Thursday, September 30, 2010

At the Zenith Hour

Okay, time to give credit where credit is due...such as it is. I'm not happy with many aspects of the new direction, but at least Congress acted before going on recess to play campaign politics for the mid-term elections and passed the NASA authorization bill.

I still strongly believe the new direction is too nebulous, fickle, vague and the time scales are far too large. Asteroids by 2030? Hell, we're not sure what life is going to be like in 6 months, economically, socially, globally, or in any other manner, so how the hell are we supposed to ensure a large time table like this is actually adhered too, especially since we'll cycle through a few Presidents before then?

We did the Moon Shot in less than 10, granted with a huge wallet supporting it, but with today's knowledge and advancements, 20 years is laughable. Oh how the mighty have fallen. I guess I should start learning this new phrase:

月亮一票吧。(Yuèliàng yī piào ba.)


Marcel F. Williams said...

I don't think its going to take very long for Congress to realize that a manned mission to an asteroid is going to be a lot more expensive than establishing a Moon base and a lot less beneficial to our progress in space. An unmanned robotic asteroid focused program would be far more beneficial than any manned journey to the NEO asteroids. And chemical rockets are still not the way for humans to safely travel to Mars, IMO.

With China, Japan,India and Russia's growing interest in going to the Moon and utilizing its resources, I think Congress will soon realize that the Moon should once again be our primary focus before venturing beyond cis-Lunar space.

windbourne said...

Actually, we did not do the moon shot in 10 years. It was nearly 20 years. The Mercury And Geminis were missiles that were converted. Likewise, Saturn had actually been started in mid 50's by the USAF under von braun. What took us 9 years was adding capsules, testing various aspects and building up a tech BASE from which to support a singular arch. to get us to the moon.
Now, we see CONgress telling NASA how to build rockets based on jobs in their districts. That is the real problem. BUT the good news is that by the time this really starts, private space will be far enough along that CONgress will have to scrap the idea.

In the end, it will be private space that gets us to the moon, not NASA directed by CONgress.

BTW, have you applied to SpaceX?

Douglas Mallette said...

Yes, I applied to SpaceX. Standing by.

windbourne said...

For what it is worth, good luck. I suspect that SpaceX would be hard pressed to find better ppl, even if I do not fully agree with you :)

Douglas Mallette said...

lol. Thanks. However, they have very picky requirements for people with bigger educational backgrounds or more experience...a lot more. Hard to get past today's computerized processing systems to show what you're really all about. Not like 50 years ago, when you talked on the phone or walked in and floored the boss with your know-how.

windbourne said...

Kind of a silly thing, but why not take a trip out there and simply introduce yourself? Bring several copies of your resume and your book. Find out WHO you want to work under and contract them.
Personally, it is not the computer system that I fear, but the HR. They typically have ZERO clue of what it is all about. BUT, if you go to the source, you can bypass HR.
I have to imagine that you know several ppl that work at SpaceX (or even bigelow), that can clue you in on who to talk to.

Douglas Mallette said...

Cost is a problem for that idea. And I don't know if I know anyone there already. lol. Maybe. Still, such a trip is difficult when you're job is about to end and you're saving to cover the bases.

windbourne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
windbourne said...

Doug, if you can, approve the last message without the links (or simply drop the index.php part).
and then you can skip posting this one.

Douglas Mallette said...

I can't edit comments, so just removed it. You can repost though if you wish. I am taking a leap of faith, but it's to work for myself, not another company. :) I'm in the process of starting my own. :)