16 thoughts on “The ISS Commercialization Studies”

  1. Seriously, look at the list of names. Its like you were looking for the most innovative new software and you sat down at Starbucks on 1st & Trimble in San Jose to kaffeeklatsch. I’m sure they were well written and dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s, but ‘vibrant’?

      1. A contract like this could have started a lot of businesses.

        Rand, usually you’re against pork in principle. Now you’re just disappointed the pork didn’t come your way. I don’t think you want to defend the position that pork going to the “usual suspects” is a bad thing but when it goes to me it’s a good thing. It makes it seem like the biggest complaint you have about the “usual suspects” is that you’re not one of them.

        1. NASA is supposedly spending this money in order to ultimately reduce their costs, develop new useful capabilities, and encourage the development of commercial activity in LEO. We can argue about whether or not that’s an appropriate role of the federal government, but the pork I object to is the money they spend for no purpose except to spend money in the right zip codes.

      2. Are you able to tell us about any interesting proposals that you saw? The good news is that a million dollars isn’t a sum that puts attracting investors out of reach as long as there is a possibility for a payback.

  2. Wow. Reading through the expectations for the studies, it seems to me that NASA has been through this exercise over and over and over again. Which means all of the usual players have all of their prior reports at hand, and can easily update them for low cost versus contract payout. Oh to be one of NASA’s handmaidens. Srsly, how cushy can they make it?

    When ULA finally came sniffing around for some free cislunar econosphere ice cream, I pointed out that the industry seems to be afraid to talk to anyone but themselves. Go out to materials science and engineering and medical science conferences and ask the folks “What can we do to get you to invest research monies in what we can provide?” Instead the industry talks to itself, re-hashing the same talking points and solutions over and over and over again, expecting different results. We all know what Einstein had to say about that.

    1. The problem would be that there’s not much interest there. Better to speak in a well-funded echo chamber.

  3. There are some consulting firms on the list that I haven’t heard about when space cadets speak on the interwebs. Are they the traditional players like the old contractors?

    1. Deloitte and McKinsey are management-consulting firms that have experts who focus on the space industry. I’m actually a little surprised that Accenture isn’t one of the winners. Maybe they didn’t bid.

  4. “Avoiding innovation”

    I think that pretty well sums up NASA these days. And indeed, the things they could do with even a fraction of what’s squandered on SLS.

    I do blame congress, of course, but NASA is to blame as well. Far too much and far too often, they have massively costly boondoggles (James Webb, anyone?) and stifle progress with bureaucracy (imposing “safety” rules on commercial crew that vastly exceed what NASA applies to itself).

  5. Again the problem is that final ‘A’ in NASA.

    It is becoming clear as each year goes by there is less and less there to be administered and at higher and higher cost.

    Your socialist space program in action.

    1. Perhaps they could look into refocusing a bit; focus on that final A, Administration, while not actually doing anything at all. Socialist perfection!

      I gotta say though, they do have SpaceX beat on the Mars stuff. SpaceX has a viable architecture and is building it, but NASA has a hashtag, while SpaceX has yet to develop one. Surely, that means NASA is ahead.

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