31 thoughts on “The NRC’s Human Spaceflight Study

  1. Edward Wright

    Dr. Dittmar is published in a variety of fields and is the author of The Market Study for Space Exploration, a groundbreaking demographic analysis of American attitudes toward NASA and human spaceflight.

    I looked at the executive summary for that study, which can be found on her website:

    http://www.dittmar-associates.com/Publications/Selected%20Results%20from%20The%20Market%20Study.pdf

    This “market study” does not identify (or even attempt to identify) a single customer for space exploration, other than NASA itself.

    In fact, it’s not a market study of space exploration at all.

    It’s a *marketing* study of how NASA should try to sell the Bush Vision of Space Exploration to the public — and a pretty lame one at that. Another public-opinion poll with the same old questions. GIGO. Well, we know how that turned out.

    Looks like this is an attempt to resurrect the BVSE.

    1. Hop David

      This is surprising: “While 65% of participants responded positively to the missions described in the VSE up through return to the Moon, only 18% of Americans support the plan to send humans to Mars.”

      I had thought BTDT was a more typical attitude for return to the moon.

      I would be delighted to see some aspects of the BVSE resurrected. As Spudis notes, a lot of the goals were lost along the way:
      http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/the-vision-for-space-exploration-a-brief-history-part-3/

      I agree with Rand that the committee should include businessmen. But Spudis has been arguing for years that economic gain should be a goal of space exploration.The original BVSE could further the goal of making human spaceflight a profitable enterprise.

  2. Edward Wright

    FYI.

    Viewers may communicate with the National Academies at any time over the project’s duration. In addition, formal comments on the provisional appointments to a committee of the National Academies are solicited during the 20-calendar day period following the posting of the membership and, as described below, these comments will be considered before committee membership is finalized. We welcome your comments (Use the Feedback link below).

    Please note that the appointments made to this committee are provisional, and changes may be made. No appointment shall be considered final until we have evaluated relevant information bearing on the committee’s composition and balance.

  3. Charles Lurio

    Ed, went thru a couple of pages linked to Marcia Smith’s posting on this study and haven’t found that quote or the “link below.” Where are they both?
    Thanks.

    (apologies if I’m not seeing it because I’m to tired right now.)

  4. ken anthony

    Arial: “SpaceX has a really bad website and could be doing much better in terms of communication and openness and engaging people.”

    Almost choked on this one, have you seen spacehack.org?

    1. Edward Wright

      Sorry, Ken. I know it’s heresy to criticize anything Elon does, but the SpaceX website *does* have a lot of problems.

      Look at the top-level menus. They have “Updates” and “Media.” So, the latest stuff will be under “Updates,” right? Maybe not. If it’s a press release, it’s under “Media.” So, what’s the difference between an update and a press release? How do I know which place to look for the info I want, unless I already know where it is?

      Then there are photos and videos, which you would expect to find under “Media.” But they aren’t.

      If that’s not bad enough, they’re using Flash!

      1. ken anthony

        I’ve never seen those things as a problem. All menuing systems have the category cross over problem. That’s intrinsic and the only way to design it away is to have links to the same category under multiple branches.

        As for flash, has the industry ever been able to come to a single standard? HTML5 is just promise at this point.

        1. Edward Wright

          No, not all websites have the problem. If you take a class on website design, one of the first things they teach is to organize information by content, not form.

        2. ken anthony

          It’s not about websites. It is inherent in any menuing system. The only way to avoid it is to not offer any choice that is conflicting which is not really possible in most cases.

      2. ken anthony

        Elon has plenty that could be criticised. “Communication and openness” are not on that list I think. We forgive him his human imperfection because what he is doing is insanely great.

  5. Martijn Meijering (@mmeijeri)

    Why aren’t Huntress, Steidle and Chyba on this list? Where’s Buzz Aldrin? Can’t we have a few Nobel Prize winners in physics and chemistry on the list, as qualified but disinterested third parties?

    1. Gregg

      “Can’t we have a few Nobel Prize winners in physics and chemistry on the list, as qualified but disinterested third parties?”

      Personally, I don’t consider those people as disinterested third parties. They have their research grant axes to grind as well.

    2. Edward Wright

      Why aren’t Huntress, Steidle and Chyba on this list?

      Craig Steidle was appointed to head the Commercial Spaceflight Federation but resigned shortly afterward for personal reasons (reportedly health related). Why would you expect him to take this job?

      Can’t we have a few Nobel Prize winners in physics and chemistry on the list, as qualified but disinterested third parties?

      How does a Nobel Prize in physics or chemistry qualify someone for a study of human spaceflight? There’s no reason to expect a physicist of chemist has any special knowledge of either humans or spacecraft. (A prize winner in Medicine and Physiology might be a better choice, but an experienced flight surgeon would be better still.)

      1. Martijn Meijering (@mmeijeri)

        Why would you expect him to take this job?

        If it really was health-related I wouldn’t expect him to.

        How does a Nobel Prize in physics or chemistry qualify someone for a study of human spaceflight?

        They wouldn’t fall for the bullshit that people like Pace, Griffin and their cronies use to defend the existing human spaceflight cartel.

        1. Edward Wright

          They wouldn’t fall for the bullshit that people like Pace, Griffin and their cronies use to defend the existing human spaceflight cartel.

          They have for 50 years. Why would you expect that to stop now?

  6. Titus

    You know who’s not on this list? A single businessman.

    I don’t see any married ones, either.

    The reason is simple — “space” is not about business (i.e.: colonization), it’s about “science” (i.e.: hegemony). It’s not about putting men into space, it’s all about “returning them safely to Earth.” Earth, bitches!

  7. Gregg

    No bidnessmen.

    But they took care to add a historian of technology and space flight as well as a pollster.

  8. MfK

    Hey, at least Bryan O’Connor is on there to make sure it’s a safe study. In fact, they should do a risk reduction phase before starting the study, just to mitigate all of the risks of…of not finding anything out…or something.

  9. ken anthony

    Actually, this panel is no different from any other debate societies on earth (like the UN.) All discussing what free people (otherwise known to them as chattel) can and can not do in space which happens to be owned by nobody, meaning not yet claimed.

    All ownership starts with a claim. Thereafter, chain of title determines ownership. Grants imply a prior claim. If they prohibit themselves from claiming they are prohibiting themselves from granting.

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