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Jim Muncy Speaks

Says that we have to engage SEDS, both because it's a good source of enthusiastic people who will work cheap, and more importantly because we aren't getting any younger, and we have to start nurturing young people.

He's here from Washington, and he's here to help.

Depressing to sit in meetings in Washington listening people talk about The Vision, and hearing the same things he heard about X-33, SEI, Space Station Freedom, etc. They don't even seem to learn any new lies.

It is silly season in Washington. Working on the budget. It's an election bill so they won't even finish the budget before the election. Wants the election to be over, and has wanted it to be over for months.

Does it matter? Probably not. He and Lori Garver did a "debate" (really an assessment of the candidates at the time) a month and a half ago. Hillary is probably the most supportive of space spending. Fairly pro defense for a New York Democrat. Has in tepid words endorsed the idea of the vision. Also said positive words about private companies and working with them. Has not specifically endorsed Ares.

McCain's experience with space has been primarily concerned with cost control and getting the job done right.

Obama is the most interesting, and unclear what he thinks. But there is potential for something different, because he says Shuttle is boring. Instincts are not to support current NASA approach. But worst thing would be to continue Ares I and Orion and delay lunar missions. Could create opportunities, or not. Crisis is coming, and crisis represents opportunities. NASA and Air Force are not monoliths.

"You should see the list of things that Orbital wants from Florida to get them to move ther e from Wallops." There are figures inside the establishment calling for different approaches. Senator Nelson is writing a bill that increases COTS by several hundred million dollars to augment SpaceX and bring in an additional provider for crew transport. He recognizes that this is the only way to have a chance of closing "the Gap." Senator Shuttle recognizes that he has to bring private space companies to Florida.

We've seen NASA put out an RFI for human suborbital science from the private sector. Things are changing. But don't assume that NASA and the Air Force have come around in general. Also don't assume that NASA or the Air Force are going to write you a check. Have to figure out what their real mission/requirements are.

We are the PC industry of space. It wasn't just the people running the computer centers and mainframes thinking that PCs were choice. The challenge was getting the people who used computers then to think through what they did, and how they did it, and imagine doing it differently, and how they could use these new small computers. There are half a dozen people like Ken inside of NASA, but that's not enough. We have to do their job (which is also our job) which is to figure out how to provide value to them
from their perspective. What he does for a living is help companies do that.

We have to figure out how we play a role in this future, and if an Obama becomes president, and we can't continue to fund space on an ICBM budget, and we want to continue to send people into space, we will have to come up with new ways.

ESAS is not the same as the Vision. The Aldridge Report is right. It's not perfect, but it's largely right. It's not a blueprint, which is why Griffin was upset with it, and wrote one of his own instead.

Work together, build alliances, come up with concepts to get to market sooner. As the dinosaurs die off, there will be some scraps for the mammals, and room to grow. We are coming to the attention of powerful people, which is a good thing. There are good times ahead, and people are figuring out that there is something wrong. The house of cards is going to fall. Can't say well, but it's going to fall.

Mike Griffin might be arrogant (and he has enough degrees to justify that) and he may be building the wrong rockets, but he has also been putting money into commercial activities while he builds das rocketz. We haven't proven ourselves. Elon still hasn't launched a payload to orbit. John Carmack still hasn't won his two million dollars. Only Burt has an accomplishment to date. We can't just be intellectually correct. We have to show the world that we can do it.


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Mark R. Whittington wrote:

Muncy's talk seems to be a a great deal of mind blowing manure, along with some kernals of truth here and there. There's the ritualistic running down of the Vision and the predictions of how everything we hate about the space effort is about to whither away. I've been hearing that last since the early 80s. And if Jim thinks Obama has the potential for anything but disappointment, he needs to think again. There is no way in hell that a President Obama would support tax incentives for what he would see as rich guys taking sub orbital joy rides. But then I agree with Rand that Obama is not likely to become President in the physical universe we occupy.

Still, he apparently hasn't predicted that private astronauts will beat NASA to the Moon; a good thing not to say. He seems to recognize, at last, how commercial friendly Griffin is. A lot of people who bloviate in the name of space activism haven't the ability to take yes for an answer. And the last paragraph is dead on. There's been too much chest thumping on behalf of commercial space and too little actual accomplishment.

Intersting about the Nelson bill. Is this going to be new money or does he intend to take it from somewhere?

Rand Simberg wrote:

Muncy's talk seems to be a a great deal of mind blowing manure

We won't comment on the quality of the mind to which it would "seem" that. It doesn't seem that way to those of us actually familiar with space policy and hardware. But on the other hand, who has more experience with "mind blowing manure" than you?

Be sure to let us know when you have even half the number of clients for your policy analysis that Jim Muncy does, Mark. Or even one, for that matter.

Rand Simberg wrote:

There's the ritualistic running down of the Vision

Only an idiot could interpret Jim's talk as "running down of the Vision."

Try reading this part again. "ESAS is not the same as the Vision."

Actually, his (closer to) exact words were "I hate it when people confuse ESAS with the Vision." You are one of the reading-comprehension-challenged simpletons to which he was referring.

Mike Puckett wrote:

People, why are we fighting when fun stuff like this is happening?:

"At around six in the morning, completing the atmosphere of pandemonium, somebody replaced Hillary's whole page with "It has been reported that Hillary Rodham Clinton has contracted genital herpes due to sexual intercourse with an orangutan.""

I nearly spit up a lung when I read that. More over at instapundit on the Obama/Clinton Wiki wars.

If that doen't make us want to have a cumbayah moment, I don't know what will!

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Heh I know Bill Clinton isn't popular but calling him an orangutan really disenfranchises the orangutan vote (and isn't that their target group?) ^_^

Shittington'sPostIsaPileofManure wrote:

"Muncy's talk seems to be a a great deal of mind blowing manure"

Well, it takes a Shittington to know manure.

Once again the Society of Amateur Armchair Internet Rocketeers With Undergraduate Degrees in History raises the level of the debate.

What a jerky doofus.

Edward Wright wrote:

There is no way in hell that a President Obama would support tax incentives for what he would see as rich guys taking sub orbital joy rides.

Hm. Suppose we replace "Obama" with George W. Bush, Tom Delay, or any of the big-spending RINOs Mark worships. Have any of them supported tax incentives for human spaceflight? Has Mark ever criticized for not supporting incentives -- rather than just calling for more government pork?

Why is Mark criticizing Obama for (allegedly) taking the same view of private spaceflight that Mark does?

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 29, 2008 12:07 PM.

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