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America Doesn't Need NASA To Stay On Top In Space
IBD Editorials ^ | May 22, 2012 | Editor

Posted on 05/22/2012 7:07:20 PM PDT by Kaslin

Free Enterprise: For those worried that America's leadership in spaceflight died with NASA's downsizing, meet SpaceX, a private company that showed Tuesday how capitalism will do what government does and better.

NASA was once the pride of a country fighting a tense Cold War. It planned and executed what is arguably man's greatest achievement. It indeed engineered a giant leap for mankind.

Yet since those lunar landings, the agency has gotten bogged down in politics and bureaucracy, plagued by waste and ambitions that were never reached. Some believe President Obama's decision to cut NASA's budget and the closure of the shuttle program signal the end of manned spaceflight for the U.S. But it doesn't.

In the pre-dawn hours Tuesday, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket that was topped with the company's Dragon capsule. The unmanned Dragon is on course to dock with the International Space Station, where its 674 pounds of food and supplies will be welcomed by the crew on Friday.

On May 31, Dragon will return to Earth loaded with completed science experiments and other gear it will bring back from the space station.

Eventually, SpaceX will put more than hardware and supplies into orbit. It will put men into space.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
KEYWORDS: falcon9; iss; nasa; spacex
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1 posted on 05/22/2012 7:07:25 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: All


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2 posted on 05/22/2012 7:09:32 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: KevinDavis

Thanks Kaslin.


3 posted on 05/22/2012 7:10:39 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: musicman

As long I they don’t have TSA screeners!


4 posted on 05/22/2012 7:14:01 PM PDT by occamrzr06
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To: Kaslin
Cool time to be alive.

/johnny

5 posted on 05/22/2012 7:14:49 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Kaslin
Apparently the heat shield on the Dragon is similar in composition to the latest and greatest heat shield tech from NASA, but SpaceX figured out how to make it for *one-tenth* the cost.

And it's supposed to be good for 10 re-entries from LEO.

6 posted on 05/22/2012 7:15:28 PM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: Kaslin

sure thing.... let me know the launch date for the next Mars mission


7 posted on 05/22/2012 7:17:56 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: occamrzr06
"As long I they don’t have TSA screeners!" I wish I had said that.
8 posted on 05/22/2012 7:20:42 PM PDT by chooseascreennamepat (The response to 1984 is 1776.)
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To: Kaslin

With their Falcon heavy, essentially a triple booster they will be able to throw enough mass into LEO in two launches as the Saturn 5 did but cost much less. Plus they may be able to reuse two of the three boosters.

This could be the space model T. Not new capability, just an order of magnitude cost shift which is just as important.

They burn kerosene as opposed to liquid hydrogen. Can you say V2?


9 posted on 05/22/2012 7:21:41 PM PDT by cicero2k
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To: Kaslin

Don’t be duped into believing that our space program can be outsourced fully to private enterprise. It can’t, but this can be a convenient excuse to further dismantle a once a premier world-class agency. Private enterprise, alone, cannot take the long-term risks and and investments that are necessary.


10 posted on 05/22/2012 7:22:16 PM PDT by Swirl
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To: Nifster
let me know the launch date for the next Mars mission

The date from FedGov has always been 30 years away, for the last 40 years.

That's a long wait where the train don't come.

/johnny

11 posted on 05/22/2012 7:22:58 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Kaslin

Hey, why not just outsource it to China? /s


12 posted on 05/22/2012 7:24:05 PM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: Swirl
I believe that private enterprise can take the risks and make the investments and will do it for much cheaper than FedGov can.

There will be failures. Just like PanAm failed, and the Crosley Motors car company.

/johnny

13 posted on 05/22/2012 7:30:07 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Kaslin

Heinlein’s dream of Delos David Harriman may be fulfilled yet.

We will see in the next 2 decades more advancement in space exploration than in the last 50 years.

God Bless NASA for getting us to the moon — but it is time to step aside and let the private sector get ‘er done.


14 posted on 05/22/2012 7:30:07 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: Swirl

Bullcrap. Government screws up every single thing it touches almost without exception.


15 posted on 05/22/2012 7:33:47 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: Kaslin
"Private-sector space travel" my butt.

SpaceX efforts are "private" and "commercial" only through the loosest of characterizations. They have received well over $ 1 billion dollars in federal money over the years, mostly from DoD and NASA. Moreover, their promises greatly exceed their accomplishments -- to date, their Falcon 1 has two successes out of five attempts (and since rapidly dropped in favor of its successor) while the Falcon 9 has flown twice, not entirely without incident. No SpaceX launch vehicle has yet delivered a single paying commercial (and only one government payload, for Malaysia no less) to orbit.

SpaceX is one of three "high-tech" companies started and owned by Elon Musk, an Obama contributor. His other two companies make an electric car (Tesla) and solar power arrays (Solar Cities). Both of these companies have received DoE grants for development. Three companies, each taking federal dollars -- the grifter's trifecta.

The most egregious part of this bogus "commercial" New Space scam is that it is being marketed to the public as a new direction in spaceflight. In fact, it is merely another form of government contracting and the vehicles go nowhere beyond low Earth orbit, where we have been already going for the last 50 years. This fraudulent portrayal by the current administration and their lackeys is designed to deflect attention away from the fact that Obama has quietly and systematically dismantled the American civil space program.

16 posted on 05/22/2012 7:39:02 PM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Swirl
Don’t be duped into believing that our space program can be outsourced fully to private enterprise. It can’t, but this can be a convenient excuse to further dismantle a once a premier world-class agency. Private enterprise, alone, cannot take the long-term risks and and investments that are necessary.

You are correct.

17 posted on 05/22/2012 7:40:21 PM PDT by ILS21R (John Locke: When the social contract is broken, the people must revolt.)
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To: chooseascreennamepat

I don’t think that can be said enough.


18 posted on 05/22/2012 7:41:14 PM PDT by occamrzr06
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To: Swirl

This is what I’ve been beating into the minds of FReepers for some time now.. When I think NASA I think America, Old Glory, and ‘UNITED STATES’.. WE. When I see a SpaceX rocket go up I think of a dude with a lot of money with ‘SpaceX’ emblazoned on his oversized Estes rocket and I don’t think ‘WE’ and this less patriotic and less nationalistic mindset is Obama’s motive for crushing NASA and the long traditional history that goes along with it.


19 posted on 05/22/2012 7:41:50 PM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: Lurker
Bullcrap. Government screws up every single thing it touches almost without exception.

The exception must be that thing they're supposed to dock with.

20 posted on 05/22/2012 7:42:51 PM PDT by ILS21R (John Locke: When the social contract is broken, the people must revolt.)
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To: Cincinatus
The most egregious part of this bogus "commercial" New Space scam is that it is being marketed to the public as a new direction in spaceflight. In fact, it is merely another form of government contracting and the vehicles go nowhere beyond low Earth orbit, where we have been already going for the last 50 years. This fraudulent portrayal by the current administration and their lackeys is designed to deflect attention away from the fact that Obama has quietly and systematically dismantled the American civil space program.

Another voice of reason from somebody who "gets it". Thank you.

21 posted on 05/22/2012 7:45:11 PM PDT by ILS21R (John Locke: When the social contract is broken, the people must revolt.)
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To: ILS21R

Have you ever seen anything like this “New Space” cultism in your life? They can’t wait to drink the Kool-Aid.


22 posted on 05/22/2012 7:47:39 PM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
This is what I’ve been beating into the minds of FReepers for some time now.. When I think NASA I think America, Old Glory, and ‘UNITED STATES’.. WE. When I see a SpaceX rocket go up I think of a dude with a lot of money with ‘SpaceX’ emblazoned on his oversized Estes rocket and I don’t think ‘WE’ and this less patriotic and less nationalistic mindset is Obama’s motive for crushing NASA and the long traditional history that goes along with it.

All true.

23 posted on 05/22/2012 7:49:10 PM PDT by ILS21R (John Locke: When the social contract is broken, the people must revolt.)
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To: Cincinatus
Space-X is going down the same path that Northrop Grumman or General Dynamics or any of the other commercial space players went down.

NASA doesn't have rocket factories. They never did.

But the tax-payer is paying a hell of a lot less with Space-X than with Lockheed or the others.

The 'big boys' had lots of failures, spectacular public failures on the launch pad, during the cold war with NASA trying to run the show.

/johnny

24 posted on 05/22/2012 7:58:29 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Cincinatus
Have you ever seen anything like this “New Space” cultism in your life? They can’t wait to drink the Kool-Aid.

It is bizarre. Newt says moon colony and gets hammered. IBD says to infinity and beyond and the drones cheer. gulp gulp.

25 posted on 05/22/2012 7:58:50 PM PDT by ILS21R (John Locke: When the social contract is broken, the people must revolt.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I didn’t say a manned mission just an exploratory. Those have been done far more frequently than your comment. The truth is that things like SpaceX don’t do exploratory or research missions.

Don’t get me wrong the NASA mission has been degraded by Congress and politics and stupid people like Hansen (Yeah I know he is NOAA). There are things that NASA can do that the private sector will never do-—think Kepler for example.


26 posted on 05/22/2012 8:03:29 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: JRandomFreeper
Space-X is going down the same path that Northrop Grumman or General Dynamics or any of the other commercial space players went down.

Agreed. My point was that SpaceX is nothing more than another contractor, just like GD or Lock-Mart. This talk of it being a bold new "commercial" world is completely wrong.

NASA doesn't have rocket factories. They never did.

But they designed the machines that flew and then turned over the plans to contractors to fabricate and assemble. Falcon 9 is entirely SpaceX's design. Time will tell if it is robust, reliable and cheap, as Elon constantly proclaims.

27 posted on 05/22/2012 8:07:24 PM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Nifster
There are things that NASA can do that the private sector will never do-—think Kepler for example.

You mean Ball Aerospace? The prime contractor for Kepler? Because they made it happen. NASA just speced the program and then got in the way with some of their burro-ocracy.

I'll always go with free-enterprise rather than government. Even on pure research.

Oil companies have found out more about the planet than any government agency program.

/johnny

28 posted on 05/22/2012 8:21:20 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Cincinatus
But they designed the machines that flew and then turned over the plans to contractors to fabricate and assemble.

Not entirely true. In many cases, they just speced equipment and the contractor designed it. Same thing today.

I know for sure that Space-X spent a lot less to orbit a capsule and return it safely than NASA did.

And it did work.

/johnny

29 posted on 05/22/2012 8:24:32 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

You mean Ball Aerospace who took the MONEY that NASA provided???? They sure didn’t pony up anything in the way of money for Kepler. The in fact took the government and were very happy to do so


30 posted on 05/22/2012 8:46:29 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: Kaslin; All

Some things to keep in mind...

Commercial endeavors didn’t start from scratch.
They leveraged off of what NASA did many decades ago
that cost American blood and treasure.

Commercial is about pursuing profit. Money. The
quarterly report. Good! I champion in.
But think hard that much of that profit will come from for now, government contracts. Still needing government moneys to survive.

But profits are not always cash, that is what NASA should be doing, the truly pioneering missions that push the edge because that is what ends up changing humanity. That is a different sort of profit, and it enables the other in time.

Both paths are critical, one does not negate the other.


31 posted on 05/22/2012 8:49:44 PM PDT by Names Ash Housewares ( Refusing to kneel before the "messiah".)
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To: Nifster
NASA is but one of Ball's customers. They also have commercial customers that they do work for.

I've happily taken money from both government customers and commercial customers. You make money where you can.

/johnny

32 posted on 05/22/2012 8:53:41 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Names Ash Housewares

It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Good post.


33 posted on 05/22/2012 9:18:43 PM PDT by wheresmyusa (FTUN)
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To: Cincinatus; Kaslin
SpaceX is one of three "high-tech" companies started and owned by Elon Musk, an Obama contributor

Yep, but what ya conveniently left out is and he also contributed to the Republican party and Tea Party people, such as Rubio, among others.

34 posted on 05/22/2012 9:25:47 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: ILS21R
Newt says moon colony and gets hammered. IBD says to infinity and beyond and the drones cheer. gulp gulp.

Astronomy magazine lampooned Newt's plans for returning to the moon as unobtainable and praised Elon Musk's plans for going to Mars on the same page.

To leftists, politics is everything. Romney could cure cancer and the headline would be negative.

35 posted on 05/22/2012 9:31:54 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: JRandomFreeper

See #34


36 posted on 05/22/2012 9:37:31 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Cincinatus
The most egregious part of this bogus "commercial" New Space scam is that it is being marketed to the public as a new direction in spaceflight. In fact, it is merely another form of government contracting and the vehicles go nowhere beyond low Earth orbit, where we have been already going for the last 50 years. This fraudulent portrayal by the current administration and their lackeys is designed to deflect attention away from the fact that Obama has quietly and systematically dismantled the American civil space program.

Actually, it is new. NASA is buying a service from a company that made all its own decisions concerning hardware (with a lot of expertise from NASA, no doubt). Traditional aerospace has the government selecting a hardware design, funding it, and making every critical decision. We are long past any need for that model.

Obama's vision fails because he ultimately denies SpaceX a market by defunding any real space exploration, as you point out.

37 posted on 05/22/2012 9:39:27 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: Kaslin
(Article) Yet since those lunar landings, the agency has gotten bogged down in politics and bureaucracy, plagued by waste and ambitions that were never reached.

Bull hockey.

NASA's budget got robbed out by assorted presidents (Nixon cancelled the last two missions of the Apollo program, Clinton robbed out the space-shuttle program, and Dubya sent Sean O'Keefe from OMB to NASA to "carve out" still more -- even after the Columbiaa accident.

NASA was gutted by pols, and now it's being destroyed by a nasty little, shriveled, hate-filled man because of what it stands for.

38 posted on 05/22/2012 9:47:34 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: Swirl

NASA is partly at fault for this as well - they sabotaged then killed off SSTO/Delta Clipper, then they spread FUD around about Rotary Rocket and got that private venture killed off, and basically spent most of the past 30 years trying to kill private spaceflight.

Now there’s a bunch of NASA engineers sitting around wondering where they’re going to be working when they get laid off in the next round of cutbacks. Perhaps they should have thought of this before.


39 posted on 05/22/2012 11:10:33 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: JRandomFreeper
And it did work.

There's a big difference between fabricating and flying a prototype (every SpaceX launch to date) and actually creating an operational vehicle. SpaceX hasn't done the latter yet. They revise their launch prices (upward) every year. And they have not yet successfully completed this current mission.

The idolization of Musk and SpaceX is premature and misguided at best.

40 posted on 05/23/2012 4:01:49 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: dragnet2
what ya conveniently left out is and he also contributed to the Republican party and Tea Party people, such as Rubio, among others.

You left out Rohrabacher. So because Musk gives money to political cronies that can help grease the wheels for more federal money for his three tax-money-sucking companies, he's a pillar of integrity, huh? Brilliant.

41 posted on 05/23/2012 4:05:58 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: hopespringseternal
Obama's vision fails because he ultimately denies SpaceX a market by defunding any real space exploration

It fails because it has no strategic direction, other than a general idea that somehow, "commercial" will transport people and cargo to LEO and NASA will do everything beyond LEO. His timetables for all this are vague to non-existent.

We had a good strategic direction with the Bush Vision and Obama cancelled that without any real thought. What I object to is that what is really a matter of simple federal contracting is being sold and promoted as a "new direction in space." It is not and to present it as such is a fraud.

But then, that's just what I would expect from this administration. What disappoints me is how so many so-called conservatives are falling for this BS, simply because of use of the magic talisman word "commercial."

Real commercial operates in a real world market and has a variety of real, paying customers. All SpaceX has is a NASA contract and a big-mouthed founder

42 posted on 05/23/2012 4:16:01 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: hopespringseternal
Astronomy magazine lampooned Newt's plans for returning to the moon as unobtainable and praised Elon Musk's plans for going to Mars on the same page.

That is sad. I wonder if there is anything in hard copy that the left hasn't infiltrated yet.

43 posted on 05/23/2012 4:38:35 AM PDT by ILS21R (John Locke: When the social contract is broken, the people must revolt.)
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To: Kaslin

Now NASA can focus on global warming.


44 posted on 05/23/2012 4:46:55 AM PDT by ThePatriotsFlag (Still a contributing Republican? Why?)
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To: JRandomFreeper

But your point was that private companies do big pure research...like Mars missions or moon missions. The truth is they don’t. They take government money (and direction).

Look you and I are probably not disagreeing in any major way. I prefer private companies to be given the appropriate economic atmosphere to do big research (the days of Bell Labs and the Skunkworks or sadly long gone). There are places for the government to provide funding and direction for big research.


45 posted on 05/23/2012 5:55:12 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Explorer89

what say you ?


46 posted on 05/23/2012 6:47:38 AM PDT by xsmommy
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To: Cincinatus; hopespringseternal; JRandomFreeper
SpaceX is one of three "high-tech" companies started and owned by Elon Musk, an Obama contributor

Yep, but what ya conveniently left out is and he also contributed to the Republican party and Tea Party people, such as Rubio, among others.

Funny how ya left that out.

BTW, Ms. Cincinatus, ALL big private corporations contribute to politicians and political parties.

Ya think this is something new???

What ya been Ms. Cincinatus?

47 posted on 05/23/2012 9:20:48 AM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Cincinatus
All SpaceX has is a NASA contract and a big-mouthed founder

Well all be waiting for Ms. Cincinatus to stop running her mouth, and start a new space exploration company of her own.

Lets us know when ya launch Ms. Cincinatus.

48 posted on 05/23/2012 9:25:27 AM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: dragnet2
First of all, you are confusing me with my wife -- I am the original.

Second, in classic FReeper style, you shoot off your mouth without knowing anything about me, my background, what I may have done in the space business, or the basis of my expertise.

But keep spouting off all the New Space platitudes -- ignorance befits you.

49 posted on 05/23/2012 10:51:36 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Jack Hydrazine; ELS; ToxicMich; paintriot; Cronos; A_perfect_lady; Art in Idaho; perplyone; ...

50 posted on 05/23/2012 5:41:00 PM PDT by KevinDavis (The birther movement was started by a 9/11 truther..)
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