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« Conference Reporting | Main | Anti-Krugman 2:
Single Horrible Payor »


The First Space Hotel

Bigelow announced at lunch that he will be putting up a three-person space station in late 2009 or early 2010, about fifty percent bigger than an ISS module. He is putting up a destination in hopes that the transportation will come along (and in order to spur the transportation providers). Station will last for several years. Will be executing contracts in 2008 for transportation contracts to Sundancer. Expects between four and eight trips (people and cargo) per year, after six-month shakedown. Then trips will commence whenever transportation becomes available. 2012 will see the launch of another module providing 500 cubic meters of habitable volume. Will support sixteen launches a year for full utilization (again, cargo and people). Minimum three-week stay, but market limited at ten million, so wants to establish private astronaut program for other nations (this is not news). Make sixty instead of eleven countries with an astronaut corps. Could represent on the order of a billion a year in revenue. Launch estimates from fifty to a hundred million per flight. About time to take human spaceflight from the exclusive domain of governments. Will be changing that in the next half decade.

He also announced that he and Lockmart have a joint agreement to study what it will take to human rate the Atlas V for commercial passenger transport.

A press conference is about to start at which he will have more details and take questions. I'll try to live blog it, despite my lack of mouse.

[Update at start of conference]

Conference with Bob Bigelow and George Sowers from Lockheed Martin. Bigelow saying that he's happy to simply take questions. Dr. Sowers saying that they're pleased to be working with a pragmatic visionary like Bob Bigelow to get the human spaceflight industry started. Handing a model of the Atlas V with the Begelow payload on top. Two-stage, one engine per stage, most reliable Atlas ever built.

Bigelow saying that he's been looking at the Atlas for a while, and impressed with the family track record. Has a lot of faith in the people of Lockheed.

In response to question from David Livinston, this will be handled by ULA if ULA happens, won't be outside.

Warren Ferster asks if Bigelow will continue to self finance. He says yes, and he's looking for another job (joke). Has sufficient funds to go through 2010-2012, but wants to start to establish relationships with other companies, because he expects it to be huge. Will be looking for joint venture opportunities.

Each organization will handle its own contribution to feasibility studies, but Sowers says that Atlas V human rating is not a new subject. They have a lot of info to bring to bear.

In response to a question from me, expects to use NASA standards for human rating absent a large document from the FAA.

TBD situation as to who will build crew module. Bigelow is providing destination, and focusing their resources on that. Have had conversation with various people. Bigelow can't say what cost situation will be, but thinks it's between three and twenty millions.

Sowers won't directly answer my question as to whether or not Lockheed Martin is considering a variant of Orion as a crew module. Says that discussions have taken place, and that there are options, and the focus of this announcement is on the launch vehicle and destination.

Not considering any launch site other than the Cape currently.

In response to question from me, says that they currently plan to be at forty degrees inclination for "early out" options in the US (didn't quite understand this comment from Bob--didn't seem to be ascent abort, but rather some kind of "early" return from orbit).

Definitely don't want to discuss cost (particularly with respect to the module).

Wired reporter asking how many people. First module is three, second is five, for a total of nine. Want to reduce costs initially as low as possible to spawn industry and create demand. Will be aggressive with low lease cost (Bigelow).

Sundancer will be as close to forty as possible (response to Warren Ferster). Won't know specifically until they know launch provider and location. Will be able to change altitude to accommodate launch provider. BA-330 is name for the second module.

Considering EM tether and other methods for maneuvering in response to question from me. Can't specify electric power level yet.

Conference over.

Thoughts and analysis later.

[A couple minutes later]

I think that this has upstaged the major Orion discussion at the plenary this morning. I haven't been to an AIAA conference in a while, but this is the first one that I've been to that had some of the feel of a NewSpace conference.

[Update a little while later]

Apparently NASASpaceflight.com had the story earlier (I've been too busy reporting to know what's going on, though I was hearing rumors in the morning). Also, there was some speculation in comments in my previous post. Clark Lindsey has thoughts. as does Jon Goff, even if I don't have time to gather mine right now.

Shutting down the computer now. Back later, probably tonight, after the conference is over. Be nice in the comments section.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 21, 2006 01:54 PM
TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference this post from Transterrestrial Musings.
Space News!
Excerpt: A company named Up! Aerospace will be launching a rocket to sub-orbital heights on Monday. It will be the inaugural launch from Spaceport America in Upham New Mexico. Also, Bigelow is teaming up with Lockheed to launch a useable space station in probab...
Weblog: Tai-Chi Policy
Tracked: September 21, 2006 02:33 PM
Space News!
Excerpt: A company named Up! Aerospace will be launching a rocket to sub-orbital heights on Monday. It will be the inaugural launch from Spaceport America in Upham New Mexico. Also, Bigelow is teaming up with Lockheed to launch a useable space station in probab...
Weblog: Tai-Chi Policy
Tracked: September 21, 2006 02:33 PM
Well...That Was Unexpected...
Excerpt: Three weeks ago Lockheed Martin was being slagged as a poor choice for Orion, incompetent, a dinosaur, the enemy of alt.space, etc. And now? LM is suddenly...alt.space, itself: Initially, and due to the huge amount of money involved, the companies...
Weblog: MarsBlog -- News and Commentary on Space
Tracked: September 21, 2006 10:16 PM
Low Key, but High Hopes
Excerpt: I haven't seen much buzz about this, but did you realize that Bigelow Aerospace is on the way to establishing a privately funded manned space station by 2010? Two years after that, expansion will allow for nine space tourists at...
Weblog: Rocket Jones
Tracked: September 25, 2006 02:20 AM
Comments

No worries Rand. I'm a little dazed myself. 16 flights per year! Possibly a privately funded manned space station in orbit before the decade is out...hopefully by the time I get home tonight I'll have a better grasp on what the heck all of this means.

Tis a beautiful day for the emerging space industry.

~Jon

Posted by Jonathan Goff at September 21, 2006 03:22 PM

Looks like Bigelow is confident enough with the success of Genesis 1 to do this and expects that someone, if not Lockmart then one of the COTS competitors, will be ready in time to service this facility. It's also helpful for Bigelow to have something like this to show this decade.

Posted by Mark R. Whittington at September 21, 2006 04:55 PM

How many one pass miles do I need to spend to reserve a 2nd module double with a view?

Posted by joe G at September 21, 2006 06:23 PM

"First module is three, second is five, for a total of nine."

Care to elaborate on the math here?

Posted by Ed Minchau at September 21, 2006 06:58 PM

Dude! Beat me by a whisker!

Posted by Drats! at September 21, 2006 07:00 PM

Sorry, the second module holds six, so the total is nine.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 22, 2006 12:00 AM

So when is someone going to build a spacecraft or space station with a simulated gravity module similar to the one in the Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey?

The pod bay doors should be manually operated, naturally.

Posted by Alan K. Henderson at September 22, 2006 03:18 AM

I wonder if this means that SpaceX and the Falcon 9 vehicle are pretty much dead in the eyes of Bigelow Aerospace. I hope not, the Falcon 9 still seems like a much better deal provided the vehicle actually gets built and can operate at the projected costs.

Posted by X at September 22, 2006 03:27 AM

This is yet another time that www.nasaspaceflight.com has had the scoop on a big story, and not this first on Lockheed Martin. They actually ran the news on their L2 section of the deal between LM and Bigelow 12, yes 12, days ago and somehow had the article with the quotes ready to go a few days before they published, sounds like an agreed embargo, running before Bigelow made the announcement. What gives with that site? They seem pretty new, but seem to be highly linked with the right people. Anyway, they linked to here, so they seem respectable.

Posted by Tony at September 22, 2006 05:20 AM

Bearing in mind that SpaceX are still (as far as we know) contracted to do launches for Bigelow, they're not "dead", not by a long way.

Signing an exclusive deal with one transportation supplier is not the way Bigelow does business, he's too smart for that. He wants to encourage diversity of, and competition between, suppliers, as it gives him a cheaper, more efficient and more robust system.

Posted by JD at September 22, 2006 06:28 AM

If they intend to place it a 40 degrees, does that rule out Kazazkstan as a launch site?

If so, that means that in order to use Soyuz, there will have to be manned Soyuz capability at the ESA launch site in FG.

Posted by Mike Puckett at September 22, 2006 08:55 AM

A private space station seems to dovetail nicely with the whole general theory that to really start exploiting space we need private enterprise, not big government programs.

Is "space tourism" the "killer app" for the private space industry? Or will it end up being more a combo of things--space tourism/adventurism, private sattelites, zero g manufacturing, science, etc.?

Any chance I'll be able to buy a week-long space vacation at $2000/head in the next 20 years?

Posted by Jeff Mauldin at September 22, 2006 09:44 AM

Well, Baikonur's at 46, so they'd have to do a little bit of a dog-leg burn if they wanted the inclination to be 40.

Alternatively, there could be manned Soyuz capability at Cape Canaveral. ;^)

Posted by Jay Manifold at September 22, 2006 09:44 AM

Jon Goff mentions that Bigelow could locate an inflatable habitat at EML-1 easily enough.

Add to that a single stage re-useable LSAM (isn't that the whole point of the Las Cruces lander contest next month?) then deploy that r-LSAM to EML-1. Then, stepping onto the Moon becomes a piece of cake. A terrific motivator for lunar LOX and NewSpace fuel tankers to carry H2 or CH4 to EML-1 (and/or EML-2).

This could all happen without any NASA involvement. Would that be a bug or a feature?

Posted by Bill White at September 22, 2006 10:28 AM

As MrX (Chairforce) doesn't take comments, I will comment here on this:

http://chairforceengineer.bl-gspot.com/2006/09/nasa-ignores-while-atlas-shrugs.html

I get the feeling that NASA should have put all its eggs in the COTS basket, but baselined the Atlas and Delta as boosters for COTS (here, I assume that the single-core Delta IV can also be man-rated.) NASA could have then evolved to a larger booster and a larger capsule for a moon mission, while leaving frequent, commercially-viable manned spaceflight as a legacy. This commercial route might take longer to return to the moon than the VSE approach, but it would have been the right way forward.

This assumes that we desire that NASA take the lead in opening up commercially viable spaceflight. The opportunity to beat NASA back to the Moon is also an opportunity for private sector TV revenue.

I agree that COTS is the future and in an ideal world (one where K Street did not exist) that is where NASA money should go. But politics exists and I do not believe Congress would agree to let go of all those workers and turn everything over to NewSpace. Therefore so long as ESAS and Ares stays out of the way and does not interfere with COTS and NewSpace, that might well be the most we can ask.

Note that the Ares I selection did not hinder the LM-Bigelow deal and man-rating Atlas V and maybe Delta IV on Bo & Lo's own dimes will surely be less expensive in total than man-rating those vehicles at taxpayer expense. And that will give us multiple routes to LEO: EELV, Ares I, COTS.

= = =

If there is to be a Bigelow EML-1 station, what's better? A NASA run EML-1 facility or a privately owned EML-1 facility?

= = =

As for Ares I, it has always been a down payment on Ares V and Mars. Opinions vary on the value of that but if Bigelow does help create astronaut corps for 50 or 75 nations around the world, America may need to do a Mars mission to retain our status as the pre-eminent spacefaring nation.

Posted by Bill White at September 22, 2006 11:07 AM


> Add to that a single stage re-useable LSAM (isn't that the whole point
> of the Las Cruces lander contest next month?)

No, it's not. The Lunar Lander Competition is not part of LSAM. It never has been. None of the LSAM contractors are involved in the Lunar Lander Competition, and none of the Lunar Lander competitors are involved in LSAM. They are two separate, parallel programs. They're both funded by NASA and both involve lunar landers but have no other connection. I can't imagine why you think otherwise.

Just because LSAM stands for "Lunar Surface Access Module" does not mean anything involving lunar surface access is part of LSAM. "JSF" stands for Joint Strike Fighter. That doesn't mean the F-16 is a JSF, even though it
s joint, it's a fighter, and it carries out strike missions.

Another fact you failed to note: the Lunar Lander Competition is probably dead after this year. Senator Shelby's committee killed the entire Centennial Challenges program, alleging "a program based on prizes only creates a pot of unused funds while other aspects of NASA's mission are being cut or delayed due to a lack of funds."

In other words, Centennial Challenges is being cancelled to help pay for the overpriced programs you advocate.

> A terrific motivator for lunar LOX and NewSpace fuel tankers to
> carry H2 or CH4 to EML-1 (and/or EML-2).

Yes, it would be *if* NASA was allowing "NewSpace fuel tankers" to do that. It isn't. It's building Ares V so that market will *not* be available to private enterprise.

Now, you want us to believe that if we give NASA $20 billion to build Ares V, then once it's built, NASA will simply change its mind. Sure. Are you selling the Brooklyn Bridge, too?

> This could all happen without any NASA involvement. Would that
> be a bug or a feature?

You say NASA must do VSE. You reject any option that would save NASA money and tell us ESAS is the only politically correct architecture. Then, you turn around and say you don't want NASA involvement?

Talk about chutzpah.

What's next, Bill? Will you start saying there's no US military involvement in Iraq?

Posted by Edward Wright at September 22, 2006 12:38 PM


> As for Ares I, it has always been a down payment on Ares V and Mars. Opinions
> vary on the value of that

That's the problem, Bill.

You insist that the cost-effectiveness of Ares V is just a matter of opinion. It isn't. It's a matter of mathematics.

Math is not a matter of opinions. There are right answers and wrong answers. It doesn't matter whether you believe 2 + 2 = 4. Questions of mathematics are not settled by voting, opinions, or political correctness. They are settled by mathematical proof.

If you want us to believe Ares V is cost-effective, show us your math. You're asking us to believe that 2+2=5, despite all evidence to the contrary, but you don't offer us any mathematical proof. Just your "opinion."

Posted by Edward Wright at September 22, 2006 12:57 PM

Edward, Edward, Edward

Plenty of companies and nations have the capability to build LSAMs with or without NASA's cooperation. The engineering requirements are not that tough. As I have explained to you before, I use the term "LSAM" to mean any vehicle that can land on the Moon no matter who builds it.

The VSE is for NASA. Space exploration is for everyone. Bigelow & Lockheed offer a real chance to achieve access to LEO with no involvement from NASA whatsoever and you want NASA to take over the program? Bigelow + LM is better off without NASA involvement.

I want NASA to go to Mars and I want NASA to be a very minor player in a substantial cis-lunar economy.

Posted by Bill White at September 22, 2006 01:05 PM

Edward, I said NASA will need Ares V to do a Mars mission.

If Bigelow and NewSpace start dropping foreign astronauts on the Moon like flies (and I believe they should, and can, if they deploy an EML-1 node and a r-LSAM) NASA and America will need to do a Mars mission to remain the premier spacefaring nation.

Posted by Bill White at September 22, 2006 01:08 PM

Ed

You should know better. While Shelby may get his way on future Centennial Challenges, the existing lunar lander competition has already been funded, whether or not it is won this year.

Do you have any PROOF otherwise (hint: a rant does not count)

Dennis

Posted by Dennis Wingo at September 22, 2006 01:42 PM

"If Bigelow does help create astronaut corps for 50 or 75 nations around the world, America may need to do a Mars mission to retain our status as the pre-eminent spacefaring nation."

Those astronauts from 75 nations will be staying in the LEO Hilton, sipping a Starbucks while their LockMart translunar ships are checked out and refuelled with Exxon-brand LH2. America will still *be* the pre-eminent spacefaring nation ;-)

Posted by JD at September 22, 2006 02:37 PM

Those astronauts from 75 nations will be staying in the LEO Hilton, sipping a Starbucks while their LockMart translunar ships are checked out and refuelled with Exxon-brand LH2. America will still *be* the pre-eminent spacefaring nation ;-)

A vision I can vigorously endorse without any reservation whatsoever. :-)

But then can Atlas V beat Soyuz or Kliper or an upgaded Zenit (on price) once a very real EML-1 & Luna market exists?

And remember what is powering that Atlas V.

Posted by Bill White at September 22, 2006 02:49 PM


Dennis, Dennis, Dennis. All you need to do is read the FY2007 Budget Request on the NASA website:

> FY 2007 President's Budget
> Flagship Challenges
> Lunar Lander Analog (est. $1.25M), Station-
Keeping Solar Sail (est. $5M),
> Fuel Depot Demonstration (est. $5M), and Micro Reentry
> Vehicle (est. $2M).

Do you remember when Felix Unger said about assuming?

Posted by Guess Who at September 22, 2006 03:03 PM

Hmmm

I guess this part from the NASA budget does not count.

"Funds for announced prizes otherwise authorized shall remain available, without fiscal year
limitation, until the prize is claimed or the offer is withdrawn."

From the FY 2006 Budget

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/107486main_FY06_high.pdf

Dennis

Posted by Dennis Wingo at September 22, 2006 03:42 PM


Dennis,

Have you considered the possibility that this may not be intended as a one-time "winner take all" event? And that additional funds might be required for future purses?

Have you noticed that the delta-vee/payload requirement for the first round is a bit low for a manned lunar lander? Do you think the purses might increase as the requirements increase? Which would require more funding?

Or do you expect a full-blown lunar lander (Bill's "LSAM") is going to come out of this first competition?

Posted by Guess Who at September 22, 2006 05:40 PM

I wish Rand (or someone) could drop any hints about what Boeing thinks about all this LM's activity. Losing Orion was a blow, but perhaps they can regroup and come back.

Posted by Pete Zaitcev at September 22, 2006 06:19 PM

Hmmm

Guess who I am not in the business of guessing NASA's future moves. What I know is that the current authorized prize is for a total of $2.5M which Ed seemed to be saying was taken back. This is not the case. Now follow ons may be killed but unless you have any PROOF, this is not the case with the existing money.

Dennis

Posted by Dennis Wingo at September 22, 2006 06:33 PM


> What I know is that the current authorized prize is for a total of $2.5M
> which Ed seemed to be saying was taken back.

No, Dennis, I am not saying that $2.5 million was taken back. I'm talking about the money in the new (FY 2007) budget. The 2006 budget, which you're quoting from, is last year's.

If you don't understand why more funding will be required to continue running the contest every year, let alone produce "a single stage re-useable LSAM," then you need to have your neck bolts tightened.

At least you're posting under your own name again. :-)

Posted by Edward Wright at September 22, 2006 07:40 PM

Who ever said they would hold a lunar lander challenge every year?

Posted by at September 22, 2006 08:34 PM

Ed

You have been wearing your paranoia hat again. I have no problem at any time tellin you what I think.

I have not read anywhere at any time that the Lunar Lander Challenge is supposed to lead to an LSAM. No Ed, I don't understand why you need more funding if the prize is not won. It may be this year, it may not be.

The specific language of the NASA appropriate says that the money shall remain available until it is won. That is better than many other prizes.

You just never give up, no matter how wrong you are.

Good luck with that.

Dennis

Posted by Dennis Wingo at September 22, 2006 09:19 PM


> I have not read anywhere at any time that the Lunar Lander Challenge is supposed to lead to an LSAM.

Then you didn't read the thread you're commenting on.

Bill White wrote: "Add to that a single stage re-useable LSAM (isn't that the whole point of the Las Cruces lander contest next month?)."

It helps if you know what the conversation's about.

> I don't understand why you need more funding if the prize is not won.

I know you don't, Dennis, but there are other expenses, and the current purse is not sufficient to demonstrate the delta vee and payload required for a manned lunar lander. The purse was based on what NASA could afford at the time. The original prize proposal (written by someone I know very well) called for a much larger amount.



Posted by Edward Wright at September 22, 2006 09:47 PM

Ed

I know that YOU don't think that the level 2 (or whatever they are calling it now) prize is not enough but then again you have never built any hardware.

The prize as it is, and for the performance that it calls for, seems to be reasonable to me. I have been having discussions with a plumber boy friend of mine and if the main prize is not won this year we might just go for it.

I don't give a flip about a manned lunar lander. Anyone who thinks that in six months that one could be built simply has been drinking too much koolaid. Of course this level of prize won't achieve something with 3.5 km/sec delta vee. Who cares, all that is interesting to me is building something for equal to or less than the prize amount, whether or not it is used for anything else.

Posted by Dennis Wingo at September 23, 2006 12:41 AM


> I know that YOU don't think that the level 2 (or whatever they are calling it now) prize is not enough
> but then again you have never built any hardware.

Dennis, there is no one who thinks $2.5 million is enough to build a manned lunar lander. Ask Tim Pickens how much Burt spent building SpaceShip One, which had similar delta-vee requirements.

The Huntsville space center you pretend not to work for wants $10 billion to build a lunar lander.

> I don't give a flip about a manned lunar lander. Anyone who thinks that in six months that one
> could be built simply has been drinking too much koolaid.

Who said anything about six months? You don't understand phased or incremental development, Dennis. Again, ask Tim Pickens. In the real world, the rule is "build a little, test a little."

Okay,you don't care about a manned lunar lander. Unless it's built by Marshall -- you Alabama boys do stick together. :-)

Some people do care about manned spaceflight, even if you don't. The US government does not exist just to serve the cylon community.

Even you admitted, at one time, that you would need humans on the Moon to service those robots of yours. It seems you've regressed to thinking the machines will just fix themselves. Maybe be the time Captain Picard's zipping around the galaxy in the Enterprise, but not any time soon.

> all that is interesting to me is building something for equal to or less than the prize amount, whether
> or not it is used for anything else.

You sound just like Shelby. The goal of Centennial Challenges was not just to put money in your pockets, Dennis. It was to develop technologies and capabilites that are useful to the United States.

Posted by Edward Wright at September 23, 2006 02:32 PM

For the record, a genuine lunar lander will not emerge from Las Cruces this October. :-)

That said, it is called the "lunar lander" challenge and the assignment is to hop from location to location leaving no hardware behind.

Right?

Sure sounds like a steppingstone to a single stage reusable (no expended parts) LSAM to me.

Posted by Bill White at September 23, 2006 06:34 PM

I believe the prize purse for this year is $2 million total from Centennial Challenges office at NASA. Another $.5 million from DARPA dematerialized along the way... This information was on the X Prize website at one time, but seems to have gone missing with the new web re-do.

Posted by Robin at September 23, 2006 07:27 PM

"Some people do care about manned spaceflight, even if you don't. The US government does not exist just to serve the cylon community."

Come on Ed, that is a cheap shot. Dennis is not a "Robot Uber Alles" Kool-Aid drinker by anyones definition.

Posted by Mike Puckett at September 23, 2006 09:47 PM

Any chance I'll be able to buy a week-long space vacation at $2000/head in the next 20 years?

No.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by Monte Davis at September 24, 2006 04:47 AM

Why all this fuss about Mars? It will be, on a larger scale, the same sort of ultra-expensive political stunt that the Moon was in the Sixties.

It may well be that Apollo was a necessary part of the Cold War, but no such pressure exists now.

My take on this? What we need is a few things. An ultra-heavy lifter; hundreds of tons to low earth orbit (preferably greater than 200 miles), and usable frequently without too much work to get it flying again, if it's reusable. Robotic assembly machinery. A long-endurance, comfortable vacuum suit. And some research on materials processing and heavy machinery use in vacuum, also into mass-drivers.

Why all that? By the way, there may be more. With that, we can get into space, set up an industrial moonbase, and get the resulting materials off the moon. As a useful side-issue, a high-velocity mass driver would be an efficient reaction engine as well. And then use those materials to start building habitats, and use _those_ to set up space industry, the easiest probably being SPS.

Once there is a significant industrial presence in space, then the problem of getting to Mars is almost trivial - and humanity no longer has all its eggs in one basket.

What we will get from NASA, however, is a useless stunt - and another half-century wasted. To keep bureaucrats in work.

Posted by Fletcher Christian at September 24, 2006 08:08 AM


Mike, your argument is 30 years out of date. No one goes around saying, "robots uber alles" any more.

These days, the unmanned space camp says, "I support human spaceflight." It's like "I support the troops." Even the Planetary Society says they support humans in space.

Just not very many humans.


Posted by Edward Wright at September 24, 2006 11:22 AM

Poor Poor Ed

Well Ed as a matter of disclosure I have recently completed my first contract with MSFC in almost a decade. It was in the area of in-space propulsion. Big deal. The vast majority of the work that I do is either commercial or with those pesky NASA research centers that are not in favor today. I also work with DoD and European companies so what is the point? You work for the biggest threat to the peace and safety of mankind, again so what?

In the beginning of this thread you complained that the Centennial prize for a lunar lander had nothing to do with the LSAM and now you argue the opposite. Are you sure you are not John Kerry with a nik name?

The only way to validate prizes is by winning them, which is what the X-Prize has done. The lunar lander prize could contribute to LSAM technology but the big boys don't even notice them. Just like Boeing did not notice the regional jet market and lost a multi billion dollar market segment to other companies.

Mike, Ed lives for those types of cheap shots.

DEnnis

Posted by Dennis Ray Wingo at September 24, 2006 11:40 AM


> In the beginning of this thread you complained that the Centennial prize for a lunar lander had nothing to do with the LSAM

No, Dennis, I *informed* Bill that it has nothing to do with LSAM.

I have no complaints about that. I would like the see the program kept as far away away from LSAM and MSFC as possible.

> now you argue the opposite.

I think I see your problem. You also think "manned lunar lander" is synonymous with LSAM?

LSAM is a specific NASA program, designed to spend $10 billion. It may or may not lead to a lunar lander. It certainly will not lead to a low-cost lunar lander.

I'm not interesting in "contributing to LSAM technology." I want to see the private sector build lunar landers so that ordinary people can go, rather than just watching NASA land astronauts for a gazillion dollars apiece.

Let me make it even simpler, Dennis. NASA is not the United States. NASA works for the people of the United States. The people of the United States do not work for NASA. If the United States is going to have a space agency, that agency's job should be to benefit the people of the United States. Not just develop expensive recration vehicles so their own employees can take cool vacations. I don't care about an LSAM program that spends ten billion dollars to develop a lander that only serves NASA employees. I am interested in the Lunar Lander Challenge because it will help other people develop vehicles that ordinary Americans can afford. (Both lunar landers and reusable launch vehicles that land right back here on Earth.)

Nor do I think "ordinary American" means Dennis Tito and "affordable" means "as expensive as a Soyuz."

If you can't imagine anyone other than NASA developing, owning, operating, and using a lunar lander or RLV, okay. I can. If you think There Can Only Be One and it must be LSAM, well, I disagree. If you think commercial space travel has to wait for 50 years while NASA goes to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond, I disagree.

Is that plain enough?

Posted by Edward Wright at September 24, 2006 06:11 PM

Poor Ed

At no point anywhere have I ever advocated a NASA centric single point design for a lunar lander, manned or otherwise. That simple.

The centennial prize for the lunar lander does have some interesting possibilities for a commercial lander, that is why I divorced it from anything related to LSAM.

Any source for this ten billion number just for a lunar lander or is this just another of your flights of fantasy?

As far as commercial human spaceflight, without Tito and his follow ons flying Soyuz such as Ms Ansari, there would be no buzz today about human spaceflight tourism. In the real world where people actually invest money they require a "market proof". Well we have a market, ISS and four people that have plopped down a sum of money. We also have a way to get them into space, (Soyuz) and a destination for them to go to (ISS). Without Soyuz and ISS all these chats about space tourism would still be bug farts in the wind at NSS conferences.

As much as you pillory the government, without those assets and the subsidies that they provide to companies like Space Adventures, nothing would be happening in commercial personal human spaceflight. Don't whine about how marvelous suborbital is either, as you would be able to raise about zero percent of what has been raised for many of these companies without the market proof provided by the current orbital tourism market.

This is the real world Ed, the one that you assidiously avoid considering.

Dennis

Posted by Dennis Ray Wingo at September 25, 2006 10:27 AM


> At no point anywhere have I ever advocated a NASA centric single point design for a lunar lander, manned or otherwise.

Yet, you jumped on the VSE bandwagon, at the earliest possible moment. What did you think NASA was going to build, if not a single point NASA centric lander?

> The centennial prize for the lunar lander does have some interesting possibilities for a
> commercial lander, that is why I divorced it from anything related to LSAM.

Good. Can you please tell Bill that? You're the only person he seems to listem to.

> As far as commercial human spaceflight, without Tito and his follow ons flying Soyuz such
> as Ms Ansari, there would be no buzz today about human spaceflight tourism.

That would be news to Richard Branson and Burt Rutan.

> Well we have a market, ISS and four people that have plopped down a sum of money. We also have
> a way to get them into space, (Soyuz) and a destination for them to go to (ISS).

A very expensive, dangerous way to get them into space. Just because Soyuz has been around for 40 years doesn't mean it's the only way we will ever go into space.

I'm glad you finally agree we have a market, instead of telling us we need to wait for NASA to go to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond to create markets.

> As much as you pillory the government, without those assets and the subsidies that they provide
> to companies like Space Adventures, nothing would be happening in commercial personal
> human spaceflight.

It's funny that you still tell us how marvelous ISS is, but now that ISS exists, you aren't doing any of the things you said you were going to do aboard ISS.

You repeatedly told us that "launch costs are no option." All you needed was for NASA to subsidize 100% of the construction costs, then you could turn it into a "beachhead in space."

If that's true, why aren't you turning ISS into a beachhead righ now? Could it be that you were wrong, and cost really does matter?

And if you can't afford to turn ISS into your "beachhead in space," what makes you think you'll be able to afford ISS 2 on the Moon?

Posted by Edward Wright at September 25, 2006 11:22 AM

Ed

1. It is highly unlikely that Paul Allen would have ponied up money for Burt and the X-Prize if there had not been any money there. It is highly unlikely that Peter & co would have been able to raise the money without the proof principle of Tito. Without Burt's success, backed by Allen's money, it is highly unlikely that Branson would have done a darn thing in space.

2. Of course Soyuz is expensive and no it is not the be all and end all of space. However, it is the proof principle. You might want to ask Bill Gates and the other Microsoft founders where they would be today if There had been no MITS Altair and Vector Graphic Inc, which was the earliest customers of Microsoft. I still have some of Bill's original 8080 Basic source code.

3. My activities. Eat my shorts. You have no idea what it takes to open a completely new market. This is the whole point that you simply can't get through your thick head. It is HARD to do. We are still doing things in space and I will still get to where I want to be there, it just takes money and that is what I am working on now.

Ask George French how hard it is. Ask Masten. Ask Jeff Greason. Ask anyone that is actually a doer instead of a whiner like you.

Dennis

Posted by Dennis Ray Wingo at September 25, 2006 06:39 PM

Dennis, do you still run that 8080 code?

Computers have gotten a lot cheaper in the last 40 years. Altair worked for cheap access to computing, not against it. So do all the people you compare yourself to. Trashing CATS doesn't make you Altair.

You trash other ventures but want people to support you.

As for opening new markets, you did not sign a reservation for "the First Satellite Servicing Mission" as claimed in last year's press release. NASA performed satellite servicing missions from the Shuttle in the 1980's, beating ESA by more than 20 years.

Posted by at September 27, 2006 05:35 PM

Ed

Laf. Do you ever read what you post. One day you say that NASA has never done anything commercial and then the next you use NASA's work 20 years ago as an example of something commercial. Ya know you sound more like John Kerry every day.

What venture have I trashed? Chapter and verse please.

Actually up until I donated my Vector 3100 computer to the Computer history museum I did occasionally play around with the original Microsoft mbasic.com files. I even wrote an antenna design program for it.

I don't trash CATS, I simply point out that:

Even at today's prices there is a market. That market is the proof principle that will eventually lead to CATS, just as the original 8080 code the Bill wrote eventually lead to the Microsoft that we all know and love today. This is what you consistently fail to comprehend, the path from where we are today, to the place that we all want to get to tomorrow. Without MITS and Vector Bill would have just been another dropout programmer and probably an accountant today. Without Soyuz and ISS, the likelyhood of CATS and future commercial space stations would simply either not happen or take a lot longer to occur.

Dennis

Posted by Dennis Wingo at September 27, 2006 09:12 PM


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