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Old October 28 2012, 02:43 AM   #279
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Weren't you JUST talking about the advantages of in-house capability? Why in the hell would Elon Musk wait for NASA technology to produce new technical innovations when he's got his OWN rockets to learn from and experiment with new designs?
Musk didn't invent the rocket mind you. The point I am making is that--apart from Ariane 6, you are seeing folks all over the planet increase LV size beyond what comsats demand.
But not by much, and they're not in much of a hurry either.

Now lets say we were to put everyone in SLS out of work. That would hurt infrastructure and have less expertise to draw from.
WHAT infrastructure? SLS isn't part of any mature spaceflight architecture that currently exists, comsats or otherwise. The only spaceflight system that will ever use it is the MPCV, which doesn't actually NEED it and can just as easily fly on an EELV. The "expertise" we're drawing from is also highly specialized in STS-style systems; the open secret in the KSC "save those jobs!" debate is that none of the KSC workforce is really employable anywhere else because they're trained on technologies and techniques that are so woefully obsolete that nobody else in the industry still uses them.

If Musk and the alt.spacers got other in-house capabilities destroyed--it also lessons competition.
Only between the private sector and the NASA shops... but then, there wouldn't BE any competition in the first place if the private sector hadn't stepped in with an alternative.

OTOH, there is now competition between SpaceX, Sierra Nevada and Blue Origins for commercial crew, as well as between SpaceX and Orbital Sciences and (indirectly) the Europeans and the Japanese for cargo services. Killing off NASA's in-house capability hardly eliminates competition, but funneling the money that would normally be spent on an overpriced/overengineered launch system into a spaceflight industry could make that competition a lot more productive for NASA.

What I want--that you call pork is a robust in-house infrastructure of public as well as private institutions. That's something libertarians can't see because of their Ayn Rand blinders.
1) SLS isn't robust, nor is it "infrastructure." It was designed to provide JOBS, not space launch capability.

2) As you continue to cast about trying to figure out just who it is who opposes the SLS, you now implicitly begin to blame Libertarians/Randians. Evidently, you cannot grasp the idea that many people are looking at the same facts and the same history you are and reaching entirely different conclusions, based NOT on ideology, NOT on propaganda, NOT on op eds in popsci magazines, but on honest-to-god critical thinking.

There are new wrinkles to the old tech.
And there is also new tech. Take your pick (Elon already has).

You might have forgotten that STS was to have a form of self-ferry early on
STS has nothing whatsoever to do with SUSTAIN.

You don't know what you're talking about.

Now Sustain was going to be an EELV launched vehicle, so it stands to reason that something a bit bigger could be launched via falcon that would be large enough...
The Falcon wasn't even a design concept when SUSTAIN was being studied. And again, self-ferry capability has NEVER EVER been part of any of the SUSTAIN proposals.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
It's also kind of funny you name-dropping Medaris at a time like this. It was Medaris who figured out that the Saturn-I was about to be cancelled in favor of a totally hypothetical Titan kitbash being shopped around by the Air Force.
They said it was cheaper.
And they were bullshitting.

Just like the politicians who favor the SLS are bullshitting when they suggest the system will be either on time or on cost, and they're shoveling it by the heapful if they suggest it will do BOTH.

Now Jim from NASAspaceflight...
Isn't here. Irrelevant point is irrelevant.

Arsenal method still makes sense both in the public and private world for the same reason. More and more people from all walks are developing vehicles--more now than since the 50s-60s. I think this is a good thing to have a lot of approaches--and I hope they all see service.
I agree. And all things being equal, the 40 billion dollars NASA intends to spend developing the SLS would be better spent purchasing large numbers of Falcon 9s and man-rated EELVs. That investment would pay off much larger dividends in the long run, since the Falcon Heavy would provide the heavy lift capability they need for BEO missions -- IF they ever develop them -- while at the same time stimulating development into a Falcon Superheavy once SpaceX parlays their experience with the Merlin into the MCT and/or reusable F9 Grasshopper. I also like multiple providers; man-rating the Atlas or the Delta-IV Heavy is a good secondary system (I am not a huge fan of the D-IVH but it has a very good operational record and doesn't rely on Russian engines).

Any of which would be preferable to the SLS: they provide launch capability for any spacecraft NASA has in service (MPCVs or Dragons and Dreamchasers purchased from SpaceX and Sierre Nevada) and continued use makes those launchers evolvable into the kind of heavy lift vehicles NASA has been dabbling with for BEO missions, especially since one of those providers is ALREADY working on a design that is both cheaper and more efficient than the SLS.

In short, SLS is the OPPOSITE of the arsenal method. SLS is the same kind of crony capitalism "sole-source-no-bid-cost-plus" style defense contract that gave us the F-35.

Its not all about economics--that is what I am trying to stress.
When it comes to the SLS, it's all about POLITICS, and that is what I am saying.

But I'm also taking the long view of this and realizing that politics, unlike economics, isn't going to colonize space. Industry is going to do that, and the sooner we put them on the front lines of this venture, the sooner we'll start to get REAL work done in space.

Remember, Ares V morphed into SLS via DIRECT's tireless advocacy, and SLS and MCT may combine. Who knows?
No, because DIRECT ultimately got their case heard by appealing to Kay Bailey Hutchinson's sense of political expedience. "Oh, you DO want to use the same aerospace contractors for your rocket design? Well, why didn't you just say so?"
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