From what planet was this written?

The truth is, America already has a capable new rocket that dwarfs the capabilities of the Saturn V rockets that took our astronauts to the moon. The Space Launch System will be online and ready later this year.

…Real and robust competition pushes all participants to perform their best. But SpaceX has so far been able to avoid real competition. Without any real requirement that it ultimately succeed, SpaceX has been a technological failure, even while Musk has managed a public relations success and gotten paid based on his public relations campaign, more than actual accomplishment. To make it to Mars we must encourage real competition, not Elon Musk’s fake version of competition where he gets paid regardless of what he produces.

Sure, Jan.

[Update a while later]

I guess I needed a link for those last two words.

Yes, it was written by George Landrith.

52 thoughts on “Newsmax”

    1. I think that is the first article I have read of Berger’s that referenced the Trump administration without including some kooky fake news jab. Is this a sign the space nerds are shaking off their TDS just a tad?

      Alos, wtf. ULA has been pimping ACES for years, even recently, and it was all just a bunch of lies? What is wrong with Boeing? It’s like they are being run by a saboteur.

      1. No, and if you read the comments at Arse Technica, which I strongly recommend you don’t do, you’ll see. They love bringing gratuitous Trump-bashing into articles that have nothing to do with him (although that’s just one reason to avoid the comments.)

        1. Heck, the comments on any Ars climate change thread are wackier than AOC’s green new deal. I think I got banned at Ars three times just for questioning any part of the cult.

        2. Actually, there are quite a few very knowledgeable engineering types (I recommend especially the one who goes by the name “Statistical”) who comment regularly on Eric’s articles. And as long as the conversation stays technical, you can learn a lot.

          But yes, once it moves to anything political, especially where climate change is involved, it can get toxic quickly.

  1. You know, I think an astronaut would have to undergo about 12 to 15 G’s of acceleration to make his jaw do what mine just did.

    I wonder if the article is an example of what happens to logic that gets sucked too close to a black hole and spaghettifies?

    1. I suspect she is either a paid shill for ULA or some clueless junior reporter assigned to write something completely beyond her experience base. Or a bit of both.

      1. It’s a “he” – George Landrith.

        It also shows what can happen when even a conviction politics group spends too long in the Beltway. George’s group started out as frantically Reaganite; they’ve now degenerated into corporate lobbying. Virtually all of Landrith’s recent op-eds have been defenses for aerospace vehicles built by Boeing.

  2. Jan needs to put the crack pipe down and check into re-hab.

    Or at least get that ULA di&k out of her ass. That article is a disgrace.

    1. Hrm… The article says it was written by George Landrith, CEO of a public policy think tank.

  3. Leaving the cosmos to China would be a catastrophic mistake.

    George, you’re otherwise logical and thoughtful article really went off the rails there. The Chinese know how to apply the economic power and single-mindedness of a large and benevolent government to really accomplish great things. They are uniquely structured to prevent the disrupting and devastating effects of nasty billionaires who have “better ideas”. We should by all means embrace their involvement in the cosmos, and hope their model of a great people working in peace and unison together will be universally recognized as the best way forward for all of us.

    1. That was in the OP’s Newsmax article, not Eric’s. ^_^

      It took me a while to figure that out because the Democrat debate has had me running way behind, trying to prioritize my tabs and such. “Good looking space article… Ben Shapiro on Tulsi Gabbard cutting Kamala apart with a chain saw… Counter claims from Kamala’s press guy that Tulsi is a Russian plant…”

      Amusingly, all yesterday, when Democrats should have been performing a really deep analysis of the second debates, I watched an entire contingent of them discuss virtually nothing, nothing except whether the Drudge Poll was hacked by Russian bots.

      I was worried that they might put their brains together and figure out how to beat Trump, but it looks like Russian derangement syndrome turned them all into cats chasing a laser dot. I amused myself no end. Maybe today I’ll mention how much brain rot they’ve suffered after two years of nonstop Trump collusion nonsense.

      Anyway, the author has another piece at Newsmax, Air Force’s New KC-46 Pegasus Tanker Defends Nation, Protects Taxpayers

      Hrm… Another article about a fine product from the great people at Boeing, a tremendous company that is also producing the SLS, the rocket that will ensure America’s leadership in space!

      Anyone else see a pattern here?

      1. In fact, Boeing saved taxpayers $7.3 billion on the KC-46 so far, according to government auditors.
        Can’t believe George didn’t find that worthy of an exclamation point.

        And frankly, operational testing by Air Force personnel is required to find the best solutions. But since Boeing will pay for them, taxpayers don’t need to worry.
        Frankly George, I’m never worried when government auditors find $7.3 billion in savings. Oh, sorry: So far!

        Our Air Force will be stronger and more capable and taxpayers have been protected.
        OK George, you got me, I feel both un-worried and protected.

        Yeah, Mr. Landrith likey Boeing mucho much.

        Here he is on the 737 MAX.
        The Ethiopian government, who owns the airline involved in the recent tragic crash, falsely asserts that its pilots followed all established procedures. But the data shows that the pilots continued to accelerate at full throttle.
        The plane’s warning system was telling them to slow down. But they raced well past the maximum certified speed for the aircraft and never heeded the warnings. This fateful error made the plane much harder to control and adjustments almost impossible, and gave the pilots less time to operate.

        George, your slipping, I am not seeing any exclamation points. Oh, sorry, didn’t read far enough.
        Allowing second-rate foreign regulators additional leverage to dictate the future of aviation won’t make anybody safer!

        Georgy probably been hitting the pharms pretty heavy since the LionAir mishap.

        1. Mr. Landrith is correct about the causes of the 737 max accidents. Never let idiots fly airplanes. But he misses the point that here in the US, the National Transportation Safety Board investigates accidents and makes reccomendations to the FAA, which then decides if new rules are necessary. This helps cut down on the grandstanding and monday-morning quarterbacking from people who know nothing of the subject. His views on the KC-46 came before the FOD issues stopped delivery for a while. But this last one, wow! There was no competition to Spacex, so Elon created a second team to build Starships. This speaks to his thoughts about how many of these things we will need. And his confidence that it will work. I also think Newt is correct on this one.

      2. There’s certainly an obvious pattern of recent pimping for Boeing with Landrith having authored and placed articles with Newsmax lauding the 737 MAX, the KC-46 Pegasus tanker and the SLS during the last six months or so. That certainly suggests that, on some subjects, at least, his pen is definitely for hire to contributors as is famously the case with Loren Thompson’s Lexington Institute.

        I emphasize recent because Boeing appears nowhere on any Frontiers of Freedom donor list I’ve been able to find. These lists are usually a year or two out of date as they are based on IRS filings of 501[c]4 organizations. A major recent contribution by Boeing wouldn’t show up yet.

        FoF was founded by the late Sen. Malcolm Wallop of WY after leaving the Senate in 1995, so it’s been around awhile and Landrith has been top dog there for most of its existence. Its main donors, over the years, have been petroleum companies and one of its main concerns has been combatting climate change alarmism.

        This latest opinion piece, which is pretty much a hit job on Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX, recycles a lot of memes that have taken root in right-wing circles because of Musk’s stature as a climate change true believer and a beneficiary of federal and state subsidy programs for electric vehicles. So, at first, I figured this might just be some predictable spillover having to do with Musk’s status as a high-profile Warmist.

        That does not, though, explain the prior recent defenses of the 737 MAX and KC-46. The obvious conclusion is that Boeing has been spreading some new money around lately in some new places to diversify it’s portfolio of pimps, so to speak, in response to having encountered a whole series of new and unprecedented problems and associated public relations “challenges.”

        This article’s very existence and bald-faced prevarications, in combination with the existence of the previous two articles mentioned, are an index of just how badly Boeing must feel the walls to be closing in from all directions these days.

        One wonders a bit just who Boeing imagines will be influenced enough by this sort of over-the-top nonsense to matter. People who know and care about the actual issues involved, and who are not already in Boeing’s pocket, will readily dismiss it as the crude propaganda it is. Those who don’t know any better won’t care. Those who know better but have parochial interests tied to Boeing’s continued well-being are already Boeing pimps so, as a recruiting tool it lacks obvious utility.

        Perhaps Boeing’s idea was to have one or more of its Congressional lapdogs get citations to these articles inserted into the Congressional Record.

        The fact that Boeing is pursuing these obvious and stupid sorts of moves – they hardly seem worthy of being referred to as “strategies” – demonstrates the apparent influence of magical thinking in far too much of American life these days. The entire Democratic Party establishment has, for example, spent the last two-plus years searching futilely for a magic word they can say that will make Trump disappear. Boeing seems equally obsessed with finding magic words that will make its myriad current troubles go away.

        In both cases, there is also an obvious belief in the efficacy of lying – a seeming belief that, if the same lie is told often and loudly enough, it will actually alter reality and become true. If that’s all they’ve got – and it certainly seems to be – we may find ourselves, a decade hence, in a world where neither Boeing nor a consequential Democratic Party any longer exist. Both would, in my view, be hugely tonic developments anent the future of the Republic.

        1. I don’t think it’s a sign that Boeing thinks the walls are closing in, I think it’s just another obvious red flag that their upper management has been taken over by incompetents, grifters, and quite probably some sociopaths.

          1. Ours are not mutually exclusive propositions, George. I entirely agree on all three scores.

            Often, the easiest people to con are other cons, especially when a self-deluded con is both the fooler and the fool.

            Even before all Boeing’s recent troubles, for example, it’s certifiable CEO, Mr. Muilenberg, had been making speeches at aerospace conventions during which he always seemed to work in a line about how the first Americans to Mars were going to get there on a Boeing rocket.

  4. It seems to be proof of the Many Worlds interpretation of QM.
    The good news is that cross worlds information leakage is possible. Hey, we might get a second season of Firefly! Preferably from a world where it was done well.

    Seriously, a guy described as: “George Landrith is the President and CEO of Frontiers of Freedom, a public policy think tank devoted to promoting a strong national defense, free markets, individual liberty, and constitutionally limited government.” wants a large government run, Soviet style space program?

    1. “What’s good for Boeing is good for free markets. And, gosh darn it, good for America.”

  5. I must have missed the news; SLS has flown? It must have, if we already have it.

    I see echoes of Charles Bolden, when he famously said Falcon Heavy does not exist, but SLS does. (Hrmm, for some odd reason, I think FH will be operational before SLS ever sees a launchpad. I said that then, and I’m presently not inclined to change my opinion on that, nor do I foresee my doing so.).

    Seriously though, the writer is an obvious shill. I wonder how much Boeing is paying these days?

    1. In fairness, Bolden said that five years ago. It wasn’t substantively true even then, but it was at least a defensible opinion. There’s nothing in the Landrith piece that remotely compares even in superficial plausibility.

    2. He claims SLS will fly this year, which is the most mind-bogglingly obvious falsehood he peddles in this piece.

      Heck, I can hardly see how it will fly in 2021.

  6. I hope George, as president and ceo of this think tank, manages and employes his thinkers, rather than getting involved in the actual thinking. I hope this is an exception to their product, rather than the rule.

  7. In other news, Boeing to re-release the classic 737 MAX with free upgraded avionics to existing customers because aren’t they swell? Why would anyone consider an Airbus Neo?

  8. I just sent Newsmax an email. Here is what I sent.
    Dear George Landrith,

    You made a lot of mistakes in your column, about going back to the Moon, and to Mars. SLS will not be ready this year, or next year. As for Spacex, they are doing a great job. Building reusable spacecraft, and doing it cheaper. Spacex is not just competing against Spacex. But against Boeing, ULA, China, Russia, and Arianespace. None of these can compete on price. Watch out for Blue Origin. They will have an orbital spacecraft in a few years.

    As for safety, read the book by Rand Simberg, Safety is not an Option. The problem with NASA, is that they are trying to be too safe. That is why we have not left Earth orbit in over 40 years. The best way to handle safety, is the free market. All spacecraft should be insured. If they can’t get insurance, then they can’t launch.

    Also, I don’t think NASA should own, or operate spacecraft. Instead they should purchase launch flights. This goes for the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Capitalism should not stop at the stratosphere, or at GEO, but should spread all over the solar system.
    And it shouldn’t be Spacex that NASA should purchase launch flights from. But from Blue Origin, Moon Express, and any other company that sends flights to the Moon, and beyond.

    Now about the spelling of the Moon. When referring to Earth’s moon, the letter m should be capitalized. That’s because we have one moon.

    1. NASA is not a Safety Culture. NASA is a political entitty. ‘Safety” is a tool used for a political end. NASA doesn’t give a shit about safety, just power. Ask Hoot Gibson about NASA Safety culture.Lame engineering and execution enabled by powerful lobbists.

      1. I agree. It’s not that NASA is trying to be too safe. It is just that NASA will excuse years of minor progress by claiming safety.

        1. Yep. Like parents who won’t let you do X, Y, or Z, saying it’s “Not safe”, when the real reason is they just don’t want to do X, Y, or Z.

          However, I’ve also encountered a bureaucratic problem in places with very high organizational pyramids, where anyone who can put a stop or hold on a project will do so, otherwise nobody will realize how much authority and power they wield.

          This can come in many flavors, from purely psychological (Behold me! Fear my wrath!) to OCD levels of geekiness about their little corner of the universe. IBM was at one point about to launch their own gaming console to compete with Nintendo and Sega, and they were ready for roll out, when some manager invoked the business rule that all power switches on IBM computing equipment had to be a particular color. What came of it? You never saw an IBM video game on the market. That’s what came of it.

          These are signs than an organization is so eaten up with sclerosis that it’s become almost completely dysfunctional, where the perfect is the enemy of the good and everybody has gamed all the internal rules to make sure that nobody will ever do anything that might inhibit promotion, much less get someone fired. A customer can’t judge you by your product if you never produce one.

          A small lean organization trying to establish itself as a viable company will desperately try to build a working rocket. A huge, fat organization where everybody is bucking for promotion or punching the clock till retirement will be filled with countless important managers that want to make sure that their department’s little sub-assembly is not the reason that rocket blows up, and perfection takes time. If only one of them was asking for more time he’d be the nail that gets hammered down, but if half of them are sitting in the meeting and asking for more time, they’ll get more time, because getting it right is important.

          If you’re a customer who wants to launch a payload sometime sooner than “within the next ten years”, you go with the young lean company that can get rockets built.

          1. Yes George,exactly like that. Too big to fail. This is what the Big Box Aerospace Co’s and their prey have degenerated into. Not much bang for the buck these days.

          2. However, I’ve also encountered a bureaucratic problem in places with very high organizational pyramids, where anyone who can put a stop or hold on a project will do so, otherwise nobody will realize how much authority and power they wield.

            That’s another problem with NASA safety. Within the civil servant corps, the safety division is the least interesting to work. It mostly has become the place to stuff poor performing civil servants who rather have been flight directors, engineering department heads, or project managers. But they are crap and firing them is too difficult, so stick them in safety.

            One problem, safety has veto. They may be crap employees, but they’re not stupid.

            Caveat, there are some good people in safety trying to do good things, but they are outnumbered.

  9. But SpaceX has so far been able to avoid real competition.

    I didn’t think it was possible to gratuitously insult Elon Musk, Tory Bruno, and Blake Larson in one op-ed piece, but by George, Landrith has done it.

    Heck, this even insults George’s obvious paymaster, because last I checked, SpaceX has had to compete with Boeing on developing commercial crew vehicles for NASA. Is not even Boeing “real competition,” either?!?

  10. I’m old enough to remember that the Shuttle design was mandated by congress, and was the compilation of ugliness and bad ideas you would expect from them. The SLS is a continuation of many of those bad ideas, because Jobs. Well, ten years on, I don’t think any of those people are still around to build those ridiculous components anymore, but hell, why use logic now? $1B to $1.5B per launch?? One launch per year??? That’s not a program!

    It’s time for government to get out of the rocket design business.

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