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Old October 9 2012, 05:31 AM   #213
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post

When NASA is involved in telling how to build and run a system all you get is cost over runs and power point spaceships.
The contractor isn't supposed to tell the buyer what he needs.
Sometimes he is. When you hire a guy to fix your air conditioning, you are implicitly trusting him to diagnose and solve problems using expertise that he possesses and you do not. When you hire a guy to fix your car, you do so on the assumption that he has a greater capability to perform those repairs than you do.

The whole point of hiring a contractor is because you don't have the capability to do the work on your own. In this case, NASA is a bit like a stubborn do-it-yourselfer with a blown headgasket who has taken it upon himself to disassemble and repair the engine himself. Everyone watching this knows it's going to end badly; the last time he overhauled that engine it cost him four thousand dollars worth of extra parts and took him a month longer than it should have.

Of course, he's not going to listen to everyone, because he keeps telling himself "No problem, I used to do this in the 60s all the time."

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
That's the biggest argument against Heavy Lift I've ever seen. After all, any given HLV with specs like the SLS is going to be hemorrhaging money.
That is true with any space endeavor at first.
Nobody claimed otherwise. The problem with SLS is that it will REMAIN true pretty much indefinitely, for the simple fact that by the time SLS develops a flight rate high enough or an operating cost low enough to be feasible for commercial operators, the industry will have already adapted and standardized around cheaper alternatives.

And that's assuming the SLS will ever reduce its costs or increase its flight rate; that is an assumption NO ONE is making, in fact the broader consensus is that NASA's projections on the SLS' future readiness are a best case scenario.

You yourself have stated again and again that the aerospace industry is not very good at coordinating long-term plans... so what makes you think anyone in the aerospace industry is going to start planning space missions that depend on the SLS?

Musk operated at a loss
Hell, my mother operated at a loss when she started her first business. That's what usually happens with startup companies until their business case matures.

Again, the point is that the SLS will operate at a loss FOREVER. It will never be profitable because it isn't designed to be profitable; it isn't the kind of thing that any serious businessman would try to build.

You doubted me when I said Griffin wrote AIAA textbooks
No I didn't. I questioned whether or not it was relevant to this discussion. Which it isn't.

The AIAA doesn't have fools write textbooks.
Then why did they have Griffin write one?

Well to say that nobody wants SLS is just not true. ULA knows that NASA didn't want the EELV albatross on their neck, so they put all this anti-HLV nonsense out.
The anti-HLV "nonsense" isn't coming from ULA. It's coming from people who -- unlike you, apparently -- are capable of looking at the history of spaceflight, of air travel, of industry and government, seeing the relevant patterns, and thinking for themselves. The proponents of EELVs just happen to be on the right side of this pattern, but EELVs aren't the ONLY alternative, nor are they even the BEST alternative.

More to the point: the kinds of people who want the SLS program are the kinds of people who have proven an inability to set coherent priorities for spaceflight (Griffin) people who want it for purely political reasons (Sen Hutchinson/Nelson) and people who simply can't conceive of any other way of doing things (Armstrong and Aldrin).

Meanwhile, NASA has failed to preserve -- in ANY PART -- the functionality provided by the space shuttle; private industry has already stepped in to take up the slack. What, then, prevents private industry from eventually displacing the SLS?

The whole depot libration point deal that folks are carping on now...
Was originally NASA's idea from the 1990s. For someone who quotes so many AV-week articles, I'm amazed you didn't realize that.

Life cycle costs on F-35 are going to be over a trillion dollars. That's where I would focus on cuts.
Which ignores the fact that the United States does not need the mission capability provided by the F-35; a fighter aircraft half as expensive with a third of its capabilities would more than suffice if deployed in sufficient numbers, which even the super-advanced F-35 never will be.

Letting politicians define the capabilities of a new system... it's like handing a credit card to a teenage girl and saying "Go buy yourself a car."

Space X's Falcon Heavy isn't needed for just comsats but for BEO use--and is an entry level HLV--and in house--so it isn't just about profits with him.
Not JUST about profits, no. But Musk isn't doing it for free either.

They still have ULA to worry about
Not unless they figure out a way to double the performance of the Delta-IV Heavy. Otherwise, ULA has its government satellite contracts and SpaceX has an obscenely long launch manifest of its own. It's a booming industry, and it's likely to get bigger once the rockets really start flying.

The October 1 2012 issue of Aviation week
Is thoroughly irrelevant.
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