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Old November 12 2012, 12:52 AM   #309
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Envisioning the world of 2100

publiusr wrote: View Post
I don't think they are obsolete as newtype thought...
And for the second time, nobody's claiming the workforce ITSELF is obsolete. The techniques they're used to working in, however, ARE, at least in the context of SpaceX and SNC, which is the specific reason why nobody brought that up as a counterpoint to the SLS push (and the specific reason why nobody wants to mention it, because it would imply that newspace is a direct competitor to the KSC establishment and not a potential asset as newspace enthusiasts have been claiming for years).

Suffice to say that the KSC crews could easily find work just about anywhere else. The sticky political point is that for most of them, "anywhere else" is most likely NOT one of the companies that is going to be getting COTS/CCiCap funding from NASA, and therefore certain politicians consider the commercial cargo/crew programs to be politically threatening (because even if 3000 of the 5000 ksc workers could get re-hired in space launch companies, the 2000 that remain would be pissed voters with an axe to grind with a potentially vulnerable incumbent).

Now the idea of busy work may sound like pork to some, but having at least some type of goal Venture Star SLS/ MCT --whatever--is good for an industry.
So is COTS/CCiCap. Better, actually, since the commercial crew/cargo lead to the development of new service providers instead of simply paying for over-priced services from existing companies.

Let's say SLS dies, and it comes down to Musk vs the ULA/EELV establishment. Who wins that one?
It's only a "vs" scenario if NASA pits them against each other and artificially keeps the competition even. ULA has a virtual monopoly on government programs and telecom, but SpaceX is chipping away at that; conversely, SpaceX has a virtual monopoly on commercial cargo and (essentially) on commercial crew, but SNC and Boeing (kind of) are chipping away at THAT.

There probably won't BE a clear winner, just the sub-dividing of the market into a couple of providers who specialize in different services. ULA might remain a major provider of satellite launch services while SpaceX with its lower prices and flexible business model could very well position itself as a servicer/courier for space stations and satellites after ULA has put them into orbit. IOW, ULA becomes Union Pacific while SpaceX becomes UPS.
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