Bye Bye NASA

Well, NASA’s announced the contractor’s for the shuttle replacement. And the pinheads didn’t pick Rutan!


Ah, well, Rutan’s NOT stupid and he’ll probably beat NASA to the Moon, just to piss 'em off.

And for some reason you manage to be shocked that a major defence contractor, with ties to the Bush administration, beat out Dick Rutan?

I am neither shocked or surprized.

Huh? Are you saying that there’s a defense contractor with ties to the Bush administration that had no ties to other administrations? Those guys have been doing NASA for a long time, haven’t they?

I was pretty sure NASA already made it to the moon, barring that the conspiracy theorists really were right. . .

Bush shouldn’t (and doesn’t) even enter into it. You clearly don’t understand – or are willfully misrepresenting – how source selection works. Either that or you’re taking an awfully broad definition of “administration”. And if you’re implying that there are shifty dealings afoot, even after the Darlene Druyun scandal, well… I work in aerospace/gov’t contracting, and you can’t say the word “Boeing” without seeing someone shudder.

LockMart, NorthGrum, and Boeing are The Only Games In Town when it comes to space launch that’s made in America. SeaLaunch or one of the other Russian firms might have bid on it, but Russia’s never been to the moon. Rutan’s a long way off, too.

Exactly what did Rutan do that warrants them getting the bid? What are their resources? SpaceshipOne won a contest. While impressive, it doesn’t automatically make them the sharpest knife in the drawer.

I watched the Rutan documentary on The Discovery Channel or whatever it was on and was pretty surprised that somebody didn’t die in their “spaceflight”. They couldn’t get the craft trimmed, but had no contingency to dump fuel. And they couldn’t land with a full fuel load. Nothing to do but fire it up and maybe crash, or try to land and surely crash. Then their attitude computer or display (can’t really recall) goes out, but they don’t abort. Just leave the engine fired up and see what happens. Then the elevator hangs at the critical re-entry point, and luckily comes lose just in time.

Now getting into space by a civilian contractor was a pretty good feat. And they even bested some records set by the X-15, no small feat in itself. I’m not trying to take away from that accomplishment at all. Much of this accomplishment was due to blind luck, they were pretty close to losing their vehicle 2 out of 2 flights. Look at the public uproar when NASA loses 2 out of 100.

Rutan may well establish himself as the premier space launch entity, but being passed over as contractor to replace the space shuttle should not come as a surprise. Frankly, I would have only been more surprised if he was even considered.

Jeepers. It’s Burt Rutan, not Dick, and Rutan’s company is not ‘Rutan’, it’s Scaled Composites, Inc. SC’s expertise is much more rooted in structural design of atmospheric vehicles than as a systems integrator for an interplanetary spacecraft. Has SC come up with a preliminary design for a moon-capable space vehicle? Did SC even ask to be considered for this contract? Haven’t noticed anything on their web site that indicates they had.

Pointless enough, this thread, I guess.

I’d hate to see Rutan and his people tied up in a government contract, frankly. I’d much rather they do their own thing, their way, in their time.

I just hope that the chosen people DO come up with a viable replacement vehicle, or NASA really is screwed.

Rutan is a genius, but his solutions work best on a small scale, and I can’t see Scaled Composites coming up w/ a really workable shuttle solution.

If anybody can do this right, Lockheed/Boeing can. I just hope NASA and the other gov. powers-that-be just let them work their magic without mucking things up too much with committees and red tape.

Rutan fosters an almost reflexive anti-government atmosphere at Scaled, and it’s hard to see him even wanting to be tied into a NASA program (he didn’t even bid, did he?).

This century? I don’t think so. Unless, of course, you believe those stories about Area 51. . .

For someone who’s anti-government Rutan sure seems interested in hiring people with security clearances.

And Rutan’s t/Space group had expressed interest in building the CEV.

I had hoped that NASA would come to their senses and ditch the demands for several small decidious forests worth of paperwork.


NASA’s getting dinged because they haven’t been to the moon in the last five years? Why the hell would they even WANT to go? Been there, done that. Giant waste of money.

You’re missing the bigger picture. The CEV itself is STUPID!!! STUPID!!! STUPID!!!

Yeah, why should anyone ever have bothered to repeat Columbus’s first voyage? Been there done that. Just a bunch of ignorant savages there, who’ve never heard of Christianity. Giant waste of money.

How so?

Right. Because the two situations are remotely similar. Colonization and exploration of the new world brought back immediate dividends and had no real logistical problems.

What, pray tell, will the benefits of another pointless manned mission to the moon be? What new information will we glean?

Oh, that’s right. None.

Yeah, what do we need all those microprocessors for, anyway?

So a new manned trip to the moon would give us microprocessors?

Because it’s a waste of money. Far more - and far more effective - research can be done by means other human. Plus, the CEV is supposed to only take us as far as the moon. We’ve been there and learned everything we need to know about it. Which is, just as we knew before we went there, that it’s a giant ball of mostly useless dust.