Campaign '12, Congress

In the race for the Space Coast’s House seat, few details about space

Thanks to redistricting, Florida’s Space Coast region will be within a single House district in the next Congress, currently represented by Republican Rep. Bill Posey (for the last decade it had been split into two districts, with Posey representing the southern half and, most recently, Sandy Adams (R-FL) representing the northern part.) So it’s not surprising that Florida Today asked Posey and his Democratic challenger, Shannon Roberts, as well as independent candidate Richard Gillmor, what specifically they would do to “help the stability and strength of the U.S. Space program.”

However, none of the three offer much in the way of detail about achieving “stability and strength” for NASA, and for KSC in particular. Posey notes he would continue the work he has already done at NASA, citing legislation he has co-sponsored with Democratic members. However, one example, a bill he and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) introduced to allow for a “seamless” transition from the Space Shuttle to Orion, (the “American Space Access Act”), did not advance out of the House Science Committee after its April 2009 introduction. Similarly, another bill he mentions he co-sponsored with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) to direct NASA to return humans to the Moon by 2022 (the “REAL Space Act”), went nowhere after its introduction in May 2011. The “RACE for Space” act he mentions, though, was incorporated into the defense authorization bill earlier this year.

Roberts, beyond correcting a claim by Posey that the administration cancelled the Orion spacecraft (the administration’s original plans in February 2010 did call for ending Orion, a decision reversed two months later), doesn’t offer much of a contrast. “We’ve got a major role here: the lead for deep-space exploration, commercialization of space and also research, development and testing,” she said of KSC. “I would be a strong advocate on behalf of that.” Gillmor indicates he would see KSC taking a leading role in something very different: alternative energy. “With implementation of my national energy policy, part of Kennedy Space Center would become home to the National Energy Resources Development Center,” he said, something that would reemploy “thousands” of engineers in the area.

On his campaign website, Posey does include a few paragraphs about space among other issues, saying he’s working to “restore American leadership” in space and that he supports commercial cargo and crew programs. Roberts says much less about space on her site, with a single bullet point (“Keep our Space Program #1 in the World”) on her issues page. Gillmor, the independent, devotes a paragraph to space, specifically calling for Cape Canaveral to be “overhauled into a bustling Spaceport that serves both commercial as well as national defense needs.”

64 comments to In the race for the Space Coast’s House seat, few details about space

  • vulture4

    Shannon Roberts is a Ph.D and a former NASA Deputy Associate Administrator, having served in multiple positions in NASA and other government agencies. She is well aware of the importance of commercial human spaceflight. If you believe commercial represents a better path and should be better funded, you may wish to support Roberts. She is graciously bipartisan, always showing respect for and asking the opinions of opponents as well as supporters. Posey has an AA from Brevard Community College. He introduced two bills of notice, the “birther bill” asserting that the president was not born in the United States, and a bill that would have defunded all NASA climate change research because he does not believe in global warming. Posey is part of the existing group in Congress that takes credit for the successes of the commercial spaceflight program but simultaneously drains its funds to pay for SLS/Orion. So if you support SLS/Orion you may support Posey. Posey is aggressively partisan and blames the end of Shuttle on President Obama, although Posey himself supported it under Bush.

  • vulture4 wrote:

    Posey is part of the existing group in Congress that takes credit for the successes of the commercial spaceflight program but simultaneously drains its funds to pay for SLS/Orion. So if you support SLS/Orion you may support Posey. Posey is aggressively partisan and blames the end of Shuttle on President Obama, although Posey himself supported it under Bush.

    Posey’s record of shame is much longer than that. He’s fond of falsely claiming that the Chinese are about to build a military fortress on the Moon. I called him on that, in a letter to Florida Today. I wrote that Posey repeatedly makes this claim but never offers any proof.

    Posey felt it necessary to respond, saying I was “naive.” He cited as his “proof” an opinion column written by a retired Foreign Service officer for the Washington Times, which is commonly known as a right-wing tool. Even then, the column simply contained the author’s speculation, no evidence.

    I hope that Ms. Roberts calls him out on his lies. But the district is overwhelmingly Republican, and many of them are so uneducated they believe Posey’s nonsense, so she probably doesn’t have a chance. She has my vote anyway.

  • vulture4

    Roberts deserves all our votes. She is tremendously experienced in Washington and the space program, a hard worker, and seriously considers the views of all her constituents, not just her supporters.

  • amightywind

    I would advise Florida voters to vote for Republican candidates without exception. Socialism is leading this nation and our space program to ruin.

  • Martijn Meijering

    Ah, the coveted amightywind endorsement!

  • nom de plume

    If campaign signs are any indication of funding and effort being put into a campaign, then Posey is overwhelming his opposition. I’ve seen hundreds of Posey signs, large and small, and only one sign for Shannon Roberts, located on SR3 about 5 miles south of the KSC gate. I don’t know what her campaign strategy is but her name isn’t out there yet.

    Given Posey’s business and political connections, the large Republican majority locally, name recognition, and being the incumbent, I don’t see how he could lose.

    I’ll be voting for Roberts because I don’t like the extreme right-wing position that Posey takes on nearly every issue. In the interview, he tried to sound like he partnered with Democrats on legislation, but his record of right-wing rhetoric & spin, political posturing, and the birther nonsense is proof to me he isn’t representing my views in the US House of Representatives.

  • NeilShipley

    Congrat’s to SpaceX on it’s first successful CRS mission launch.

  • amightywind

    Congrat’s to SpaceX on it’s first successful CRS mission launch.

    Sounds like there was a first stage major anomaly. Will there be an open investigation? They plan to launch humans on this thing? Here’s some interesting spin.

    “Like the Saturn 5, which experienced engine loss on two flights, the Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine flameout and still complete its mission,”

    How can Merlin engines ‘flameout’ when they have an ignition system?

    Musk said. “I believe Falcon 9 is the only rocket flying today that, like a modern airliner, is capable of completing a flight successfully even after losing an engine.

    Other American companies like Lockmart and Boeing have concluded that it is better to control quality, than to leave a trail of parts in flight.

  • vulture4

    amw: “Socialism is leading this nation and our space program to ruin.”

    Then you should advocate eliminating all funding for NASA and seek private investors to explore space.

  • Vladislaw

    “Other American companies like Lockmart and Boeing have concluded that it is better to control quality, than to leave a trail of parts in flight.”

    At what cost to the taxpayer? A billion a year .. in just a flat out bribe to keep them flying missions for the DOD and NASA. Talk about crony capitalism and pork subsidies.

  • Ferris Valyn

    vulture4 – No No No. I think he should join DSCA in advocating for NASA to become part of the military

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “Other American companies like Lockmart and Boeing have concluded that it is better to control quality, than to leave a trail of parts in flight.”

    You have to be kidding:

    Sea Launch (NSS-8) Explodes at Liftoff (2007)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7wBN-U2KXI

    Titan IV (A-20) Self-Destructs In Flight (1998)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlf0lpnJ7-4

    Delta III 259 (Galaxy X) Destructs Over Atlantic (1998)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpeXODoOIPs&feature=relmfu

    Delta II 7925 (GPS IIR-1) Explodes 13 Seconds After Liftoff, Raining Flaming Debris On Canaveral Launch Complex 17 (1997)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_aHEit-SqA&feature=related

    Delta II (GOES-G) Breaks Up/Destructs Over Atlantic (1986)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1XE_awXEA4&feature=related

  • amightywind

    Then you should advocate eliminating all funding for NASA and seek private investors to explore space.

    In ‘markets’ like government subsidized green energy, such private investors inevitably end up being Obama contributors who expect favors. Observe Elon Musk. Mitt cleverly highlighted the fact during the debate. We agree on this much. We need to eliminate some funding and 15% of employees at NASA.

  • NeilShipley

    AMW Some facts for you:
    1. No need for an open investigation since the flight was a private company flight providing a service to NASA. It’s in the best interests of the company to investigate and resolve the anomoly since they have a long manifest of commercial flights (including NASA).
    2. The launch vehicle made it to orbit on it’s eight remaining engines. 3. Admittedly a couple of satellites have been released in a lower than planned orbit but the primary mission to the ISS remains on track.
    4. No humans would have been harmed if they had been on the vehicle unlike NASA shuttle x 2.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “They plan to launch humans on this thing?”

    I’ll take an engine shutdown, safety panel ejection as designed to accommodate the resulting change in pressure, and a successful orbital insertion with an engine to spare:

    http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20121008

    Over an engine deflagration leading to catastrophic vehicle breakup with no abort capability:

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

    Any day.

  • In ‘markets’ like government subsidized green energy, such private investors inevitably end up being Obama contributors who expect favors. Observe Elon Musk.

    Abreakingwind–

    How much money did Elon Musk give to Barack Obama, and how much did he give to Dana Rohrabacher?

  • amightywind

    Looks like Musk made a $36,000 contribution to Obama and a $2500 contribution to Rohrabacher in this election cycle. The irony is that most of the $36,000 came from government contracts and subsidies. I’m shocked! Shocked, I say! QED. Next time you might check your argument before you present it. You lack the necessary intelligence to be a Republican. You are what Stalin refered to as a useful idiot

  • Miya

    So details are coming out about the glitch on the SpaceX flight. Looks like there was an anomaly in one of the engines and the automatic safety protocols kicked in and shut the engine down before any damage could occur.

    I’m impressed, I don’t know of any currently-in-use LVs that can lose an engine mid-flight and still make it to orbit.

  • You can’t even read. Between SpaceX, individuals (including Musk) at SpaceX, and the PAC, he gave $19,000 to Rohrabacher, and threw a fundraiser for him at his facility in Hawthorne. What’s that worth?

    He also gave ten thousand to Kevin McCarthy, (Repubican) House Whip.

    You lack the necessary intelligence to be a Republican.

    And you apparently lack the intelligence to know that I’ve never claimed to be a Republican.

  • Interested Reader

    Looks like Musk made a $36,000 contribution to Obama and a $2500 contribution to Rohrabacher in this election cycle.

    That is some serious money. That should put them both over the top.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ October 8th, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Other American companies like Lockmart and Boeing have concluded that it is better to control quality, than to leave a trail of parts in flight.”

    Had the GPS satellite launched recently not encountered some difficulties you would have better standing to make taht point RGO

  • DCSCA

    Space X fails another customer yet again:

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/Dragon-said-on-course-despite-engine-failure/-/1719418/16903618/-/879uxqz/-/index.html

    “… the rocket] also was carrying a satellite for the New Jersey-based communications company Orbcomm. The satellite separated properly from the second stage of the Falcon 9 — but the [Falcon 9] engine trouble meant the satellite would not pass clear of a safety zone if it fired its own engine, leaving it in a lower orbit than planned, Orbcomm said in a statement issued Monday night.

    To paraphrase Nat King Cole: “Unreliable. That’s what you are….”

  • DCSCA

    @amightywind wrote @ October 8th, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Just because Space X pitches in endless press releases rhey plan to launch people atop this Rube Goldberg rocket of theirs doesn’t mean it will ever be a reality. It’s a shaky bird.

    “Musk said. “I believe Falcon 9 is the only rocket flying today that, like a modern airliner, is capable of completing a flight successfully even after losing an engine.”

    Master Musk can ‘believe’ all he wants but the facts speak for themselves- pitrching hype to hide sub-standard performance. P.T. Barnum 101, Windy.

    Musk is peddling a still flawed product in the marketplace in the course of conducting commerce. So let the customer beware- including NASA. It aint like test flying Saturn Vs for a government project with no profit and loss ledger– just a calendar and a goal. Bottom line- Sunday’s launch was sub-standard; a customer was not properly serviced as contracted. Space X is conducting business w/its Falcons, not battling in the Cold War. Saturn V was a piece of ‘battle’ lardware. Ansd Falcon 9 most definitely not worthy of comparison to a Saturn V. A bit of Elon’s ego, there.

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ October 8th, 2012 at 9:04 pm
    “They plan to launch humans on this thing?” I’ll take an engine shutdown, safety panel ejection as designed to accommodate the resulting change in pressure, and a successful orbital insertion with an engine to spare.’

    Then you’ll ‘take’ sub-standard’ service. That shilling excuse may work w/t post office but not w/FedEx. This is business and Space X failed a cuastomer. This time it was Orbcomm; next time it may be NASA. Ask Apple– they peddled a new phone with a lousy map app and customers are livid. Space X was contracted to perform- and it failed a customer. End of story.

  • joe

    Interested Reader wrote @ October 9th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    http://www.rohrabacher.com/elonmusk.pdf

    Of course there are other things Musk/Space X could be doing for Rohrabacher.

    Note the $1,000 a plate fundraiser (or Elegant Evening at the Rocket Factory) is held on company property and (my personal favorite) is catered by Wolfgang Puck.

  • vulture4

    It’s good to hear that SpaceX knows how to lobby. Since Congress has, to all intents and purposes, institutionalized bribery, it is now a vital part of doing business.

  • Coastal Ron

    DCSCA wrote @ October 9th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Saturn V was a piece of ‘battle’ lardware.

    “lardware”?

    Musk is peddling a still flawed product in the marketplace in the course of conducting commerce.

    The wonderful thing about capitalism is that the market decides the winners and losers.

    The market in this case will see that the primary payload was successfully put into it’s planned orbit (despite an engine-out condition), so I would imagine the only potential customers that will feel queasy about using SpaceX are secondary payloads on the CRS missions, since it was NASA’s trajectory restrictions that kept the secondary payload from reaching it’s planned orbit after the engine-out condition, not SpaceX.

    Orbcomm will be the primary payload for their two future flights, so I don’t see this affecting their decision to use SpaceX, and secondary payloads are not big revenue sources in case some of those customers change launch providers. Competition is a wonderful thing, so let’s see what the market does.

    So let the customer beware- including NASA.

    NASA is a happy customer right now – don’t you watch the news? Dragon is on it’s way, the payload they want is onboard, and there is even ice cream! Blue Bonnet Chocolate Swirl if I remember correctly (one of my favorites). And the science teams are looking forward to the science cargo that can’t come back on any other vehicle but the Dragon – not even your old Soyuz.

  • Justin Kugler

    DCSCA,
    You don’t know what you don’t know. It appears that reason the Orbcomm satellite was not delivered to the proper orbit is because NASA flight rules prevented SpaceX from doing a reboost of the second stage that would have recovered the secondary payload trajectory. The only reason they “failed” the secondary customer is because they did what the primary customer wanted.

  • NeilShipley

    DCSCA wrote @ October 9th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Green as usual!

  • JimNobles

    I hope ORBCOMM had insurance on the launch. I suspect they’ve been on the phone talking with the insurance company trying to work out if some of the intended uses of the sat can still be accomplished. The insurance company will probably insist that ORBCOMM gets what they can out of their sat. To minimize paying for a total loss if that’s possible.

  • Heinrich Monroe

    Sounds like there was a first stage major anomaly. Will there be an open investigation? They plan to launch humans on this thing?

    They don’t plan to launch humans as secondary payloads. Well, if they did, those humans might get what they pay for.

    You can jump a freight train too, but they won’t make a special stop for you.

    I’m quite sure that Orbcomm was apprised of the risks, such that an engine failure would allow complete satisfaction of the primary customer but not them. It would be interesting to see what their lift cost them, but I’ll bet they were in the cheap seat.

    So let the customer beware- including NASA.

    Looks like NASA got what it wanted. You think NASA is going to beware of the loss of secondary payloads? What NASA saw is that SpaceX had the ability to sacrifice a lower priority payload to preserve its own.

  • Dark Blue Nine

    “Then you’ll ‘take’ sub-standard’ service. That shilling excuse may work w/t post office but not w/FedEx. This is business and Space X failed a cuastomer. This time it was Orbcomm; next time it may be NASA. Ask Apple– they peddled a new phone with a lousy map app and customers are livid. Space X was contracted to perform- and it failed a customer. End of story.”

    If you were an astronaut on a launch vehicle that experienced an engine failure, you’d much rather end up intact on orbit, like the Orbcomm test satellite, than dead, like the Challenger crew.

    “Sub-standard [sic]” beats catastrophic failure, any day.

    To argue otherwise is suicidally stupid.

  • Robert G. Oler

    DCSCA wrote @ October 9th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    For all I know the Orbcomm people are at Musk desk demanding a full refund and going to the Russians to launch their other payloads…but something tells me that they are not all that “Unhappy”

    Sure they would have loved a full deploy with particularly a Falcon9 second stage restart…but I bet you that they have already proved the things that they were really hyped about.

    First (and maybe Justin or someone can confirm this) Spacecom is tracking an extra debris issue…and I would wager it could be the payload deployment device that Orbcomm plans to use.

    So if thats correct then OC has been able to test the basic satellite, the unfolding of the satellite and probably the mechanism to carry it into orbit…those are pretty big confidence builders and they will get some data from the actual operation of the satellite.

    Plus I bet you that they didnt pay all that much for the launch. They clearly knew that the launch was a secondary and that the mass of the system was designed to preserve a worst case rocket performance with the mission of the primary.

    So while SpaceX doubtless has some thinking to do on the notion of the “issue” whatever it is that caused the one engine out…I doubt that OC is really pounding on Musk desk (does he have one? ) RGO

  • DCSCA

    @Coastal Ron wrote @ October 9th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Except it isn’t truly ‘capitalism’ when it’s subsidized w/tax dollars, risking taxpayer monies from the many in an attempt to profit a few.. ‘lardware’– LOL, typo fo hardware– but given the cost of the project, perhaps Freudian slip as well. LOL . And thanks for reading so closely.

    @Justin Kugler wrote @ October 9th, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    =yawn= Nice try but excuses wion’t fly any better than the Falcon 9. . This is business. Nobody wants to hear ratinalizations for failure in the boardroom. A ‘President Romney’ sure won’t tolerate it. Bottom line, the contractor failed to properly service the customer. Blaming the government wont wash and i a pretty lame cop-out. But then, that’s Space X’s mantre. Next time it will be weather… or sunspots… or Gremlins. End of story.

  • JimNobles

    @DCSCA
    Sorry but it looks like SpaceX is going to weather this ORBCOMM sat delivery issue without much problem. I’ve been scanning the net this morning and there is just not much of an outcry about the situation.

    They are in business now and transportation mishaps happen in business. And businesses have well established ways of dealing with these types of incidents.

    Most of the remarks I’ve read on the net about this flight are rather positive towards SpaceX’s ability to deal with the problem and still get their load to their main customer on time. It seems that the attitude of most of the people is that it’s unfortunate that a mechanical problem caused a secondary load to become undeliverable but that sometimes happens in business.

    From what I’ve read so far it appears that the anti-SpaceX crowd (a very small minority) aren’t going to get much traction from the problems with CRS1.

    That’s the way it looks to me anyway.

  • DCSCA

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 12:09 am

    “For all I know the Orbcomm people are at Musk desk demanding a full refund and going to the Russians to launch their other payloads…but something tells me that they are not all that “Unhappy””

    LOL If you came into Manager Mitt’s office and told him the contractor failed to deliver as advertised but you’re not all that ‘unhappy’ about it, he’d fire you. and if Musk’s on the ball, he’ll offer a make-good w/a discount on the next contract- assuming OC elects to risk going w/them again.

    @Dark Blue Nine wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Except this was a contracted commercial business transaction to launch an unmanned satellite, where the contractor failed to deliver services as contracted for, not a manned spaceflight. The contractor failed to perform; it delivered sub-standard service. Your excuse is at least it didn’t splash doesn’t excuse that sub-standard service by Space X.

    Consider a similar problem on a larger scale w/the two communcation satellites launched from 41-B back in the early 80s- The Palapa & Westar were both inserted into the wrong orbits- the problem sourced to the SM propellant in their PAMs, not shuttle. Customers and insurers weren’t pleased and NASA was subsequently contracted to retrived and return the birds- which 51-A did. Space X wont be offering that kind of service.

    You rent a car for a cross country trip and the wheels fall off on the Vegas Strip, you don’t tell the customer at least it didn’t kill them and appreciate where you broke down– forget that it wasn’t your destination. But if you want ot make excuses for sub-standard service by Space X, go ahead. But it’s a lousy selling point and trying to cloak excuses on it with HSF parameters is a just a red herring- and a sign of desperation. Falcon 9s aren’t STS stacks– or for that matter, Saturn Vs. The Falcons aren’t anywhere close to that level of complexity, nor close to loftying crewed spacecraft either.

  • DCSCA

    @Heinrich Monroe wrote @ October 9th, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    “You think NASA is going to beware of the loss of secondary payloads?”

    Yes. Especially if its crews are forced into contracted rides a top a rocket that failed to place a payload in the proper orbit.

  • amightywind

    One must question SpaceX’s engineering judgement on this matter. If ISS servicing constraints foist undo mission risk on Orbcomm, why combine missions? It turns out the engine loss was not fully recoverable, despite the spin.

    Next time it will be weather… or sunspots… or Gremlins. End of story.

    Or George W. Bush!

  • Heinrich Monroe

    If you came into Manager Mitt’s office and told him the contractor failed to deliver as advertised but you’re not all that ‘unhappy’ about it, he’d fire you.

    But of course if you came into Manager Mitt’s office and told him that a small secondary payload got sacrificed to achieve full compliance for the primary payload, he’d probably give you a raise. It would be interesting to see exactly how SpaceX “advertised” their delivery capability to Orbcomm, the last of whose sats was launched four years ago. I’ll bet there were some caveats. Bottom line – they did what was most important.

    It’s interesting, really. SpaceX won the prize on this one with regard to public confidence. Why? Because hardly anyone knew about the Orbcomm satellite! That wasn’t what SpaceX was staking their reputation on here. The press and the public aren’t going to be moaning about a 140 kg comsat. But now that Dragon is docked, SpaceX has their second gold star. They did the hard part. But I agree that it’s the end of your story.

  • common sense

    ” doubt that OC is really pounding on Musk desk (does he have one? ) ”

    Yes he does. Among other things…

    ” They did the hard part. ”

    Nope. Not really. Reentry is by far the hard part. But they are pretty close.

  • amightywind

    The press and the public aren’t going to be moaning about a 140 kg comsat.

    The Orbcomm story is nearly as widespread in the news as the cheer-leading SpaceX stories. Both stories, of course, are dwarfed by the press coverage of Obama’s spirited defense of Big Bird.

  • Heinrich Monroe

    The Palapa & Westar were both inserted into the wrong orbits- the problem sourced to the SM propellant in their PAMs, not shuttle. Customers and insurers weren’t pleased and NASA was subsequently contracted to retrived and return the birds- which 51-A did.

    Not only the customers and insurers weren’t pleased, President Reagan signed an executive order banning NASA from performing further commercial launches. NASA was going to wash it’s hands of any such future efforts.

    As to wheels falling off on the Vegas strip, you’re a bit confused. What we’re talking about is the truck that was delivering a Steinway grand to Caesars Palace missed dropping off a sandwich box at Joe’s Eatery. It got dropped off at Sam’s Deli instead. Yes, Joe was upset, and maybe Caesars will play a tune for him.

    You’re really desperate to make SpaceX out as the bad guy, aren’t you? Elon’s got you where he wants you.

  • amightywind

    Aviation Now has a nice summary of other Falcon 9 anomalies, a couple of which amightywind discussed on this forum. The Merlin engine is more problem plagued than SpaceX press reports would have you believe.

  • Sorry but it looks like SpaceX is going to weather this ORBCOMM sat delivery issue without much problem.

    OrbComm issued a press release on Monday that they planned to continue to use SpaceX.

    Not only the customers and insurers weren’t pleased, President Reagan signed an executive order banning NASA from performing further commercial launches.

    That was a result of the Challenger loss, not the Palapa/Westar mission.

  • common sense

    I guess the customer isn’t that upset after all. Thanks for the link amightywind…

    “In the meantime, Orbcomm says it still plans to launch 17 more OG2 satellites aboard two Falcon 9 missions in mid-2013 and 2014. The OG2 satellites “will be the primary payload on both of these two planned launches to directly insert the OG2 satellites into the operational orbit.”"

  • common sense

    Here is something noteworthy from an otherwise pointless article (okay maybe the the ISS use beyond 2020 is worth a note too but L-2 stuff…). What a slap in the face of the anti-China moronic crowd. You know who you are.

    http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_10_08_2012_p26-502985.xml&p=3

    ““The Chinese space station is open to all,” said Yafeng Hu, a top international affairs official at the China National Space Administration, during a separate session, drawing applause from his IAC audience.”

  • Miya

    @ amightywind wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 10:36 am
    Aviation Now has a nice summary of other Falcon 9 anomalies, a couple of which amightywind discussed on this forum.
    I can’t tell if you’re referring to yourself in the third person or if you were trying to post fake supportive replies to yourself but forgot to change your name.

    Either is pretty pathetic.

  • Robert G. Oler

    What is depressing about most of this discussion and the “anti spaceX” groups other places on the net is that it is clear that the vast majority of anti’s have never really been a part of an engineering effort before that is done with reasonable cost in mind and some notion of actual performance.

    There are bookends. Beal, Kistler are pretty good examples of people going into a program with to little money, NASA SLS/Orion are examples of folks having far to much money (and maybe at the same time not enough)

    there is a medium where one spends enough and gets a product which is basically safe but needs a little sandpaper as the operational edges are worked out andfolks who try and spend to much to make “perfection” and then end up with an operational cripple…say shuttle and ISS.

    The Orbcomm issue is nothing…those folks knew what they were buying and while I am sure they would rather be in their end orbit are getting most of what they want at a price that they can afford…and so is NASA

    Sit back and enjoy the notion that “regulat” engineering has returned to the US and for the first time is in spaceflight. RGO

  • Das Boese

    amightywind wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Aviation Now has a nice summary of other Falcon 9 anomalies, a couple of which amightywind discussed on this forum. The Merlin engine is more problem plagued than SpaceX press reports would have you believe.

    You even fail at sockpuppeting.

  • Paul

    Yes. Especially if its crews are forced into contracted rides a top a rocket that failed to place a payload in the proper orbit.

    Or, on a rocket that has just demonstrated engine-out capability.

    The experience with cargo launches, good and bad, will make the launcher more acceptable for crew launches.

  • E.P, Grondine

    Hi AW –

    Thanks for the link to the Aviation Now article – At this point in time, “rocket science” is still reliant to some degree on the heuristic method.

    For example, the Falcon enigne out sequence was clearly the result of the examination of other launcher’s launch failures.

    But the “heutistic method” does nothing to explain how the known combustion oscillations of large solid grains were consistently ignored through all the years of the attempted development of Ares 1.

    In that case, earlier experience was entirely ignored.

    Hi everyone else –

    This sat appears to have been a testing prototype for the sats involved in a later SpaceX launch. The ride must have been super cheap. My guess is that Orbcomm will delay that flight until their prototype is fully tested.

    Given the resurrection of the Confederacy, it is interesting to warch other states react to California and Texas’s success with SpaceX. I doubt if there is anything they can do to stop Musk, given SpaceX’s commercial backlog and deep pockets.

    I doubt if those individuals can mount sufficient attacks on Rep Rohrabacher to damage him with his constuents. My guess is that his communication systems are farily well locked down as well.

  • Heinrich Monroe

    The Orbcomm story is nearly as widespread in the news as the cheer-leading SpaceX stories.

    Nope. Simply untrue. The latest stories (NBC, CNN, CBS, etc.) all rain kudos on SpaceX. Barely a mention about Orbcomm. Show me one media outlet where the Orbcomm story has anywhere near the coverage as the Dragon/ISS story.

    Oh, commercial-is-crap.com doesn’t count.

    The Orbcomm situation is unfortunate, but it’s just not what this is all about. The decision to leave the Orbcomm sat in a lower orbit was hardly unforseen. That decision was programmed into the avionics.

  • Robert G. Oler

    common sense wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Nope. Not really. Reentry is by far the hard part. But they are pretty close.>>

    actually for the Orbcomm satellites I think reentry is fairly easy…they burn up RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_10_08_2012_p26-502985.xml&p=1

    Frank does a good job writing but it is hard to improve on what common sense said about it so a requote is in order

    “Here is something noteworthy from an otherwise pointless article”

    yes this is all gaining traction as a study because well that is what NASA does best…and they cannot even make use of ISS…

    this idea is going nowhere…RGO

  • amightywind

    What a slap in the face of the anti-China moronic crowd. You know who you are.

    If by anti-Chinese you mean opposed to the lawless Chicom mafia that plagues the Chinese mainland, then yes, guilty as charged.

    The Chinese space station is open to all

    There is a long list of distinguished nations who are lined up to visit. Cuba, Iran, Venezuela… As long as the visitors say the right thing, eh comrades?

    Either is pretty pathetic.

    In this case, my use of Illeism is an attempt add self-deprecating humor to an absurd boast. I do it sometimes because I think that the athletes do it in interviews are funny.

    I had to laugh at this sentence in the link.

    “…In this way personal bias is presented, albeit dishonestly, as objectivity.”

    Exactly!

  • common sense

    @ Robert G. Oler wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    “actually for the Orbcomm satellites I think reentry is fairly easy…they burn up”

    I believe he was referring to the CRS mission, not OrbComm ;)

  • common sense

    @ amightywind wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    “If by anti-Chinese you mean opposed to the lawless Chicom mafia that plagues the Chinese mainland, then yes, guilty as charged.”

    Did you recently check where your electronics, sneakers and otherwise everyday stuff was made from? I am sure as a good patriot you only buy things Made in the good old US of A and further that you send them back to the company whenever you find out it’s made in China or from a chinese corporation. I also assume you absolutely oppose corporations and enterprises making a lot of deals with China thereby increasing their stock values? Right? You don’t deal with such corporations on the stock market? You would not be a hypocrite right?

    Whatever…

  • Coastal Ron

    DCSCA wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 8:10 am

    But if you want ot make excuses for sub-standard service by Space X, go ahead.

    What alternate reality are you in? All the press is talking about is the successful berthing of the Dragon and the early hatch opening. So are the primary mission has been a complete success.

    Secondary payloads are important for their owners, but they knew they were the secondary payload when they signed up for the launch. Their Monte Carlo simulations would have told them there was a chance of not attaining the preferred orbit, and they weighed the risks and rewards. You do the same thing every time you board a small aircraft and even a large commercial one.

    The lesson learned here is that SpaceX has built a robust transportation system that can deal with imperfection. The Shuttle did not always fail so gracefully from an engine failure, yet it was “human rated” – so much for consistent standards…

  • DCSCA

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    The Orbcomm issue is nothing…those folks knew what they were buying…”

    Nonsense. In FACT,. OC entered into a business contract for specified services and Space X failed to deliver as agreed. Blaming the customer for sub-standard services by the contractor is a pretty poor business strategy. If FedEx used your rationale, the USPS would be booming. But if you want to makes excuses for Space X’s failure to deliver its contracted services for OC, go for it: Here’s your new sales slogan:: “Space X. When it absolutely, positively maybe, might not get there.”

  • Egad

    “The OG2 satellites “will be the primary payload on both of these two planned launches to directly insert the OG2 satellites into the operational orbit.””

    Which, to state the obvious, presumably means that the GNC system will have that as its main objective and will fly any engine-out profile accordingly. Whatever the secondary payloads are will get secondary consideration, like OG2 did on this flight.

  • DCSCA

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    “it is clear that the vast majority of anti’s have never really been a part of an engineering effort ”

    Sober up. This is a business transaction; a mater of commerice. It is not an exercise in experimental ‘enginerring efforts.’ You don’t go to Hertz and rent experimental cars; you lease a proven product to provide goods and services. The excuse makers for Space X are desperatly trying to cloak their marketplace failures and sub-standard perflrmance as engineering growing pains when, in FACT, they’ve brought to market a flawed product- hence, let the buyer beware, be it OC or NASA.

  • DCSCA

    @Rand Simberg wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 11:15 am

    “Sorry but it looks like SpaceX is going to weather this ORBCOMM sat delivery issue without much problem.”

    Depends on the sweetener offered up.. “OrbComm issued a press release on Monday that they planned to continue to use SpaceX.” Would be interesting to know the details of the make good; a one off or contracting amendment which could set precedent for future contracts- Savvy business practice would be to offer some kind of make good or future discount. No ‘refunds’ of course. LOL

    “Not only the customers and insurers weren’t pleased, President Reagan signed an executive order banning NASA from performing further commercial launches.” ;That was a result of the Challenger loss, not the Palapa/Westar mission.’

    Correct. Heinrich should have known that. Naturally, you would. Butn then, even a broken clock is ‘right’ twice a day, isn’t it.

  • DCSCA

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ October 10th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    “What is depressing…”

    In FACT, what is ‘depressing’ is Space X pedding sub-standard performance in the marketplace and trying to dfsmiss it. They’d be wiser to hang a lantern on it and make noise about fixing the problem, especially as they plan to try to fly crews on top of their bird. This is business. OC might accept sub-standard performance, and that’s a managerial decision by that firm, but NASA shouldn’t so easily accept it with taxpayer dollars involved and in the future, potentially, the lives of crews on the line, especially given their managerial history w/Challenger and Columbia.- and even Apollo 1. You want to hold contractor Space X to high standards, especially if they ever try to fly crewed spacecraft w/NASA personnel on board. If Space X carried a NASA crew and lost them, the public will blame NASA for not properlty vetting the contractor, not the contractor, Space X. Back in ’67, NA didn’t take the nearly the level of public heat NASA did. In ’86 Thiokol didn’t take the bulk of the public heat for a flawed SRB design, NASA did. And it was NASA managemnt that was rightly slammed for Columbla. No sir, if Space X is going to try to fly crews on top of Falcons, their QA has to improve. But then, QA is always a place to cut corners– and costs- in the profit-driven private sector, isn’t it. .

  • Heinrich Monroe

    the lawless Chicom mafia that plagues the Chinese mainland

    I would have to assume they’re obeying their own laws. Why would you have thought otherwise? Oh, you mean YOUR laws …

    There is a long list of distinguished nations who are lined up to visit. Cuba, Iran, Venezuela…

    Well, we once asked such a distinguished visitor to join us on ISS. I’m sure lots more countries would line up to visit the Chinese space station as well, though Frank Wolf would see to it that they never again set foot on ISS.

  • Jeff Foust

    This comment thread has long outlived its usefulness and is now closed.