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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Buzz Aldrin doesn't know space travel, not in 2013.

No, Buzz Aldrin doesn't know better.

Not even about space travel.

He feels we are in danger of "losing something".  My reply to a commenter below.

No, I'm certain he doesn't know better.

And it isn't that I said private enterprise is always better--nice strawman you're trying to build there--but that in this case it self-evidently is.

We are in danger of losing nothing of value, as long as the government stays out of SpaceX's way. Aldrin's preferred way of doing business (which is all we are in danger of losing) is a Shuttle Launch System that achieves 4% of program goals and murders 14 people.

And yes I mean murder. The government management inherent to Aldrin's approach leads to not merely potential but certain causes of catastrophic failure to be ignored, a criminal level of negligence rising to the category of murder. That sort of government entanglement with launch vehicle design and operation leads directly to an attitude that the volunteer astronauts should be grateful we allow them to risk their life with what is only taxpayer dollars anyway. The sheer contempt for life shown by NASA's ignoring Thiokol engineers RE Challenger and not even assessing the damage RE Columbia is breathtaking, and is consistent with the institutional mismanagement of risk seen in the Apollo 1 fire. Forty years of doing wonderful things at an abjectly unnecessarily high cost in blood and treasure.

Will SpaceX and it's future competitors lose vehicles and people? Will some be mismanaged?

Of course.

Then let the chips fall where they may, but not be propped up as gold-plated zombie programs always getting gov dollars and never seeing metal cut, let alone lofting payload at a reasonable cost.
May ULA/LockMart be let to rust, the iron oxide is more valuable than is their approach to space travel or structure.

The only appropriate role our national government necessarily has in space, is using the military as required to assure freedom of navigation, and that private property rights are kept from foreign interference.

If NASA is to develop new tech, that's fine as long as they charge a reasonable license fee. If NASA is to do research, that's fine, but better the payload is lofted at $50 or $500 a pound on a Falcon, not NASA's launch model of $8,000/# minimum.


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