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Re: <Two bits worth

Timothy van der Linden

To Kelly

> >This is not a trivial mater.  Not only do you need a huge accelerator to
> >decel the fuel down to usable speed (why are we launching fuel toward the
> >ship from a microwave sail ship?  Why not a maser beam to a mini decel
> >from a platform being pulled around by the sail.  NOt easy.
> >
> >I think Tims problems are with assuming the fuel launcher will keep
> >long enough.  

> Yeps, but then again I have problems with anything 
> concerning this project ;)

Oh yes!  ;)

> >After 15 years in NASA I have very colorfully opionion of our space
> >or lack there of.  But things are coming to a head.  People want to see
> >results, and people are starting to realize NASA's been screwing around
> >eating up money without producing anything, and that large comercial
> >potentials are being locked out.  Thats anoying people.

> Sounds like Russian circumstances ;)

??  Well were not threatrning to sell our souls back to the british or
anything?  ;)

> >Several groups are.  Problem is NASA can't decide if it really wants a new
> >launcher built that will make the shuttle look stupid (even if it saves
> >agencies bacon), or just try to twist things into a long term technology
> >study.
> >
> >X34 start as a com,pany program that wanted to use NASA test equip.  Then
> >NASA took it over and opened it up for a sham compatative bid.  That
> >it to the origional companies.  Then NASA tried to take it over and
> >it the way they wanted it to be done.  The companies got madder and
> > Then decided it was 'uneconomical'.
> >The X-33 SSTO program (which is the expected shuttle and expendable
> >replacement) is having similart problems with NASA, but NASA can't afford
> >have it fail.  But they may want it to even at the cost of the agency.
> >if NASA is destryied, there's noone else to prevent private launch
> >so that market should incresse a lot.

> Is NASA changing its policies to become a bit more 
> commercial? (I'm a bit lost about what became of the 
> critical time, when the US government had no
> money to pay its employers a while ago.) I also remember
>  you changing jobs.

NASA's supposed to be handing over busness to comercial firms and triming its
own staffs down. In the old days they'ld try to build a custom craft for the
own use then hunt down and crush potential competitors.  Now they don't have
the money to do that.  So they are trying to become partners with industry.
 They aren't very good at it yet.

The federal worker latoff was just a argument between the new congress and
the president.  The new guys got voted in to do big changes, and the highest
on their voters wish list was balencing the budget, and shrink the size of
the government.  Our president said he wanted to do that, but refused to
participate or sign the budgets.  So after a few months Congress refused to
authorise fund extensions without a signed budget, or promise that he
(president) would seriously work toward one.  He said yes, they opened gov.
 He didn't follow through, they closed gove.  After a few weeks they gave up,
and the government is runing without an official budget.

For the workers it was a paid vacation followed by a a lot of work to catch
up on.

My problem was different.  Most of the people in NASA centers are contractors
hired to do the work for the government people (much to the furry of the
government, the government people can't even attempt to do the jobs
themselves).  Every few years these contracts are let out for competative
bids by other companies.  My company lost, but the winner offered me a job.
 But then NASA decided, after awarding the contract, to change the contract
to only have a third as many people.  Since I was a senior person I was more
expensive, so they canceled their job offer (two weeks before I was supoose
to start!  Happy thanksgiving holiday for me!) .