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31 May 2012


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The Moar You Know

I suspect Romney would want to kill this, even though the current SpaceX vehicle is a LEO vehicle only, not a translunar one. The reason is simple: it's pulled all the business from Thiokol, based in Utah. He'd like that work back, even if it never gets a rocket into space (and the Thiokol program would not have us back into space for a good long time).

That would be tragic. The SpaceX vehicles are not subject to the government procurement process, meaning that they can use the best parts instead of the lowest-bid parts, and that makes a lot of difference as those of us who have dealt with government procurement fiascoes, or for that matter have ever eaten on a military base, know. These rockets will be famous. They're so far ahead of their testing schedule that, after only two flights, they're ready to start shipping cargo and ready to start implementing Phase 2....man-rated flight.


There is an effort among GOP congress critters to kill this off and return to the political pork methods of the past. In the long run I think they will lose but they can delay private development. After this resounding success it would be a shame if they succeed.

William R. Cumming

YES! Lack of vision!

Paul Deavereaux

If the gov't continues paying 4/5ths of the cost of the project it'll become a target for any President once the Great Contraction starts.


Dear Colonel, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you
I agree that Romney would not like that private enterprise, but he had a chance through his Baine fund to participate, to my knowledge - he did not.

The Twisted Genius

Awesome achievement! Jonathan Goff did talk about opposition to commercial spaceflight within NASA. I would hope they would now have more supporters within NASA. GOP congressional opposition is pure pork barrel politics as Lars said. Thiokol - Utah - Romney? Yeah, I think Mitt would kill this in a heart beat. Rohrabacher was a huge NASA enthusiast. I don't know where he stands on commercial spaceflight. Being that SpaceX is in southern California, I would think he would support it wholeheartedly. Luckily, SpaceX just signed a big contract with Intelsat for satellite delivery. That might be a trend for the future of commercial spaceflight... pure commercial. Take a gander at what SpaceX has in mind for fully reusable space vehicles. It blew my mind when I first saw this.



Respectfully, if they had failed to meet their contractual obligations, SpaceX should have been fired.



Well, they did, but does this mean that you are hostile to private space enterprise? pl

Allen Thomson

To be fair, Senator Nelson (D-FL) is one of the small group of congressfolk who regard SpaceX as a threat to the SLS pork project.



Dana Rohrabacher has fortunately been one of commercial space's strongest and most consistent advocates on Capitol Hill. SpaceX isn't in his district, but he's been a commercial space supporter since before SpaceX existed. IIRC, he was won of the guys who backed the DC-X project that inspired several startups like Armadillo Aerospace, Masten (my old startup), and Blue Origin.

As for Romney himself? I think he'd be hard-pressed to cancel something like COTS/CRS now that SpaceX knocked it out of the park. That said, with the Utah/ATK connection, I wouldn't be surprised if he kept funding the SLS (Space Launch System, aka the Senate Launch System), just to keep ATK from ever having to actually compete for their work...



I actually doubt that Romney would cancel a successful program like this, even if he were beholden to ATK. It would look too obviously corrupt, even for a politician. :-)

Have to say this mission was exciting. It wasn't really that *technically* new, but I'd put it up there in importance with the first commercial air mail flight under the Kelly Air Mail Act back in the 1920s.




And by the way, thanks for avoiding the temptation to make an "Enter the Dragon" or "Re-Enter the Dragon" reference in the blog post title. :-)



Actually, Nelson is a bit mixed. While he is definitely the force behind SLS (and the force behind getting Charlie Bolden in as the current NASA Admin), he has actually been somewhat supportive of commercial crew/cargo. Much more so than Senator Shelby, the Dark Lord of Alabama.


Maybe. Maybe not.
Once prez, Romney would (pretty much) reboot on all campaign pronouncements about future policy. They would be reassessed in accordance with his underlying & unspoken (though whispered & dreamed-on) goals.

Now, as to what his drivers, urges & goals are, I am not clear. Is anyone? Is he?


I minored in Astronomy...lol

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