Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Space News)   Bridenstine departing NASA, hopes project Artemis continues. Bridezilla unavailable for comment   (spacenews.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Space exploration, NASA, NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, first NASA administrator, incoming administration, last NASA administrator, former astronaut Pam Melroy  
•       •       •

265 clicks; posted to STEM » on 20 Jan 2021 at 1:35 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



17 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-01-20 1:33:04 PM  
"Will we always have an Artemis project Daddy?"

"Of course, son. There has always been an Artemis project. Even when people still lived back on Earth."
 
2021-01-20 1:57:26 PM  
I hope we can get up there and get the moon stuff going, as well as the gateway thing.  I also would like to see the Mars trip.

And that can be Artemis.

After Artemis, we need to incorporate all of the lessons and tech from the private sector, and rise up to the next stage.

Going backwards means humanity is doomed to erasure when the sun goes Nova.  We might only get one chance at this, and honestly ... if blood supplies are low, put out a call.  If food supplies are low, put out a call.  People are generous, even if it doesn't seem like it when you watch the news.

The military can handle a bit less money, too.  The border wall never should have taken money from the space program (I recall a note saying that it did, at one point about 2 years ago).  And dumping that money into Bread & Games doesn't make sense at all.  The people can help with that stuff, but cannot do much about Space.

Get up there and get going.  The more we learn by exploring a resource-starved environment with high levels of danger, the more we learn about conserving and preserving here in a resource-rich environment, and maybe it'll last a lot longer, as well.
 
2021-01-20 3:08:07 PM  
I want Artemis to continue, just without the SLS and Orion. Those two programs are just make-work money pits, but the Artemis program itself is a great idea. We've been kicking around in low-Earth orbit for too long.
 
2021-01-20 3:25:17 PM  
Actually sad to see him go.  Yeah, was a bit of a Trump toady, but he somehow ended up being a pretty competent NASA admin.  Hell, the guy even came around on climate science.
 
2021-01-20 3:28:37 PM  

BrundleFlyForAWhiteGuy: I want Artemis to continue, just without the SLS and Orion. Those two programs are just make-work money pits, but the Artemis program itself is a great idea. We've been kicking around in low-Earth orbit for too long.


I kinda want SLS.

When Verizon charged per-message and per-minute, T-Mobile came along with half-price and unlimited talk and text.  That's what Space-X did.  Better product, and better price.

And ATT/Verizon had to play catch-up, but I absolutely DO NOT want them to go away.  That would be a massive mistake.  It would be like letting Comcast be the only fiber provider for your state.  Gee ... why isn't anyone laying more fiber and expanding their networks anymore?  Why do prices keep going up?

SLS was never the only service provider, but you kinda wanted it to stick around because it had history and know-how.  If nothing else worked, it should work.  If other stuff starts working, it can catch up and integrate what works.  Or vice-versa, since the SLS apparently is the bigger one.

Merge SpaceX and SLS, and you've got one hell of a good rocket system.  It may take 50 years to get there, but I do think it will continue in that direction as long as SLS does get off the ground.  If it crashes, and congress defunds the program, I don't trust Comcast to keep going at full speed.
 
2021-01-20 3:30:26 PM  

pookerbug: Actually sad to see him go.  Yeah, was a bit of a Trump toady, but he somehow ended up being a pretty competent NASA admin.  Hell, the guy even came around on climate science.


Yeah, that was unexpected.  I had low expectations from his record in Oklahoma, but when immersed in facts he learned things and accepted reality.  I feel like his appointment was the one good decision out of the Trump administration, and I don't know how he didn't get fired.
 
2021-01-20 3:33:45 PM  

aungen: SLS was never the only service provider, but you kinda wanted it to stick around because it had history and know-how. If nothing else worked, it should work. If other stuff starts working, it can catch up and integrate what works. Or vice-versa, since the SLS apparently is the bigger one.


Keeping SLS around as a backup option and competitor for SpaceX is like keeping the Pony Express around alongside gigabit fiber internet.  A dude on a horse can move a terabyte across the country too, but it is in no way remotely close to being a competitor or substitute.
 
2021-01-20 3:43:36 PM  

Professor Science: aungen: SLS was never the only service provider, but you kinda wanted it to stick around because it had history and know-how. If nothing else worked, it should work. If other stuff starts working, it can catch up and integrate what works. Or vice-versa, since the SLS apparently is the bigger one.

Keeping SLS around as a backup option and competitor for SpaceX is like keeping the Pony Express around alongside gigabit fiber internet.  A dude on a horse can move a terabyte across the country too, but it is in no way remotely close to being a competitor or substitute.


SLS is the cost of doing business. Yes, it's development is an inefficient stack of pork-projects, but that pork keeps the congress-peeps holding the purse-strings happy.  The space program would never survive if the tax-dollars only went to Texas and Florida.
 
2021-01-20 3:49:17 PM  

aungen: SLS was never the only service provider, but you kinda wanted it to stick around because it had history and know-how. If nothing else worked, it should work. If other stuff starts working, it can catch up and integrate what works. Or vice-versa, since the SLS apparently is the bigger one.


What? Boeing has know-how, and you see how well that's working for them.

SLS spent a very long time not working, with some of its fundamental selling points (like using Shuttle engines) becoming increasingly irrelevant. SpaceX has done one major thing right in development (rapid prototyping and doing many real-world tests) and one major thing right in goals (landing and reuse). Both are completely out of reach for SLS. You can't retrofit or redevelop it so that the lower stages can land and save the program money, and it's an expensive and complex rocket, so you can't build a bunch and be fine with them blowing up--those ships has sailed. When it failed its test a few days ago, it was a significant issue because that's the only rocket they have, and its far enough in development that that test should've been a way to show off that they got everything right. Having something go wrong was emphatically not what they wanted.

I get that competition is good, and it's romantic to think about the best parts of each program coming together to form a glorious, supreme rocket. SLS is a junk program that seems to be producing a junk rocket for a premium price.
 
2021-01-20 3:49:38 PM  

Professor Science: aungen: SLS was never the only service provider, but you kinda wanted it to stick around because it had history and know-how. If nothing else worked, it should work. If other stuff starts working, it can catch up and integrate what works. Or vice-versa, since the SLS apparently is the bigger one.

Keeping SLS around as a backup option and competitor for SpaceX is like keeping the Pony Express around alongside gigabit fiber internet.  A dude on a horse can move a terabyte across the country too, but it is in no way remotely close to being a competitor or substitute.


I wouldn't place them that far apart.

SLS is a bumblebee that can deliver one big payload, but dies.
SpaceX is a Wasp (or whichever one can sting over and over)
Maybe?
 
2021-01-20 3:58:36 PM  

New Farkin User Name: I get that competition is good, and it's romantic to think about the best parts of each program coming together to form a glorious, supreme rocket. SLS is a junk program that seems to be producing a junk rocket for a premium price.


Yeah, I guess I'm looking at the next round.  This round is over. The fact that we got a reusable rocket proven is spectacular.

SpaceX proved it can work, but that wasn't a guarantee at the beginning.  Now it's going to be a priority for most future designs.

No government is going to base their entire space program on SpaceX.  Not even ours.
 
2021-01-20 4:14:30 PM  
TBH, I reallllly hoped the story was about this guy going off to start a Bridenstine vs. Bridezilla franchise.
 
2021-01-20 4:37:14 PM  
Bridenstine was the name of the mad scientist, not the monster!
 
2021-01-20 8:58:51 PM  

aungen: Professor Science: aungen: SLS was never the only service provider, but you kinda wanted it to stick around because it had history and know-how. If nothing else worked, it should work. If other stuff starts working, it can catch up and integrate what works. Or vice-versa, since the SLS apparently is the bigger one.

Keeping SLS around as a backup option and competitor for SpaceX is like keeping the Pony Express around alongside gigabit fiber internet.  A dude on a horse can move a terabyte across the country too, but it is in no way remotely close to being a competitor or substitute.

I wouldn't place them that far apart.

SLS is a bumblebee that can deliver one big payload, but dies.
SpaceX is a Wasp (or whichever one can sting over and over)
Maybe?


There's much more to the difference than that.  SLS is going to end up costing around $1.5-2 billion per flight.  Not for development, just ongoing costs to build and fly.  They can build one rocket a year.  That's after about $18 billion has been spent to develop it.

SpaceX is less public with their finances, but the last time I saw numbers quoted they were estimating that the total development cost for the Starship/Super Heavy stack would end up around $3 billion.  Build costs per rocket are tricky to pin down, but estimates based on employment numbers and material costs put the cost of a Starship plus Super Heavy on the order of $120 million during early, low-rate production, coming down to maybe $40 million when things are rolling along.  And then they're reusable.

Propellants are expected to run around $1 million per flight, but maintenance and ground operations are probably going to dominate the cost.  Taking the officially floated $2 million/flight number and de-Eloning it suggests an actual cost per flight of maybe $20 million, but that could go much lower if they hit the cadence they're always talking about.

So, based on moderately pessimistic assumptions about how far SpaceX will fall short of its aspirational numbers, SLS has managed to spend six times the money to develop a rocket that costs twenty times as much to build and, because it's disposable, a hundred times as much to fly.  If the SLS's budget had been spent the way SpaceX spends money, we could have delivered around ten thousand tons of payload to the lunar surface by now.  That's twenty International Space Stations' worth, on the lunar surface.  That's a goddamn colony.

This is not because SpaceX is magical or Elon is a supergenius or anything.  SpaceX is simply being competent in a field where stagnation is expected since the primary customer is the government, and that customer is willing to be exceedingly stupid if the right campaign donations are made.  These same innovations were sitting there waiting for anybody with the desire to pursue cost-effective spaceflight technologies and capital to develop them.  We've been making rockets out of welded stainless steel since 1959 for fark's sake, and the Soviets mastered staged combustion by 1960.  The only new parts are the computers and software.

SLS's ability to expend orders of magnitude more money for orders of magnitude less functionality is beyond Hanlon's Razor -- mere incompetence while seeking to build an effective rocket is not enough.  It's because the goal of SLS is to distribute money to aerospace contractors, and stories about spaceflight are just there to keep the public from getting too mad about the graft.

They hadn't even decided what mission it was for when they legislated what companies were going to get how much money for building which pieces of it. The moon was not the goal.  Mars was not the goal.  Snagging a small asteroid (remember that silly shiat?) was not the goal.  It had no goal in space; they started spending the money without one because the goal was to spend the money.  Anything else -- building hardware, performing tests, flying rockets -- only happens to make sure that the flow of money is maintained, and it happens at the absolute bare minimum rate required for that.

And now that's all baked into the SLS's design.  It doesn't matter what you do with the program now, those costs aren't coming down by more than a tiny fraction.  The flight rate isn't going up unless you pay Boeing enough to build another factory.  You get one launch a year, for two billion dollars.

Or you could get two launches a week, every week, for a year, for the same two billion dollars.

But the jobs for that second option might have been in the wrong district, and not enough congressional campaigns would have been fattened, and maybe a few senators wouldn't have quietly acquired vacation homes out of nowhere.  So instead of having an actual space program, you get SLS.
 
2021-01-20 9:08:33 PM  
I think you nailed it regarding the fiscal model of spreading out the pork over all those districts.  That, and the fact that national space priorities change every two to four years, changed by people who really don't have space goals, just power and money goals.   SLS is a symptom of a bad governmental system. Nothing will get better for NASA and its programs until it is really de-coupled from that system and given steady funding and a hands-off, long-game planning strategy.

Which I don't think is possible in this lifetime. So the fast-evolving guys and gals working for people like Musk and Bezos are the ones that will make the real breakthroughs and create the path forward.
 
2021-01-21 12:52:33 AM  

Any Pie Left: I think you nailed it regarding the fiscal model of spreading out the pork over all those districts.  That, and the fact that national space priorities change every two to four years, changed by people who really don't have space goals, just power and money goals.   SLS is a symptom of a bad governmental system. Nothing will get better for NASA and its programs until it is really de-coupled from that system and given steady funding and a hands-off, long-game planning strategy.

Which I don't think is possible in this lifetime. So the fast-evolving guys and gals working for people like Musk and Bezos are the ones that will make the real breakthroughs and create the path forward.


I would be one whole helluva lot happier if Blue Origin would start making some farking progress on New Glenn.
 
2021-01-21 11:18:33 AM  
Professor Science:

I felt the same way about jet engines. What is that C-130 doing?!

Don't even get me started on the rest.  We cannot think strategically, we need to only consider bean counting and short term efficiency.
 
Displayed 17 of 17 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.