And so they cut. They shred, and they destroy. The Pink Flamingo is well aware that we live in a world where there are now no possibilities, there is, according to the far right and the tea parties no future, and according to the Dems, we are worth nothing.
Where is the great vision for this nation?
They call it Spaceport America. It is the great libertarian hope for the future. It is a place where they go to launch bottle rockets and have a good time playing space. There has been NO construction update in two months.
“…“We have a saying around there,” a spokesman says: “The first mile of space is free.” But the project has met with controversy. It’s already late and over-budget, and the government, which has spent $200 million on it, wants private companies to pay the rest. One county commissioner says they’re having buyer’s remorse. “It was very glamorous and exciting. And there was a lot of promises on jobs,” she says. “We’re still waiting.”..”
The Pink Flamingo does not like libertarians. I think they are lying fools who have no earthly idea about the realities of life. Neither do their dimwitted little tea party supporters.
They like to promote this glowing picture of how wonderful it will be to have private space systems take over for NASA. It is a wonderful idea. The problem is there is no reality. The adorable little libertarians like to think all they need to do is wave a magic wand and poof – they have full grown rockets who can do things the Enterprise can do. They are out of their pathetic little non-existent brains. Yes, it is a growing industry, but it hasn’t even been born yet.
They are nothing but a bunch of idiotic fools.
This stupid little dream of private systems in space is nice. It is sweet, adorable, and just plain cute.
They are nothing but a bunch of damn fool libertarians who would rather throw our future away to save two cents than to do what is right.
When you allow libertarians to show their dirty little heads out of the primordial soup from wince they came, you get wisdom like this:
“...So, I actually think Obama is going to right direction here. We need to shift away from the “big-program” style of governance — whether that be in space or in health care. As to whether New Mexico will ultimately benefit or not from this shift, that is another question. The Spaceport is so speculative at this point that any positive result would seem to be a bonus….”
Private systems, no matter how romantic, are years away.
You want cold, hard reality? This is Spaceport America.
The dirty truth…?
“...The project has already cost the state of New Mexico $200 million. Newser reported that certain local officials have buyer’s remorse for agreeing to the project. Job creation had been promised, but never delivered. David Wilson, spokesman with the Spaceport Authority, said that New Mexico is a natural choice for the first spaceport, and not only because of the Roswell connection.
“Robert Goddard brought his experiments and rockets to the New Mexican desert in the ’30s for the same reasons,” Wilson told NPR. “There’s this incredible weather window; there’s no population out here, and then you’re a mile up from sea level. We have a saying around there, ‘The first mile of space is free.’ It takes less energy to get to space from a place out here like this.”…”
It is smoke and mirrors.
“…NASA officials last week highlighted the commercial space industry as a means for human spaceflight to continue in the absence of the shuttle program, which will end later this month with the return of Atlantis to Earth.
“Spaceport America definitely represents the future of space travel,” said New Mexico Spaceport Authority board member Scott Krahling. “Private companies are slowly preparing themselves to take over spaceflight, and that’s a good thing.”
Virgin Galactic is one of a number of companies venturing into the suborbital spaceflight business through vehicle development. Others, however have their sites set on orbital launches, something not possible yet at Spaceport America because of regulatory and physical challenges, experts have said.
Virgin Galactic has said it’s ramping up staffing in preparation for the move to New Mexico and eventual operations. Flights may not start until 2013, spaceport and Virgin Galactic officials have said.
In addition to Virgin Galactic, the Texas-based Armadillo Aerospace was awarded NASA funds for low-orbit vertical launches, said David Wilson, spokesman for Spaceport America. One launch happened earlier this year, while two or three more are slated. It’s a sign of the shift toward commercialized spaceflight, he said.
“Everybody is interested in how this is going to be privatized,” he said. “Spaceport America is going to be very active there.”
Rono Danakili, 57, a Do-a Ana Community College student who hopes to eventually become a technician at the spaceport, said a paradigm shift is occurring, and one sign is the growing attendance at an international spaceflight symposium that takes place annually in Las Cruces. “Whatever is happening, it’s snowballing,” said Danakili, who plans to graduate next spring with an aerospace technology degree. “I’m all for that because the private sector, more so than the government, is more one of simplicity and efficiency.”…”
Get it? Cost delays, over- runs, contractors not being paid on time? What does this sound like to you?
It’s just great, isn’t it. Virgin Galactic appears to have screwed the state out of a pile of money. They want to get the “spaceport” self sufficient within a few years – how the hell are they going to do that, pray tell?
.”...Spaceport America’s new director promised lawmakers that the state shouldn’t have to support operation costs within a couple of years.
Through customers using the $209 million spaceport and partnerships with private industry, New Mexico Spaceport Authority Executive Director Christine Anderson told Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) members meeting Wednesday, July 13, in Elephant Butte that she plans to ask for only one more year of state support to operate her office.
The first major construction phase is nearly complete for Spaceport America, located in desert ranchland between Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces. Anderson said there’s still much work to be done to get everything operational.
That’s why funding for her office this year was challenging.
The year before, the spaceport authority office had a budget of little more than $1.1 million. Anderson said she was surprised to learn the office only had a budget of $500,000 because lawmakers assumed Virgin Galactic – Spaceport America’s primary tenant – would already be making lease payments.
The problem is there remains work to done to complete the Terminal Hangar Facility construction and several licensing steps necessary before Virgin Galactic can occupy it, she said.
By making use of unspent funds from the previous fiscal year and getting access to some other funding, the office now has a budget of $922,000 to get through this fiscal year, Anderson said.
Anderson reviewed for lawmakers her plan for getting the spaceport to become self-sufficient within a couple of years, refining its business plan with clearer goals and objectives than had been previously set down.
Her plan includes attracting at least one more major spaceport tenant, getting…”
SpaceX has its act together, but please, read between the lines here.
“…Whenever someone proposes to do something that has never been done before, there will always be skeptics.
So when I started SpaceX, it was not surprising when people said we wouldn’t succeed. But now that we’ve successfully proven Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Dragon, there’s been a steady stream of misinformation and doubt expressed about SpaceX’s actual launch costs and prices.
As noted last month by a Chinese government official, SpaceX currently has the best launch prices in the world and they don’t believe they can beat them. This is a clear case of American innovation trumping lower overseas labor rates.
I recognize that our prices shatter the historical cost models of government-led developments, but these prices are not arbitrary, premised on capturing a dominant share of the market, or “teaser” rates meant to lure in an eager market only to be increased later. These prices are based on known costs and a demonstrated track record, and they exemplify the potential of America’s commercial space industry.
Here are the facts:
The price of a standard flight on a Falcon 9 rocket is $54 million. We are the only launch company that publicly posts this information on our website (www.spacex.com). We have signed many legally binding contracts with both government and commercial customers for this price (or less). Because SpaceX is so vertically integrated, we know and can control the overwhelming majority of our costs. This is why I am so confident that our performance will increase and our prices will decline over time, as is the case with every other technology.
The average price of a full-up NASA Dragon cargo mission to the International Space Station is $133 million including inflation, or roughly $115m in today’s dollars, and we have a firm, fixed price contract with NASA for 12 missions. This price includes the costs of the Falcon 9 launch, the Dragon spacecraft, all operations, maintenance and overhead, and all of the work required to integrate with the Space Station. If there are cost overruns, SpaceX will cover the difference. (This concept may be foreign to some traditional government space contractors that seem to believe that cost overruns should be the responsibility of the taxpayer.)
The total company expenditures since being founded in 2002 through the 2010 fiscal year were less than $800 million, which includes all the development costs for the Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Dragon. Included in this $800 million are the costs of building launch sites at Vandenberg, Cape Canaveral and Kwajalein, as well as the corporate manufacturing facility that can support up to 12 Falcon 9 and Dragon missions per year. This total also includes the cost of five flights of Falcon 1, two flights of Falcon 9, and one up and back flight of Dragon.
The Falcon 9 launch vehicle was developed from a blank sheet to first launch in four and half years for just over $300 million. The Falcon 9 is an EELV class vehicle that generates roughly one million pounds of thrust (four times the maximum thrust of a Boeing 747) and carries more payload to orbit than a Delta IV Medium.
The Dragon spacecraft was developed from a blank sheet to the first demonstration flight in just over four years for about $300 million. Last year, SpaceX became the first private company, in partnership with NASA, to successfully orbit and recover a spacecraft. The spacecraft and the Falcon 9 rocket that carried it were designed, manufactured and launched by American workers for an American company. The Falcon 9/Dragon system, with the addition of a launch escape system, seats and upgraded life support, can carry seven astronauts to orbit, more than double the capacity of the Russian Soyuz, but at less than a third of the price per seat.
SpaceX has been profitable every year since 2007, despite dramatic employee growth and major infrastructure and operations investments. We have over 40 flights on manifest representing over $3 billion in revenues.
These are the objective facts, confirmed by external auditors. Moreover, SpaceX intends to make far more dramatic reductions in price in the long term when full launch vehicle reusability is achieved. We will not be satisfied with our progress until we have achieved this long sought goal of the space industry.
For the first time in more than three decades, America last year began taking back international market-share in commercial satellite launch. This remarkable turn-around was sparked by a small investment NASA made in SpaceX in 2006 as part of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. A unique public-private partnership, COTS has proven that under the right conditions, a properly incentivized contractor — even an all-American one — can develop extremely complex systems on rapid timelines and a fixed-price basis, significantly beating historical industry-standard costs.
China has the fastest growing economy in the world. But the American free enterprise system, which allows anyone with a better mouse-trap to compete, is what will ensure that the United States remains the world’s greatest superpower of innovation….”
The adorable, cute, glittery little tea party people who want to populate space with delusions of Ron Paul grandeur don’t even “get” this.
I wish the tea party libertarians understood how the world works. Unfortunately they do not. They are waxing poetic about “private” small companies moving into space to do the job they no want NASA to do. What they don’t begin to even compromise, because they are such Buzz Lightyear come late-lies is that we’re simply looking at the logical continuation of the large aerospace companies such as Rockwell, Northrop, etc.
Dear Lord these people delusional! Yes, commercial space is the “way to go” but it is a long time away from today.
A reasoned approach comes from the AAS.
Let’s face it, the primary growth commercial system for space now is tourism.
There are numerous companies and ventures to get us into space, again. Let’s not make it more exciting and successful that it actually is. It is terribly expensive. The problem is the idiot libertarians and tea party types of the world have no grasp on actual reality.
This is reality:
“...Right now it looks like Space Exploration Technologies Inc. (SpaceX) has the best chance of doing that with its Falcon 9/Dragon cargo variant. The idiosyncratic private startup has used the dot-com deep pockets and business savvy of founder Elon Musk—plus the lion’s share of NASA’s $500 million Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) effort to establish a space-transportation industry—to orbit a Dragon from Cape Canaveral and recover it off the California coast.
That was a private-sector first. But SpaceX’s finances and the exact technical status of its vehicles remain hidden from view. The public-sector Ares I and Orion developments were more transparent until Obama terminated them as “unsustainable,” in the words of the outside panel headed by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine commissioned by Obama to study the issue. That transparency left the projects open to criticism, not all of it constructive or even objective.
There’s a little more visibility into Orbital Sciences Corp.’s (OSC) effort to combine the COTS seed money with its own technical skills and funding, and those of an international array of subcontractors, to develop the Taurus II/Cygnus combination for cargo deliveries to the ISS. A team that includes 50-60 Ukrainian engineers and technicians is laboring at Wallops Flight Facility, Va., to meld the Ukrainian-built main stage with surplus NK-33 Russian rocket engines; an ATK solid-fuel upper stage; a capsule built in Turin, Italy; and an Orbital-built service module into a vehicle that can fly from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va.
Like SpaceX, the company had planned to meet its COTS milestone and deliver cargo this year. But an acceptance-test fire caused by a fuel leak in the plumbing feeding a flight-ready AJ26 engine, as Aerojet designates the NK-33s it has modified, has thrown that schedule into doubt (AW&ST June 27, p. 42).
Gerstenmaier intends the final shuttle mission to deliver enough supplies to avoid reducing the station crew size before Dragon and Cygnus begin cargo deliveries. But cargo is only part of the story. NASA also is funneling seed money into commercial human-rated spacecraft that it hopes eventually will reduce the need for U.S., European, Canadian and Japanese astronauts to reach the station on the Soyuz capsules.
Under the second round of its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev-2) program, the agency has distributed $269.3 million to help add maturity to concepts for private spacecraft to carry astronauts to the ISS. Boeing was the big winner in CCDev-2, awarded $92.3 million on top of the $18 million it received in last year’s CCDev-1 competition. Sierra Nevada Corp., last year’s top winner, will get $80 million to go with the $20 million it received in 2010.
SpaceX will receive another $75 million to develop a launch abort system and other hardware so the Dragon capsule can carry crew. Blue Origin, the secretive startup organized by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, will receive $22 million to continue work on its vertical-takeoff-and-landing spacecraft….”