More Augustine Links

…over at Clark’s place.

[Update a couple minutes later]

And a lot more at NASA Watch.

[Update a few minutes later]

One of Clark’s links is particularly interesting. Now that the report is out, Jeff Greason is unleashed: “It’s time to base US space policy on the truth.”

I’ve had some similar conversations with Jeff throughout the summer, but kept them off the record at his request. I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more from him now, though.

ISPC Reporting

I couldn’t make it to the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight this year (for the second year in a row), but Alan Boyle did, and he has a report on yesterday’s talks, including two disparate views from Augustine panel members Lester Lyles and Jeff Greason. Regular readers will know that I’m with the latter. The panel results will be revealed in less than three hours, in a press conference to be broadcast on NASA TV. I’m encouraged that the airmail analogy has become a prevailing NASA meme. But unsurprisingly, Senator Shelby has already launched a monumentally ignorant pre-emptive strike against it.

Something that I’ve noticed in the debate is that, while opponents make cogent arguments against Constellation, and shoot down the arguments of proponents, the latter simply ignore the opponents arguments, and simply continue to repeat the same nonsense. For example, I never hear anyone defending Constellation address the operational affordability issue that Jeff and Sally Ride made last summer, in which they stated that the program would have to be cancelled for lack of budget even it if was delivered, developed, for free. And the press, even most of the space press, seems too clueless to parse or sort the arguments, instead turning it into a Battle of the Astronaut Stars (as though astronauts are experts in launch economics).

[Update a few minutes later]

Jeff apparently also demolished the nonsense (and Shelby’s primary “argument”) that Ares is safer than other approaches. I would also add the (politically incorrect) point that in fact safety should not be the highest priority. Anyone who says that it is is unserious about opening up space. In one sense, the Ares proponents are right about it being the safest vehicle. If a system is so expensive you can afford to fly it rarely, or not at all, you’re unlikely to lose many people on it.

The Potemkin Rocket

Well, OK, Potemkin missile. I had a brief email exchange with Patrick Peterson over at Florida Today a couple weeks ago, and he apparently used it in this article on next week’s planned Ares-1X test. I should sit down and put together a list of things that half a billion dollars could have gone to that would have advanced us in space much farther than this flight.

I’m guessing that this article isn’t going to result in a flurry of consulting requests for me from Marshall and its contractors…

[Update a few minutes later]

As is often the case with newspaper comments sections, the comments are pretty uniformly idiotic. Except the one that agrees with me, of course. ;-)

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!