A call to arms from spacex

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Valcan":3n6vlt1a said:
frodo1008":3n6vlt1a said:
Valcan, I think we are both getting off subject. So before the MODS interrupt us, perhaps we should just stop. If you support what spacex and Elon Musk want, then by all means contact your Congressperson(s). Especially if your Congresspeople are going the wrong way on this issue, mine are going the right way, so I have done all that I need to do anyway.

FYI: I sometimes capitalize individual words for emphasis, but capitalizing entire sentences is considered internet shouting, and is bad form. So please refrain from doing this. Thank you.

I empasized the words to show how people tend to shout that is was someone elses fault whenever there is a problem when usually its a issue that is brought on my many people.

I have called mine i cany control bart gordon though so unfortunatly :evil:
Agree 100%. I digress. Better stop before the MODS come for us. I already made the call to my congressman too, even though he actually IS a rocket scientist (Rush Holt D-NJ, look it up) and is already on board with Pres. Obama's original plan, but will accept the Senate bill.


menellom":jmvujbqq said:
With every incumbent member of the House up for reelection, you can bet that this month will be nothing but Representatives going out and glad-handing constituents. All the races are expected to be close, which means they need every advantage they can get their hands on. If space exploration supporters want to make a real grass roots effort to get a better NASA bill we couldn't ask for a better political climate. We can't let Congress gut funding to develop an American space industry or to continue The 'Going Nowhere' Constellation program. I encourage everyone to write their congressman recommending better alternatives, find out when and where they're making public appearances in your district over the next month, and encourage others who are passionate about space to do the same.

This is exactly what needs to done!

A fully funded NASA is a great jump start to this economy.

If every Rep in EVERY State could go home and say I helped deliver a new industry to America, a New Age to America, a new acknowledgement of the concern for America's welfare as it relates to space now, and ten years from now, how could they not be re-electable (OK there really are lots of reasons, but...)

During the House recess, a bill must be drafted that funds NASA as it should be. We've issued unemployment checks, we've bailed out the banks, America deserves an investment in herself that produces jobs, innovation, and industry!

NASA is the ultimate "economic stimulant" for innovation, for education, for jobs! Let's have a comprehensive piece of Legislation waiting for Congress when they get back from recess.


Well I do think this is at least somewhat on topic. Job1207, the plans for both Ares I and Ares V did not have either of them going to the ISS at all (at least the plans after COTS was established). That was to be reserved for the participants in COTS 1 that would hopefully then continue with a COTS II for a crewed capsule for going to and from the ISS.

Ares I and V were to be used exclusively for going back to the moon first, and then possibly (with major modifications I would imagine) on to Mars. So, if we were to establish a true presence on the moon with permanent base(s) at one or even both of the poles, and an extensive program of both exploration and eventually even exploitation of the moon's resources, then I can not imagine any flights of whatever eventual system is used for such an effort, being less than once a month at the least. This would not mean only one or two flights per year, but a dozen at the very least.

This in turn would mean a far less per flight cost than even $500 million, let alone $1 billion or more.

Now, please do not misunderstand me, I was not (and am still not) happy with the design of Ares I or the potential design of Ares V either. However, I would rather see that than just have NASA drift along. And evidently that is also the wish of the American people and Congress.

To me at least the future travel to and from the ISS should be left to the pure private interests by fully funding the COTS program. Personally, as NASA now is such a minuscule portion of the Federal Budget I see no reason for Congress to not fully fund all of these efforts.

If you were to DOUBLE NASA's entire budget it would still be far less than 1 % of the federal budget as it now stands.

Heck, this would not even be a "speed bump" to the deficit, let alone the entire federal budget!


H.R. 5781, I say nay! It is indeed time for us to move on. Let the pork/barrel politics in Nasa cease! Notified my local congressman and e-mail as well. Where have all you sensible people been? lol!


NASA does not have a dime to waste on anything that does not provide practical benefits to America. Would anyone care to explain why they would get rid of the Shuttl, which was working? And replace it, after five years, with the Ares which costs just as much and carries a tenth the cargo and barely half the crew? China is eating our lunch in manufacturing. What possible benefit is there to spending $200 billion on old technology? It does not matter what NASA's budget is. If Constellation cannot show practical benefits, why are we still spending billions on it? At least SpaceX can get some commercial business and has about 10% of the launch cost of Ares for about the same payload. Going to the moon would be fun. We don't have the money to do things because they are fun, and we don't have the money to go to the moon with expendable rockets.


That is right, Ares 1 was not going to the ISS at all, making the likelihood of fewer flights per year, much more likely.


Job1207, whatever rockets are eventually used to go back to the moon will be used a whole lot more times per year than just those going to the ISS. You can indeed argue whether or not this should be the Ares I and V designs or not, and I would be perfectly happy to see something else myself.

But going back to the moon this time can NOT be just a flags and footsteps affair, if we go back this time we will need at least one permanent base, and possibly even more. In fact, a real exploration of the moon would require at least 100 people or even more over more than a decade. The land area of the moon is more than the land area of Africa + the land area of Australia combined, so absolutely NOT, we have NOT "been there and done that" at all! And the original moon walking astronauts have been saying that for many years now.

Even more importantly, if we are really going to go further out into the solar system we are going to have to learn to mine the moon's many resources to keep the eventual costs of going further out to even a reasonable amount. We can not continue to expand and still bring the materials needed up though the Earth's immense gravity well and atmospheres. It just can not happen.

Heck, just being able to use the moon's resources is going to require that we reduce the Earth to LEO costs by a large fraction. It IS indeed sort of a "Catch 22" type of situation, as we need lower costs, and one of the the best ways to obtain those lower costs is to have many flights, and in order to have many flights we need lower costs!

And I am NOT saying that Ares I and V are the ways to do this, and they are certainly not the only ways. But if Congress wants to insist that it is better to have at least one way to go further out than LEO, then neither am I against their doing so even with a design that I personally do not like so much.

NASA and the Human Space Programs are NOT an EXPENSE of the Federal Budget, they are its greatest single INVESTMENT in the future, and eventually both those countries and companies that are willing to see that and act on it are going to be far wealthier than even the oil rich Arabian countries are now!!

So, while it IS useful to shoot for lower costs for such programs, in the long run it will make no difference whatever if we do so or not! Especially as NASA is already such a tiny part of federal funding anyway!

And this can still be done while fully funding such as spacex for going to and from the ISS!


frodo1008":2yxd3bso said:
Heck, just being able to use the moon's resources is going to require that we reduce the Earth to LEO costs by a large fraction. It IS indeed sort of a "Catch 22" type of situation, as we need lower costs, and one of the the best ways to obtain those lower costs is to have many flights, and in order to have many flights we need lower costs!

Government can be very useful in these types of situations. Often new industries faces a chicken/egg problem; government can be very effective in providing initial demand. The pathological hatred of any government involvement in industry is foolish and counterproductive.

Problems come in when government subsidizes private demand, not when it provides demand itself.


You mean like the cross-country railroads, air mail, rural electrification & hydro-power and, when I was a kid, the interstate highway system? Seems those subsidized programs made the transition to being national resources that spun off massive commercial activity rather well.


"You mean like the cross-country railroads, air mail, rural electrification & hydro-power and, when I was a kid, the interstate highway system? Seems those subsidized programs made the transition to being national resources that spun off massive commercial activity rather well."

No, these are all examples of government directly providing demand for a specific service. The orders for these originated with the government, not the private sector.

What I'm referring to as 'subsidies' is the partial underwriting of private demand (ie: solar and ethanol) regardless of what it is. Subsidies are bad because they end up hiding true costs.


Spacex update

Thank You for Supporting the Future of Human Spaceflight

We recently asked for your help to protect the future of human spaceflight – and the response was impressive. Your phone calls and the efforts of supportive members of Congress helped stop the NASA Authorization bill from being pushed through the House of Representatives before important improvements could be made.

This bill would have authorized over five times more taxpayer dollars to fly NASA astronauts on the Russian Soyuz than to develop an American-made commercial alternative that would energize our economy and create jobs right here at home.

We still have a tough fight ahead of us, but many in Congress are starting to recognize that commercial vehicles like Dragon and Falcon 9 are the nation's best option for ending our reliance on Russia to transport astronauts to the International Space Station and preserving America's leadership role in space.

It's not over yet. When the House returns from its summer recess in September, NASA Authorization bill H.R. 5781 will be up for vote again.

We hope you will continue to fight for the opportunity to show how a true public/private partnership can transform America's space program.

We thank you for your support and look forward to working together to ensure an exciting future for American spaceflight.



rcsplinters":3roknz5y said:
I’m afraid I’ll have to keep my point of view anchored somewhat closer to reality. In truth, he doesn’t have the product. He has a plan to build a product. He has no escape system. He has no life support. I shudder to think how many lines of code (yup, that’s a big issue) will need to be written. All of these are grossly expensive things to develop and implement. You can object all you like, but he’s asking for help. If he was a close as you say (which he is not), then he wouldn’t need the money. Yes, he is asking the American public to take his risk. I say NO!

He's not asking the public to take on risk. He's asking NASA to pay for the special features they want that aren't necessary to the core mission. Once a Dragon capsule successfully splashes down after docking to the ISS with a load of cargo, it already has all the software it needs. If the g forces, pressure and temp are all in line during the trip, I consider it man-rated right then and there. If it flies, docks and lands automatically with cargo, what else is there to do?

Life support? It's an O2 tank, CO2 scrubber and a fan. It's COTS, no one needs to reinvent the wheel here. And how many lines of buggy code do you want in the life support anyway?

What is Musk asking for money for? For the escape system. As I've said before, a launch escape system is completely unnecessary and a waste of mass. Does a 747 have an escape system for 400 passengers if an engine explodes on take-off? No, it doesn't. Everyone dies, and we accept that risk everytime we fly. Space is no different, stay on the ground if you don't like it.

I refuse to get hung up on making a rocket trip safer than an airplane flight when it's all theoretical anyway. Show me a simulation of that little escape rocket out accelerating an exploding first stage shockwave. So if NASA wants to waste $300 million and 3 years on an escape system that probably won't work anyway, then NASA can pay for it. That's not bailing out Musk's business model, it's NASA wanting a Porsche when the market supports a Chevy. The SpaceX business model is to provide affordable transportation to space, not to waste money on the illusion of safety.

The Falcon9/Dragon will be for all practical purposes man-rated by the end of the year, good enough for private flights and a public that takes risks at every other point of their lives.


This is good news. We can't afford to fall behind as the top space power in the world. We need to be developing our own commercial craft that will not only save money from being given to the russians but will also create money by energizing our economy like Mr. Musk said.
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