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Mark Whittington continues his delusion that private industry cannot get to LEO without NASA money. Elon has been planning to get to orbit all along, and funding the development of vehicles to do so. People would be planning and funding private orbital trips in the absence of ISS. COTS has the potential to accelerate the schedule, but it's not necessary. It will happen with or without it.Posted by Rand Simberg at September 01, 2006 06:33 AM
Actually, Rand, that is not what I said. What I said is "The prospect of private flights to low Earth orbit would be a distant dream if it were not for (a) hefty amounts of funding from NASA under the COTS program and (b) the existence of the International Space Station, as misbegotton and dysfunctional as that project has been, as a core market." That means, yes, eventually, in the fullness of time, someday. With COTS, though, it is likely to happen this decade.Posted by Mark R. Whittington at September 1, 2006 09:29 AM
And I disagree that the dream is "distant." That's your dream, not mine.
With or without COTS, if it doesn't happen in this decade, it will surely in the next, but Elon will be flying into orbit without COTS money. In this decade.Posted by Rand Simberg at September 1, 2006 09:33 AM
Elon himself has said that without COTS money, the Dragon would still fly, but much farther in the future (i.e. not in this decade.) With COTS, he and Rp-K have a good chance of success.Posted by Mark R Whittington at September 1, 2006 10:17 AM
Mark, if you google the phrase "would be a distant dream," you'll see that in every (other) case it implies impossibility or a future that would never occur, not merely a delay.
Just because you thought better of it later doesn't mean the meaning changes.Posted by tom at September 1, 2006 10:28 AM
Well, "Tom", I did google the phrase, and I didn't get that result at all. If I had meant "impossible" I would have said "impossible."Posted by Mark R Whittington at September 1, 2006 10:44 AM
"Not in this decade" means "much farther in the future"?
This decade is more than half over. It's already 2006.
Dragon probably won't fly in this decade -- i.e., the next four years -- *with or without* COTS money.
So, if Dragon flies in 2011, that's "a disttant dream"???
But if Orion flies in 2014, that's near term?
Posted by Edward Wright at September 1, 2006 12:17 PM
While COTS and the ISS provide a usefull additional customer for the SpaceX Dragon, the real 'core market' may well turn out to be the Bigelow space habitats. If Bigalow is able to market his 'orbital realestate' to other countries or corporations, the Falcon 9 and Dragon should have lots of work.Posted by Dean Kennedy at September 1, 2006 12:20 PM
ESA thinks it can land astronauts on the Moon by 2012 -- without developing the superheavy lift rockets Mark believes are necessary.
http://www. belspo. be/belspo/eisc/pdf/docu2p_eisc/DeWinne.pdf (Remove the spaces before "belspo" and "be" -- necessary because of Rand's spam filter.)
Mark will probably call that "a distant dream" because it won't happen in this decade -- but 2012 is eight years before Griffin says he can land there with ESAS.
Mark used to tell us it would be a disaster if a foreign nation landed on the Moon before NASA did. But he wants us to support a plan that would not allow NASA to land on the Moon until eight years *after* the Europeans?
I guess it isn't important for NASA to land on the Moon first, or any time soon? It's only important that they spend a lot of money doing it?Posted by Edward Wright at September 1, 2006 12:49 PM
I wouldn't hold my breath for a purely European expedition to the Moon anytime soon. The negotiations for dividing up the project between various countries of the EU would take at least until 2012, if not longer. My suspician is that the first European on the Moon will be part of an American expedition.Posted by Mark R. Whittington at September 1, 2006 08:07 PM
No great problem, since ESAS would prevent the US from reaching the Moon until 2020.
Is that the real purpose of ESAS? To slow US space development down so the French can catch up?
What is it the French call it? Le sabotage? :-)Posted by Edward Wright at September 1, 2006 08:52 PM
I'm not very much worried about the French launching a human into LEO, not to mention to the Moon, on their own in our lifetime.Posted by Mark R. Whittington at September 1, 2006 09:31 PM
Elon himself has said that without COTS money, the Dragon would still fly, but much farther in the future (i.e. not in this decade.)
Without COTS funding it'll fly when there is a reliable destination that doesn't depend on the budgetary whims of congress. According to Robert Bigelow, that would be some time around June, 2010.
I wouldn't hold my breath for a purely European expedition to the Moon anytime soon.
On this I agree with you. How many years have they been telling us that they are going to build that spaceplane of theirs?Posted by Chris Mann at September 1, 2006 10:34 PM
Especially since they aren't trying to do it "on their own."
Not exactly an insightful comment, but I guess it's par for the course.
At least we've established that you don't really believe it's important for NASA to return to the Moon any time soon.
Posted by Edward Wright at September 1, 2006 11:08 PM
As usual, Edward not only tries to have his own opinion, but tries to make up his own facts as well. Pathetic.Posted by Mark R Whittington at September 2, 2006 04:41 AM
As usual. :-)Posted by at September 2, 2006 04:49 PM
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