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An Interesting Interview

...with Mike Griffin.

Not a lot new here for people who have been following it. And I would have a lot bolder vision for a "perfect world" than simply enough money to fly Shuttle while developing the Paintshaker. And he seems to be ignoring the issue that they share facilities and that mods have to occur (unless he was asking for enough money for new facilities for the new launcher).

And this is a useful point:

Q: When I tell non space people about the gap, the response is almost universally "you're kidding." Why is that?

Griffin: The 'you're kidding' part and the lack of notice, for several years it was something fairly far off in the future. The actual circumstance doesn't even occur in the next president's administration unless that president gets two terms. It certainly wasn't occurring in this president's administration and it doesn't occur in any of the next couple of Congresses, right? Nobody around today was certain to be on scene when the actual consequence occurs. Moreover, I don't think anybody reading about it in the papers ... thought really that it was going to be allowed to come to pass.

A lot of people argue that we need governments to fund things like this because private industry is too short sighted.

Give me a break.


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Robin Goodfellow wrote:

Safe-Simple-Soon was supposed to minimize this gap as much as possible by creating a new booster with more or less existing technology. The real cause of this problem is not the president or congress but nothing more than NASA fucking up the design and execution of their next generation launch vehicle. Had they used sound engineering principles and shrewd business sense they would not have had such a serious problem on the table as they have now. Instead they buckled to bureaucratic pressure and went with a plan which is horrendously poor and has the sole "redeeming" feature of keeping most of the NASA centers continuously funded for the foreseeable future.

kert wrote:

Huh, Griffin built and designed the gap, didnt he ? He is the grand master there, VSE said from the outset that whatever they do they have to do it within existing budget, if he failed to come up with an architecture without a gap under these constraints, its his fuckup.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

100% agreement.

Leland wrote:

The gap was only about 2 years at the beginning of this Congress. Now it is 4 years and growing. 2 years seemed long to me, but it was within comparison to the periods after the losses of Challenger and Columbia.

I don't know about the short-sided aspect. I've been tentative in support of federal funding of NASA type initiatives because private industry usually cannot afford the related risk. Indeed, I don't think any private company could afford a 2 year slip in schedule like this. Then again, that risk avoidance is why private companies are usually more efficient.

Paul F. Dietz wrote:

Were NASA run like a private company, Griffin would have been shown the door a while ago.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on September 4, 2008 4:52 PM.

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