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NASA COTS

Posted by: Number2 - Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:56 am
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NASA COTS 
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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:36 am
Hello, Buck.Bunny,

what you say fits completely into what I said.

The limits of the participation of the partners are their tasks and work regarding the CXV or even parts of it. As long as no sufficient funds are available to do the work or to go on with it they aren't forced to do something. May be that the designs etc. are ready to the degree possible under the present circumstances.

At present it may be simply up to David Gump and his few co-chiefs to work for getting funds.

Once there are sufficient funds the partners will be ordered to do their task and work.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:26 pm
There are a bit news about Rocketplane Kistler.
Quote:
Brinkley said the K-1 is 75 percent completed by mass and will launch for the first time in 2008.


Brinkley said the Oklahoma City-based company sees a $4 billion a year market for the K-1 over the next five years. In addition to space station resupply flights, Brinkley said there are opportunities for the K-1 in commercial and government satellite launch and U.S. Air Force-sponsored so-called responsive space activities.
(article "Next Falcon 1 Launch Could Slip to February" www.space.com/missionlaunches/061206_spacex_update.html )



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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:51 pm
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Brinkley said the K-1 is 75 percent completed by mass...


This isn't really news. It's exactly what they were saying in 2004, and even then I think it was old news. I don't think they've bent metal in years.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:11 am
Hello, Andy Hill,

in one or a few of your earlier posts you mentioned that t/Space may have not been selected in the end because of the total funds they need. The following quote seems might fit into that but because of budgets merely than because of the requirements: [quote]“There were some excellent ideas there,â€


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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:41 am
This new development in signing contracts to supply expertise and give access to data already aquired seems to be a step in the right direction for NASA. In the absence of additional NASA funds for more COTS type contracts this is the next best thing.

It allows private companies to gain knowledge that they would normally have to spend capital on to aquire and also gives them more Kudos with financial institutions allowing them to raise their own finance that much easier.

As a side effect it also will provide additional work for NASA employees and centres to use up a small amount of the extra capacity that will exist in a big government organisation.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:15 pm
What the article "U.S., Japanese Firms Team Up on ISS Supply Plan" ( www.space.com/news/070419_rocketplane_j ... upply.html ) is reporting is illustrating what COTS is good for really - if NASA has no problems or really agrees with what is going on they don't have in mind themselves by COTS:

Quote:
Two commercial firms in the U.S. and Japan are teaming up with hopes of ferrying experiments and other cargo to a planned Japanese laboratory at the International Space Station (ISS).

The Oklahoma-based Rocketplane Kistler, Inc. and Tokyo’s Japan Manned Space Systems Corp. (JAMSS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop commercial launch support for Japanese users of the space station’s Kibo laboratory. The firms announced the deal Tuesday during a Space Investment Summit held here near Wall Street.



Would be great if other private vehicle companies would succeed to close similar memorandums etc.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:07 pm
The article "NASA Signs Space Act Agreements with Three More Firms" ( www.space.com/news/070618_sn_COTSweb.html ) is telling something interesting:
Quote:
NASA's current COTS awardees are required to meet periodic technical, programmatic and financial milestones in order to continue receiving government financial assistance.

Rocketplane Kistler, NASA disclosed last week, missed its May financial milestone. But the U.S. space agency intends to continue subsidizing Kistler's development of the K-1 reusable launcher for now. "RpK has made progress in developing its capability and NASA is hopeful the company can complete this milestone with some schedule adjustments," NASA spokeswoman Beth Dickey said in a June 13 statement.
.

This seems to mean that NASA warps the rules to suport a favourite. Someone should claim that this warp must be applied to SpaceX also as well as to competitors to be added in the next phase recently announced for 2010. Else the warping would be hurting confidence and fairness.

The article furthermore says that
Quote:
NASA has said it intends to let companies beyond Rocketplane Kistler and SpaceX submit proposals when NASA solicits bids for actual space station re-supply services down the road. NASA Administrator Mike Griffin said as recently as March that the agency would solicit such bids in 2009, but Dickey told Space News June 18 that the procurement plan for what the agency is calling COTS Phase 2 is still under consideration.

"NASA has begun preliminary planning efforts associated with COTS Phase 2 procurement. The Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office and the COTS project have not developed a procurement schedule yet," Dickey said.


May be that NASA at least starts to doubt RpK because of missing the milestone.

What about it all?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:43 pm
You would have thought that a company with a NASA contract and a rocket it claims to be already 90% complete would not have so much trouble raising funds.

This leads me to the conclusion that so much money has been given to RpK already without any results that investors are loathed to give them any more. If that is the case Rpk will continue to have problems raising money irrespective of how many extensions NASA gives them.

With regard to NASA favouring RpK, I think that may well be the case. I am a little more cynical in believing the reason to be that RpK has a proven track record of failure and NASA did not really want a COTS winner so keeping RpK under contract will effectively exclude companies who I believe would have stood a better chance of succeding.

SpaceX was given a COTS contract because it would have been almost impossible not to without the whole contest looking fixed, besides SpaceX would have produced Dragon anyway and COTS allows NASA at least a small measure of control and oversight.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:16 pm
Hello, Andy Hill,

you may be right.

I simply would add the possibility that the people that warp the rules either cannot think but politically or really do not know what they do. They are damaging the authority of the rules - tendentially or in the longer run at least. First it may be an invitation to RpK to pay less than proper attention to the milestone(s) and second it may be a sign to other companies that it isn't required really to meet the milestone(s) if they only talk to NASA via the correct and proper channels and lobbyists.

And may bee too that SpaceX later takes it to force NASA to accept that milestones regarding Dragon ar missed - or even the Falcon 9 which might experience failures like Falcon 1.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:41 pm
I dont think that RpK is in a position to consider missing/delaying to many milestones as there seems to be consideration by NASA to redistribute the money awarded to it to another company if Scott Horowitz, the agency's outgoing exploration systems chief's comments can be believed.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... nnel=space

I dont think this will help RpK raise money if financiers believe NASA might switch their COTS funding to a different company. Perhaps SpaceDev's Dreamchaser is still in the running, the more RpK struggles the better the chances for those companies that signed memorandums of understanding with NASA.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:53 pm
As predicted RpK's problems continue.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1187659 ... ml?mod=DAR

IMO it was a really bad idea to award RpK a COTS contract. :(

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:46 am
I'm curious to know how lomg NASA will wait before pulling the plug on RPK.

NASA is in a no-win situation.

They were criticized for selecting them instead of one of the other finalists. They defended their selection even though they pointed out the problems with external financing.

If they terminate their Space Act Agreement, they show that they didn't;

- Do their due dilligence during the selection process

or

- Are incapable of analyzing a potential supplier, even when there were red flags all over.

I don't think RPK will (or should) survive this, and I think NASA's credibility will take a major hit by private/public investors that looked to NASA to be able to judge the COTS applicants objectively and fairly.

Anyone want to start a "Dead Pool" with RPK?

My $ 0.01 worth

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:40 am
If NASA pulls out from backing up RpK, what happens next? Will NASA make some agreement with other COTS finalist?

Is there a danger that NASA, due to problems with RpK, will declare the whole COTS program a failure? That would be a disaster. What do you think?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:35 pm
Hello, thomson,

because of SpaceX I don't think that the COTS program is in any danger. In the longer run NASA may get that urgently critizised that they will feel forced to do better.

The point starting to be the one puzzling me is WHY RpK has to add that much millions of Dollars. The total of the amounts invested before Kistler's insolvency and the amount looked for now is by far more than $ 1 billion.

One question is WHY so much is required now- the seond question is if it is required to replace the finances withdrawn by the former investors of Kistler. May be that the replacemnet has to be high above the original finances becuase of today's exchange rates, inflation and the like - may be also that the procurers like Lockheed Martin have raised their prices that much and want to establish obstacles to Kistler. But may be also something else.

...?



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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:52 pm
RpK are now laying off staff, things look pretty grim.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1187884 ... ml?mod=DAR

I think that if RpK cant raise funds with a COTS contract in the bag I think there is little hope for them. I wonder whether NASA's recent multi-million dollar transport contract with the Russians has undermined its stated ambition of using indiginous commercial transport to the ISS.

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