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(Washington Post)   United Launch Alliance's daring attempt to land 36 non-compete government rocket contracts has failed to get off the ground   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 32
    More: Followup, United Launch Alliance, Elon Musk, SpaceX, rockets, Dmitry Rogozin, injunctions, International Space Station  
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1634 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 May 2014 at 4:05 PM (15 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-05 04:16:38 PM
Can't we just hook KSP up to a 3D printer and make our own rockets?
 
2014-05-05 04:18:48 PM
FTFA:

"This is not SpaceX protesting and saying these launches should be awarded to us," Musk said at the news conference. "We're just saying these launches should be competed. If we compete and lose, that's fine. But why would they not even compete it? That doesn't make sense."

Well, that's obviously a lie, since he obviously does want the launches awarded to SpaceX. And I'm not so sure that this isn't just whining from an upstart government contractor who's pissed that the established government contractors are the ones getting the money. I like SpaceX because I think they're doing cool things, but I guess I don't fully understand what makes them different from somebody like TRW, Orbital, or Rocketdyne. And he's right, this probably should have been bid and competed for, since SpaceX thinks they have the tech to stand toe-to-toe and the contract runs for something like 30 years. But still, don't tell me you're just doing this because it's the right thing to do and you're all about fair play and sportsmanship. I know bullshiat when I hear it.
 
2014-05-05 04:27:55 PM
I know this is a follow up, but isn't this story from last week?
 
2014-05-05 04:34:36 PM

phyrkrakr: FTFA:

"This is not SpaceX protesting and saying these launches should be awarded to us," Musk said at the news conference. "We're just saying these launches should be competed. If we compete and lose, that's fine. But why would they not even compete it? That doesn't make sense."

Well, that's obviously a lie, since he obviously does want the launches awarded to SpaceX. And I'm not so sure that this isn't just whining from an upstart government contractor who's pissed that the established government contractors are the ones getting the money. I like SpaceX because I think they're doing cool things, but I guess I don't fully understand what makes them different from somebody like TRW, Orbital, or Rocketdyne. And he's right, this probably should have been bid and competed for, since SpaceX thinks they have the tech to stand toe-to-toe and the contract runs for something like 30 years. But still, don't tell me you're just doing this because it's the right thing to do and you're all about fair play and sportsmanship. I know bullshiat when I hear it.


Then this response by ULA must REALLY piss you off:

ULA is deeply concerned with this ruling and we will work closely with the Department of Justice to resolve the injunction expeditiously. In the meantime, ULA will continue to demonstrate our commitment to our National Security on the launch pad by assuring the safe delivery of the missions we are honored to support.

SpaceX's attempt to disrupt a national security launch contract so long after the award ignores the potential implications to our National Security and our nation's ability to put Americans on board the International Space Station. Just like ULA, NASA and numerous other companies lawfully conduct business with the same Russian company, other Russia state-owned industries, and Russian Federation agencies.  This opportunistic action by SpaceX appears to be an attempt to circumvent  the requirements imposed on those who seek to meet the challenging launch needs of the nation and to avoid having to follow the rules, regulations and standards expected of a company entrusted to support our nation's most sensitive missions.
 
2014-05-05 04:38:01 PM

phyrkrakr: FTFA:

"This is not SpaceX protesting and saying these launches should be awarded to us," Musk said at the news conference. "We're just saying these launches should be competed. If we compete and lose, that's fine. But why would they not even compete it? That doesn't make sense."

Well, that's obviously a lie, since he obviously does want the launches awarded to SpaceX. And I'm not so sure that this isn't just whining from an upstart government contractor who's pissed that the established government contractors are the ones getting the money. I like SpaceX because I think they're doing cool things, but I guess I don't fully understand what makes them different from somebody like TRW, Orbital, or Rocketdyne. And he's right, this probably should have been bid and competed for, since SpaceX thinks they have the tech to stand toe-to-toe and the contract runs for something like 30 years. But still, don't tell me you're just doing this because it's the right thing to do and you're all about fair play and sportsmanship. I know bullshiat when I hear it.


I didn't read it that way -- he's not saying he's an uninvolved third party just looking to do some good in the world. He's saying "give us a chance to win the contract at least." He's not saying they're special and different from the established players, which is exactly the point. Why default to a non-compete contract when competition does exist?

//There are, however, certain issues with SpaceX not yet being certified to actually do the launches, but that is largely being viewed as a minor issue that will inevitably be resolved shortly.
 
2014-05-05 04:46:51 PM
Non-competes are stupid.
 
2014-05-05 04:48:21 PM

haemaker: ULA is deeply concerned with this ruling and we will work closely with the Department of Justice to resolve the injunction expeditiously. In the meantime, ULA will continue to demonstrate our commitment to our National Security on the launch pad by assuring the safe delivery of the missions we are honored to support.

SpaceX's attempt to disrupt a national security launch contract so long after the award ignores the potential implications to our National Security and our nation's ability to put Americans on board the International Space Station. Just like ULA, NASA and numerous other companies lawfully conduct business with the same Russian company, other Russia state-owned industries, and Russian Federation agencies.  This opportunistic action by SpaceX appears to be an attempt to circumvent  the requirements imposed on those who seek to meet the challenging l ...


Wow! It's like ULA is using one of these to blow smoke up my arse.
www.parabolicarc.com
 
2014-05-05 04:52:03 PM
ULA just suffered a hard start on their plans to shut SpaceX out of the government contract system.
 
2014-05-05 04:59:18 PM

phyrkrakr: FTFA:

"This is not SpaceX protesting and saying these launches should be awarded to us," Musk said at the news conference. "We're just saying these launches should be competed. If we compete and lose, that's fine. But why would they not even compete it? That doesn't make sense."

Well, that's obviously a lie, since he obviously does want the launches awarded to SpaceX. And I'm not so sure that this isn't just whining from an upstart government contractor who's pissed that the established government contractors are the ones getting the money. I like SpaceX because I think they're doing cool things, but I guess I don't fully understand what makes them different from somebody like TRW, Orbital, or Rocketdyne. And he's right, this probably should have been bid and competed for, since SpaceX thinks they have the tech to stand toe-to-toe and the contract runs for something like 30 years. But still, don't tell me you're just doing this because it's the right thing to do and you're all about fair play and sportsmanship. I know bullshiat when I hear it.


9/10.  That is magnificent.
 
2014-05-05 05:06:20 PM
ULA is pissed because they will have to lower their prices. ULA was supposed to lower prices but they've done nothing but go up. ULA is 2 major competitors deciding to work with each other. The prices increases were inevitable.
 
2014-05-05 05:08:45 PM

Tobin_Lam: ULA is pissed because they will have to lower their prices. ULA was supposed to lower prices but they've done nothing but go up. ULA is 2 major competitors deciding to work with each other. The prices increases were inevitable.


Competition is a biatch, ain't it?
 
2014-05-05 05:10:31 PM
wooot!  as a fan of spacex, I must say again, WOOOT!!!
 
2014-05-05 05:13:23 PM
Hopefully, Boeing and Lockheed have been saving up their massive profits. All they have to do is start eating into them to undercut SpaceX and the other company. Boeing or Lockheed eats into profits for a bit to score the contracts, SpaceX goes out of business, and ULA is back in business.
 
2014-05-05 05:15:16 PM

Tobin_Lam: Hopefully, Boeing and Lockheed have been saving up their massive profits. All they have to do is start eating into them to undercut SpaceX and the other company. Boeing or Lockheed eats into profits for a bit to score the contracts, SpaceX goes out of business, and ULA is back in business.



Hopefully?
 
2014-05-05 05:16:30 PM

phyrkrakr: FTFA:

"This is not SpaceX protesting and saying these launches should be awarded to us," Musk said at the news conference. "We're just saying these launches should be competed. If we compete and lose, that's fine. But why would they not even compete it? That doesn't make sense."

Well, that's obviously a lie, since he obviously does want the launches awarded to SpaceX. And I'm not so sure that this isn't just whining from an upstart government contractor who's pissed that the established government contractors are the ones getting the money. I like SpaceX because I think they're doing cool things, but I guess I don't fully understand what makes them different from somebody like TRW, Orbital, or Rocketdyne. And he's right, this probably should have been bid and competed for, since SpaceX thinks they have the tech to stand toe-to-toe and the contract runs for something like 30 years. But still, don't tell me you're just doing this because it's the right thing to do and you're all about fair play and sportsmanship. I know bullshiat when I hear it.


I heard some inside info on this last week.  Basically it's not that the gov't didn't want to give him the contracts because they don't like him.  There are some contracts which SpaceX hasn't demonstrated the capability to handle yet.  They very much want to have another vendor, but at this time it was considered a better idea to go with the vendor who has been doing it.  They are open to SpaceX, they're just being cautious for reliability reasons  At least that's what I heard, I'm not providing sources.
 
2014-05-05 05:18:39 PM

New Farkin User Name: Tobin_Lam: Hopefully, Boeing and Lockheed have been saving up their massive profits. All they have to do is start eating into them to undercut SpaceX and the other company. Boeing or Lockheed eats into profits for a bit to score the contracts, SpaceX goes out of business, and ULA is back in business.


Hopefully?


Only if you're an investor in Boeing or Lockheed. Hopefully was probably the wrong word. I'd like SpaceX to be successful.
 
2014-05-05 05:39:32 PM

sethen320: phyrkrakr: FTFA:

"This is not SpaceX protesting and saying these launches should be awarded to us," Musk said at the news conference. "We're just saying these launches should be competed. If we compete and lose, that's fine. But why would they not even compete it? That doesn't make sense."

Well, that's obviously a lie, since he obviously does want the launches awarded to SpaceX. And I'm not so sure that this isn't just whining from an upstart government contractor who's pissed that the established government contractors are the ones getting the money. I like SpaceX because I think they're doing cool things, but I guess I don't fully understand what makes them different from somebody like TRW, Orbital, or Rocketdyne. And he's right, this probably should have been bid and competed for, since SpaceX thinks they have the tech to stand toe-to-toe and the contract runs for something like 30 years. But still, don't tell me you're just doing this because it's the right thing to do and you're all about fair play and sportsmanship. I know bullshiat when I hear it.

I heard some inside info on this last week.  Basically it's not that the gov't didn't want to give him the contracts because they don't like him.  There are some contracts which SpaceX hasn't demonstrated the capability to handle yet.  They very much want to have another vendor, but at this time it was considered a better idea to go with the vendor who has been doing it.  They are open to SpaceX, they're just being cautious for reliability reasons  At least that's what I heard, I'm not providing sources.


"It's true, your Honor, this man has no dick."
...
"Well that's what I heard!"
 
2014-05-05 05:44:16 PM
Any speculation on how many more first stage splashdowns before SpaceX is landing on the pad? Maybe a half dozen before SpaceX can severely undercut their competitions pricing? I realize an Atlas V military launch is some where in the neighborhood of 3-4 times what SpaceX estimates theirs will cost already, so maybe it doesn't matter that much.

The tenth Falcon launch is (hopefully) this Saturday and on May 29th the Dragon Mk 2 is unveiled. Crazy times we live in...unless your ULA and then it's nothing but bad news.
 
2014-05-05 05:51:54 PM

SewerSquirrels: Any speculation on how many more first stage splashdowns before SpaceX is landing on the pad? Maybe a half dozen before SpaceX can severely undercut their competitions pricing? I realize an Atlas V military launch is some where in the neighborhood of 3-4 times what SpaceX estimates theirs will cost already, so maybe it doesn't matter that much.

The tenth Falcon launch is (hopefully) this Saturday and on May 29th the Dragon Mk 2 is unveiled. Crazy times we live in...unless your ULA and then it's nothing but bad news.


Next launch they plan to try and land the first stage about a mile out from the ocean.

After that. Maybe land depending on how things go.
 
2014-05-05 06:12:11 PM
www.spaceflightnow.com

The last ISS flight kicked up a bunch of sound suppression water at blast off, giving the rocket that Star Wars "dirty spaceship" look.

And yes, those are landing feet.
 
2014-05-05 06:13:24 PM
Having worked both sides of the fence, I can say that non-compete contracts are almost always awarded when the company winning the contract would fail in a competitive bid. I wouldn't be surprised if the ULA contract was also cost-plus.

SpaceX has done the required flights to qualify, but the Air Force is holding up the paperwork for approval.
 
2014-05-05 06:34:42 PM
Wait wait wait it gets even better:

SpaceX has gotten the RD-180 engine banned from import to the US

Sanctions sanctions crimea crimea something something
 
2014-05-05 06:46:42 PM

studebaker hoch: Wait wait wait it gets even better:

SpaceX has gotten the RD-180 engine banned from import to the US

Sanctions sanctions crimea crimea something something


It's almost like you maybe shouldn't depend on one of your largest global adversaries for critical defense technology.  Who would've thunk it?

Although it probably has kept some number of Russian rocket scientist gainfully employed, as opposed to helping Best Korea and the like.  Sort of a midnight basketball for engineers.
 
2014-05-05 07:24:43 PM
At first I was like:
i.imgur.com

studebaker hoch: Wait wait wait it gets even better:

SpaceX has gotten the RD-180 engine banned from import to the US

Sanctions sanctions crimea crimea something something


And then I read this and it was more like
i.imgur.com
 
2014-05-05 09:22:30 PM
When was the no-bid contract awarded and after how long?  Did SpaceX participate early on or was it included in the process and determined that it lacked the capabilities presently and may not be available in the future?  I am all in favor of SpaceX competing to ensure that the Department of Defense gets the best deal, but they have to have the capabilities to service the planed launches that are being contracted.  Hypothetical capabilities they are planning to meet isn't sufficient capability as that launch date may approach and the rocket isn't ready.  I am glad the court is looking into it to ensure the process was fair, but it may turn out that the no bid contract was the only option available for many launches as much as it pains me to suggest ULA may be a valid contract.

The sanctions aspect is a whole other issue that needs to be looked at separate from the no bid contract.  I am happy that SpaceX raised that issue as the only way to cause sanctions to have an impact is to actually enforce them.   Sanctions certainly can hurt the US companies, but you have to inflict pain locally in order to have an impact on Russia.
 
2014-05-05 09:59:31 PM
sethen320

I heard some inside info on this last week.  Basically it's not that the gov't didn't want to give him the contracts because they don't like him.  There are some contracts which SpaceX hasn't demonstrated the capability to handle yet.  They very much want to have another vendor, but at this time it was considered a better idea to go with the vendor who has been doing it.  They are open to SpaceX, they're just being cautious for reliability reasons  At least that's what I heard, I'm not providing sources.


All SpaceX wants is the chance to compete, that's all.

If they lose on the points you describe, they lose.

How is this a problem?
 
2014-05-05 10:29:52 PM
Today... Today was a good day.

dl.dropboxusercontent.com
 
2014-05-05 11:27:52 PM
The thing that really blew my mind about this is we were buying rocket engines from Russia to launch our spy satellites.  Am I wrong to think this may not be the best national security idea?
 
2014-05-06 01:04:02 AM

way south: Today... Today was a good day.

[dl.dropboxusercontent.com image 500x505]


Indeed.

i.imgur.com
 
2014-05-06 05:25:12 AM

fifthhorseman: The thing that really blew my mind about this is we were buying rocket engines from Russia to launch our spy satellites.  Am I wrong to think this may not be the best national security idea?


My grandad worked in the soviet space program. Even during some of the darkest times of the Cold War, he said it was "business as usual" behind the scenes and in space vis-a-vis NASA and the Soviets....

I don't know if times have changed, but he told me the space people stayed above politics and put the boys (and girls) into space and brought them back down as safely as possible.
 
2014-05-06 06:47:38 AM

Lamberts Ho Man: studebaker hoch: Wait wait wait it gets even better:

SpaceX has gotten the RD-180 engine banned from import to the US

Sanctions sanctions crimea crimea something something

It's almost like you maybe shouldn't depend on one of your largest global adversaries for critical defense technology.  Who would've thunk it?

Although it probably has kept some number of Russian rocket scientist gainfully employed, as opposed to helping Best Korea and the like.  Sort of a midnight basketball for engineers.


is that sorta like, don't cancel your manned space vehicle without having a replacement?   because if you do, you'll have to send your astronauts over to Russia to get them up to the space station.

and, don't cancel a new and upcoming manned space vehicle, then cancel your current manned space vehicle, then go "oh shiat.  how are we going to get anyone up to the space station?"   then have to call up the manufacturer of the new and upcoming manned space vehicle and say, "yea..ahh...can you go back to testing it?  yea, we'll fund it."
 
2014-05-06 09:43:27 PM
While asking to be allowed to play, SpaceX told Congress that the ULA had too much pine tar on their engines.
 
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