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A Response (part 1) May 6, 2009

Posted by shubber in Uncategorized.
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4 comments

A number of recent commenters/visitors to the Space Cynics blog have asked if we could put forward our view of what “should” be done, rather than simply critiquing what we see out there in our (somewhat) regular postings on the blog.

Initially, I was going to respond “if you read the damn blog, you’d see that we actually do this, across many posts.”

The reason? At some point even Sisyphus has to get tired of pushing his rock, and I get tired of saying the same “here’s how you should do it, here’s why A won’t work but B has a shot, etc” mantra.  It’s a key reason why I walkd away from the industry for so long (and remain detached from it other than to stay connected with the many good friends I made whilst working in old and new space).

However, that isn’t fair  to the readers…

Before I get to that, though, let me just say “Thank You”.  Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this blog, to listen to the contrarian voices in the wilderness, to challenge our thinking and our positions, and for adding to our perspective on space.  At our cores (surrounded by that caramel and nougat goodness, of course) we are passionate about space, and really want the frontier to open.  Not speaking for the others, but only for myself, I will reiterate that if I had $35,000,001, i would spend $35,000,000 on a ticket to ISS – even if it meant starting over building my retirement again.  I have always been a space tragic, and will have it carved on my tombstone someday.  While I may disagree with many of you on the details, I believe we all share a common goal, which is why we come back and push the rock, week after week.

When I get to a new blog, one that is “new” to me but may have been around for years, I am often frustrated by having to go back through months (or years) of postings simply to get up to speed on the POV of the author(s) and feel like I can join in the discussion.  And yet, to an extent, our response to you who have asked about our position on X are often instructed to do the same thing (go back and look it up).

In order to be fair to our readers, occasional visitors, and accidental link-clickers (welcome anyways!), I have decided to put up a static “page” that will list out our positions and suggested approach for all to reference.

This may take a little while, though, and will require the input of my fellow Cynics.  As such, I have named this “Part 1”.

Consider it the equivalent of a movie trailer – although not nearly as cool as the second trailer for Star Trek, with the great line “Why are you talking to me, man?”.

I can’t WAIT to see the movie this weekend!

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Well Said, Dr. Griffin April 22, 2009

Posted by shubber in Uncategorized.
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10 comments

A fictional space program will always be faster, better, and cheaper than a real space program.

– Mike Griffin, Goddard Award Dinner 2009

What’s next? A note from his Mom? January 1, 2009

Posted by shubber in Congress, CRATS, distracting PR, gauntlet being dropped, hot air, Manned Space, NASA, public service announcement, smack talk, space, Wasting Money.
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5 comments

mophoto1275-300_

So in honor of our 300th post, i was planning to do a detailed examination of where we’ve been in the past couple years since the Space Cynics blog was started, how the industry has/hasn’t matured, predictions we (and others) have made that have/haven’t come true, etc.

And then I read this little gem.

Seems that Mike Griffin has been fighting pretty hard to keep his job when the new Administration takes over – and now he’s recruited his wife into the mix.  The headline:

Don’t Fire My Husband, NASA Chief’s Wife Begs Obama

Really? Have you no shame, Mike? It’s not like you’ve presided over any great legacy at NASA in your relatively short tenure under President Bush. You are beholden to your special interests in the military industrial complex, and only grudgingly have allowed any form of innovation or private sector involvement to participate in our development of space when forced, kicking and screaming, to adopt Zero G flights over the Vomit Comet or fund COTS – and even then you can’t do it right.

But to send out (via priority mail) copies of your speeches, as if anyone would want to suffer through them a SECOND time, was priceless.  Granted, it’s not like the total cost of mailing was even a rounding error in NASA’s budget – it’s about leadership.  The CEO of an organization, which is what you are for all intents and purposes, sets the tone for the people who choose to work for him.  When you engage in such behavior, it reinforces the wrong sort of message to the rank and file employees – no different than when the President chooses to get a hummer in the Oval Office from an intern and then lie about it on national television.

It’s about Leadership.

You missed great opportunities to engage in development of true CRATS, real hypersonics research, support initial studies into SBSP (yes, even though I am very cynical about it, that IS part of NASA’s job IMHO), and to put nails in the coffins of both VSE and the ISS, freeing up billions of dollars to fund the hardest part of the equation – getting out of the gravity well.

So, perhaps I can weave in a bit of “The 300” after all.   End your tenure with dignity, not sniveling before the next President begging for your job.  Or, even sadder, having your wife beg for you. DO your job, now, and then go out with pride.  If that’s still possible.

THE SPACE SHOW AIRS THE FIRST EVER SPACE CYNICS ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION FEATURING A CLOSER CYNICS’ EXAMINATION OF SPECIFIC ISDC 2008 TOPICS AND SACRED COWS. June 8, 2008

Posted by drspaceshow in NASA, space tourism.
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76 comments

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/957-BWB-2008-06-08.mp3

Space Cynics Shubber Ali, Tom Olson, and me (DrSpace aka Professor L) met in the hotel coffee shop for an in-person discussion featuring the Cynics’ view of several of the topics discussed at ISDC 2008. This was the first ever in-person Cynics discussion and program, but we hope to offer you more at future conferences or retreats. Unfortunately, our fourth Cynic, Old Space Cadet, could not be with us this time, but as he has already heard the discussion, he wanted everyone to know he was on board with it all and listeners should consider The Old Space Cadet as being fully in sync with his fellow Cynics. We were also joined by Reda Anderson who was both crowned and dubbed Honorary Space Cynic after her stellar performance in offering wise comments, sharing experiences, and otherwise demonstrating her astute business capabilities at all times during this discussion. The gloves were taken off and our discussion was hard-hitting on many topics. We talked about several sacred cows, including the VSE and lunar development plans, space solar power, spaceports, suborbital tourism, and more. Your comments and feedback are welcome, but do it through the Space Cynics blog for all to see, right here at https://spacecynic.wordpress.com/. If you do send a note to drspace@thespaceshow.com, be advised that I will copy and paste the note to the comments section on the blog for the announcement and link to this show, so please, put your comments directly on the Cynics website. All of your views and comments are welcome, even from those of you who will strongly and rudely disagree with all or part of our discussion. You are still respected and welcome to comment although you may not feel that way after one or two Cynics address your question or comment in the true style of a Space Cynic. We hope you appreciate this candid and very frank discussion. A word to the wise, shooting the messenger does not bode well for making your discussion points with us or anyone else for that matter. We, the Cynics, are not the issue, so save your attacks on us. Instead, don’t venting your anger or frustration on a particular Cynic or all Cynics (as tempting as that may be), rather go after what has been said that pushed your buttons. State your facts, make your case, present evidence to the contrary. Make it a learning moment for us all. Shooting the messenger may be lots of fun but it does not make your case as to why you disagree or take issue with what you heard during this discussion. As Sgt. Joe Friday said decades ago, “Just the facts, Ma’am, just the facts.” Try it, I bet it will work outstandingly well, even better than an ISP Kool Aid charged Power Point!