Author Topic: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program  (Read 1483 times)

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Offline rickl

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Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« on: September 15, 2011, 06:44:20 PM »
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The Space Frontier Foundation called Wednesday's announcement by NASA that it will attempt to build Congress's giant monster rocket a disaster that will devour our dreams for moving humanity into space. Rather than breathing life into a dying space program, it may well kill new initiatives to greatly expand US space exploration and settlement efforts.

"It is a sad day for our space program," said Rick Tumlinson, cofounder of the Foundation. "The amazing possibilities offered by engaging commercial space to lower costs and develop a sustainable long term infrastructure to support NASA space exploration, settlement and a new space industry have been trumped by the greed, parochialism, and lack of vision of a few congressional pork barrelers intent once again on building a government super rocket. We've been to this party before, it was a bust then, and it will be this time as well."

The rocket, known as the Senate Launch System by most of the space community, was formally announced in the very building where it was conceived - the U.S. Senate's Dirksen office building. Not surprisingly, Senators and Congressmen proudly spoke of their contribution to this Frankenstein monstrosity, stitched together from various pieces of pork for congressional districts that have been working the system for months.

"Senator Nelson called the SLS a monster rocket and he's right," Bob Werb, co-founder and chairman of the board for Space Frontier Foundation. "Although they're trying to dress it up in the colors of the Saturn V, it's a Frankenstein rocket, built from rotting remnants of left over Congressional pork. And its budgetary footprints will stamp out all the missions it is supposed to carry, kill our astronaut program and destroy science and technology projects throughout NASA."

The Foundation is certain that much like Constellation before it, the Senate Launch System will never stay within its budget or schedule, and in the end will be cancelled. SLS will become the most cannibalistic program in NASA's history, consuming innovative programs attempting to lower costs by using commercial firms to fly astronauts into space, new technologies that would make exploration more affordable, and of course the payloads the new rocket is supposed to carry.

"The Senate's new Franken-rocket will fail, it will waste billions, it will never fly and it will destroy what little credibility our space program has left." said Foundation Executive Director Will Watson, "It is an un-American solution to a challenge we can solve in an American way with our own commercial space flight companies. If it is not stopped the SLS monster will be a death sentence for NASA's once great human space flight program."

From HobbySpace.com
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 06:53:31 PM by rickl »
We are so far past and beyond the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that the Colonists and Founders experienced and which necessitated the Revolutionary War that they aren’t even visible in the rear-view mirror.
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Offline rickl

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 06:48:21 PM »
Rand Simberg wrote about it in Popular Mechanics:

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So will the SLS program move forward smoothly now that NASA has settled on a design?

Don’t count on it. First, note what’s missing from the administrator’s praise of the program. Other than promising to “inspire” and “maintain leadership,” Bolden doesn’t offer any concrete plans for what the program will actually do. That’s because currently there are no actual missions planned or funded.

While NASA faces a congressional mandate to build a heavy-lift rocket, it also finds itself under harsh budget constraints. With the cost overruns on the James Webb Space Telescope (which Congress threatened to axe this summer) and the high cost of building the SLS, it’s hard to see where there will be any money to fund an actual mission.

If SpaceX delivers on its promise of a Falcon heavy rocket in the next couple of years at a price of $120 million a flight, and if NASA comes up with missions that don’t require a rocket as big and as expensive as the SLS, it will become increasingly difficult to justify spending tens of billions of dollars that we don’t have on a rocket that won’t fly for years, will fly only once or twice a year (or less) when it is finally ready, and that isn’t actually necessary to explore space. (Just yesterday, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher demanded that NASA release its assessment of an alternative plan to put a fuel depot in space to support commercial rockets.) Without a course correction, SLS could already be on the way to cancellation, like Constellation before it.

We are so far past and beyond the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that the Colonists and Founders experienced and which necessitated the Revolutionary War that they aren’t even visible in the rear-view mirror.
~ Ann Barnhardt

Offline rickl

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 06:50:25 PM »
The best comment I've seen was from Transterrestrial Musings:

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jjs Says:
September 15th, 2011 at 10:08 am

We need to build the rocket before we can tell you what it will do.
We are so far past and beyond the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that the Colonists and Founders experienced and which necessitated the Revolutionary War that they aren’t even visible in the rear-view mirror.
~ Ann Barnhardt

charlesoakwood

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 07:10:39 PM »

What they will do, what this is, is a rouse.  They will use this giant Senate appendage (GSA) to write new regulation overseeing the new unrestricted entrepreneurs.  One can imagine the extended salivation at the opportunity to author so much new regulation and introduce new bureaucracies.




Offline Libertas

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 08:34:48 PM »
The best comment I've seen was from Transterrestrial Musings:

Quote
jjs Says:
September 15th, 2011 at 10:08 am

We need to build the rocket before we can tell you what it will do.

 ::hysterical::

Gosh, what would anyone expect the DemonRat "Too Big to Fail/Big Govt/Big Rocket" Senate to come up with?

House should slap any such request down with fat "Epic FAIL!" stamp!

CO is right, this will be used to bludgeon free enterprise outfits like SpaceX and freeze them out of the appropriation process.

Frankenrocket deserve to be snuffed!
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Offline rickl

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 08:54:52 PM »
Actually, Libertas, two of the most notorious space porkers are the Republicans Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.  Believe me, they play a huge role in this.

One of the things that worries me the most about the possibility of the Republicans winning in 2012 is that the old ways will reassert themselves.  The recent emphasis on private space is literally the only good thing that has come out of the Obama era, and I can easily see the Republicans tossing it aside, just because.

I've seen way too many stupid and ignorant "conservatives" bitching and wailing about Obama "killing the space program".  They want to see a Big Government space program because it's all about National Pride or something.  <spit>
We are so far past and beyond the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that the Colonists and Founders experienced and which necessitated the Revolutionary War that they aren’t even visible in the rear-view mirror.
~ Ann Barnhardt

Offline Libertas

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 08:59:45 PM »
Repub support for this just gives Dem's cover and probably a fit of snort-riddled chuckles in the cloak room.

Hatch can be too comfortable roaming into Ruling Class chuminess, I have no idea why Sessions is on board for this...he's gotta be getting cash and/or they got pics of him with two midgets and a goat or something...

 ::facepalm::
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Offline rickl

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 09:04:11 PM »
It's all about the pork, and jobs in their districts.  Simple as that.
We are so far past and beyond the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that the Colonists and Founders experienced and which necessitated the Revolutionary War that they aren’t even visible in the rear-view mirror.
~ Ann Barnhardt

Offline Libertas

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 09:06:51 PM »
And only a monstrosity of a program can provide stable long-term employment, eh?  That kind of thinking is oh so last century planned economy commie crap!
Irrumabo!  GOP? - Nope. No more. They made their bed, now let them die in it.*
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Offline rickl

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 09:08:54 PM »
Yes indeedy.
We are so far past and beyond the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that the Colonists and Founders experienced and which necessitated the Revolutionary War that they aren’t even visible in the rear-view mirror.
~ Ann Barnhardt

Offline rickl

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2011, 09:29:42 PM »
Here's a great interview with Jerry Pournelle, who explains what the shuttle program was really for.

The US Space Retreat: The Shuttle Era Is Over. Will the Next Man on the Moon Be Chinese?

(And it's interesting that he refers to the Shuttle as "eating" the manned space program.)
We are so far past and beyond the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that the Colonists and Founders experienced and which necessitated the Revolutionary War that they aren’t even visible in the rear-view mirror.
~ Ann Barnhardt

Offline Libertas

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2011, 09:56:07 PM »
I think I heard him say all the Shuttle program was really designed to do was to keep all those Appolo employees on the payroll.  So jobs come before mission...that backassward thought process has not changed then, and perhaps has gotten worse...

 ::facepalm::

Screwed!
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Offline trapeze

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2011, 10:25:34 PM »
It is my belief that it is too late to stop private free enterprise initiatives into space. There is simply too much money to be made.

If the government attempts to kill it through regulation then I see these companies outsourcing their programs somewhere else. This phenomenon is most recently evidenced by the rapid exodus of small businesses from California following the enactment of the tax on Internet affiliates.

The fact is that the technology needed to leave Earth's gravity well isn't that tough to acquire anymore. And who wouldn't want to compete head to head with the people who brought us the space shuttle? If SpaceX can offer a cheaper per pound payload to orbit with a faster turnaround then they will kick NASA's ass. Quickly.

So...go to somewhere in Central America, bribe whoever you have to and then away you go.

And...once you get far enough along to get a permanent outpost in space (the moon or one of the five Lagrange points) then you are literally free of all Earth government entanglements.
In a doomsday scenario, hippies will be among the first casualties. So not everything about doomsday will be bad.

Offline Libertas

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2011, 10:33:59 PM »
Agreed.  But that means programs go out of our nation.  Just think about that.

 ::facepalm::

But as long as SCoaMF is in the WH, that is where it will be driven.

Love the La Grange point idea, bonus points for you!  Kinda miffed my spaceliner to a 2001 type station is not a reality...my high hopes died a quick death...now I am resigned to the fact that I will never see us land a person on another planet in my lifetime...

 ::falldownshocked::
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Offline trapeze

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2011, 10:55:38 PM »
Love the La Grange point idea, bonus points for you! 

Not my idea. Comes from an early immersion in the works of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
In a doomsday scenario, hippies will be among the first casualties. So not everything about doomsday will be bad.

Offline rickl

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2011, 06:15:26 PM »
And...once you get far enough along to get a permanent outpost in space (the moon or one of the five Lagrange points) then you are literally free of all Earth government entanglements.
Which is pretty much why the New World was settled, wasn't it?

They say that history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.
We are so far past and beyond the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that the Colonists and Founders experienced and which necessitated the Revolutionary War that they aren’t even visible in the rear-view mirror.
~ Ann Barnhardt

Offline Libertas

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Re: Monster Rocket Will Eat America's Space Program
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2011, 06:32:23 AM »
New America at L5...beam me up now!

 ;D
Irrumabo!  GOP? - Nope. No more. They made their bed, now let them die in it.*
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