Skip to comments.SpaceX: Solyndra in Space
Posted on 08/26/2012 10:17:25 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Despite the news and pictures from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, America's once great space program is on life support because we no longer have a serious manned space exploration program....And the Obama Administration's unimaginative and amateurish vision for space exploration -- even if successful -- will not revive the dying program. It merely follows the disturbing pattern of the Solyndra scandal, funneling tax dollars to Obama donors and fundraisers.
....SpaceX collects tax dollars so that it can learn how to build and develop something that other companies were doing a generation ago. It is curious that SpaceX is now receiving so much taxpayer cash given its stunningly thin record of success in space....even more troubling given that SpaceX's founder and CEO is a big-time Obama donor....
However, the problem with how the Obama Administration is pursuing its uninspiring and unimaginative space program goals goes well beyond picking donors to receive favorable contracts and guaranteed government cash with little accountability. Even if SpaceX accomplishes everything asked of it, it will not get us beyond low-Earth orbit. Simply stated, the Obama administrations vision for space exploration is essentially to replace the hauling capability of the shuttle -- something that was developed more than 30 years ago. Beyond that, real space exploration is not a serious priority.
....NASA is transitioning from being a highly respected nonpartisan space exploration agency to just another arm of Obamas political operation -- wasting tax dollars on friends, diminishing America's global leadership in space exploration, and ensuring that if we continue down this path, we will fall behind China, Russia, India, and others. This will have dire implications for our economy and national security. The Administration has been asked to correct course, but so far has refused to act.....
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...
WOW nice hit piece.. most is incorrect, so far SpaceX is the only one to send a resupply to the ISS and return samples back in there COTS demo neither Japan, Russa or the EU can do so... and it was on where near Solyndra $$$
The Great and Wonderous NASA had directed them to continue down the path of high pressure cryogenic impellers using fuel rich staged combustion engines (viz., the SSME).
Now this was pretty high tech cool stuff with impressive Isp but uh...it's damned expensive to build and run. Especially when you mate it up with a massive structure like the Shuttle just to put 7 people in space.
SpaceX merely commercialized an existing NASA program: the Low Cost Pintle Engine. This program had been technically successful but was canceled to continue feeding the Shuttle cash monster. SpaceX was founded to see the vision through to its conclusion: low cost routine access to space.
This is a standard start-up strategy, well known in the Venture Capital industry. In fact, it's the model.
SpaceX is no Solyndra. It's founded on solid engineering and their flight to the ISS proves that. If this guy is so damn clever, tell me when Lockheed plans to get off their dead butts and do something similar. They competed in the COTS program but got shut out or dropped out early, don't remember or care which. They're more interested in churning a few more ECO's with the USAF so they can turn a 100 million program into a 1 billion program, all of course with an 8% fixed margin. Good Ol' Cost Plus.
Musk is a product of his ethnic and social environment, but he takes incredible risks with his own money and succeeds by relentless work. He now has won the game with the authority to proceed on the 1.6 billion ISS resupply contract.
Regardless of his twinky social outlook, his great business attitude should be respected.
PS: building and launching a rocket is no trivial task. Been there, done that. NO ONE who has never done it should sneer at it.
I think that the article’s author is poorly informed - first off, NASA’s own development program for a shuttle replacement, the Constellation, was heavily over budget. The Space-X developed Falcon family of rockets and the Dragon capsule have been far cheaper in terms of developmental costs then the Constellation, and have came further.
Secondly, as things appear so far, the Space-X system isn’t “more then a decade” away from carrying personnel to the ISS. There has already been a successful unmanned resupply mission to the space station. As things look right now, the first manned Dragon flight will occur within the next three years, and Space-X has kept fairly close to their timeline in the past. Even if the amount of time needed doubles, that is still far less then a decade.
SpaceX is ready for cargo missions to ISS.
I don’t think the comparison to Solyndra is justified.
We DO want private industry to start taking on the “mundane” tasks of space taxi and cargo.
At some point yes, they should stand on their own.
Problem is, Obama wanted to kill ALL Orion and delay NASA heavy lift rocket development five years.
Thankfully that was stopped.
But NASA is starved of proper funding. We expect miracles from NASA on literally LESS then half a penny of federal discretionary spending. NASA is NOT a place to cut funds or starve. During Apollo it was FIVE cents on the dollar at one point.
The nations that lead on the frontiers, dictate the course of human history.
It’s a parallal path to the stars, commercial and NASA.
NASA should pioneer and lead the way, commercial should follow with working business models.
Given SpaceX’s successes, I don’t see that is anything like Solyendra. They will be getting business from other then NASA so let’s see where they can go.
What is incorrect?
Please tell us how much funding you believe SpaceX (hailed as a commercial enterprise) has received from the taxpayers.
Where do you see the U.S. space program in 10 years?
“I dont think the comparison to Solyndra is justified.”
I agree. The only thing that Solyndra and Elon Mush have in common is the fact that Elon owns a factory in Fremont CA where Tesla Motors is located. It’s just a few 100 yards from the Solyndra factory ;-)
What markets do you see buying from SpaceX - the ticket to becoming profitable? Other countries already provide commercial launch services.
Which brings me to my question: I thought SpaceX was entirely PRIVATELY funded, or is that incorrect?
If you put my hand over a burning flame, I'd swear I read that somewhere --- I just don't remember where.
And this achievement should excite us why?
Rockets are easy - good nukes are harder... :)
As I understand it, this is not true. The Dragon capsule recently sent to the ISS is the same basic design that will be the manned sapsule, but is also the same basic capsule which will go to Mars or the moon. Also, with the reusable space booster, space will become an order of magnitude more accessible.
Sometimes I don't get conservative's attitude towards NASA. It was successful in its day, but aren't we supposed to be for privitizing government programs which could be privatized? The only true innovation in access to space that I see is coming from private industry right now. I feel we should let them lead.
It must be pointed out that the CEO of SpaceX said if the last mission had not worked. It would have been the end of SpaceX.
I also don't like SpaceX funding the Obama campaign. Very unseemly.
“Musk is a product of his ethnic and social environment”
When do you think SpaceX will be rated to carry humans? How much taxpayer money will be needed and spent to reinvent that wheel?
Do you actually believe Obama wanted to shrink a government agency in order to spur private enterprise and American space power?
Space X’s next launch of the Falcon 9 is set for October 2012 with the one following that set for December 2012.
You should see the number of launches they have scheduled.
Do you see SpaceX going public within 2 years?