The Anti-SpaceX Smear Campaign

Eric Berger did some digging into it. Looks a lot like Boeing is behind it. Weird that Julian Epstein is involved.

[Update a while later]

In thinking about it, Epstein, with his history of smearing Clinton’s accusers, to the degree he’s involved, is a good person for this smear campaign as well. Meanwhile, Keith Cowing is less than impressed.

[Friday-evening update]

Dave Mosher dug deeper. I don’t have a problem with Hagar; he seems sincere, though I disagree with him, and I’m not sure he fully understands the issue. But it appears that Boeing took advantage of him.


17 thoughts on “The Anti-SpaceX Smear Campaign”

  1. It was a significant moment to see two of the most powerful women in aerospace alongside one another—two fierce competitors coming together for the good of the country.

    But the rest of the article is about how these two women are fighting in the media. Well, one of the women is attacking the other but we don’t get an analysis of SpaceX’s media efforts. I have been assured that women don’t act this way, so this article is rather surprising. Mr Berger should be careful, he might become a #metoo poster boy if people connect the dots.

    I’ve also been assured that the media is independent and speaks truth to power by holding the powerful accountable but it looks like coordinated campaigns that take place across publications are rather common. We have to assume that if it happens in an area as unimportant as space, that it is far more frequent in more important realms. It is just hard to believe since the media claims to be so ethical.

    Boeing and SpaceX are now in the midst of a heated race to become the first private company to fly astronauts into orbit.

    Rather than trying to slow SpaceX down enough to beat them with the first commercial launch of astronauts, they should be focused on how their business model will allow them to compete over the next five years. Being in the history book doesn’t matter much if that is the only place you are.

    1. Being in the history book doesn’t matter much if that is the only place you are.

      Great line. However, for Boeing, it does mean a few more sales they wouldn’t get otherwise. And probably a majority slice of the NASA Commercial Crew pie if they can pull it off, because old NASA will be happier to deal with old Boeing.

      1. There being only two providers and a stated goal of keeping them both around, I don’t think Boeing needs to worry much about what NASA will do. Commercial stations don’t have those considerations though. What are the chances Starliner will fly on a Falcon 9?

  2. Boeing’s motivation is too transparent ton need an explanation. They are behind and hoping for a “reconsideration” from an “abundance of caution” to delay Spacex.

    Nowhere is it pointed out that both Shuttle disasters were caused largely from standing for many hours fully fueled, allowing ice to form and components to cold soak.

    NASA and Spacex both understand that a crew loss would probably kill the program. It probably shouldn’t but that’s the way political enterprises work. I’m actually a little surprised and encouraged that anything remotely controversial survived review.

  3. Of course, it goes without saying that fueling the rocket had nothing whatsoever to do with the Apollo 1 fire.

    LMG sounds an awful lot like Fusion GPS. I wonder how much news and opinion we see is “managed” by such firms.

    It also makes me want to watch the movie “Wag the Dog” again. I saw it once ages ago, and it sounds pretty relevant.

  4. They stuck another landing tonight, this time on the West coast for the first time. 30th landing overall. No big deal. Just something nobody had ever done or even thought possible until December of 2015, now routine.

    1. Also, Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg is only 1400 feet from the launch pad.

      So when they said RTLS, they really meant it this time.

      I would bet that this stage will be the first one to make three flights, because of the ease of processing it and returning it to the launch pad.

      1. I won’t bet against you on that. Could be we’ll see that puppy next when SpaceX rolls it out for the last Iridium Next mission in Nov.

  5. “The longer astronauts are waiting with fuel around, the thinking goes, the greater the likelihood of a deadly accident.”

    So which is riskier: a) having just the crew there, strapped into a capsule capable of blasting away (with some possibility of failure) or b) having the crew and a closeout team going out to the pad, up an elevator, loading the crew into the capsule, and then the closeout crew leaving all while “waiting with fuel around”?

    SpaceX has argued the former is less risky and NASA has agreed.

    I think the better argument is that the fueling process itself is riskier than a static fully fueled vehicle, but the fueling process is being proven out (granted after one catastrophic failure) and the mitigation of the abort system likely makes the overall risk lower or at least comparable. Again, NASA seems to agree.

  6. This is getting to be an old thread and I should have thought of asking this earlier, but what is the reason that NASA has always fueled first?

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