Ivor O’Connor

September 26, 2013

Dancing Unicorns?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 12:48 pm

I was reading “Musk Calls Out Blue Origin, ULA for ‘Phony Blocking Tactic’ on Shuttle Pad Lease” and was intrigued by the politics. Basically it seems the military industrial complex is trying to stop SpaceX from competing. The military industrial complex wants to keep their grip on the crazy high prices they charge for the simplest of things and total lack of real progress in space. The military industrial complex is a set of companies represented by the United Launch Alliance or ULA. Here is Musk’s way of handling them:

From a SpaceX standpoint, we view [Blue Origin] and [United Launch Alliance’s] action as a phony blocking tactic and an obvious one at that. BO has not yet succeeded in creating a reliable suborbital spacecraft, despite spending over 10 years in development. It is therefore unlikely that they will succeed in developing an orbital vehicle that will meet NASA’s exacting standards in the next 5 years, which is the length of the lease. That said, I can’t say for sure whether [Blue Origin’s] action stems from malice. No such doubt exists about ULA’s motivation.

However, rather than fight this issue, there is an easy way to determine the truth, which is simply to call their bluff. If they do somehow show up in the next  5 years with a vehicle qualified to NASA’s human rating standards that can dock with the Space Station, which is what Pad 39A is meant to do, we will gladly accommodate their needs. Frankly, I think we are more likely to discover unicorns dancing in the flame duct.

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