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Comment Re:3 out of 4 (Score 3, Insightful) 137

I think the Space Shuttle was just a big flop that only escaped being cancelled because the US Government has such deep pockets. In the end, in fact way before the end, it was a jobs program more than anything else. It set the space program back something like 20-30 years.
I don't understand why people can't just admit it was a horrible mistake. Actually, of course I do understand, so many valuable lifetimes of work were sunk into it.We have to pretend.... But we should have just been building cheaper rockets (which the two other programs on the table proposed) - or funding a Ramjet, or Roton, or almost anything else. The only really useful thing the Shuttle did was repair Hubble.

Imagine where we would be now if NASA had done something like COTS 20 years ago after Challenger blew up instead of building another Shuttle.

Comment Re:Terms and conditions (Score 1) 137

I think NASA showed that they hadn't a clue what they should do with their terribly expensively developed "National Assets". They are all now rusting hulks. And they are developing another one with no clue as to what it is for (jobs for retiring engineers maybe).
At least the commercial guys are likely to rack their brains out as to how they can get more money out of "their" assets.
And face it - if a war broke out and SpaceX had useful assets, who do you think would control them overnight?

Comment Re:3 out of 4 (Score 3, Informative) 137

What is your logic here? You think it costs signifcantly less to turn Dream Chaser around than a Dragon Capsule? It looks an awful lot like a Space Shuttle to me for that.
The two who seem to be doing a lot for bringing the price down would be Blue Origin (who are banking on a seemingly unlikely SSTO), and SpaceX with their Resuable Powered Decent stages (which also seem pretty far away at this point). It takes a 130 million Atlas V to put a Dream Chaser into orbit last time I looked, where as the Dragon only needs a 60 million dollar Falcon 9. Although Dream Chaser *could* probably fit on a Falcon 9 and in either case you are looking at additional costs on top of the basic launcher.

Comment Re:Just as obvious.... ATK (Score 2) 137

Hard to beleive SpaceX would not be one of them at this point. In fact I think it is fair to say that Musk would drive the man rating of Dragon forward regardless of whether or not they get it, and that could potentially make the CCP program completely idiotic - i.e. if they went for something else and it cratered budget-wise, as space programs traditionally do.
Still, I am not convinced that a good deal of SpaceX's success is somehow begininers luck that could fade as the org grows and they take on too many goals (Man-rating Dragon, Falcon Heavy, Grasshopper, Bigelow, 10 Falcon launches a year, etc). Can they possibly do *all* of that?

Comment Every Part Tested? (Score 1) 167

Really? What about the center core propellent cross-feed? That sounds like a major piece that cannot have been launch tested yet. AFAIK there is no other rocket that has ever had it either so there must be some element of risk. All that mass transfer could go wrong in any number of ways I suppose.

Comment Re:Go Solar (Score 1) 180

Solar is getting cheaper by about 10 percent a year, and has been for decades. And there is no reason to think it will be any different in the future. This cannot be said of any other form of energy.
And it has reached grid parity already in many places where incremental costs of additional capacity are high (like India).
Btw, I find your ignorance AND your rudeness appalling.

Comment Go Solar (Score 2, Informative) 180

Kenya should probably go solar since it scales better at the small end, requires less transmission infrastructure. It is interesting that it doesn't seem to have much more sunlight than many American cities, at least according to casual web search:

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