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431 weeks ago @ Space Frontier Foundat... - SpaceX Changes the Gam... · 1 reply · +2 points

Congratulations to SpaceX. This is a great step forward. Falcon1 was impressive but a small step, Falcon9 with Dragon is a major accomplishment.

469 weeks ago @ Space Frontier Foundat... - Time for a Change · 0 replies · +1 points

OK, I can quite reasonably support Rick's goals but his rhetoric is ( as usual ) over-the-top. The ISS is, at long last, substantially complete. Right now it is the only destination for manned operations and if the ISS goes most of the rationale for the commercial space operations goes right with it.

I share the concerns that Burt Rutan expressed in his Congressional testimony and I have yet to hear exactly what we get out of the commercial option except the promise of lower cost for low orbit manned operations, right now to and from the ISS. There is the promise of privately funded Bigelow space stations provided that the access is available. I would like to see some serious discussion about just what we should expect to see delivered by the new programs and not ranting and sometime misleading statements about what has gone before.

471 weeks ago @ Space Frontier Foundat... - Space Frontier Foundat... · 0 replies · +1 points

OK, but a call for impeachment of Obama and firing Lori Garver and somehow assuming
Bolden would rather do something different seems more than a bit partisan.

I might as well state my position, which really means little.

I believe it is extremely important to continue the ISS as both a research station and
as a goal for commercial operations. I do not like canceling the Shuttle before the
U.S. has an operational replacement. I didn't like it under the old plan or the new plan.

I think the shift to COTS for both cargo and personnel transfer to the ISS and other
low earth orbit destinations can be done if provided significant government funding
and if the contractors are held to specific, measured benchmarks.

So far I don't see a plan for deep-space manned exploration although I do read some
rather vague alusions to asteroid missions with no real funding guidelines.

The SFF is a much needed, quite energetic organization, but to me one that seems
to go off on tangents.

471 weeks ago @ Space Frontier Foundat... - Space Frontier Foundat... · 2 replies · +1 points

Mr. Kampis

Thank you for your reply. It is the first indication to me that anyone has been even bothering
to read my posts.

It is apparent that when the Shuttle is retired at the end of 2010 the only operating
manned space capability available will be the ability to buy rides from Russia on
the Soyuz and that will give them the opportunity to raise prices.

Yes, I am ignoring the possibility of buying flights from the Chinese. They aren't
there yet and we really have some good geopolitical reasons for not wanting to do it.
Some of these are similar to reasons for avoiding dependency on the Russians
but worse.

However, I note that your posts seem primarily anti-Obama and anti-Garver and I
don't buy the argument that our problem is that the Democrats were elected and
everything has gone bad from there. If you want to go political we would carry this
discussion off in a non-productive side-line so I won't continue that discussion,

Mike Walsh

471 weeks ago @ Space Frontier Foundat... - Space Frontier Foundat... · 0 replies · +1 points

OK, I thought I would take a look at these comments and see if anyone was commenting on any new facts about the new COTS program and what it would look like. I didn't see any so I guess the SFF and its readers don't know any more about the rather vague new program than I do. At this point I don't know whether it is a bold new program or a pending disaster.

I do believe we need consistency and not stopping periodically, tearing up the old programs, and heading in a new direction every few years. I just hope we don't do it again in 2 or 3 years.

472 weeks ago @ Space Frontier Foundat... - The Battle for a New S... · 0 replies · +1 points

I haven't been active in these discussions for quite a while but things have certainly__changed. From the point of things won, it would appear that the Space Frontier organization__has won, at least at the presidential level.____The numbers don't match. It is a classic apples vs. oranges situation. The amount of money__scheduled to be spent for commercial access to the space station not only is not yet completely defined__but much more will be required for manned access.____The high 30 billion dollar figure for Ares is a part of a much larger program aimed at deep__space ventures and requiring long mission times and either earth orbit insertion prior to__reentry or very high reentry at planetary speeds. The commercial manned operations are__short term to the ISS and will still require considerable funding from somewhere.____I doubt that it will be fronted by the commercial operators and paid back as the cost__of shuttling passengers to and from orbit, but I really don't know.____Not too much left to comment on. We just don't know a lot about what is going to__be done, how it is going to be done and how it will be paid for.