed to many U.S. interests and that supports brutal dictatorships like the Assad regime in Syria.

    Mighty unAmerican, fella.

    “And they clung to a Canadian built arm- very anti-American, eh, photographed by Japanese-made TV and digital cameras.”

    No U.S. taxpayer dollars or American jobs went overseas for the Canadian arm or Japanese cameras. Unlike Russia, Canada and Japan paid for all their ISS contributions themselves.

    And even if they didn’t, unlike Russia, neither Canada nor Japan protect the Assads and their ilk in the U.N.

    More false equivalency, fella.

    “Don’t the remember Pearl Harbor? The Cold War’s”

    You’re comparing battles and international relations from ~20-70 years ago to current events, like Russia sending troops to help the Alawites crush protestors in Syria:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/russian-anti-terror-troops-arrive-syria/story?id=15954363

    I know it’s hard to stay current when you’re an illiterate technician, but please try harder so you don’t engage in so much false equivalency there, fella.

    “to infer.imply [sic] that Space X is America’s space program is blatantly false. Dragon’s [sic] are emblazoned w/Space X corporate logos…not for any faux ‘footprints and flags’ motivates. [sic]”

    Dragon space capsules are “emblazoned” with the American flag, my blind, illiterate, lousy technician.

    http://www.popfi.com/2010/12/08/spacex-to-launch-private-spacecraft-today/

    You really, really can’t get anything right, can you, fella?

    “Space X does not represent the space program of the United States of America, thank God.”

    Unless MPCV/SLS manage to survive and start regular operations a decade or more from now (if ever), SpaceX and other commercial providers are the only human space launch program that the United States has.

    Tick, tock… tick-tock… tick-tock…

    You desperately need to get current and deal with reality here, fella.

    “for over 50 years… True. Gagarin was launched over 51 years ago”

    The Soviets didn’t launch anyone in 1966 and 1972. It still doesn’t add up to over 50 (or 51) years.

    You really, really can’t get anything right, can you, fella?

    “Simple integers got by any technician, indeed.”

    They certainly got by you again, my blind, illiterate, lousy technician. You still can’t count to 50 accurately.

    ” If the weather’s good, there’s no excuse not to fly..”

    I guess the NASA technicians needing more time to review the software is not a good excuse then:

    “The launch of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida had been set for May 7, but SpaceX said liftoff would be held up while NASA was double-checking changes in the flight software.”

    You really, really, really can’t get anything right, my blind, illiterate, lousy technician.

    But I get a kick from the schadenfreude of watching you try, fella.

  • DCSCA

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ May 4th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    “The launch of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida had been set for May 7, but SpaceX said liftoff would be held up while NASA was double-checking changes in the flight software.”

    Except it was SpaceX which asked for yet another delay, not NASA. Space X has had plenty of time to get their ducks in a row but instead, we see the ‘Chief Designer’ using his time for pressers and media availabilities.

    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120501delay/

    And, of course, Space X has rec’d government subisidies: “In October 2009 NASA provided a pre-solicitation notice regarding an effort to be funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The commercial crew enabling work would include a “base task” of refurbishing and reactivating SLC-40 power transfer switches, performing maintenance on the lower Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) substation and motor control centers, installing bollards around piping, replacing the door frame and threshold for the Falcon Support Building mechanical room and repairing fencing around the complex perimeter. Several optional tasks would include work installing conductive flooring in the Hangar Hypergol area, performing corrosion control inspection and maintenance of the lightning protection tower’s structural steel, upgrading and refurbishing other facility equipment and performing corrosion control on rail cars and pad lighting poles, painting several buildings, repairing and improving roads, and hydro-seeding the complex.

    Any attempt to pitch SpaceX as a true ‘private enterprise’ space venture misleads the public. And the entire venture is redundant to Soyuz and Progress as well, as both have been operational for decades, servicing LEO space platforms.

    Do the math- $1.9 billion, their contract per CBS News, finances roughly 25 astronaut round trips on Soyuz to the ISS and at 4 rides a year, 2 every six months, that’s over half a decade of crewing a doomed space platform (planned for splash just a few years ago by NASA for 2015 BTW) and you can stretch it if you limit an annual crewing to 3. Pumping billions into LEO commercial to service a space platform doomed to a Pacific grave is a massive waste of dwindling resources and short term thinking. It’s a ‘faux market’ ginned up by desperate commercialists inside and outside NASA which has failed to return anything close to justify its $100 plus billion expense over the past 11 years.

    As to your faulty ISS spin, six is not a temporary crew size. “With the right crew rescue capability, the ISS can support seven crewmembers permanently ” =yawn= Except its not. It’s been operational for over 11 years. ‘Up to seven’ is the sales pitch– and of course, it doesn’t hold that many. And it won’t. There’s no need for it. “Once assembly is completed… a permanent crew of seven astronauts should allow 160 hours/week of time dedicated to experiments.” Except assembly is complete. =yawn= And again, it has been pitched as operational for 11 YEARS already and has failed to return anything close to justify the $100-plus billion expense and further costs for commercial LEO development. It crews six during overlaps– more often just three- and most of their time is spent on maintenence. Shuttle was billed as a 100 flight bird w/two-week turn arounds that would would pay its way. Stop reading the sales brochures, fella– but then pitching grandose claims is Space X shilling 101, isn’t it– like Dragons are going to Mars. =eyeroll=.

    “There’s high confidence in Branson’s enterprise” Which is a suborbital effort, not orbital.’ We know. Nobody said it wasn’t…. try and follow along.
    And, of course, Branson plans to try orbital if his suborbital efforts are a success. “No U.S. taxpayer dollars or American jobs went overseas for the Canadian arm or Japanese cameras. Unlike Russia, Canada and Japan paid for all their ISS contributions themselves.” Nobody said they did except you, but of course American taxpayers paid to carry them up aboard shuttle- the point you’re skirting is that Americans made use of same. You’re the one pitching ‘un-American’ claims then clinging to corporatism as a ‘flag’– corporations owe no loyalties to any nation-state. The ISS is an international platform and you cling to the ‘flags and footprints’ argument.

    We’ve already established Space X has failed repeatedly to meet a simple premise of business conracting- meeting schedule. It only reinforces the belief that the only thing reliable about Space X is their unreliability.

    So let’s review- again, my earlier posting says: government space programs have been successfully launching orbiting and returning humans from LEO and BEO space flights for over 50 years….” This is true. Gagarin was launched over 51 years ago- on an orbtial flight. Shepard (lofted 51 years ago today BTW) and Grissom were not orbital flights BTW. Then Titov flew. Commercial HSF’s number of successful launches to LEO and safely returned HSFs in the same period: 0. <- this is true. To BEO: 0. <– True as well. Simple integers understood by any technician, indeed.

    This latest failure by Space X to meet schedule is more than troublesome. It’s time for Congress to hold hearings and investigate Space X’s habitual failure to deliver goods and services in a timely fashion as contracted. The U.S. taxpayers contracted for goods and services from this firm, not to finance an ‘open-ended’ test program for tinkering hobbyists- and they've been cut repeated breaks in scheduling and financing. The Space X shills brag that Space X is going to ‘make history' when in fact, they can’t even make a simple schedule. Yet you prattle on about Mars. It's bogus. It's Barnum. It's baloney.You can't even meet a simple target date to replicate what Russian Progress spacecraft have been doing for over 34 years. Space X has been given every break possible by the government, too, both in scheduling modifications and through subsidies. And they continue to choke. It's time for Congress to step in, hold hearings, investigate this firms failures to meet its obligations as terminate the contract. Fire them. It's a lesson that might do Space X some good in the long run.

    "Dragon space capsules are “emblazoned” with the American flag, my blind, illiterate, lousy technician." Which in any fashion is unearned and an arrogant disrespect to the U.S. and a misleading use of the national colors- and an embarassment given their failure to meet target dates. They've not earned the right to decorate their toys with it. Dragons do not represent the United States space program and are emblazoned most prominently w/t Space X corporate logo and do not represent NASA nor the U.S. space program. Space X represents Space X- they are a 'private corporation' as you so often say. But if you want to claim it is a U.S. gov't operation, make all the data public. LOL . Your house may have a flag hanging from it but it's not a U.S. government installation. Meanwhile, tick-tock, tick-tock….

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “Except it was SpaceX which asked for yet another delay, not NASA.”

    Per this article, NASA technicians, not anyone at SpaceX, needed more time with the flight software:

    “The launch of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida had been set for May 7, but SpaceX said liftoff would be held up while NASA was double-checking changes in the flight software.”

    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/03/11525131-spacex-chief-wants-to-be-spaceflier?lite

    Don’t be a flaming idiot, fella. The schedule slippage is due to NASA, not SpaceX.

    “It’s time for Congress to hold hearings and investigate Space X… Fire them.”

    For what? Patiently waiting for NASA technicians to finish reviewing flight software?

    Ohhh… what a scandal!

    “Do the math- $1.9 billion, their contract per CBS News, finances roughly 25 astronaut round trips on Soyuz to the ISS and at 4 rides a year, 2 every six months”

    Wow, you are one irrational, unAmerican technician, fella. You are actually arguing to send nearly $2 billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars and thousands of U.S. jobs to a regime that actively opposes U.S. interests in the U.N. and is sending troops to Syria to support a brutal dictatorship and kill democratic activists there.

    All because SpaceX got the contract.

    That is some irrational, unAmerican hatred there.

    Wow. Just wow.

    “Except its not.”

    Only because ISS lacks a crew rescue capability for seven astronauts. (Two Soyuzes can only carry six.) Many, multiple sources put the ISS’s maximum permanent crew size at seven, not six:

    “The cutbacks would reduce its capacity from the planned seven permanent crew members to just three.”

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-8642813.html

    “the whole station will be as big as a football field, with an internal space twice that of a large passenger aircraft and enough room for seven permanent crew members, visitors and a vast array of scientific experiments”

    esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/commercialisation/iss_businessA4.pdf

    “it will be occupied by seven permanent crew members”

    www2.flad.pt/us/inews.pdf

    My poor, blind, illiterate, lousy technician… when will you ever learn to count to seven?

    Keep trying, fella.

    “We know.”

    Then why would you compare a suborbital launch company like Virgin Galactic to an orbital launch company like SpaceX?

    I thought you hated false equivalency, fella?

    Or are you such a bad technician that you don’t understand the difference between suborbital and orbital space flight?

    Or are you just cranking to crank?

    “Nobody said they did”

    Then why would you compare a country like Russia, which we pay to provide services to the ISS, to countries like Canada and Japan, that pay for their own ISS contributions?

    That’s more false equivalency there, fella.

    “Gagarin was launched over 51 years ago- on an orbtial flight.”

    You claimed that there has been “over 50 years” of Soviet/Russian human space flight. It’s a false claim. The Soviets launched no one in 1966 or 1972.

    Now I know that grade-school math is hard for you to follow, fella, but 51 minus 2 is 49. And 49 is not “over 50 years”.

    Do you understand yet, fella? If you don’t, try counting on your fingers.

    “Yet you prattle on about Mars.”

    The word “Mars” doesn’t even appear in my last two posts.

    You’re losing it, fella.

    “You can’t even meet a simple target date to replicate what Russian Progress spacecraft have been doing”

    I’m not launching any spacecraft to do what Progress does.

    You’re really losing it, fella.

    “Which in any fashion is unearned and an arrogant disrespect to the U.S. and a misleading use of the national colors- and an embarassment given their failure to meet target dates. They’ve not earned the right to decorate their toys with it. Dragons do not represent the United States space program”

    By tradition, all spacecraft associated with the U.S. civil human space flight program bear the U.S. flag. Whether you like it or not, Dragons are representing that program.

    “Your house may have a flag hanging from it but it’s not a U.S. government installation.”

    So what? It’s as American as a Dragon capsule is.

    “Meanwhile, tick-tock, tick-tock…”

    Speaking of which, early in this thread, you repeatedly claimed that the commercial crew program was not the least expensive human space flight program in U.S. history, but you never provided a dollars figure and reference to back up your claim.

    Let me know when you plan to get around to doing that.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

  • Vladislaw

    Dark Blue Nine wrote: In refrence to DCSCA

    “Let me know when you plan to get around to doing that.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…”

    I am still waiting for the documents that the FAA, the DOT, the military, the Congress and the President showing they were all on board for any private citizen could build a rocket in their back yard and launch humans on it.

    DC keeps saying private citizens could have did this starting in 1961 and no one would have said boo to them. Any business or private citizen was free to mimic the government and build a ballistic rocket in their back yard and put people on it and launch them into space.

    Three years and still waiting for all these documents ,, Let me know when you plan to get around to doing that.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

  • DCSCA

    @Vladislaw wrote @ May 6th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Nothing is stopping Space X from building a facility on its own dime and launching orbiting and safely recovering a manned spacecraft. No doubt you expect the PRC and the Russians to get U.S. gov’t approvale before launching humans into space. Last time we checked, Russia didn’t ask permission from JFK to fly Gagarin. It’s a big planet- they don’t have to fly from the US of A. =eyeroll=

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ May 6th, 2012 at 1:03 am

    “NASA technicians, not anyone at SpaceX, needed more time with the flight software…” =yawn= “Don’t be a flaming idiot, fella. The schedule slippage[s] is/are due to SpaceX, not NASA.”.:
    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120501delay/

    It was Space X that asked for the delays; not NASA. It is Space X that keeps failing to meet schedule and lobbyed for consolidating test flights as they were falling behind. This is symptomatic of a firm plagued w/poor management, unable to meet its contractual obligations on time.
    It’s time for Congress to hold hearings and investigate Space X and why they habitually fail to meet schedule. Space X was contracted to delicver goods and services, not to be financed to operate an ‘open-ended test program.’

    “For what?” You’re worried. For failure to meet their contractual obligations for a strart- and again, biting the hand that feeds you isn’t good management practice either… or smart PR… trying to spin Space X’s failures to meet contractual schedule obligations on ‘NASA technicians’ when the failure to meet schedule and initiate delays is repeatedly the fault of Space X. Maybe Space X should call the Russians- their software has been gettin their hardware- the Progress supply ships- up to LEO space platforms for over 34 years. Trying to blame NASA for Space X delays should go over well at the Congressional hearings. =eyeroll=

    “By tradition, all spacecraft associated with the U.S. civil human space flight program bear the U.S. flag.”

    OFGS ‘tradition’…. LOL No- there’s a gov’t reg,. for nomenclature and insignia positioning on gov’t hardware- air and spacecraft. =eyeroll= Even weight is a consideration. And national origin/ ID. yes. Ownership, yes. That’s why Space X’s logo is prominently displayed on a Dragon. And Rockwell/North American logos were not emblazoned along the side of Shuttle or Apollo, respectively, etc. =eyeroll=

    “That is some irrational, unAmerican hatred there. Wow. Just wow.” Yes, and as a Space X advocate, you’re the one promoting it: “Whether you like it or not, Dragons are representing that program.” Space X is a ‘private corporation’ and represents Space X, not the United States space program- and corporations owe no alliegence ot any nation -state. Even NASA directed press inquiries to Space X regarding launch delays- Space X is launching the rocket, not NASA. =eyeroll= And whether you like it or not, Space X’s Dragons, which cannot carry crews, remain non-operational for cargo runs (having only test flown a few kilos of cheese) – and do not have an independently verified ECS nor an independently verified LAS do NOT represent the space program of the United States, thank God. Anymore than American Airlines is the national carrier for the US government. And whether yuo like it or not, the ISS is an international platform, not a uniquely ‘American.’

    “Speaking of which, early in this thread, you repeatedly claimed that the commercial crew program was not the least expensive human space flight program in U.S. history.”

    LOL False equivalency. And you’re desperate for it. There is no CCHSF program- it’s a paper project w/paper projections. =eyeroll= Shuttle was billed as a 100 flight per bird program w/ two week turn arounds that would pay its way. LOL That went well. Reagan sold the space station as a $1/$15 billion Cold War project. That went well. Yet government HSF programs have soared for half a century. And the costs vs. projections a matter of record. Commercial HSF, orbital flight, has nothing but paper. You want some street cred- fly somebody. Get somebody up, around and down safely. Some firm will, but It’s a safe bet it won’t be on a Dragon.

    “You are actually arguing to send nearly $2 billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars and thousands of U.S. jobs to a regime that actively opposes U.S. interests in the U.N. and is sending troops to Syria to support a brutal dictatorship and kill democratic activists there.” =eyeroll= No,.its a matter of smart planning to buy seats on an existing operational system while disengaging from BEO operations, minimize exposure, and press on w/BEO operatrions. But you’re back to ‘flags and footprints’ and saving a few jobs and Cold War saber rattling- and we’re in an INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP with them. Incredibly myopic. In case you haven’t noticed, thre’s a McDonald’s in Red Square and Rolls royce dealerships all across Moscow. You wanna boycott Mickey Dees, too? How ‘un-American.’ LOL You’d do well to look around your own environment and check on what’s actually ‘made in the PRC,’ too… they’re still ‘Red’ you know and not very ‘democratic.’ Globalization is here, fella. And the ISS is an international platform whether you like it or not.

  • DCSCA

    @Vladislaw wrote @ May 6th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Nothing is stopping Space X from building a facility on its own dime and launching orbiting and safely recovering a manned spacecraft. No doubt you expect the PRC and the Russians to get U.S. gov’t approvale before launching humans into space. Last time we checked, Russia didn’t ask permission from JFK to fly Gagarin. It’s a big planet- they don’t have to fly from the US of A. =eyeroll=

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ May 6th, 2012 at 1:03 am

    “NASA technicians, not anyone at SpaceX, needed more time with the flight software…” =yawn= “Don’t be a flaming idiot, fella. The schedule slippage[s] is/are due to SpaceX, not NASA.”.:
    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120501delay/

    It was Space X that asked for the delays; not NASA. It is Space X that keeps failing to meet schedule and lobbyed for consolidating test flights as they were falling behind. This is symptomatic of a firm plagued w/poor management, unable to meet its contractual obligations on time.
    It’s time for Congress to hold hearings and investigate Space X and why they habitually fail to meet schedule. Space X was contracted to delicver goods and services, not to be financed to operate an ‘open-ended test program.’

    “For what?” You’re worried. For failure to meet their contractual obligations for a strart- and again, biting the hand that feeds you isn’t good management practice either… or smart PR… trying to spin Space X’s failures to meet contractual schedule obligations on ‘NASA technicians’ when the failure to meet schedule and initiate delays is repeatedly the fault of Space X. Maybe Space X should call the Russians- their software has been gettin their hardware- the Progress supply ships- up to LEO space platforms for over 34 years. Trying to blame NASA for Space X delays should go over well at the Congressional hearings. =eyeroll=

    “By tradition, all spacecraft associated with the U.S. civil human space flight program bear the U.S. flag.”

    OFGS ‘tradition’…. LOL No- there’s a gov’t reg,. for nomenclature and insignia positioning on gov’t hardware- air and spacecraft. =eyeroll= Even weight is a consideration. And national origin/ ID. yes. Ownership, yes. That’s why Space X’s logo is prominently displayed on a Dragon. And Rockwell/North American logos were not emblazoned along the side of Shuttle or Apollo, respectively, etc. =eyeroll=

    “That is some irrational, unAmerican hatred there. Wow. Just wow.” Yes, and as a Space X advocate, you’re the one promoting it: “Whether you like it or not, Dragons are representing that program.” Space X is a ‘private corporation’ and represents Space X, not the United States space program- and corporations owe no alliegence ot any nation -state. Even NASA directed press inquiries to Space X regarding launch delays- Space X is launching the rocket, not NASA. =eyeroll= And whether you like it or not, Space X’s Dragons, which cannot carry crews, remain non-operational for cargo runs (having only test flown a few kilos of cheese) – and do not have an independently verified ECS nor an independently verified LAS do NOT represent the space program of the United States, thank God. Anymore than American Airlines is the national carrier for the US government. And whether yuo like it or not, the ISS is an international platform, not a uniquely ‘American.’

    “Speaking of which, early in this thread, you repeatedly claimed that the commercial crew program was not the least expensive human space flight program in U.S. history.”

    LOL False equivalency. And you’re desperate for it. There is no CCHSF program- it’s a paper project w/paper projections. =eyeroll= Shuttle was billed as a 100 flight per bird program w/ two week turn arounds that would pay its way. LOL That went well. Reagan sold the space station as a $1/$15 billion Cold War project. That went well. Yet government HSF programs have soared for half a century. And the costs vs. projections a matter of record. Commercial HSF, orbital flight, has nothing but paper. You want some street cred- fly somebody. Get somebody up, around and down safely. Some firm will, but It’s a safe bet it won’t be on a Dragon.

    “You are actually arguing to send nearly $2 billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars and thousands of U.S. jobs to a regime that actively opposes U.S. interests in the U.N. and is sending troops to Syria to support a brutal dictatorship and kill democratic activists there.” =eyeroll= No,.its a matter of smart planning to buy seats on an existing operational system while disengaging from LEO operations, minimize exposure, and press on w/BEO operatrions. But you’re back to ‘flags and footprints’ and saving a few jobs and Cold War saber rattling- and we’re in an INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP with them. Incredibly myopic. In case you haven’t noticed, thre’s a McDonald’s in Red Square and Rolls royce dealerships all across Moscow. You wanna boycott Mickey Dees, too? How ‘un-American.’ LOL You’d do well to look around your own environment and check on what’s actually ‘made in the PRC,’ too… they’re still ‘Red’ you know and not very ‘democratic.’ Globalization is here. And the ISS is an international platform whether you like it or not. Apologies or any typos.

  • Vladislaw

    Sure .. no problem with ITAR .. the US would be absolutely fine with an american company going to a third world dictator state and build rockets that could hit anywhere on the planet..

    Hell I am sure the military would let spaceX goto north korea or iran and start building rockets.

    Gawd you are such a maroon …. eyeroll and yawn.

    Still waiting for the documents supporting your claim that anyone could build a freakin’ ballistic rocket in their backyard, in the early 60′s, and launch humans.

    Last time I looked if an american company goes overseas theu are still accountable to the US. Unless they defect.

    The soviet union is a sovergn state .. a U.S. corporation isn’t a state, they are subject to the state. … sheesh.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “It is Space X that keeps failing to meet schedule”

    It’s not SpaceX’s fault that NASA technicians didn’t finish reviewing the flight software in time for the launch.

    “…liftoff would be held up while NASA was double-checking changes in the flight software.”

    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/03/11525131-spacex-chief-wants-to-be-spaceflier?lite

    No matter how much a fella like you insists on being a flaming idiot, the schedule slippage is due to NASA, not SpaceX.

    “It was Space X that asked for the delays; not NASA.”

    Why would SpaceX ask NASA to delay a launch so that NASA technicians could review software?

    You are a really lousy technician, fella.

    “It’s time for Congress to hold hearings and investigate Space X”

    Why would Congress investigate SpaceX for NASA’s inability to finish a software review before the scheduled launch date? If anyone in Congress actually got their panties in a twist and wanted to put pressure on flight schedules involving astronauts’ lives (highly unlikely), they’d hold hearings and investigate NASA for this launch slip, not SpaceX.

    We all know that you’re just a lowly technician and things like public policy, the English langauge, and numbers higher than five mystify you. But even you can surely understand that if you want to investigate a delay, you investigate the party at cause for the delay.

    “and again, biting the hand that feeds you”

    NASA doesn’t feed me.

    You’re getting delusional there, fella.

    “there’s a gov’t reg,. for nomenclature and insignia positioning on gov’t hardware”

    No. There is a regulation regarding whether the NASA logo can be used on spacecraft, specifically § 1221.110 Use of the NASA Insignia, which states:

    “The NASA Insignia is authorized for use on the following:…

    (5) Spacecraft, aircraft, automobiles, trucks and similar vehicles owned by, leased to, or contractor-furnished to NASA, or produced for NASA by contractors, but excluding NASA-owned vehicles used and operated by contractors for the conduct of contractor business.”

    But this regulation says nothing about “positioning” of the NASA logo, or any other “insignia” or “nomenclature”, including the U.S. flag.

    You still can’t get anything right, can you fella?

    “In case you haven’t noticed, thre’s a McDonald’s in Red Square and Rolls royce dealerships all across Moscow.”

    NASA isn’t sending U.S. taxpayer dollars to McDonalds or Rolls Royce, and neither corporation is supporting a brutal regime in Syria.

    Funny how you use commercial firms like McDonald’s as an argument for sending U.S. taxpayer dollars and jobs overseas, but you abhor the involvement of commercial firms like SpaceX in the U.S. human space flight program.

    Might hypocritical there fella.

    One could even say you’re engaging in a lot of false equivalency.

    But with irrational arguments like this, maybe you’re just crankin’ to crank?

    “you’re the one promoting it”

    I see. So I’m responsible for your irrational hatred of SpaceX, which leads you to make unAmerican arguments about sending nearly $2 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars and thousands of American jobs overseas to a country that supports a brutal dictator’s crackdown on his own people seeking democracy in Syria?

    I’m the one who put these ugly thoughts and twisted arguments into your head?

    Right…

    Not too big on personal responsibility, are you, fella?

    “Space X is a ‘private corporation’ and represents Space X, not the United States space program”

    SpaceX is a private corporation, but it’s currently the only domestic launch capability supporting the U.S. civil human space flight program. And with MPCV/SLS not scheduled to begin regular flights until sometime after 2021 at the earliest (if ever), commercial vehicles like Dragon, Cygnus, CST-100, and Dreamchaser will remain the only domestic launch capability supporting the U.S. civil human space flight program for another decade or more.

    Whether you like it or not, Dragon and its ilk not only represent U.S. human space flight launch for the next decade or more — they will be the U.S. human space flight launch program for the next decade or more.

    And that’s not SpaceX’s or any other commercial firm’s fault. That’s NASA, Congress, and prior Administrations’ fault for repeatedly failing to develop a civil alternative to the Space Shuttle.

    Time to deal with reality, fella.

    “do not have an independently verified ECS”

    Dragon’s ECS was verified during the COTS 1 mission. It maintained a pressurized, thermally controlled, and breathable atmosphere throughout the flight. Here are the stats:

    10 m3 (350 cu ft) interior pressurized, environmentally-controlled, volume @ 10–46 degrees Celsius (50–115 °F), relative humidity 25~75%, and 13.9~14.9 psia air pressure (958.4~1027 hPa).

    Even the world’s lousiest technician should have been able to look that up and get it right, fella.

    You must be crankin to crank.

    “the ISS is an international platform, not a uniquely ‘American.’ [sic]”

    Where did I say that it wasn’t?

    You’re hallucinating, fella.

    “There is no CCHSF program- it’s a paper project w/paper projections.”

    Successful CST-100 drop tests are not “paper projects”:

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/05/boeing-performs-drop-test-of-its-new-space-capsule/

    Successful Dreamchaser wind tunnel and structure tests are not “paper projects”:

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/04/27/snc-completes-wind-tunnel-testing-on-dream-chaser/

    http://www.aero-news.net/subsite.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=f13d188b-2716-4c8f-94a5-7ebf8fe1d084

    Blue Origin’s new BE-3 engine currently sitting on a test stand is not a “paper project”:

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/04/22/cool-blue-origin-engine-picture/

    The only way you could equate these flights, tests, and engines to paper projects is if you were repeatedly engaging in false equivalency.

    But you don’t do that, do you, fella?

    You must just be crankin to crank.

    “Yet government HSF programs have soared for half a century.”

    No, they havn’t. NASA “soared” nobody in 1976-1981, during the Apollo/Space Shuttle gap, and in 1987, after the Challenger accident. That’s seven years short of a half-century.

    Still can’t count to 50, can you, fella?

  • DCSCA

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ May 8th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    “Funny how you use commercial firms like McDonald’s as an argument for sending U.S. taxpayer dollars and jobs overseas, but you abhor the involvement of commercial firms like SpaceX in the U.S. human space flight program.”

    There’s nothing funny about it- as the investment community is well aware of the Space X follies:
    :
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2011/05/31/the-case-against-spacex-part-ii/

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2011/05/23/what-nasa-risks-by-betting-on-elon-musks-spacex

    “to make unAmerican arguments ..” LOL in fact, Forbes makes some very American arguments indeed- and in case you need reminded, Space X represents Space X, not the U.S., and as a corporation, ows no loyaties to any nation-state.

    It was Space X that asked for the delays; not NASA. Whether you like it or not, that’s the truth.

    “Dragon and its ilk not only represent U.S. human space flight launch for the next decade or more — they will be the U.S. human space flight launch program for the next decade or more.”

    =yawn= Space X represents Space X and it’s a false equivalency to even attempt to try to lump Space X in with experienced aerospace contractors as a crutch.

    “SpaceX is a private corporation, but it’s currently the only domestic launch capability supporting the U.S. civil human space flight program.”

    Except it’s not- it remains non-operational and is conducting an ‘open-ended test program.’ And it certainly does not represent the U.S. space program, thank God.

  • Coastal Ron

    DCSCA wrote @ May 13th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Now you are agreeing with a conservative think-tank? Boy, you will do anything to not like SpaceX, huh?

    Of course you forgot to look at the disclaimer at the end of those articles by Loren Thompson, which said:

    Loren Thompson is Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and Chief Executive Officer of the private consultancy Source Associates. The Lexington Institute receives money from many of the nation’s leading defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin and other space launch providers. Source Associates provides technical services to several companies that compete in space launch, including Lockheed Martin.

    Even though he is paid by the competition of SpaceX, Thompson still had this to say about SpaceX:

    I said that Musk “epitomizes the American entrepreneurial spirit,” that he has risked over $100 million of his own money on the venture, that SpaceX seems to be “doing all the things necessary to minimize costs,” and that the company “has delivered much of what it promised.” I also conceded that some of the congressional opposition to SpaceX is politically motivated.

    Oh, and regardless what you think, those two articles had nothing to do with “the investment community”, so your silly assertions continue to be unsupported by anything resembling facts. How unusual.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “There’s nothing funny about it- as the investment community is well aware”

    The writer of those articles, Loren Thompson, is not a member of the “investment community”. If you moved in policy circles, you’d know that Thompson is not a professional investor and is instead a paid consultant and lobbyist for certain aerospace and defense firms that are competitors to SpaceX:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2011/05/24/spacex-responds-to-forbes-contributor-loren-thompson/

    Even outside the launch business, Thompson is well known for being bought and paid for by major military firms:

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/tag/loren-thompson/

    Thompson is also known for espousing some unsavory positions in defense of military atrocities:

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Loren_B._Thompson

    Still can’t get anything right, can you, fella? You’re so easily suckered.

    We can’t really expect a mere technician, and a lousy one at that, to be able to tell the difference between an investor and lobbyist.

    But anyone with common sense would check their sources before posting them.

    You must not have much common sense, fella.

    But you’re probably just cranking to crank.

    Right?

    “It was Space X that asked for the delays; not NASA. Whether you like it or not, that’s the truth.”

    Sorry, fella, but it’s not the truth. NASA had to delay the launch so that NASA technicians could finish reviewing flight software:

    “…liftoff would be held up while NASA was double-checking changes in the flight software.”

    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/03/11525131-spacex-chief-wants-to-be-spaceflier?lite

    SpaceX isn’t going to ask NASA to delay a launch because NASA technicians are behind schedule. Those NASA technicians are going to ask NASA for the delay.

    No matter how much a fella like you insists on being a flaming idiot, the schedule slippage is due to NASA, not SpaceX.

    “And it certainly does not represent the U.S. space program, thank God.”

    It has nothing to do with “God” or “representation”. For better or worse, Dragon and other commercial vehicles _will be the only_ transport for the U.S. human space flight program for at least the next decade and likely more.

    If you want that to change, then MPCV/SLS has to become operational before 2021.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

  • DCSCA

    @Coastal Ron wrote @ May 13th, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    “Oh, and regardless what you think, those two articles had nothing to do with “the investment community” LOL Forbes is a ‘bible’ to the investment community. Prove him wrong. Meet a schedule. Get operational. Fly something. Nothing has changed in a year. Tick-tock, tick tock….

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ May 13th, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    “The writer of those articles, Loren Thompson, is not a member of the “investment community”.

    =yawn= You’re scared The fear of down selection does that. So you attack Thompson, not what Thompson says (a year ago no less, and Space X has yet to get operational and fly.) LOL Forbes, of course, is widely respected in the investment community. =sigh= Your desperation is showing as the investment community has Space X pretty well pegged. Congress is getting wise as well. “No matter how much a fella like you insists on being a flaming idiot, the schedule slippage is due to NASA, not SpaceX.” Except its not- Space X initiated the delays, not NASA- and your desperate spin has been repeatedly refuted on this and other threads by others as well. It’s an old trick by cornered shills to attack the messenger, not the message. “SpaceX isn’t going to ask NASA to delay a launch because NASA technicians are behind schedule. Those NASA technicians are going to ask NASA for the delay.” LOL Desperate spin- trying to blame NASA for Space X’s failure to meet schedule. Pay the $2. Better still, meet a schedule. The smartest way to move on from it is for Space X to get operational. Throwing chaff and spin doesn’t fly. Neither does Space X. Space X has had a year ot get it right. It’s Space X’s rocket to fly, not NASA’s. Space X has been contracted to deliver goods and services, not have an ‘open-ended test program’ financed on the backs of the taxpayers. The failures of Space X to meet schedule have moved from the realm of technical snafus into a disturbing demonstration of sloppy management and poor business practices; both red flags to the investment community. Thompson’s pieces reaffirm this. Which makes down selecting all the more terrifying to Musketeers and their shills.

    “It has nothing to do with “God” or “representation”. For better or worse, Dragon and other commercial vehicles _will be the only_ transport for the U.S. human space flight program for at least the next decade and likely more.” First you try to pitch Space X as representing the U.S. space program, now you back away from your ‘flags and footprints’ pitch. Desperation. The traffic doesn’t justify the expenditure of taxpayer funds to subsidize CC to the doomed ISS. It’s redundant. It’s a waste. Soyuz is operating. So is Progress for cargo. Purchasing seats to access LEO to ferry a few astronauts over five years to the doomed ISS to meet minimal contractual obligations is all that’s necessary. Subsidizing commercial crew development to LEO is a waste of dwindling respurces and a ticket to no place, going in circles. The failure of Space X to meet schedule remains a troublesome fact and Congress can investigate the failure of the firm to meet its contractual obligations or simply ice it out of the competition via down select. It’s getting chilly for Musketeers. Tick-tock, tick-tock…

  • DCSCA

    “Dragon’s ECS was verified during the COTS 1 mission. It maintained a pressurized, thermally controlled, and breathable atmosphere throughout the flight. Here are the stats:

    10 m3 (350 cu ft) interior pressurized, environmentally-controlled, volume @ 10–46 degrees Celsius (50–115 °F), relative humidity 25~75%, and 13.9~14.9 psia air pressure (958.4~1027 hPa).”

    This is misleading, of course. Dragons as currently configured cannot support human life and do not have an independently verified ECS capable of supporting a crew nor an independently verified LAS.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “So you attack Thompson”

    You claimed that Thompson was a respected member of the “investment community”. I produced multiple sources demonstrating that he is not a member, respected or otherwise, of the investment community.

    That’s not an “attack” on Thompson. You were just wrong, fella.

    It’s okay. You’re easily duped by paid shills. You’re just a lowly technician, after all.

    “Forbes, of course, is widely respected in the investment community.”

    Of course it is. But that doesn’t mean that everyone who writes for Forbes is a member (respected or otherwise) of the “investment community”.

    That’s like thinking that everyone who writes for a newspaper has a degree in journalism. Only a flaming idiot would think that.

    Or someone who’s just cranking to crank.

    “The failures of Space X [sic] to meet schedule”

    Sorry, fella. It’s not SpaceX’s “failure” if NASA technicians do not finish their reviews in time for a launch:

    “…liftoff would be held up while NASA was double-checking changes in the flight software.”

    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/03/11525131-spacex-chief-wants-to-be-spaceflier?lite

    “Congress can investigate the failure of the firm to meet its contractual obligations”

    Congress can investigate anything it wants, but NASA technicians not finishing software reviews in time for a scheduled launch is not a failure of SpaceX or any other firm “to meet its contractual obligations”.

    Equating a government agency being behind schedule to the contractual failure of a private firm is a big crock of false equivalency, fella.

    “or simply ice it out of the competition via down select [sic]”

    Congress can’t ice anyone out of any downselect. Government agencies run procurements, not Congress.

    You have no idea how your government works, do you fella?

    “First you try to pitch Space X as representing the U.S. space program, now you back away from your ‘flags and footprints’ pitch.”

    I never made any pitch about “footprints”, and I’ve only mentioned “flags” in the context of correcting your false statements about the existence of federal regulations governing their use on space vehicles.

    And I did not back away from my earlier statements. Not only will these vehicles represent the program for the next decade or more — they will be the only U.S. human space launch program for the next decade or more.

    It’s just a fact that SLS/MPCV won’t fly operationally until 2021 at the earliest, if ever.

    I know it sucks to back the slower team, but it’s time to face reality, fella.

    “Dragons as currently configured cannot support human life and do not have an independently verified ECS capable of supporting a crew”

    Sorry, fella. The Dragon that SpaceX orbited and returned last year verified a “pressurized, environmentally-controlled, volume @ 10–46 degrees Celsius (50–115 °F), relative humidity 25~75%, and 13.9~14.9 psia air pressure (958.4~1027 hPa)”.

    “Human life” does very well in those conditions, fella.

    “Pay the $2.”

    Unless you work for the bank that holds the mortgage on my house, I’m certain that I don’t owe you or anyone else two dollars.

    Get some help for your delusions, fella.

    And again, early in this thread, you repeatedly claimed that the commercial crew program was not the least expensive human space flight program in U.S. history, but you never provided a dollar figure and reference to back up your claim.

    Please do get around to doing that. It’s been 20-odd days.

    Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

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