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Here We Go Again… April 23, 2008

Posted by shubber in distracting PR, hot air, Manned Space, NASA, public service announcement, space, Wasting Money.
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Tomorrow morning I’m going to be in the peanut gallery watching government “go through the motions” discussing ISS commercialization, shuttle gap, and all sorts of problems (which they can’t really say are major problems…) at a House of Representatives hearing starting at 10:30 am.  Be there if you can, it should be entertaining.

In particular, Mr. Pickens will be there to give testimony  – I can only imagine he will descrbie how wondrous a facility ISS is and that SpaceHab is going to make a huge commercial business out of microgravity pharma (perhaps only if NASA will give him a little bit of folding money..?).  As I pointed out last October, there ain’t no “there” there, and Mr. Pickens was, sadly, suckered into trying to turn around a company that had as much chance of recovery as the Titanic did of being saved with a couple of well-placed sheets of plywood covering the hole in the side.

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1. Carnival of Space Week 51 » astroengine.com - April 24, 2008

[…] the US tax dollar more efficiently. The Space Cynics are a little more, well, cynical about the current state of ISS and shuttle planning. They sent their representative cynic to the House of Representatives hearing this morning, will be […]

2. Jonathan Goff - April 24, 2008

So Shubber, are you going to post your thoughts about the hearing?

I wish SpaceHab was trying to work closer with groups like Bigelow than with the ISS. While Bigelow getting his station up and running and operating the way he hopes is definitely not a given yet, I think the odds of making a commercial microgravity business wrap around ISS is even worse. Even with COTS, access to ISS is probably going to be way too infrequent, and expensive for doing real research. There’s a chance, if Bigelow can build his station (and get anywhere close to the flight rate he hopes) that access might become sufficiently frequent to make a business case close…We’ll see.

~Jon

3. www.actionforspace.com - April 24, 2008

If you cant wait for the analysis, check out my rough transcript that I jotted down during the question and answer section at http://www.actionforspace.com

I’m sure that Shubber will go to town on when Lampson said that if only the X-33 hadn’t been canceled all of these problems would go away.

4. Vladislaw - April 24, 2008

I think it is like a chicken and the egg senerio. I believe down cargo can be handled cheaper if you get a couple hundred inventors attacking the problem with hopes of grabbing the gold for being first to market. The Ballute system does hold future promise but without any commerical demand for it who is going to invest in developing it. Satellites dont need it and that is the bulk of investment going up, so without that need to come down there is no demand for alternatives.

Didnt the CIA or some agency use a ballistic drop capsule ( cant recall the name) for bringing film down in the 50’s and 60’s that was relatively cheap? ( can anyone recall that system?)

I have more faith in american entrepreneurs learning how to make a buck in space and do it cheaper then anything NASA pretends to do “cheaper faster better” or whatever slogan they use.

When Pickens was asked about funding he refered to an earlier speaker who has said 50-150 million a year, Pickens boldly said total research spending could/should be billions a year in ALL areas of research from just basic research, which would be doing repeated experiments in space at the university level just like students all do the same basic learning experiments as they progress through their science studys to specific experiment programs as outlined by the agriculture speaker and the woman from the CDC. Now if you listened closely this is where Pickens REALLY revealed what his true plans are.

AFTER NASA increases ALL science funding for ALL levels of experiments for ALL catagories conducted in the NEW NATIONAL ISS labs by BILLIONS, then and ONLY then, SPACEHAB would be RIGHT THERE to CHERRY PICK which EXACT data and results HE could then start selling.

Actually, sounds like a winner to me ” hey guys, I want you all to spend billions on R&D and then let me look at all the results and take and sell what I can… oh and thanks by the way, gosh it would have cost me billions to do this research myself”

If you listen to democratic contenders for the presidency they are both talking about increases for space SCIENCE and Obama more then Clinton a “new set of priorities for NASA” with cuts in manned flight, or slow downs, stretch outs et cetera. With a 100 billion dollar asset already paid for, the shuttle retiring, cutting most of the manned flight and pushing it into science it can show immediate results on paper verus spending billions on constellation and at the end of their first term in 2012 it still wouldnt even be flying and they way it is going it would be lucky to be flying by the end of a second term in 2016.

The democratic winner can then stump for their second term ( as far as the NASA/space issue) on how much “they restored science” how they single handedly “increased science spending after bush’s war on science” I can already see the ads now.

5. Justin - April 25, 2008

I just saw Pickens on the CSPAN2 broadcast…. excellent job… this guy so get its…

6. nick - April 27, 2008

I just saw this replayed this weekend. Wow. All I can say is wow. I’ve seen many strange and painful things on C-SPAN but this takes the cake. A bunch of dinosaurs practically admit that they have spent over $100 billion of taxpayer money without getting commercially useful research results, and that even an extra $10’s of millions of further investment in lab equipment may not be worth the effort. In other words, they admit by implication that the ISS cost more than 1,000 times what it was worth. Yet they are proud of what they have done, every one of them.

It was an awful and bizarre sight to behold, and amazing to realize that only those who have drunk the deepest of the kool-aid most strongly laced with cyanide are on this committee. Congressmen in touch with reality have long ago chosen to serve on some other committee and let NASA go its own incomprehensibly weird way.

7. spaceman - December 15, 2008

pickens III has never accomplished anything tangible – look hard at his claims and you will find they are all false!


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