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(CNN)   NASA repeatedly signaled that it was more confident in its legacy partner, Boeing (BA) (government contracts), which was developing the Starliner, a spacecraft to rival SpaceX's (private company) Crew Dragon   (cnn.com) divider line
    More: Ironic, Space Shuttle, Human spaceflight, Space exploration, International Space Station, former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, multibillion-dollar NASA contracts, Space Shuttle program, space agency  
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795 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Aug 2020 at 2:50 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-08-12 1:57:20 PM  
Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.
 
2020-08-12 3:00:32 PM  
Boeing isn't the same company NASA was used to, since they got corrupted by McDonnell's leadership philosophies. It was already lazy and bloated  from smashing or absorbing all the competition, then also got an injection of "this is a stock dividend engine, not an innovation or engineering excellence engine."   Fattened up on cost-plus contracts for decades, Boeing is the once-lithe college football star, now a paunchy dad-bodied middle-ager.   NASA was comfortable with its old vendor relationships and a bit moribund.  Spacex is the unsavory-looking kid in the leather jacket, riding up on a motorbike; pre-judged and dismissed out of hand without a fair hearing.
 
2020-08-12 3:07:19 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.


It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.
 
2020-08-12 3:20:54 PM  

way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.


What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.
 
2020-08-12 3:23:10 PM  
That Government to Industry turnstile ain't gonna turn itself donchaknow?
 
2020-08-12 3:41:12 PM  

FrancoFile: way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.

What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.


Boeing will never run out of cash. Spacex might.
Spacex has been close to deaths door on at least one occasion.  They're Boeing has always had the government bailing it out. Given the right circumstance they'd certainly buy and Elon wouldn't have much choice.

New space has been a graveyard for many companies.
 
2020-08-12 3:42:52 PM  

FrancoFile: way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.

What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.


Boeing is about 3 times larger than SpaceX, going by total value of assets. Boeing is a very big company, the largest aerospace company in the world.
 
2020-08-12 3:48:22 PM  

way south: FrancoFile: way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.

What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.

Boeing will never run out of cash. Spacex might.
Spacex has been close to deaths door on at least one occasion.  They're Boeing has always had the government bailing it out. Given the right circumstance they'd certainly buy and Elon wouldn't have much choice.

New space has been a graveyard for many companies.



They aren't selling any 737s right now.  They killed the 747 production line.  Who knows what air travel demand is going to look like in the next 5 years.  They just suspended their common stock dividend.  Their latest 10Q shows that they took on $30 Billion in debt this quarter.  They have no cash.

SpaceX is funded by Elon and VCs in it for the long term.  Current revenue is nice but not really necessary.  When Starlink goes live, that'll give them even more breathing room.
 
2020-08-12 4:59:00 PM  

mongbiohazard: FrancoFile: way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.

What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.

Boeing is about 3 times larger than SpaceX, going by total value of assets. Boeing is a very big company, the largest aerospace company in the world.


Boeing is in a downward spiral of lost contracts, problematic quality control, and mismanagement from the top. They've been kept afloat for years on government handouts, how long is that going to last? i'm not saying SpaceX will succeed, but it certainly looks like Boeing is failing.
 
2020-08-12 5:37:10 PM  

atlantic_lotion: mongbiohazard: FrancoFile: way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.

What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.

Boeing is about 3 times larger than SpaceX, going by total value of assets. Boeing is a very big company, the largest aerospace company in the world.

Boeing is in a downward spiral of lost contracts, problematic quality control, and mismanagement from the top. They've been kept afloat for years on government handouts, how long is that going to last? i'm not saying SpaceX will succeed, but it certainly looks like Boeing is failing.


Maybe. But I doubt it. Simply because here in the US once you get that big, and get your influence inside so many politicians and military leaders, you're pretty much going to stay big. So, that can last a looooooooong time.

I'm not endorsing our broken, corrupted system, just pointing it out. Maybe SpaceX is going to eventually bypass Boeing in scope. Hell, once they get their shiny new Starship up and running that might even be within years after the system comes online. But Boeing is too big, is the provider for so many military contracts, and has such an experienced bench of lobbyists that I find it hard to believe their collapse is imminent, even if their glory days are in the past.

Once you get that big you also get a LOT of levers to pull to STAY big in our system.
 
2020-08-12 5:44:05 PM  

atlantic_lotion: mongbiohazard: FrancoFile: way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.

What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.

Boeing is about 3 times larger than SpaceX, going by total value of assets. Boeing is a very big company, the largest aerospace company in the world.

Boeing is in a downward spiral of lost contracts, problematic quality control, and mismanagement from the top. They've been kept afloat for years on government handouts, how long is that going to last? i'm not saying SpaceX will succeed, but it certainly looks like Boeing is failing.


Boeing borrowed another 25 billon and the possibility of a federal bailout is still looming.

Think about it from a standpoint of national goals. They make parts for many of our military and civilian jets. They make rockets and satellites for the space program. They make critical systems in a multitude of industries.
If they go under then who buys out those critical contracts? An airline maker from a foreign country?
They'll keep getting bailed out and backed up no matter how bad the product gets.

Should spacex folds (especially when it's holding government contracts to still be fulfilled) you'd have ULA, blue origin, Lockheed and especially Boeing fighting over their remains.

I think spacex is on good footing but their plans for space internet and reusable starship have no small amount of "if" in the small print. They have to compete for their segment of the space market where Boeing is repeatedly given its seat at the table, regardless of whether it earns is.

Boeing was the number one contestant over NSS and spacex for resuable crew when they entirely flubbed the launch.  You'd think NASA would bump NSS up into Boeing's slot, but instead they recommit.
Boeing missing a few orders or screwing a few pooched doesn't appear mean anything. Let spacex make a similar mistake and it would be the end of their good fortune at contract hunting.
 
2020-08-12 6:24:36 PM  

way south: Should spacex folds (especially when it's holding government contracts to still be fulfilled) you'd have ULA, blue origin, Lockheed and especially Boeing fighting over their remains.


Small quibble here, but ULA is Lockheed and Boeing. It's a joint venture between the companies, one that SpaceX tried to stop through an antitrust suit (but obviously failed).
 
2020-08-12 7:34:15 PM  

way south: atlantic_lotion: mongbiohazard: FrancoFile: way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.

What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.

Boeing is about 3 times larger than SpaceX, going by total value of assets. Boeing is a very big company, the largest aerospace company in the world.

Boeing is in a downward spiral of lost contracts, problematic quality control, and mismanagement from the top. They've been kept afloat for years on government handouts, how long is that going to last? i'm not saying SpaceX will succeed, but it certainly looks like Boeing is failing.

Boeing borrowed another 25 billon and the possibility of a federal bailout is still looming.

Think about it from a standpoint of national goals. They make parts for many of our military and civilian jets. They make rockets and satellites for the space program. They make critical systems in a multitude of industries.
If they go under then who buys out those critical contracts? An airline maker from a foreign country?
They'll keep getting bailed out and backed up no m ...


Sounds like a pretty solid case for nationalizing Boeing and giving some more of their contracts on new stuff to SpaceX.
 
2020-08-12 7:54:09 PM  

JesseL: Sounds like a pretty solid case for nationalizing Boeing and giving some more of their contracts on new stuff to SpaceX.


If we owned Boeing they'd use that as an excuse to funnel more business their way. A government won't let its sole source of product go without work.

What we should be doing is trying to source fix-priced work from competitive companies, taking care not to screw them over like Fairchild-republic if they follow through.
Maybe you can get a SpaceX in the airline industry instead of having a single giant that's nationalized in all but name.
 
2020-08-12 7:56:45 PM  

mongbiohazard: atlantic_lotion: mongbiohazard: FrancoFile: way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.

What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.

Boeing is about 3 times larger than SpaceX, going by total value of assets. Boeing is a very big company, the largest aerospace company in the world.

Boeing is in a downward spiral of lost contracts, problematic quality control, and mismanagement from the top. They've been kept afloat for years on government handouts, how long is that going to last? i'm not saying SpaceX will succeed, but it certainly looks like Boeing is failing.

Maybe. But I doubt it. Simply because here in the US once you get that big, and get your influence inside so many politicians and military leaders, you're pretty much going to stay big. So, that can last a looooooooong time.

I'm not endorsing our broken, corrupted system, just pointing it out. Maybe SpaceX is going to eventually bypass Boeing in scope. Hell, once they get their shiny new Starship up and running that might even be within years after the system comes online. But Boeing is too big, is the provider for so many military contracts, and has such an experienced bench of lobbyists that I find it hard to believe their collapse is imminent, even if their glory days are in the past.

Once you get that big you also get a LOT of levers to pull to STAY big in our system.


Reminds me of the days when *Nothing* would *ever* surpass Lotus 1-2-3.  And before that, when *Nothing* would *ever* surpass VisiCalc.
 
2020-08-12 8:00:28 PM  

hawcian: way south: Should spacex folds (especially when it's holding government contracts to still be fulfilled) you'd have ULA, blue origin, Lockheed and especially Boeing fighting over their remains.

Small quibble here, but ULA is Lockheed and Boeing. It's a joint venture between the companies, one that SpaceX tried to stop through an antitrust suit (but obviously failed).


Good point.
Aren't they generally independent under Tory Bruno tho?

I'm rusty on the Details of how they came to be, but it was some dispute between Lockheed and Boeing where one was unfairly awarded contracts and the other demanded in on the corruption rather than contesting it.
That wouldn't be unusual for Boeing. We have yet to receive their new air-tankers after the government got caught red handed in a corruption scandal two decades back.
 
2020-08-12 8:22:13 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: mongbiohazard: atlantic_lotion: mongbiohazard: FrancoFile: way south: Marcus Aurelius: Boeing has cost-plus contracts.  SpaceX does not.  You go where the money is.  The REAL problem is that SpaceX is actually delivering product, and that makes the SLA look bad.  The SLA is doing it's job, functioning at 100% efficiency in generating costs, as designed.  They don't get a lot of credit for that.  They generate costs that no one had even thought of before.

It's about incentive.
The idea behind cost plus was sensible. You protect the developer from the risk of failure by covering all costs.
In practice they used that to generate new costs which became profits.
In a fixed contract you don't get paid or failure. You succeed or you die.

The irony is that Boeing may buyout Spacex one day, because the innovation that makes spacex the current leader is also incredibly risky.  Boeing will survive because the government will underwrite it forever.
...Unless commercial space takes off and the government no longer needs to.

What?

Boeing doesn't have the cash to buy SpaceX.  And Elon ain't selling.

Boeing is about 3 times larger than SpaceX, going by total value of assets. Boeing is a very big company, the largest aerospace company in the world.

Boeing is in a downward spiral of lost contracts, problematic quality control, and mismanagement from the top. They've been kept afloat for years on government handouts, how long is that going to last? i'm not saying SpaceX will succeed, but it certainly looks like Boeing is failing.

Maybe. But I doubt it. Simply because here in the US once you get that big, and get your influence inside so many politicians and military leaders, you're pretty much going to stay big. So, that can last a looooooooong time.

I'm not endorsing our broken, corrupted system, just pointing it out. Maybe SpaceX is going to eventually bypass Boeing in scope. Hell, once they get their shiny new Starship up and running that might even be within years after the system comes online. But Boeing is too big, is the provider for so many military contracts, and has such an experienced bench of lobbyists that I find it hard to believe their collapse is imminent, even if their glory days are in the past.

Once you get that big you also get a LOT of levers to pull to STAY big in our system.

Reminds me of the days when *Nothing* would *ever* surpass Lotus 1-2-3.  And before that, when *Nothing* would *ever* surpass VisiCalc.


Those are products. Not massive aerospace contractors integral to our national security and with numerous politicians and military leaders in their pockets. Kind of different.

A particular project, like Starliner for instance, would be allowed to fail. Boeing as a whole won't be though, even if all the influence and money they already have at their disposal isn't enough. Our country is too corrupt for that, and they're too integral to national security.
 
2020-08-13 8:49:39 AM  
A little competition never hurt anyone, except the loser

I've been on team SpaceX since the beginning, they seem to be aware things cost money
 
2020-08-13 9:03:25 AM  

OldJames: A little competition never hurt anyone, except the loser

I've been on team SpaceX since the beginning, they seem to be aware things cost money


But they still cost less than ULA right, which is  how they broke in in the first place?
 
2020-08-13 5:35:51 PM  
Why would Elon sell SpaceX to Boeing?? SpaceX is his dream.
 
2020-08-13 6:23:38 PM  

Kittypie070: Why would Elon sell SpaceX to Boeing?? SpaceX is his dream.


His dream is going to mars. SpaceX is a business, a means to an end.
The point is that spacex is also a risky business because it has to fight for its contracts. Boeing is often granted things simply because its our largest aircraft maker. When the government needs a rocket, like sls, it just pays Boeing outright. When Boeing fails the government still pays.
Spacex has to scrabble together what money it can compete for just to make starship happen. In the end it's a much better rocket but much riskier to develop. If it fails will nasa cover for a rocket it never asked for?
Probably not.


It's not hard to outlive your competitors and buy up their bones if the government is underwriting the cost of your failures. Boeing is likely to still be the largest aircraft maker in the US in fifty years.
We've got no idea where Spacex will be by then. Either an absurd success or a tragic failure.
 
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