[FPSPACE] Speaking of Atlas V

Christopher Gorski cpgorski at gmail.com
Thu Sep 18 12:16:43 EDT 2014

"Realistic"--is that why Atlas and Delta are two of the most expensive
launchers in service in the world and the international
market seems inclined to choose Ariane, Proton, and Soyuz?

Granted unmanned and manned have some very different constraints; it's
possible SpaceX will do poorly at this--but NASA fully funded both their
proposal and Boeing's, so they don't seem to think so.  It mostly puzzles
me, David, that you seem to take it as a foregone conclusion that SpaceX
are failures or con men.  I'm not their proselyte, but I am interested to
see how this plays out over the next few years, as they seem to be off to a
pretty good start on the unmanned side (am I right in saying they've sold
more launches to commercial customers in 2014 than ULA has?).

I do agree with you that funding all three of these manned spacecraft and
launch vehicles at once seems pretty silly.  But then, my mind kind of
boggles that after 14 years of practice building and operating a space
station that our plan for exploring asteroids, the Moon, Mars, and anywhere
else is to build a giant von Braun style rocket and send the whole living
room up at once again!  I'd think leaving the ferrying of crew and cargo to
LEO to a commercial service (Boeing, SpaceX, whoever can do the job cheaply
and safely) and freeing NASA to build larger spacecraft in space would be a
better approach...



On Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 9:23 AM, David Portree <dsfportree at hotmail.com>

> I think because Boeing is being realistic about what is required to
> develop, certify, and fly a new piloted spacecraft. SpaceX, not so much.
> SpaceX is a lot like Shuttle before Challenger. Miracles promised,
> problems ignored, mundane achievements shouted to the rooftops as our
> latest big success. We know how that ended (don't we?).
> I look at NASA's budget and the lofty aspirations of space explorers and I
> can't help but ask why we're developing three piloted spacecraft at once.
> It's ironic that SpaceX is short for "Space Exploration." Unless you count
> grocery delivery as exploration.
> dsfp
> David S. F. Portree
> author and stuff
> Email:
> dsfportree at hotmail.com
> dportree at usgs.gov
> Profile:
> http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/people/david-portree
> Blogs:
> http://www.wired.com/category/beyondapollo/
> http://theportreelibrary.blogspot.com/
> > Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:26:33 +0200
> > From: dokter.nuyens at telenet.be
> > To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
> > Subject: [FPSPACE] Speaking of Atlas V
> >
> > Marc Boucher wrote:
> > > Boeing just costs more.
> > Then I have a simple question: Why so big a difference?
> >
> > Zeger
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