[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
starship-design: FW: SSRT: Space Access Update no. 72
Long experience has taught me not to believe in the limitations indicated by purely theoretical considerations. These - as we well know - are based on insufficient knowledge of all the relevant factors."
From: Chris W. Johnson [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, May 23, 1997 7:55 PM
To: Single Stage Rocket Technology News
Subject: SSRT: Space Access Update no. 72
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 16:27:23 -0700 (MST)
From: Donald Doughty <email@example.com>
Subject: Space Access Update #72 5/23/97 (fwd)
Space Access Update #72 5/23/97
Copyright 1997 by Space Access Society
We're once again concentrating on the government end of the cheap launch
business, not because that's the only place things are happening - far
from it! - but because things are happening in the government end that
need immediate attention from us activists. The commercial startups
that we, honest, will tell you about RSN, are for the moment taking care
of their own business, preparing to build and fly low-cost space launch
vehicles in the next couple of years, with no need for anything from
outside but investment. We can but envy them - at least until they are
ready to fly; then they'll need all the help they can get to make sure
they aren't grounded by inappropriate regulation. More on that RSN...
Stories this issue:
- SAU #71 "X-33 Special Issue" Followup: Corrections, NASA Source
Selection Comments Clarification
- X-33 News: Organizational Changes for NASA RLV Office, Emergency
Weight-Control "Tiger Team" Redesign Commences In Palmdale
- After X-33, What? NASA "Future X" Organization Proposals
- House Authorizes Major New SSTO X Vehicle Funding in HR 1275
- Signs Of Life In USAF: "Integrated Concept Team" Starts Defining
Future Space Sortie Needs
- Phillips Labs Begins Ground "Integrated Technology Testbed" Project
- SAS Alert: DOD Reusable Rocket Funding Needs Support
X-33 Special Issue (SAU#71) Followup
My. We'd almost forgotten what it's like to go public with a
controversial position. We've gotten all sorts of interesting feedback
(much of it supportive) regarding our assertion that the X-33 project
has problems and our recommendation that a combination of axe-poised
oversight and vigorous external competition be applied.
For the record, we don't toss rocks into people's ponds because we enjoy
it, even though it may seem that way to the people getting splashed. We
do it when we see it as necessary to our job, pushing for radically
cheaper access ASAP, and when we do, we try to be careful what we say
and how we say it.
Of course, sometimes we screw up anyways - we express a delicate point
poorly, or we just flat out make an error of fact. We do have a couple
of likely factual errors to 'fess up to from the special X-33 SAU #71,
plus some clarification on a critical point.
- Rockwell X-33 Bid
First, we're told by someone who should know that Rockwell's X-33 bid
actually included closer to two-thirds the ~$250m overall corporate
contribution of Lockheed-Martin's winning bid, not one-third as we wrote
in SAU #71. So much for neat mathematical correspondences between
current spacelaunch cashflow in need of protection and proposed X-33
contributions... On the other hand, existing spacelaunch (their half of
the USA Shuttle operations partnership, ongoing Shuttle orbiter
upgrades, Rocketdyne's engine business) was proportionally a far more
important part of the then-Rockwell aerospace division's business.
- TPS Change Correction
We mentioned Titanium Aluminide (TiAl) composite as a thermal protection
system "shingle" surface (the NASP X-30 program did some work on the
material) that was being dropped from X-33 for budgetary reasons. We're
left somewhat puzzled, because our original source was both in a
position to know, and definite on TiAl being dropped in favor of inconel
metal on some of the shingles for cost reasons.
But we've since been told, also by someone in a position to know, that
what's actually happening is that the original plan called for two types
of metallic TPS shingles, inconel-surfaced for the higher temperature
areas, and plain-titanium surfaced (not TiAl composite) for the lower-
temperature areas on the vehicle's re-entry leeside, and that the cost-
reduction change is to replace some or all of the leeside titanium
shingles with existing-technology fiber thermal protection blankets.
It would be a lot easier to evaluate this sort of thing if all 48 pages
of X-33 technical details in the NASA-LockMart Cooperative Agreement
weren't being kept unavailable to us mere taxpayers. We do note that
the two stories are not actually mutually exclusive - both may well have
a basis in fact. And now you know what we know on this...
- NASA Source Selection Criticism Clarification & Editorial Rant
Next, the clarification: We mentioned NASA's source selection process
several times in SAU #71. We quote ourselves:
"And NASA's Old Boy Net has.. ...a lock on the NASA source selection
process. ...NASA needs to take a serious look at how they might find
truly impartial people to serve on selection boards."
.(Lockheed-Martin) played the NASA selection process like a violin,
with a bid carefully tailored to match NASA's Shuttle-shaped vision of
the notional future X-33 derived RLV..."
"...but then if NASA allowed that to affect their selection process,
it's NASA's fault, not Lockheed-Martin's. (We strongly recommend NASA
take a serious look at recruiting source selection board members from
outside the NASA-Academia Old Boy Net.)"
Apparently our saying these things has caused some - consternation?
Perhaps "annoyance" is a better word - at NASA. Looking back over what
we said, we stand by it - but we left something implied that needs to be
made explicit, something that believe it or not we've been soft-
pedalling these last few years, in the hope that quiet diplomacy would
help. Quiet diplomacy, alas, seems to have gotten us nowhere.
- Editorial Rant
We won't go into detail - too many sources in and out of NASA could get
into hot water. We will simply say that over the last few years we have
bit by bit accumulated very, very good reason to believe that people
making the decisions at NASA reject wingless vertical landing (VL) as an
RLV research option on a largely emotional knee-jerk basis.
People at NASA now blame this on all the harangueing they've seen from
VL advocates; VL advocates will tell you they only spoke their piece so
loud and often because NASA wasn't listening in the first place.
At this point it doesn't matter who started it. What matters is that
the nation's official lead reusable space transportation R&D agency is
arbitrarily refusing to consider seriously a technical option that has
significant potential advantages in minimizing both ground support and
turnaround time - advantages very much needed (however achieved) both
for genuine competitive commercial operations and for pressing near-
future national security missions.
We see no further point in trying to convince NASA. We've seen them
ignore what multiple sources tell us was the operational and managerial
frontrunner in the initial X-33 source selection evaluations, in favor
of a weaker proposal that has since begun to graphically demonstrate its
weaknesses, for stated reasons that don't make a great deal of sense to
us. More recently we've seen them claiming repeatedly they can be
trusted to handle defence RLV R&D too, even as they pay no more than
lip-service to dispersed operations and low-cost fast turnaround
(measured in hours not days) - major defense RLV needs. We've seen
multiple other assorted ugliness as various bits of NASA ground their
local axes at the expense of cheap access. Enough.
We hope NASA will learn from X-33 and X-34. We stand ready to support
them in salvaging what they can of their current RLV efforts, and in
moving forward into a more focussed and useful ongoing space X-vehicle
program (See "Future X" story later this issue.)
But as far as we're concerned, NASA has made it unmistakeably clear that
trusting them as sole custodian of the nation's reusable launch R&D
effort is unwise. We think they require institutional competition, both
to keep them honest and to cover their blind spots.
We think the Defense Department is the place for this competition. We
think that something approximating an 80:20 split between NASA and DOD
of (increased) overall Federal RLV R&D funding would support this
competition without contradicting the current Administration policy of
NASA being the lead agency for such work.
In this time of shrinking overseas presence and growing overseas
commitments, DOD is coming to realize they will soon need affordable
fast-turnaround space sortie capability for far more than routine
satellite launch. We intend to work for a limited DOD program to look
at key space sortie technologies, because we think NASA can't/won't do
it, and because we think the benefits spread well outside DOD. Fedex,
for instance, has needs a lot closer to DOD's than to NASA's...
NASA in fact has serious problems with their source selection process.
X-33 was relatively mild; nothing illegal or massively unethical as far
as we can tell, just a half-dozen of the Old Boys picking the wrong ship
for the wrong reasons. We've seen and heard of far worse elsewhere in
NASA; we recommend reform - but reforming NASA is not our job.
Getting radically cheaper access to space ASAP is.
Emergency X-33 "Tiger Team" Review Underway
Projected X-33 weight has grown to the point where it's beginning to
look like the ship could have problems flying the planned high-speed
test distance. The aerodynamic design seems to be getting steadily more
complex and difficult. A number of the new technologies included in the
package, uh, look like costing more and taking longer than expected.
To some degree, these are all predictable events in the design process
of an experimental high-performance aerospace vehicle. They don't
always happen, but they often do, and they're often overcome.
NASA is however taking X-33's problems seriously enough to have
initiated a "tiger-team" review of the project. The entire NASA HQ X-33
program office has flown out to Palmdale and will spend the next month
in a no-holds-barred effort to trim excess weight and, we suspect, to
thrash out how much downscoping of the original configuration might be
We remind everyone involved that too many pieces dropped from the
package of new technologies that helped win the source selection could
cause mutterings of "bait and switch" and erosion of political support
for project funding, absent significant contractor concessions
And we wish everyone involved whatever mix of strong coffee and fresh
insight it takes to make this project fly after all. (Sleep deprivation
is inspirational, honest!) Good luck, guys.
NASA RLV Organizational Changes
Gary Payton's Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) office at NASA HQ has been
kicked around a bit over the last year. They started out in NASA HQ
"Code X", the Office of Space Access & Technology, under an Associate
Administrator, Dr. Jack Mansfield. Code X was eliminated in an HQ
reorganization last year, and RLV was moved over to "Code R", NASA's
advanced aeronautics division, with provision for Payton to report
directly to Administrator Goldin. The latest change as we understand it
involves Payton reporting to the head of Code R, Associate Administrator
Robert Whitehead, rather than directly to Goldin. We're not sure the
direct report to Goldin was ever official in any case.
After X-33, What? NASA "Future X" Proposals
NASA has a problem with RLV work in the future: Currently, there's about
$100 million a year budgeted for baseline technology work, and perhaps
three times that for one major RLV project, X-33. Once X-33 is done a
couple years from now (or, we might add, if it's cancelled before then)
on current plans the RLV budget drops back to ~$100 million per year
total, possibly less, depending on the level of pressure on NASA's
Even we will concede that $100 million a year is not enough for NASA to
get much useful RLV work done. Possibly if that entire amount were
given to a lean, aggressive, low-overhead, relaxed-purchase-regs outfit
for four or five years, we might see a useful near-orbital X-vehicle
come of it. But while NASA RLV is showing some promising signs of
understanding how to work lean and aggressive, nothing done in NASA is
low-overhead these days, and the purchasing paperwork is waived for
nobody when the checks have eight zeroes on 'em. If NASA RLV is to
accomplish anything significant once they've gotten past their current
learning experiences, they'll need more funding.
NASA's initial response to this problem was to propose the X-37, an X-33
followon whose sole consistant characteristic has been that it would
cost about as much per year as X-33. All else was flexible - rocket,
airbreathing, winged, VTVL... NASA fairly obviously preferred a sexy
airbreathing hypersonic version, but X-37 was sold as whatever flavor X-
vehicle people might support funding for. We came to call it the X-37
FCV among ourselves, the "Funding Continuity Vehicle". Someone in NASA
noticed that X-37 had aquired too much baggage, and the designation has
now been officially abandoned.
We had a couple problems with X-37 as it stood. The airbreathing
"combined-cycle" engine technology showed no sign of being ready in the
proposed timeframe. Initial subscale flight tests of bits of the
technology won't even start for another year or two, in the "Hyper-X"
program - which as a series of innovative quick-and-cheap experimental
flight test vehicles, we strongly support, by the way. Though we
suspect that the data from Hyper-X will support our contention that
airbreathing as a way to cut costs over reusable rockets is a chimera -
but that's an argument for another day... In any case, we felt that
it's a mistake to count on non-existant engines for an X-vehicle
project; waiting for working engines tends to defeat the whole fast-
paced purpose of X, dragging out schedules and multiplying costs
We also felt, and still feel, that putting all of NASA's eggs into a
single-design, single-vehicle project was a mistake with X-33 and would
be a mistake for any followon. We've seen the position that capture of
a single-design X-33 has put NASA in - Administrator Goldin felt
compelled to state in public last week that progressive Shuttle upgrades
from LockMart's competitor BoMacRock look like offering at least as much
future NASA cost savings as LockMart's idea of an X-33 derived Shuttle
replacement. Presumably this was a message to Lockhed-Martin.
We see no reason to believe that putting the bulk of NASA's RLV R&D
money into another winner-take-all project will work out any better than
it has to date in the first such - the main question will be which of
the big two will get the option to sit on a monopoly and protect the
status quo next time. We believe that NASA needs to do multiple X-
projects within the available budget - realistically speaking, within
something not a whole lot more than the current ~$400 million a year.
We believe NASA can actually fit multiple useful space X-projects within
such a budget, by dint of one change from the current X-33 model: Don't
tag new-tech developments onto such projects. Do new-tech, yes, but as
separate items in the background, to be incorporated in future flight
vehicle projects once they're ready.
Depending on who you ask, the actual cost of the current X-33 flight
vehicle is between half and two-thirds the $1.2 billion total. The rest
is going for developing new technologies - engines, TPS, tanks...
Useful new technologies, yes, but none of them essential to X-33's
mission of finding out what it takes to repeatedly fly a near-orbital
reusable rocket. All of these new technologies are appropriate things
for NASA to be doing - in the background, as ground-development items,
at a relaxed pace and at relatively smaller annual cost, to be used in
flight vehicles only when they're ready.
Given this change, given a modest increase in current NASA RLV funding,
given attention to staggering start-dates so peak funding requirements
don't coincide, NASA can afford to keep a couple of X-33-class
integrated flight-vehicle projects underway at any given time, plus a
larger number of relatively cheap single-technology flight test
projects, plus an steady ongoing ground-development program to bring
advanced new technologies to the point where they're ready to fly.
Miracle of miracles, the people at NASA RLV more or less agree with us -
the preceding is essentially what they briefed to the head of Code R and
to the Administrator as "Future X" last month. (Please don't fire them
for agreeing with us!)
"Future X" makes the somewhat optimistic assumption that their funding
can grow ~50% to $600 million a year by FY 2000. We suspect a ~25%
increase over current FY'97 RLV levels to ~$500 million is actually
quite realistic, given both the easing Federal budget crunch and the
importance of hi-tech R&D. (And who knows, $600 million might happen.)
Future X then looks at spending that money in three tiers, starting with
about $150 million a year in an ongoing Advanced Space Technology
Program, ASTP, doing development and ground test of new technologies in
structures, tanks, engines, thermal protection, avionics/software, and
The next tier is about $100 million a year in "Pathfinder" flight
demonstrations. Pathfinder projects are defined as narrow-focus demos
of single high-risk, high-payoff technologies, flying in less than two
years for less than $100 million total - generally a lot less. Hyper-X
(four rocket-boosted subscale hypersonic airbreather test vehicles for
about $100 million total) is an example of a top-end Pathfinder project,
while a proposed demo of a 4000 degree hafnium diboride sharp leading-
edge sample on a classified DOD reentry vehicle for a couple of million
dollars is typical of the bottom end.
The next tier is "Trailblazer" integrated flight demonstrations:
X-vehicles. If costs can in fact be kept down to the $500 million to
$600 million range by leaving out the new-tech tag-ons, NASA could
afford to keep one and a half to two such projects underway
continuously, starting a new one every two to three years.
There are a couple points about "Future X" we're not entirely thrilled
with. "Verify... ...business viability of integrated technologies"
makes us nervous, given how badly undue weight to a very hypothetical
"business plan" is turning out in X-33. We've said it before - NASA
really isn't playing their strong suit when they try to evaluate
"business viability". Better stick to demonstrating potentially useful
operations and let the businessmen worry about business viability, guys.
"Costs shared with end-users" makes us a bit nervous too - again, if
you're flying an X-vehicle, it's not all that clear yet who the end-
users will be. Yes, there's a case to be made for the winning bidder
coughing up a share of the costs - if they succeed, they may well have a
couple years head-start on a new market, what with having the only team
with hands-on experience working for them. But we've seen the
distorting effect combining cost-sharing with an effective monopoly can
produce - cost-sharing needs to be very much deemphasized if the winning
bidder has succeeded merely by taking the bid.
But overall, "Future X" looks like an effective direction for NASA
Reusable Launch R&D to take on the (by government standards) limited
funding likely to be available. We endorse the plan, and we intend to
work toward funding it.
House Authorizes Major New SSTO X Vehicle Funding in HR 1275
Briefly, the House NASA Authorization bill this spring contained a
surprise: Significant funding, in the hundreds of millions, for a
followon to X-33. It's a long way from this to a final appropriation
bill signed by the President, but it's a major step in the direction of
properly funding "Future X".
There are a couple problems with the precise languge of the bill. It
calls for a single winner-take-all project again, which as previously
noted we do not think is the best approach. It also calls for this
single project to include technologies "more advanced than" those in
X-33, which we also think may not be the best approach, given that a
significant part of X-33's current problems stem from inclusion of new
technologies not yet quite ready for flight. And in fact, Aviation Week
editorialized "An X-33 Followon? Aim Lower Technically" in their May
These problems can be ironed out though as the budget process grinds
forward. What's truly significant here is the broad Congressional
support evidenced for continuing RLV R&D funding at NASA. Our
congratulations to the Space Subcommittee people who made this happen.
USAF ICT Study
The US Air Force did a remarkable thing last winter: It put together an
"Integrated Concept Team" from across the various affected USAF commands
to look at how the USAF should be using space over the next few decades,
beyond the obvious step of getting current satellite launch costs down.
The ICT spent a lot of time examining "space sortie" concepts, potential
missions where the ability to pop into or through space briefly, on
short notice at an affordable cost, might enhance national security.
Given the current trend of falling budgets, reduced force structure,
reduced overseas basing, but level or increased overseas commitments,
the ability to affordably be anywhere in the world from mainland US
bases on an hour's notice is understandably attractive.
The key word here though is "affordable" - military space sortie
vehicles have been looked at since the forties; the conclusion has
generally been "not yet", either because the technology just wasn't
ready yet, or more recently because the technology to do it was just too
damn expensive. (We suspect strongly that some of the unidentified
aerospace vehicle sightings of the last decade add up to an experimental
seventies-technology "black" space sortie vehicle that turned out to be
impossibly expensive to operate. But that's only an educated guess.)
What's changed recently is that the current state of the art in reusable
rockets actually gives some hope of flying space sortie missions
affordably - IE, less expensively than the overseas-based reconaissance
and strike assets they'd replace, or cost-effectively in the case of new
capabilities they'd bring.
Looking at articles that have appeared in the open press and reading
between the lines, the ICT seems to have taken a serious look at the
possibility of multi-role reusable rocket vehicles that could make orbit
single-stage with a relatively small, couple of thousand pounds payload,
or could alternatively carry a much larger payload onto a suborbital
trajectory then land a few thousand miles downrange - this larger
payload could be a reconaissance sensor package, an orbital payload with
an appropriate "kick" stage, or any number of other things worth
delivering precisely over long distances on short notice. "Packages of
military significance", as one gentleman put it - though it should be
noted that sometimes delivering the right two pound spare part to the
far side of the world on a couple hours notice is far more militarily
significant than delivering thousands of times that weight of ordnance.
"Amateurs talk weapons and tactics, professionals talk logistics."
Be that as it may, the USAF is now seriously considering these
possibilities for the first time in a while. The process grinds slowly
though; official USAF requests for long-lead R&D funding are still
likely a year or two away. But it's a start.
Phillips Labs ITT
Meanwhile, our old friends at USAF Phillips Labs are making the best of
the $10 million which was all we ended up able to pry loose for them
last year, after DC-XA went down. They've allocated $8 million of that
to start up an Integrated Technology Testbed (ITT), a ground test rig
that will combine computer simulation and generic reusable rocket space-
sortie vehicle components. The idea is to then repeatedly test
different combinations of hardware and software on the cheap, to wring
out bugs and learn as much as possible ahead of any future space-sortie
flight vehicle project decision.
Obviously on $8 million, there's going to be mainly simulation software
and not a lot of test hardware in the loop. The project managers are
realistic about the funding uncertainties; they've set things up so
they'll be able to scale the project to the available funding, producing
at least some useful results at not much more than their current level,
but able to scale up the effort and produce far more if significantly
increased funding becomes available, adding on lightweight tanks,
avionics, structures, TPS, propulsion, and so forth to the hardware end
of things, testing more authentically and more often as the money
But the Air Force hasn't worked its official space-sortie requirements
definition process around to the point of asking for money for initial
research this year. The gears grind slowly. (At least they are now
grinding...) Once again, if there is to be any money for this work at
Phillips in FY'98, Congress will have to intervene and add it.
Which is where we all come in...
Alert: Support DOD Reusable Rocket Component Test Funding
The USAF Phillips Labs space sortie vehicle Integrated Technology
Testbed could usefully absorb far more money than we realistically think
we can get for them this year. We're asking for a relatively modest $75
million in FY'98 R&D funding for this effort. If we get this, or a
substantial part of it, they should be able to move out fast and have a
lot of useful data on repeated reuse of representative space sortie
vehicle components, operated on a simulated vehicle, by the time the
USAF gets to the point of making real decisions on all this. Such data
could save a huge amount of both time and money a few years from now.
Such data could also be immensely useful to efforts to develop
commercial reusable space vehicles for applications where distributed
basing and routine hours-not-days turnaround are important - worldwide
express package delivery to name just one.
The House Defense Authorization bill is currently due to be "marked up"
in the House National Security R&D Subcommittee when Congress comes back
from Memorial Day recess, the first week of June. The staffers are
already doing the advance work; it's important to get our two cents
worth into the process ASAP, this coming week. If you live in the
district of one of the R&D Subcommittee members (see attached list), we
ask you to call, write, or fax their Washington office and ask that they
support adding $75 million in the Defense Authorization to PE 603401F
(this is a temporary PE #, but it will do for now) for reusable space
sortie research at USAF Phillips Labs.
If you call, ask for the staffer who handles Defense R&D. As likely as
not you'll get their voicemail. Live or voicemail, tell them who you
are and that you're from their district, then ask them to support adding
$75 million to PE603401F in the Defense Authorization for reusable space
sortie vehicle preliminary research at USAF Phillips Labs, then (if you
caught them live) answer any questions they have as best you can, then
thank them for their time and ring off. Chances are the staffer you
talk to is overworked, underpaid, and takes a lot of flack from
constituents - be polite, always!
If you write or fax, address it to the LA ("legislative assistant") for
defense R&D, and keep it to one page, a couple of paragraphs at most.
Tell them first what you want them to do, as above, then give them a
paragraph or two of explanation. Important defense and civilian
benefits at relatively low cost, good track record at Phillips, NASA for
whatever reason is concentrating on other aspects of the technology, and
so forth. Feel free to crib from Updates or even quote excerpts - but
keep it short, make it persuasive, and again, keep it polite.
(Freshmen have no numbers listed; you'll have to call the main Capitol
switchboard at 202 224-3121 and ask for their offices by name. No
guarantees the Democratic freshmen's names are spelled correctly; we
were working from a faxed list that was blurry in that section.)
House National Security Committee, R&D Subcommittee list
- full committee chairman
Spence, Floyd (R-02 SC) 1-202-225-2452 1-202-225-2455
- ranking minority member
Dellums, Ronald V. (D-09 CA) 1-202-225-2661 1-202-225-9817
- subcommittee chairman
Weldon, Curt (R-07 PA) 1-202-225-2011 1-202-225-8137
Bartlett, Roscoe G. (R-06 MD) 1-202-225-2721 1-202-225-2193
Kasich, John R. (R-12 OH) 1-202-225-5355
Bateman, Herbert H. (R-01 VA) 1-202-225-4261 1-202-225-4382
Hefley, Joel (R-05 CO) 1-202-225-4422 1-202-225-1942
McHugh, John M. (R-24 NY) 1-202-225-4611 1-202-226-0621
Hostettler, John (R-08 IN) 1-202-225-4636 1-202-225-4688
Chambliss, Saxby (R-08 GA) 1-202-225-6531 1-202-225-7719
Hilleary, Van (R-04 TN) 1-202-225-6831 1-202-225-4520
Scarborough, Joe (R-01 FL) 1-202-225-4136 1-202-225-5785
Jones, Walter (R-03 NC) 1-202-225-3415 1-202-225-0666
Mike Pappas (R NJ)
Bob Riley (R AL)
Jim Gibbons (R NV)
- subcommittee ranking minority member
Pickett, Owen B. (D-02 VA) 1-202-225-4215 1-202-225-4218
Abercrombie, Neil (D-01 HI) 1-202-225-2726 1-202-225-4580
Meehan, Martin T. (D-05 MA) 1-202-225-3411 1-202-226-0771
Harman, Jane (D-36 CA) 1-202-225-8220 1-202-226-0684
McHale, Paul (D-15 PA) 1-202-225-6411 1-202-225-5320
Kennedy, Patrick (D-01 RI) 1-202-225-4911 1-202-225-4417
Rod Blagnjevich (D IL)
Silvestre Reyes (D TX)
Tony Allen (D ME)
Jim Turner (D TX)
Loretta Sanchez (D CA)
If you don't live in (or awfully near) any of the above districts (a
phone call to your local library information desk should tell you whose
district you're in) you might want to try writing or faxing one of the
following Senators on the Senate Armed Services Committee Technology
Subcommittee. We hear we already have some support on the Senate side,
but it can't hurt to let them know what you think if you live in one of
these states. We'll leave digging out the contact info as an exercise
for the reader.
Rick Santorum, R PA
Olympia Snowe, R ME
Pat Roberts, R KS
Robert Smith, R NH
Joseph Lieberman, D CT
Edward Kennedy, D MA
Jeff Bingaman, D NM
-----------------------(SAS Policy Boilerplate)------------------------
Space Access Update is Space Access Society's when-there's-news
publication. Space Access Society's goal is to promote affordable access
to space for all, period. We believe in concentrating our resources at
whatever point looks like yielding maximum progress toward this goal.
Right now, we think this means working our tails off trying to get the
government to build and fly multiple quick-and-dirty high-speed reusable
"X-rocket" demonstrators in the next three years, in order to quickly
build up both experience with and confidence in reusable Single-Stage To
Orbit (SSTO) technology. The idea is to reduce SSTO technical
uncertainty (and thus development risk and cost) while at the same time
increasing investor confidence, to the point where SSTO will make sense
as a private commercial investment. We're not far from that point.
With luck and hard work, we should see fully-reusable rocket testbeds
flying into space before the end of this decade, with practical
radically cheaper orbital transports following soon after.
Space Access Society won't accept donations from government launch
developers or contractors - it would limit our freedom to do what's
needed. We survive on member dues and contributions, plus what we make
selling tapes and running our annual conference.
Join us, and help us make it happen.
Henry Vanderbilt, Executive Director, Space Access Society
To join Space Access Society or buy the SSTO/DC-X V 3.1 video we have
for sale (Two hours, includes all twelve DC-X/XA flights, X-33 bidder
animations, X-33, DC-X and SSTO backgrounders, aerospike engine test-
stand footage, plus White Sands Missile Range DC-X ops site footage)
mail a check to: SAS, 4855 E Warner Rd #24-150, Phoenix AZ 85044. SAS
membership with direct email of Space Access Updates is $30 US per year;
the SSTO V 3.0 video is $25, $5 off for SAS members, $8 extra for
shipping outside North America, US standard VHS NTSC only.
Space Access Society "Reach low orbit and you're halfway to anywhere
4855 E Warner Rd #24-150 in the Solar System."
Phoenix AZ 85044 - Robert A. Heinlein
602 431-9283 voice/fax
www.space-access.org "You can't get there from here."
firstname.lastname@example.org - Anonymous
- Permission granted to redistribute the full and unaltered text of this -
- piece, including the copyright and this notice. All other rights -
- reserved. In other words, crossposting, emailing, or printing this -
- whole and passing it on to interested parties is strongly encouraged. -