Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Augustine vs. Congress People (some of them)

Oh, I tweeted about this like crazy yesterday as it was going on. Some of these Congress people so piss me off. All the money we piss away on bogus social programs that don't produce a damn thing, and they want to bicker about the fact that Augustine basically said that the space program needs more money to do what it needs to do, period.

How about this, take the unspent money from that bloated, overgrown, pork laden $700 billion stimulus package and throw it into the space program; part for NASA, part for University Research, and part for private company grants. THEN you'd see one hell of an economic rebound and watch America become the dominant power in peaceful space exploration and development.



Marcel F. Williams said...

I watched it yesterday, and practically every congressman endorsed a $3 billion dollar increase for the NASA budget and most seem to endorse the current Constellation program. Some, however, did criticize the Augustine Commissions lack of clarity on the cost of each of the major options which was pretty much Griffin's criticism. In fact, I would argue that there really was no fair comparison of the major options: Ares1 and V, Sidemount-HLV, DIRECT, and EELV as far as cost and timelines.

The Augustine commission lumped the Sidemount-HLV in with DIRECT and then totally ignored their additional use as manned vehicles to LEO. Why? And then they were lumped in with a non existent commercial manned space program to LEO. Why?

The shuttle was decommissioned under their Ares 1 and V scenario while the Sidemount/DIRECT concept was forced to extend shuttle financing for an additional 5 years. Why?

The Augustine commission didn't seem recognize that NASA's Sidemount-HLV and DIRECT are two totally different concepts or they simply didn't care. They totally ignored the capability of both systems to deliver astronauts plus huge amounts of additional cargo to LEO. And then they placed an unfair financial burden on the concepts, a 5 year shuttle extension (that's $3 billion a year!) which they didn't place on the Ares 1 and Ares V scenario. And then they conclude the the Sidemount and DIRECT concepts are pretty much as costly as the Ares 1 and Ares V?

NASA's Sidemount is obviously cheaper than DIRECT and both are cheaper than Ares 1 and Ares V. But you'd never know it from the Augustine report!

And what about the timelines? NASA has argued that the Sidemount-HLV plus EDS could be ready in less than 5 or 6 years. But the Ares V won't be ready for at least 10 to 15 years. That's a big difference, IMO!

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, wait a minute now... your idea makes way too much sense and contains way too much logic to be considered by our governing bodies. When is the last time a democratic congress ever made a good financial decision?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Williams,
I've seen your comment above on several blog comment threads. Are you unaware that sidemount/direct was the only option paired with shuttle extension (for obvious reasons), but that it was also one of the three launch options for Flexible Path?

Norman Copeland said...

Surface to Low Earth Orbit {LEO} vehicles will soon be competing for the commercial sector...

Looks like congress won't have much ranting from space tourist enthusiasts soon...

Britain may get these on the production factory for our scientists and paying public, it certainly would welcome university monies for an uncomplicated flight to space...

Marcel F. Williams said...

Yes. And that's my complaint!

The shuttle extension unfairly inflates the cost of DIRECT/Sidemount concepts when compared to the other scenarios making it seem like the shuttle derived options are just as costly as the other rocket concepts-- which is not true!

I'm all for a shuttle extension-- no matter which scenario is chosen-- as long as the shuttle orbiters are properly refurbished and recertified for safety.

Also DIRECT and the Sidemount are two different concepts with different cost and different timelines. Obviously, the Sidemount is the least disruptive of all the transitional scenarios.

Additionally, why would they also pair these shuttle derived concepts with a commercial option to LEO when both can also carry an Orion vehicle to LEO plus cargo?

As far as the flexible path, anything that currently deviates from getting the job done of establishing a settlement on the Moon would be a waste of tax payer dollars, IMO. A lunar base is the first major step towards making it a lot easier to colonize and to exploit the natural resources of the rest of the solar system!

Norman Copeland said...

Congress can decide if they want the men sitting on boats with their coke and haven't got many clues about the constellation programme budget.

Darn, I needed that money. Whispering advisors to 'x-wives and their name calling' can be really difficult moving.

Anyone for tennis.