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Comment: Re:Wow, I am impressed (Score 0) 125

I did not think SpaceX even with its excellent track record would have convinced the bureaucrats to give them a solid chance instead of just give everything to Boeing as usual.

SpaceX's excellent track record? Ship me some of what you're smoking, as it must be good stuff. (Seriously, where do you guys get this stuff?)
SpaceX's track record is far from excellent. The first flight of the Falcon 9 was six months late, the first flight of the Falcon/Dragon COTS was two years late. (And that's pretty much been the pattern to date - they've been unable to demonstrate a consistent ability to meet launch schedules or to maintain a significant flight rate.) They've had a steady series of technical problems with both the Falcon booster and the Dragon CRS capsules. Granted, they're getting better, but their track record overall is spotty at best.
is why SpaceX was given a solid chance rather than the whole enchilada.

Comment: Re:Commercial Crew Press Conference (Score 1) 125

Boeing got nearly twice the funding for a conservative, unimaginative Apollo capsule

What's wrong with a "conservative unimaginative" design? This wasn't intended to be a beauty contest or to provide geek stroke material, it's a contract for workaday vehicles and services. And as for costs, you've got to remember the difference between the vehicles - SpaceX bid a derivative of an existing craft (I.E. with a lot of the development already paid for), while Boeing bid a new design. Comparing straight up dollars is not comparing like-to-like.

Comment: Re:My Guess (Score 4, Interesting) 125

SpaceX will make $2.6 Billion do way cooler stuff than $4.2 Billion to Boeing. SpaceX is a young, hungry company that is on the forefront of multiple industries. Boeing, while still a great company, is older an no doubt bogged down in more levels of bureaucracy.

There's another factor that everyone is ignoring - SpaceX is proposing a craft that's a modification of an existing vehicle and which is also expected to be subsidized by commercial use. Boeing on the other hand is proposing a craft that's clean-sheet new and has no other customers.

Comment: Re:And the speculation was completely off (Score 3, Insightful) 125

The fact that to deliver the same development and certification process costs $1.6 billion less for SpaceX over Boeing is also interesting.

It's not the same development and certification process - as SpaceX will be flying a modification of an existing (certified) spacecraft, while Boeing's is a new and unflown design.

Comment: Re:well (Score 1) 183

by DerekLyons (#47921079) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Given that Boeing will already be 3 years late to the party, when SpaceX has manned capability up and running this coming January?

The mixed tense of the latter half of the sentence aside... The January test is that of a flight abort, not a qualification or validation flight. (And thus does not represent "manned capability".) The first full-up unmanned flight test isn't manifested until 2016 and no manned flight is currently manifested.

We're supposed to wait another couple of years for manned launch capability

We're *already* waiting at least a year and half for the first unmanned test flight - with the first manned test flight currently unscheduled (but at least a year after the first unmanned test flight according to the original projections). Your argument that Boeing will be "late to the party" and that "we must wait" is thus not based on reality.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 1) 183

by DerekLyons (#47920945) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

BTW, I agree with you in regards to Dreamchaser. It is a good enough vehicle that the ESA is even looking at using it, and Sierra Nevada is already on record saying they will continue the development of this vehicle even without additional development money from NASA.

The ESA "looks at" all kinds of things (they even "looked at" the one time darling of the space fanbois - Kliper), and such is about as meaningful as a celebrity endorsement. And going on record as intending to do something you don't have the money to do is equally meaningless.

Indeed the only company that has said they will stop any further development if their vehicle isn't selected is Boeing.

Except for the nit-picky fact that they've said nothing of the sort.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 2) 183

by DerekLyons (#47918233) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

Boeing vs SpaceX? without doing all the number crunching it is hard to make an educated judgment.

This is Slashdot. This isn't about educated judgements, number crunching, or reasoned discussion. This is all about geek fanboyism and that all contracts are awarded solely on the amount slipped under the table being an article of faith.

Other than that, you're absolutely correct - Dragon and (especially) Dreamchaser represent fairly risky designs. Boeing presents a largely conventional alternative. This matters a great deal in the technical evaluation of the proposals, and contrary to popular belief such evaluations play a large role in determining who is awarded such contracts. It's not, by a long shot, just about who offers the least expensive option.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 183

by DerekLyons (#47918113) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

I've seen lots of stuff about what SpaceX is doing, but not a lot about Boeing on the space front these days.

If that's true, then you badly need to re-think where you get your space news. (Slashdot and other popular sites tends to disproportionately worship SpaceX.) I only casually follow and *I* knew about Boeing.

So, is this something which actually exists and is being tested? Or is this vapor ware?

It's something that actually exists and is actually being worked on.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth