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Missing The Point

One of the reasons that I don't get involved in arguing the relative merits of ESAS versus Direct (of any version) is that I agree with Clark Lindsey:

I'm no fan of NASA building any new expendable (or just mostly expendable) launcher.

But I also agree with this:

However, if they are going to do that anyway, I think building a single uneconomic new launcher is better than building two.

And I think that Clark is not only justified, but would be doing his readers a service, to delete GM's posts. I've never seen him make a positive contribution to any newsgroup or web site discussion.


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Mike Puckett wrote:

I think his goal in life is to be banned from the entire internet.

Karl Hallowell wrote:

If so, GM has plenty of company. Unfortunately.

Lindsey briefly mentioned the DIRECT advocacy group. I consider their efforts remarkable. Given that they claim to have input from numerous experts in the industrial, this might be the most informed challenge ever to an ongoing NASA project. It's still probably tilting at windmills. But it indicates both some dissatisfaction with NASA among people in the industry and some ability to express that.

Even if Ares gets built as specced, I think NASA will see far more resistance to NASA-built launch vehicles in the future. I hope that the DIRECT plan is yet another indication that there's a growing pool of citizens with great interest and understanding of the US's space activities, programs, and possible long term goals.

john hare wrote:

Mike Puckett wrote:
I think his goal in life is to be banned from the entire internet.


I think it more likely that he believes
the stupid movie sequences where the hero
knows he is getting close because he stirred
people up.

Rand Simberg wrote:

I think it more likely that he believes
the stupid movie sequences where the hero
knows he is getting close because he stirred
people up.

I think that's largely the case with the loons on Usenet.

red wrote:

I don't know rocket design, so I don't have an opinion on ESAS vs. Direct, but I do agree that a single uneconomical launcher is better than 2. I might even extrapolate that relation to other numbers besides 1 and 2.

The following comment at the end of a NASA Watch post on the subject is another cynical but amusing way to look at it:

"Take home message: the DIRECT fan boys should stick to their day jobs and leave bad rocket design to the professionals at NASA."

Personally, I wouldn't mind the expensive NASA-built rocket approach, though, and would probably chalk it up as a political price one has to pay, if NASA were also doing higher-priority things with appropriate intensity as a sort of compensation or reward for paying that price. By higher-priority things I mean COTS D, buying commercial suborbital services, developing instruments and payloads for those commercial services, Centennial Challenges, Earth and solar observations and data purchases, NACA-style work, Worden-style lunar missions, and other productive and/or industry-building efforts.

Pete Zaitcev wrote:

It's something about the web-board discussion that brings out the worst from certain people (maybe many). I sometimes look at the crap comments I left her and at Clark's and just wonder what I was thinking.

Ed Minchau wrote:

"if Ares gets built as specced"

It's probably safe to say that Ares I will never be built as specced. If it ever does get built, it won't be carrying any people - there's no amount of lipstick that will make that pig pretty. Ares V/VI might get built, but the infrastructure changes to the VAB, launch pads, the crawler, and the road between the VAB and pads will eat up NASA's budget for years. So, if the big version gets built, expect the schedule to slip by several years before it gets off the ground. By that time one of the commercial spaceflight companies will have already built up plenty of launch experience and should be doing the lion's share of the heavy lift anyhow.

NASA has maybe maybe 20 more years left. After that, all the baby boomers will be retired and there will only be two or three people working for every retiree. When that happens, all discretionary spending (which includes NASA) is going to get wiped out. The way it has been going the last few years, I would be surprised if Ares V/VI gets off the pad before 2020. There is no way they will have enough flights on the manifest to justify having built either vehicle.

Sometimes I wonder is Griffin's goal is actually the destruction of NASA from the inside. If that's the case, then good for him. If not, then he's merely wasting taxpayers' dollars for no reason at all.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

"Sometimes I wonder is Griffin's goal is actually the destruction of NASA from the inside."

It's an unavoidable thought but if NASA upper management can open doors unaided they should have at least an IQ of 30 and see through any intentional NASA destruction scheme, i.e. they would have to be in on it.

Not sure what's more farfetched any more ^_^ I certainly don't understand what Griffin is thinking.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on July 6, 2008 12:07 PM.

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