Media Casualties Mount
Administration Split On Europe Invasion
Administration In Crisis Over Burgeoning Quagmire
Congress Concerned About Diversion From War On Japan
Pot, Kettle On Line Two...
Allies Seize Paris
Gore Book Sales Tank, Supporters Claim Unfair Tactics
Satan Files Lack Of Defamation Suit
Why This Blog Bores People With Space Stuff
A New Beginning
My Hit Parade
Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds)
James Lileks Bleats
Winds Of Change (Joe Katzman)
Little Green Footballs (Charles Johnson)
Eject Eject Eject (Bill Whittle)
Alan Boyle (MSNBC)
Space Politics (Jeff Foust)
Space Transport News (Clark Lindsey)
NASA Space Flight
A Voyage To Arcturus (Jay Manifold)
Dispatches From The Final Frontier (Michael Belfiore)
Personal Spaceflight (Jeff Foust)
The Flame Trench (Florida Today)
Rocket Forge (Michael Mealing)
COTS Watch (Michael Mealing)
Curmudgeon's Corner (Mark Whittington)
Tales of the Heliosphere
Out Of The Cradle
Space For Commerce (Brian Dunbar)
The Speculist (Phil Bowermaster)
Spacecraft (Chris Hall)
Space Pragmatism (Dan Schrimpsher)
Eternal Golden Braid (Fred Kiesche)
Carried Away (Dan Schmelzer)
Laughing Wolf (C. Blake Powers)
Chair Force Engineer (Air Force Procurement)
JesusPhreaks (Scott Bell)
Nanobot (Howard Lovy)
Lagniappe (Derek Lowe)
Geek Press (Paul Hsieh)
Redwood Dragon (Dave Trowbridge)
Turned Up To Eleven (Paul Orwin)
Cowlix (Wes Cowley)
Quark Soup (Dave Appell)
Assymetrical Information (Jane Galt and Mindles H. Dreck)
Marginal Revolution (Tyler Cowen et al)
Man Without Qualities (Robert Musil)
Knowledge Problem (Lynne Kiesling)
Cut On The Bias (Susanna Cornett)
The Funny Pages
Cox & Forkum
Day By Day
Happy Fun Pundit
Amish Tech Support (Lawrence Simon)
Scrapple Face (Scott Ott)
Quasipundit (Adragna & Vehrs)
England's Sword (Iain Murray)
Daily Pundit (Bill Quick)
Daimnation! (Damian Penny)
Z+ Blog (Andrew Zolli)
The Kolkata Libertarian
Midwest Conservative Journal
Protein Wisdom (Jeff Goldstein et al)
Dean's World (Dean Esmay)
Yippee-Ki-Yay (Kevin McGehee)
Spleenville (Andrea Harris)
Random Jottings (John Weidner)
On the Third Hand (Kathy Kinsley, Bellicose Woman)
Inappropriate Response (Moira Breen)
Inadvertent Comic Relief
Warblogger Watcher (Cowardly Anonymous Idiotarians)
Other Worthy Weblogs
Ain't No Bad Dude (Brian Linse)
A libertarian reads the papers
Anna Franco Review
Ben Kepple's Daily Rant
Dropscan (Shiloh Bucher)
End the War on Freedom
Insolvent Republic of Blogistan
James Reuben Haney
Mind over what matters
Page Fault Interrupt
Sand In The Gears(Anthony Woodlief)
The Blogs of War
The Fly Bottle
The Illuminated Donkey
What she really thinks
Where HipHop & Libertarianism Meet
Zem : blog
Space Policy Links
The Space Review
The Space Show
Space Frontier Foundation
Space Policy Digest BBS
USS Clueless (Steven Den Beste)
Unremitting Verse (Will Warren)
World View (Brink Lindsay)
The Last Page
More Than Zero (Andrew Hofer)
Pathetic Earthlings (Andrew Lloyd)
Spaceship Summer (Derek Lyons)
The New Space Age (Rob Wilson)
Rocketman (Mark Oakley)
Site designed by
Space Space Glut?
Aviation Week has scooped Bigelow on his plans for next week. Bigelow predicts 800 people to orbit in the next ten years. That's a bold prediction given that there haven't been 800 people in orbit in the last 50. Where is the demand? What's the price point? Where is the supply of transportation? If they are using K-1, they will likely get a good price on the order of $17 million/flight which I'm told is only ever quoted for very high frequency long launch program's like Bigelow's. I'm guessing K-1 can't support 3 flights per month since it's only one ship and 9-day turns seem unreasonable for orbital vehicles. If Bigelow has to cover transportation and the launch cost of his 6 or so heavy launches for all of his outposts, then he has to charge a pretty penny to the visitors.
Who can afford $6 million/month to be on station? Granted, $5 billion would be a bargain for 800 man months in space, but Bigelow still needs to get buyers to step forward who want to station people in space. A factor of five decrease in the price to orbit and a US option might generate 25 rich visitors per year instead of one. The other 55?
I don't see China scrapping its own tech development path to use commercial. I don't see India scrapping its own tech development path to use commercial. Western countries don't seem too keen on astronautics. Maybe one from Poland, one from Hungary, one from Saudi and one from Singapore. Other up and coming countries that have the wealth to spend, but not enough to develop a full rocketry and space station program? Drug companies? If countries with $100 billion GDP don't want the glory at that price, do the drug companies want the PR with turnover of $10 billion/year?
What Bigelow needs to get countries and companies to fund his vision is lobbyists in the national capitols of 40 countries to set up government astronaut corps and subsidies to national champion businesses to do glorified industrial research in space on the government dime. The case has not yet been made that there is any demand beyond national prestige demand and tourism demand.
The US space program is certainly spending a lot more on Space Station and Moon Mars than Bigelow is spending to achieve substantially more capabilities. It will take a major effort to get the battleship approach to Moon and Mars exploration cancelled in favor of Bigelow modules. If the major aerospace prime contractors figure out that Bigelow offers an alternative to Ares and the lunar habs and landers (and Mars equipment), they will lobby to keep the US government exploration on NASA developed equipment. NASA will abet this.
Bigelow is building a better mousetrap, but is that enough?
The rumor I am hearing (FWIW, YMMV) that there is supposed to be a 'coffee spitting' announcement next week regarding Bigelow and what you have printed ain't but the warm-up for it.
Perhaps they have found a really big pot o money or a big angel. Perhaps Gates is going to build his orbital command post.Posted by Mike Puckett at April 7, 2007 04:02 PM
First if access can get "that low" and that frequent then we will get to see if there is sufficient commercial interest in near earth orbit or if it is just "I wantta believe".
Second this illustrates the abject failure of US space policy. Almost every dime at NASA under both Dem and supposdly pro American Business GOP Administrations (including the current crop of clowns) for human spaceflight is aimed at maintaining NASA government infrastructure.
There is zero thought in this administration (and others to be fair) to using the space dollars spent on human spaceflight to "airmail" the infrastructure of human spaceflight in the commercial world.
NASA still operates a DC9 back home while there is the private equivelent flying...and shows no sign of being forced to "rent space" on a free enterprise product while maintaining its own.
NASA would support its DC-9 while all private micro gee private enterprise operations die...and as long as Republicans are in power, the space groupies will more or less 1) cheer and 2) explain it away. If the Dems come in then all ofa sudden people like oh Mark Whittington will find the very same policies...evil. LOL
Consistency where is thy sting...lol
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 7, 2007 04:02 PM
Assuming that 17 mil figure for Kistler is correct (and I assume with a sufficient long term contract, they will get financing to build more vehicles), that means 100 flights for 1.7 Megabucks.
(PS, Sam or anyone, speaking o' megabucks I am looking for a copy of the CD-ROM version of Buzz Aldrin's Race into Space)
For 1.7 Billion more people would travel into earth orbit than in all of human history.
That is a major cost reduction even if it is off a few factors.Posted by Mike Puckett at April 7, 2007 04:07 PM
I just wonder how many people are actually available that would spend 1 Million, much less the numbers that are being thrown around now. What happens when one of these commercial flights goes boom or some other catastrophic event occurs?
How many people does Bigelow have to maintain in space just to keep the hardware running? The ISS has very little time for science with three people on board.Posted by Joe Schmoe at April 7, 2007 04:18 PM
What about this for a 'coffee spitting' announcement? "NASA and partners want a Bigelow module attached to the ISS". Back to the original Transhab idea ... I don't even drink coffee and I think I'd still spit it up if I heard that.
The Space Frontier Foundation is advocating "Teachers in Space". This is for the suborbital market, but it could logically flow into the Bigelow market if it gets off the ground in the first place.
Maybe a few journalists funded by their companies would get a trip? How about a few movie or ad productions? A pro sports game in space? A reality show?
Maybe the first few private citizen astronauts will want to go back, as long as the price is right?
Countries like China ... working with Bigelow wouldn't necessarily be scrapping their own space tech development. They could use their own launcher, and this would give them a path to developing docking and doing whatever they want to do on a space station, while not having to develop their own station at a possibly inconvenient time.
Also don't forget the possibility of Sam's own venture, or something like it, generating some astronauts.
Another possibility is drug company, or university, or whatever research done by Bigelow employee astronauts on behalf of various customers. Presumably Bigelow would have to be more responsive, or cheaper, or more appropriate for certain types of research for this to work out.
Do I think any or all of the above are likely to inch up the number of astronauts to what Bigelow needs? I'm not going to make any bets on it. I hope Bigelow has done his marketing homework. There's a lot that has to be done in Bigelow and the launch business before the market gets to be tested.Posted by Ray at April 7, 2007 05:08 PM
Oh, and it's not a mystery what price point he's shooting for--he's already said he's aiming for a price point between $8-10M per person including the launch, landing, and the visit to his facilities.
Not low enough to really make a massive change in the orbital space tourism market (it should improve a bunch, but isn't quite at the tipping point where demand could increase rapidly), but possibly low enough to be interesting to other countries. If you could spend $50-100M per year and have a manned space program, how many smaller first world countries do you think could be brought on board? I don't know, but it'll be interesting to see the rest of his announcement.
~JonPosted by Jonathan Goff at April 7, 2007 05:32 PM
Robert Bigelow has a long history of putting out bullpucky press releases. He can't even keep employees, much less pull off something like this.Posted by Paulie Shore at April 7, 2007 05:39 PM
I predict it will involve a substantial media, marketing, sponsorships and/or brand value enhancement component.
Anyone surprised I'd predict that?Posted by Bill White at April 7, 2007 06:18 PM
I also believe that LEO without a moon mission component would be like "kissing your sister" for a large segment of the population.
As for a quick and dirty lunar lander what about putting two Bigelow Genesis (yes, Genesis not Sundancer) on top of a Soyuz descent module and putting all three inside a bed-frame not unlike that shown for NASA's LSAM.
Use RL-10s and make the thing single stage and fully reusable.Posted by Bill White at April 7, 2007 06:22 PM
I'm sorry but this is not a scoop, it's a teaser. From the article:
And it worked, because we all want to see those business plans don't we? ^_^Posted by Habitat Hermit at April 7, 2007 08:10 PM
What about lotteries? Or some "look under the cola cap" games?
That could push the number of visits up too.Posted by jrandomamerican at April 7, 2007 09:38 PM
~JonPosted by Jonathan Goff at April 7, 2007 10:05 PM
But John, that would take the fun out of it!
"'m like that guy who single-handedly built the rocket & flew to the moon! What was his name? Apollo Creed?"
Homer SimpsonPosted by Mike Puckett at April 7, 2007 10:13 PM
"Oh, no room for Bender, huh? Fine! I'll go build my own lunar lander, with black jack and hookers." - Bender, "Futurama"Posted by FC at April 7, 2007 11:44 PM
::There is zero thought in this administration (and others to be fair) to using the space dollars spent on human spaceflight to "airmail" the infrastructure of human spaceflight in the commercial world.
Posted by kert at April 8, 2007 12:04 AM
Ok, so its close to zero, but nonzero
Posted by kert at April 8, 2007 12:04 AM
OK its not zero its trivial!
What did someone say about the British generals in the early part of WWI? They were merely stupid?
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 8, 2007 08:58 AM
A Republican who can speak in complete sentences...
I've seen the entire tape of Thompson's address to his church in Nashville...amazing.
Then to look at the Bozo we have.
I am still a McCain guy but...Thompson/Hunter....
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 8, 2007 09:23 AM
How can you take this Oler troll seriously. First he says he supported Reagan. Then Oler goes out and campaigns for liberal Dean. Then he supports liberal Kerry and is against the Iraq war. Now he supports right wing Iraq war hawk McCain and says he also likes right wingers like Thompson. This guy Oler has no consistency at all.Posted by Confused at April 8, 2007 09:35 AM
This guy Oler has no consistency at all.
Posted by Confused at April 8, 2007 09:35 AM
I am probably inconsistent if consitency is measured by ideology uber allis...and I find that measurement ridiculous.
I was oppossed to going to Iraq...why?
I knew that this administration couldnt manage a wet T shirt contest at Trader Johns so that alone was a reason to oppose going. There were others...endless "overstatements" about why we were going lead me to believe that they did not have a clue the "turd" sandwich that they were biting off.
That was then..we went. Now that we have gone then we are stuck we have to win.
Nations and People are known not only by the things that they do correctly, but by the mistakes that they correct, not just simply walk away from.
As for the rst of your post it shows a like confusion on issues which I leave to your anonomous life! LOL
I love people like you...you make the net so much fun!
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 8, 2007 09:48 AM
This guy Oler has no consistency at all.
Posted by Confused at April 8, 2007 09:35 AM
that must be obvious to even the far right now!
Oh Lord it is hard to humble when see things everyone else....LOL
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 8, 2007 09:50 AM
Oler is very confused. He supports not one but two vocal liberal antiwar candidates and now he says that he supports an overtly pro war hawk. Oler is apparently blinded by his own inconsistencies. What any of his buffoonery has to do with the original space topic escapes me.Posted by Confused at April 8, 2007 10:01 AM
Posted by Confused at April 8, 2007 10:01 AM
you are confused Confused LOL
the 2004 campaign is over...things have moved on and so must people who are not confused Confused...
Have a good time period...
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 8, 2007 10:16 AM
Please don't make this thread about Oler.
It is about Bigleow's impending business plan............which is going to be LUNAR WHALING!
" Whalers: We're whalers on the moon,
I agree, if there is government level funding.
But we can do cost comparisons and mass estimates simply by adding together a Soyus DM (strip off the heat shields and parachutes) and two Bigelow Genesis modules to get plenty of useable volume -- compare with NASA's LSAM.
If the three compartments were capable of being independently spaceworty one Genesis could function as a dedicated airlock. Climb in, shut the airlocks to the other compartments, suit up and de-pressurize.
Stick this contraption inside an X Prize Lunar Lander Challenge bedframe and there you go.
Can folks do better? Sure. But this is a benchmark, even if a kludged benchmark.
PS -- I'm a history major, but my back of the enveklope calculations suggest this kludged lander could be dry launched on an R-7 from Kouru.Posted by Bill White at April 8, 2007 11:02 AM
To "Confused": Just to confuse you even more, Oler was also a support of Pat Buchannun at one point. I suspect that when McCain goes down, he'll wind up a Hillary or Obama person, but one can never tell where his somewhat chaotic mind will fall. One consistency in his makeup, though, is his total Bush Derangement Syndrome. He has not gotten over 2000, but not for the same reason as most other Bush haters have.Posted by MarkWhittington at April 8, 2007 11:06 AM
Posted by MarkWhittington at April 8, 2007 11:06 AM
that is not quite accurate. My business partner did some volunteering for Patty during the 96 campaign when anything or anyone was better then Bob Dole the old...See I wanted to beat Clinton!
It was clear Bob Dole the old couldnt...
As it stands right now I could not vote for Hillary or Obama. HIllary for a few reasons...although I think that she can pull the trigger in a tough spot, she has a bit of Bob Dole the old in her...ie she seems to be able to be anything to be POTUS...
Obama is a fascinating soul simply because he, so far at least, has played such a good game politically. It ahs been just one deft move after another. But past the admiration one has for his political acumen...I would find it hard to support him.
He so far at least seems unable to brush out his view for a "new Republic" (the one he would make as POTUS) and seems to be unable to recognize that for better or for worst we are in a lock fight to the death for our civilization and our Republic.
I am dissapointed with McCain for a variety of reasons. I've given him money and will continue to in hopes that he can find his way and re surface the old McCain which isnt a GOP establishment candidate..(I recognize why he is doing this but it still pains me).
I find Rudy "OK" ie I could vote for him, but not with a gusto, Romney is a camelion...
I find myself entranced with Duncan Hunter. A straight speaker who understands why America is special and is willing to stand up and say it...he reminds me of Ronaldus in 76...
Thompson reminds me of Ronaldus in 80... of course he has not been in the thick of it... but one cannot look at his speech a few days after 9/11 (that I got a few weeks ago from a chum..the chum we met in DC) and see the makings of a great leader.
If I am having any waivering at all on McCain...it is toward a Thompson ticket...a Thompson/Hunter ticket I think would be a landslide JOe in 08...
I am sure you must be pleased with how "your guy" has done. The GOP is in complete dissarray! Amazing how I called it!
What a hoot.
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 8, 2007 11:23 AM
is his total Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Posted by MarkWhittington at April 8, 2007 11:06 AM
amazing an administration that cannot even fire attorneys who serve at the pleasure of the President with competence...LOL talk about not being able to hit hte fracken ground with a book...
The Crawford HIllbillies....
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 8, 2007 11:27 AM
Actually, Oler, you were an enthusiastic supporter of Paddy back in 96 to the point that you were hell bent on associating our little group with him. The best favor I ever did, though you won't ever admitted, was putting a stop to that. Of course, as soon as you and Rich were bereft of adult supervision, you attached yourselves to someone far worse.
The GOP, despite the recent set back in 2006, are in pretty good shape. All the polling shows that the GOP top tier beats the Democratic top tier comfortably. The Democratic Congress polls even lower than the President, and considering the antics of Madam Pelosi and Harry Reid, that is not a surprise. Bush is about to win a big victory over funding the troops and the "surge" seems to be working; Bush has found his General Grant in Petreus, just as the Copperhead Dems are having a meltdown.
I like, to varying degrees, most of the GOP field. Even McCain is a lion on the war, but is clueless about everything else. Rudi is coming on far stronger than I had expected and is making the right noises to make the GOP base at least comfortable with him. He's the Rock of 9/11 and that will be difficult to beat.
Oddly enough, I tend to agree with you about Fred Thompson. He might be able to give Rudi a race if (when) he jumps in. I like Newt too, as he is capable (unlike most) of having original thoughts. He may not win, but he will have an effect on the race far outside the what he might poll.
As for the Dems, the only one I like is Richardson, who has no chance. The less said about Hillary, who wants to be Goddess Queen, the better. Obama is an empty suit. Edwards is a metrosexual creep.
Space is in for some interesting times, thanks in large part to policies put in effect by the White House. Will the COTS competitors step up or fall on their faces? Will Congress cough up more money for NASA or start fighting over the current pie? What will the next President do?Posted by MarkWhittington at April 8, 2007 12:16 PM
Mark as far as I can tell by a series of Google searches of your friend Oler he tends to be kicked out of every campaign he claims to have worked on and then spends a lot of time - some of it clearly inebriated late at night - dumping on his former candidate. Everyone who knows him or has worked with him thinks he is a liar or a fool. Does that pretty much summarise things?Posted by Confused at April 8, 2007 12:28 PM
"Where is the demand?"
There are roughly 6 million millionaires in the world, and assuming that 0.5% of them are rich enough to reasonably afford a magnitude-reduced price would still leave 30k with the means. That means IF we unrealistically limit the buyer pool to individuals, then only 2.6% of that 30k would have to buy over the next ten years for Bigelow's numbers to be correct.
There are, however, legitimate issues with whether he could deliver the service to that number of customers over the next ten years, whether or not the demand exists: If we assume he continues with plans to use Sundancer as an operational destination, the first one will not even be in orbit (IIRC) until three years from now, not including any disasters or delays.
Also, since at least one of the 3 occupants would likely have to be crew, the economics appear to demand that Sundancer time only be sold to national space agencies, who would pay for that crew rather than Bigelow or the other flyers. This could incur significant delays as deals are made (and possibly reneged), and governments go through the usual hullaballoo of choosing their nation's first astronauts.
If we quite conservatively assume that Bigelow only manages to have one Sundancer and one BA-330 operational over the next ten years, respectively beginning paid service in 2011 and 1015, and hold manned flights to the station(s) at 2 per month, then that would be about 250 into orbit for the first four years with Sundancer, and about 700 for the two combined through the rest of the decade beginning now. Bigelow's numbers still appear to work, so there's reason to hope.
"If they are using K-1, they will likely get a good price on the order of $17 million/flight which I'm told is only ever quoted for very high frequency long launch program's like Bigelow's."
But why focus on K-1? It doesn't appear to be either the cheapest or most likely system to become available in the near future.
"I'm guessing K-1 can't support 3 flights per month since it's only one ship and 9-day turns seem unreasonable for orbital vehicles."
Is there any reason SpaceX couldn't realistically build four Dragons and a Falcon turnaround sufficient to fly them weekly?
"Western countries don't seem too keen on astronautics."
But this begs the question--they're not keen on astronautics because it's been too expensive. Would Australia, Canada, etc. become interested if they could have national manned space programs for the cost of an unmanned NASA probe?
"Maybe one from Poland, one from Hungary, one from Saudi and one from Singapore."
I haven't studied the respective attitudes of countries, but I'd suggest a reasonable potential customer pool including various individual members of the ESA, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Dubai, Malaysia, South Africa, and those already mentioned, with perhaps a few others. It's possible that a billionaire or two might even buy a whole damn module as a personal residence and live up there permanently.
Then there's the non-standard work the biggies (NASA, ESA, Russia) might commission from Bigelow to benefit from it while still asserting their superiority--e.g., a 50-person station made of larger 10-person modules, and costing far less to launch and maintain than ISS has. That would probably extend beyond the inclusive 10-year period in question, but there's still the potential.
Remember, there's no reason multiple interests can't share a module and subdivide the volume for their purposes, e.g. Big Pharma renting space within a module for a small lab and sending up a private astronaut to run it. Doing so would likely be cheaper, quicker, and more reliable than developing a robust teleoperated lab capable of doing general research and following up results with unplanned experiments.
"The case has not yet been made that there is any demand beyond national prestige demand and tourism demand."
One shouldn't underestimate either, and we should also not overlook the corollary demand they both generate: Demand for tourism means demand for human factors research, space medicine, environmental sustainability, and numerous other subsectors contributing to the need for a sustained, private human presence in orbit.
On the public side, once prestige motives have been largely satisfied, a nation's astronaut corps becomes a source of potential revenue rather than just an expense. As they could afford to put up more and better trained people than most private companies with the means, they might benefit from certain economies and use their astronauts as general research contractors. Western firms especially might prefer the lower pay scale of Polish astronauts (no jokes, please!) over the ex-NASA aristocrats they might otherwise have to deal with, and Russians might be in too high a demand to remain cheap.
"It will take a major effort to get the battleship approach to Moon and Mars exploration cancelled in favor of Bigelow modules."
As opposed to just plain cancelled, which appears more and more likely. They'll eventually, after long struggle and painful sacrifice, get the Stick in the air flying a Crew Exploraton Vehicle in name only, and then make a half-hearted pretense of pursuing COTS architectures that quickly lose favor in Congress. The next American to walk on the Moon will probably be strolling past a red flag with yellow embellishment.
"they will lobby to keep the US government exploration on NASA developed equipment."
Of course they will, and that's why NASA manned space isn't going to accomplish a damn thing in the next ten years while Bigelow is. The man's going to have cities named after him.Posted by Brian Swiderski at April 8, 2007 12:49 PM
Err, the "1015" above is obviously a typo. No jokes about "knights in shining nomex," please.Posted by Brian Swiderski at April 8, 2007 12:52 PM
Space is in for some interesting times, thanks in large part to policies put in effect by the White House. Will the COTS competitors step up or fall on their faces? Will Congress cough up more money for NASA or start fighting over the current pie? What will the next President do?
Posted by MarkWhittington at April 8, 2007 12:16 PM
Oh what a hoot.
I am sure you recall 96 as you do since you think that COTS is going well...
In 96 I was kind of anyone but Dole...as I recall we, the group sent a letter to General Powell as well as sending the same letter to Patty B's campaign. I dont recall volunteering for Patty's campaign (my partner did) and do recall being quite "anti Dole" since I knew that Dole had zero or no chance.
I do recall volunteering for McCain in 00 because one could see the train wreck that this administration was going to be. As my saintly Father says "no one believes that Bush is competent"...and he was bigger Bush supporter then you...
I think that the surge has a 70-80 percent chance of working, but it took this administration three to four years to see the obvious, losing both houses of Congress and doing what they should have done a long time ago..firing Rumsfeld.
Bush may have his McClellan or Sherman (those were the two who secured Lincoln's revival in 64) but he and his administration have almost become irrelevant to the American people. Almost no one believes what they say anymore. The odd thing is that we could be winning in the surge, and Bush/Cheney could say it all they want and no one would believe them.
So many things have already been misstated.
Pelosi is doing a Newt (overreaching) and the Dem Congress is in some danger of losign both its base and the American middle simultaneously, but that doesnt change the situation with Bush.
McCain is in some peril because while his support for the fight is a good thing, he has 1) failed to distinguish himself as significantly different from this administration, 2) has tried to rerun the Bush 00 campaign (no Bush toady left behind in his organization) and that has 3) seriously hurt his "apperance" as a leader.
Rudy has I fear peaked (its OK I am not a big Rudy fan). His loss in the polls just on a Thompson rumor (and that is where Fred's strength is coming from) is indicative of how his support is a mile long and an inch wide. Rudi is doing about what I expected...as is Romney.
McCain could rebound and I would hope that he does that. But I fear that he has played to close to the fire of "Bush muddle" where as folks Like Fred T and Duncan Hunter are dramatically clear as to what they stand for and what they oppose.
That is the essence of leadership and Americans aafter 6 years of psuedo leadership are desperate for it. There is a reason that Fred T plays the roles he does on TV...(as there was that Ronaldus does as well)...he comes by the acting "honestly".
If I were you, and had bought into the Bush nonesense I would as well feel hosed. You supported a guy who consistently has been unable in normal times to control the agenda...the only thing that gave his Presidency some lift, was the normal rally around the POTUS in a difficult time...it is easy to forget that pre 9/11 this administration was well on the path to the road that it is sailing down now...irrelevance.
It is OK Mark...the adults are taking over! LOL
As for space...what a hoot. You are supporting an administration that hasnt privatized a thing...
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 8, 2007 12:58 PM
Posted by Confused at April 8, 2007 12:28 PM
Confused..you are confused LOL
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 8, 2007 12:59 PM
What about lotteries? Or some "look under the cola cap" games? That could push the number of visits up too. -jrandomamerican
I'll be hawking that at the space investor summit next week.
Is there any reason SpaceX couldn't realistically build four Dragons and a Falcon turnaround sufficient to fly them weekly?
Let's say Bigelow floats his capacity in 2013. Do you think he will sell out before he flies? If not, who will put up the money to buy the extra production capacity from SpaceX or the extra hardware for RpK? Atlas flight rate? 180 5-passenger launches in 5 years would be about the same number of launches in the last 17 years.
"Where is the demand?"
We have a data point on the demand curve. One per year at $12-25 million per seat. If we get a US option, we can double that according to Futron. That's 2 per year. If we cut the cost by a factor of 2.5, we might be able to increase demand by a factor of 5 since there are more people with less money--$5-10 million gets us to demand of about 10/year. I think my estimate of private demand of 25 was generous.
I haven't studied the respective attitudes of countries, but I'd suggest a reasonable potential customer pool including various individual members of the ESA, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Dubai, Malaysia, South Africa, and those already mentioned, with perhaps a few others.
How many per country per year? I'd say 0.33 which gives us demand of about 4 more per year if there are 12 countries in the sweet spot.
It's possible to lobby for state money. If poor New Mexico can fund $250 million in concrete and California $3 billion for stem cell research, it's reasonable to get 4 or 5 states to start space programs with the right ballot measure or cult of personality at the top (or both).Posted by Sam Dinkin at April 8, 2007 03:08 PM
Instead of proclaiming how smart he is and how wrong everyone else is perhaps Mr. Oler can provide some solid solutions.Posted by Confused at April 9, 2007 03:58 AM
I think that everyone who ever engages with Mr. Oler on any subject wish that he was as smart as he thinks he is.
DennisPosted by Dennis Ray Wingo at April 9, 2007 09:07 AM
Posted by Dennis Ray Wingo at April 9, 2007 09:07 AM
At least Dennis I know 1) who saddams dad was and 2) how EVA's and comm satellites worked out.
Hope you are well!
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 9, 2007 09:26 AM
Sam: Let's say Bigelow floats his capacity in 2013. Do you think he will sell out before he flies?"
That depends what his capacity actually is, and a number of other things I haven't heard too much about--e.g., whether Bigelow will only sell, lease, or rent entire modules, or if he will also sell/lease/rent partitioned volumes within modules. It also depends how long people intend will intend to stay in orbit, since that affects how many can go up over a given period of time.
Here's another thing we may not be taking into consideration: Repeat customers. A multibillionaire so inclined could go up and down at leisure, perhaps even setting up his personal offices on a Bigelow module and staying for a month at a time. And since $2-$5 million is such a piddling amount to a billionaire, I think it's a virtual certainty they'd start sponsoring people--business executives, college chums, etc. And let's not forget about families of the wealthy who might want to tag along or go after hearing about the experience--wives, grown sons, grown daughters, nieces, nephews, etc. Come to think of it, once things are proven out, minors past a certain age might be allowed to accompany their parents.
Sam: "If not, who will put up the money to buy the extra production capacity from SpaceX or the extra hardware for RpK?"
Dragon or K-1 can deliver cargo to the modules regardless of how many people cycle through them, and can also deliver to ISS, large satellite payloads, or a whole lot of smaller payloads. Also, nothing says Dragon (don't know about K-1) has to have a destination--as far as I know, nonstop orbital tourism is a possibility.
Sam: "Atlas flight rate?"
If SpaceX delivers, Lockheed and Boeing exit the launch market.
Sam: "How many per country per year? I'd say 0.33 which gives us demand of about 4 more per year if there are 12 countries in the sweet spot."
I have no statistical basis for anything I'm saying, just thinking about what seems reasonable. And if we say that the countries mentioned are willing to make the purchases, then I think 5-10 astronauts per country per year is sensible if the price is quartered from current. Or, at least, it would be within their means, so politics would be the main decider.
"It's possible to lobby for state money. If poor New Mexico can fund $250 million in concrete and California $3 billion for stem cell research, it's reasonable to get 4 or 5 states to start space programs with the right ballot measure or cult of personality at the top (or both)."
Now that's a good idea. California, Texas, and Florida are virtually given, and a number of other states might be interested for various reasons. Nevada might incentivize purchases by its major xasinos; Ohio might be badgered by its local space advocacy community into treating it as some kind of "heritage" issue (John Glenn, etc.); Virginia might very well covet the prestige; and some other states might just be lucky enough to have governors who love space and have amenable legislatures. Eventually it could become the new fashion in state legislatures, like spaceports are currently shaping up to be.
The following are SOME of the potential customers: NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, individual members of ESA, the US military, other US federal agencies, other (non-hostile) national militaries, military contractors, emerging middle-class countries, the United Nations, US states, pharmaceutical companies, materials companies, chemical companies, resort hotels/xasinos, film studios, media companies, advertising agencies, energy companies, universities, nonprofit foundations, royalty, and independently wealthy individuals. I'd say the future looks bright for Bigelow.
(BTW, the filters on comments are kind of ridiculous: wouldn't let me post with the actual spelling of Ka-see-nos.)
Posted by Brian Swderski at April 9, 2007 10:26 AM
That number's a little bit deceptive, however, because it hasn't been a constant 16 people a year for the last 50 years. In fact, the distribution is quite non-uniform. The years 1984 and 1985 account for over 100 people. 61 flew in 1985 alone.
So, 800 people over 10 years would only get us back to where NASA was heading in the mid-80's. Of course, Bigelow has the challenge of doing it in a sustainable, affordable way.Posted by Edward Wright at April 9, 2007 01:01 PM
Yes, Bill, and a large segment of Star Trek fans won't be happy until they can book day trips to Rigel.
You have to crawl before you walk.
Should development of the Moon and Mars wait until we have starships going to Rigel VII? That makes about as much sense as the Moonies and Marsies saying cheap access to space must wait until after you've spent a gazillion dollars trying to colonize the Moon/Mars/Rigel.
"A Republican who can speak in complete sentences..."
Most of them do. For example, Cheney; Rice; Powell; Giuliani; Romney; McCain; Gingrich; Shwarzenegger; all, or almost all, Republican senators.
GWB does not speak in complete sentences (except when he wants to!) - but he's an exception; that's his personal trademark, not his party's.Posted by jjustwwondering at April 9, 2007 01:37 PM
"I just wonder how many people are actually available that would spend 1 Million, much less the numbers that are being thrown around now. What happens when one of these commercial flights goes boom or some other catastrophic event occurs?"
That will depend partly on how many flights there are, on how many different vehicles, and how comfortable the public becomes with the idea, before there are passenger fatalities. I doubt the recent sinking of a cruise ship, and two Hawaiian tourist helicopter crashes in the last few years, has put anyone off the basic idea of doing these things, only perhaps the particular operators and/or vehicle designs. There was a time when pressurized cargo door, or wing icing issues made some people afraid to fly a specific model of aircraft, but commercial aviation in general didn't suffer.
That's the point we want to get to. The later the inevitable accident happens, the better.Posted by Frank Glover at April 9, 2007 03:10 PM
I do not know why you folks even bother to respond to Mr. Oler. Here at NASA his name is synonymous with those pathetic wannabes who hang out at the Outpost Tavern hoping they can buy an astronautt a beer such that they can bask in their afterglow. Naval aviators in CB have never heard of Mr. Oler or his exploits.Posted by NASA guy at April 9, 2007 05:47 PM
Posted by NASA guy at April 9, 2007 05:47 PM
are you a NASA TOady as well as well as a NASA GUY? LOL
Oh the eateries near NASA Road 1 ok NASA Parkway...and El Dorado...the joy...
RobertPosted by Robert G. Oler at April 9, 2007 06:28 PM
Mr. Oler's drunken posting simply reinforces his local notariety as an astronaut chaser.
As for local eats: I don't really eat much outside the gate - other than the drive thru Starbucks in the morning.Posted by NASA guy at April 9, 2007 11:17 PM
Robert, could you refrain from using LOL so much? I keep expecting to see rofflecopters r ppl who tlk lk ths next. Besides cultured people occasionally read this stuff. We must think of the cultured people.
Robert, could you refrain from using LOL so much?
Robert is apparently completely clueless as to how ridiculous his posting style comes off to the rest of us.
I wish I could buy his opinions for what I think they're worth, and sell them for what he thinks they are worth. I'd make a fortune. Unfortunately, there wouldn't be any buyers at his price.Posted by Rand Simberg at April 10, 2007 07:43 AM
Karl: "We must think of the cultured people."
Thanks, I appreciate it.Posted by Brian Swiderski at April 10, 2007 02:10 PM
Post a comment