[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: starship-design: Space Money

Kelly is absolutely correct, unfortunately.  Also, NASA, and a lot of
other government organizations, are trapped in the Design the Hell out of
It, And It'll Work syndrome.  
The simple fact of the matter is that you build three prototypes, test
them till two are destroyed, use the data to design the next prototype,
and give the third to the Smithsonian.  As a mechanical engineer, I thing
it was absolutely insane to build a vehicle (or anything else) and put it
on line after only a couple of test flights.

Jim A. Clem, B.S.E.

On Wed, 12 Nov 1997 00:04:59 -0500 (EST) KellySt@aol.com writes:
>In a message dated 11/4/97 9:06:05 AM, david@actionworld.com wrote:
>>So far the -best- NASA has ever been funded was when it was 4.4% of 
>>federal budget, in 1966.  Since that time, the worst was when it was
>>0.7% in 1986.  The projections for the next few years show NASA's 
>>going back down to 0.7% again.
>>Imagine what NASA could do with double its budget (which would still
>>only be 1.6% of the federal budget)!
>>The problem is, of course, that most people really have no idea how 
>>we spend on space.  When someone in the government wants to win 
>>with the public by cutting the budget, space programs make an easy
>>target: you just say "we're spending millions on this stuff which has 
>>direct immediate benefit to you" and you've got it made!  What they
>>never tell anyone is how many OTHER programs out there are getting 
>>more money for even less immediate value to the public.  I think if 
>>quoted percentages rather than actual dollar amounts, the space 
>>would be seen in a much better light by the public.
>True the public has little if any understanding of the fraction of the 
>NASA is.  On the other hand I think they are correct that NASA 
>wastes most of its budget, often for political reasons, but still 
>Think about it.  A space shuttle costs about a billion dollars a bird 
>to buy,
>and about the same per flight to operate.  The yearly shuttle flight 
>would buy most of an aircraft carrier a year.  The space station 
>budget is expected to run over 40 billion.  NASA likes to talk about
>spin-offs, but the B-2 bomber program had far more, for far less 
>Regratably I think its the public, not us space advocates, who 
>evaluate the costs of space.  I.E. we're geting ripped off by NASA.
>For new guys who don't know, I was in the Space Shuttle, station, and 
>headquarters contracts for about 14 years.  So I know something about 
>what I