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Slow Learners

I haven't had time to read it yet, but Dennis Wingo has a long essay on NASA's forty-year failure to close the deal with the American people. More thoughts when I have a chance to read, but some of the other folks here may be interested.


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Paul F. Dietz wrote:

This was all obvious years ago. I've been saying things like this for a long time, and criticized ESAS on these grounds as soon as the details began to be public (VSE itself was so nebulous it wasn't possible to completely conclusively determine it would go awry, so NASA had a grace period until they mucked it up).

Space advocates would do well to look back at their own hesitancy to criticize. Was this, in retrospect, a wise thing for you to do? Or were you just engaging in wishful thinking, one of the most powerful forms of cognitive error?

Dennis Ray Wingo wrote:


Thanks. It is extremely interesting to read the long history of the ups and downs of exploration efforts and to actually try and analyze and document the variance between what the congress is willing to fund and what NASA wants to do.

Jon Card wrote:

This essay is exactly right (as far as I've read, and I have to go to a meeting). A business would never spend on a plan that wouldn't leave capital improvements in place. Without leaving something in low orbit to make the Moon easier to get to the second time, going to the Moon is going to be another big waste of time.

Bill White wrote:

Leaving something in low orbit to make the Moon easier to get to the second time probably won't work because of orbital irregularities caused by the Moon's "lumpy" gravity. A low lunar orbit station won't stay in its assigned orbit.

EML-1 and/or EML-2 is where we need a transfer station.

Dennis Ray Wingo wrote:


Just read an analysis of my piece by Mark Whittington. Too bad that all measure of sense has left that boy's head.

Where did we go wrong with him Rand.

Ed Minchau wrote:

This conversation is getting to the heart of a lot of things that those of us in the space geek community have been bitching about for decades. And so, I just have to throw in my two cents, too:

The central question is "what's in it for us?" In the 1960s, the answer was "beating the Russians". Once that was accomplished, a different answer was required. As Dennis pointed out, NASA has done a terrible job of answering that question for nearly four decades - and if they can't answer it now, then there really is no reason at all for the agency to exist beyond the fulfillment of obligations to international partners in the ISS.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on April 23, 2008 8:01 AM.

Caught In The Act? was the previous entry in this blog.

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