After, all this time, have we learned nothing?
SpaceX rocket lifts off for space station trial run
"An analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows that a similar program under traditional NASA procurement would have cost four to 10 times as much, said NASA's Alan Lindenmoyer, who manages the agency's commercial spaceflight initiatives."
Right. Let's see Space X build Cape Canaveral, do their own basic R&D and factor in the cost of financing it all for decades. Then tell me how cheap they can do things.
"Separately, NASA contributed nearly $400 million to SpaceX's $1.2 billion commercial space program, which includes development and up to three test flights of Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon capsules."
Okay, the taxpayers provided 1/3 of the budget and all of the infrastructure.
"NASA is counting on companies like Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to take over the task of flying cargo - and eventually astronauts - to the $100 billion space station, which orbits about 240 miles (390 km) above Earth."
Are these numbers computing for you? A 100-billion-dollar space station vs. a
Look, I don't mind that we're letting private industry into the space business. But the words matter. The imagery matters. Space exploration -- the investment, the R&D, the shear human drama -- is government at its best. To let private concerns cheapen it all is just wrong. Not to mention stupid.
And in case it hasn't dawned on you yet, you can bet your bottom dollar that the FAA is angling to be the regulatory body for space flight and that industry visionaries are busy trying to " capture " whatever agency (space ICAO if you will) winds up with the regulatory authority. And yes, the military will be the 500-pound gorilla. Sound familiar ?
May 22, 2012