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Splitting NASA

Posted by: Andy Hill - Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:46 pm
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Splitting NASA 
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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 25, 2005 1:31 pm
[quote="spacecowboy"]NASA has the best researchers and the best test facilities anywhere in the worldquote]

That is not necessarily true, I have stood in a fully lined anechoic EMC test chamber that is over 200m in length, 50m wide and 50m high which allows most spacecraft to have their solar panels fully extended for testing. This is located in Siberia in a place called Zheleznogorsk (think that is how its spelled) where they manufacture most of Russia's satellites. I do not think that NASA has anything as large in the US.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:20 pm
That is putting it mildly. The Soviets spent mega-bucks of non-private funds developing infrastructure. Their lack of consumer goods--and the war in Afghanistan hurt them as much as collective farming. The public support of big science--is one thing they did right--and their Zenit and Soyuz--non-private craft if there ever were any--have been about the only things they have been able to sell. That is the role. Gov't leads--and private firms follow and find ways to make thing profitable.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:22 am
Publiusr,

please say what the objective and logic reasons are for which you claim that science or especially "big" sceince should be done by the government.

And what do you call "big science"? What are your criterions for science being "big"?



And to remember - if the US government would be faced to the problems the german government is faced to then they probably wouldn't be able to employ that much scientists and all the people working at NASA. The US government wouldn't have scientists then because they couldn't pay them and because they couldn't provide the equipment required.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:14 pm
Personal experience. Every time I drive on the interstate--I see how public infrastructure WORKS--that should be obvious.

Ironically--the one bad thing that held the Soviets back--was competition, which people seem to worship as a god these days. Remember how the Chief Engineers feuded (like folks here) over designs/funding? They only got away with it because they had a helpful gov't under Nikita Khruchev. That was how Chelomei went from being a nobody to the Third Man behind Korolov and Glushko. Nikiti's son Sergei worked for Chelomei--that was how the UR-500 Proton was born. Cooperation (and, yes nepotism).

The point is that it takes more than private funds initially to do things worthwhile on any kind of scale.

This is something engineers have known--and have tried to explain to economics purists who never had to work on difficult projects. I have simply given up trying since it should be so obvious.

The Saturn/Apollos worked because the US citizenry was scared, the US Gov't spent real money--and we got behind one man--Von Braun. Until we get that leadership again--I just don't expect much. At least the President put a 'big space' Chief Admin in who supports HLLVs.

What we need to do is to emulate ruthless, Stalinist Soviet Chief Designers to get things done...i.e. spend the money being wasted playing House on Devon Island and spend it on hookers, private eyes and photographers--get some Senators in a corner--and say "You're gonna support HLLVs, or your wife gets the pictures."

I think that would be more useful than anything the X-prize contestants are doing.

Spaceflight is hard.

Musk--who is better off than many and has a REAL rocket that looks to be more marketable --is finding that out the hard way.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:56 am
publiusr,

experience isn't objective and experience isn't logical - experience simply is observation and/or something psychical.

You can't learn anything from experience and you can't conclude anything from experience without applying objectiveness and applying logic: you need theories - like the construction of space vehicles and rockets is based on theories.

You don't seem to ask "Why is that experince of mine as it is? And why is that other experince of mine as it is? ... What have all these experiences of mine in common? But what is different between these experiences of mine and what are the reasons of these differences?"

And I am missing enogh and serious interest in the reasons why the others aroung you are thinking as they do - nobody is wrong only because he thinks different than you. It is not required that you think like others but you should ask why the others think different than you.

One special point of you since long is proved to be completely wrong: "The point is that it takes more than private funds initially to do things worthwhile on any kind of scale." Each year there are several results of private funded scientific work - medical product developed by the pharmaceutical industry, technical products developed by the computer industry and so on.

You don't seem to look on the structure of doing something, on the structure of those who are doing it, on structures in general - you ask for the details much to little.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 29, 2005 6:51 pm
Ah, but pharmaceutical business, while sprawling is not what I mean by "Big" They have a huge influence yes--too much if you ask me. But if the Wonder Drugs of the future are to be made in space--NASA must need spearhead this--otherwise large scale space deveolpment of new drugs will not take place.

Unless we follow my plan below--more on that in a moment.

There are a few folks in the northern states here representing oil interests, that want we the taxpayer to foot the bill for a new gas pipeling. An existing Candaian system can handle the load--but the contractors won't hear of it. The big energy companies won't take the risk (not that they couldn't, mind you) so we will wind up footing the bill.

Personally--I would rather see that money go to a Bering strait bridge so we can get oil gas coal and lignite from the former Soviets. They have huge forests and the linking of the old and new worlds would reduce reliance on shipping. We are losing one containership a year due to freak waves. This way, our oil money goes to the victims of Beslan--instead of rebuilding the Caliphate. This could tie in to ANWR access infrastructure.

This is what public funds are for--not building what companies want. But it has to be that way because companies are risk averse---and it has often been the case that--the better the businessman--the worse the human being.

Take what happened to Andy. That is also why we have regulation.

Back to the Pharmaceutical lobby. The old lie is that if you regulate, you will cut back on companies ability to fund R&D. There is a way around that. Where Republicans only praise and democrats only Punish business--a middle course of wise stewardship is needed.

Since most drugs are paid for by public assitance to our elderly--who can either eat or have meds--seldom both--the drug industry can hardly be said to be a 'free market.' These companies do business in the USA--so they ought to be able to follow some laws.

If you take the kings money--you march to his drumbeat.

Therefore I propose a way to increase space presence and reduce drug costs both:

We vote into office individuals who will impose both wage and price controls on medicines--but you have the companies "compete" for tax breaks as well. The more money spent on R&D, the bigger the tax cut. If over a ton of drugs are 'grown' in space a year--the stockholders get 100% tax cuts.

Now watch how fast they invest in space. They can't take it out on R&D cuts, or they get a tax penalty--they can't pass it on to the consumer or pay their employee's slave wages, due to wage and price controls. So the overpaid hundred-million a year CEOs have to eat it for a change.

And we get markets for space products people will be racing to fill, because the companies have no choice but to bow to stockholders who want 100% tax cuts from space made goods--and you have real destinations. We have to make space sell like wars and drugs sell.

You use BOTH the carrot and the stick.

Now that is how things need to be done.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:01 am
Hello. publiusr,

I didn't mention the pharmaceutical industry because of your term "big science" - I mentioned it because you said "The point is that it takes more than private funds initially to do things worthwhile on any kind of scale" The pharmaceutical industry shows that there are sclaes where it takes NOT more than private funds.It is possible to do good and useful science with private funds only - as the xample of the pharmaceutical industry shows.

The examples you are mentioning doesn't have anything to do with private funding or governmental funding. The problem with thos oil companies is quite another - they have power, they are mighty. And this is a failure of the competition policy. I wonder why this can happen in the US - the US were the first who established a anti-monopolistic act: the Sherman-Act. It has been established at the end of the nineteenth century and it worked well.It has been followed by other such acts and I know that one of them includes prison for managers who try to monopolize. Micrsoft is threatened by being split and AT&T has been split into 20 companies long ago. All this has been enabled by the US competition laws. I caanot but wonder about what you say. The german competition legislation is weaker than the american one but what you say is impossible here.

To repeat it - it doesn't have anything to do with funding - it is no argument for governmental funding. No way. It has to do with undesireable power of companies and is an argument for stronger competition laws. In Germany by law a company get's under supervsion by the competition agency if it gets a market share larger than 20% or has revenues higher than 10 million Euros. A company by law is suspected to be ru.ing the market if it has a maerket share larger than 30% - for example - and gets under regulation by the competition agency then and it has to prove the opposite if it doesn't like that. Note - the company has to prove that is not ruling the market but not the agency has to prove that the company is ruling inded: The suspicion is sufficient.

This is meant to prevent that power that the oil companies you are mentioning have. And it works. In Germany the governments themselves are those who give the companies power - bad but reality. So I never trust a government and I prefer private funding by far.

And what Andy Hill has said seems to mean that internal decisions of his company whhere the reasons and causes for what happened to him and his laboratory. That's quite a different thing than waht you are saying regarding the oil companies.

And the bridge is no science. The bridge is infrastructure for normal life. It's payed out of the government's budget - tha's no funding but public expenditure. The government simply buys something. Governmentla funding means that the government doesn't buy something but give the money to others who say "we will do that and we will do that". No advantage for the public as in the case of governmental expenditure

To me now it looks as if you were mixing together several things and topics that mustn'Ät be mixed.



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Post    Posted on: Wed May 04, 2005 5:41 pm
I cannot agree with that last statement--esp since many of our advances are the result of non-goal directed research. What happened to Andy is what a lack of regulation and leadership can result in--proving my point about how engineers have to cow-tow to the moneychangers.

This is why we need a strong NASA--and our new boss seems exactly what we need.

I think the corrot and stick approach might just get the pharma-giants interested in space if my plan were followed--and it would make drugs cheaper for our seniors.


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 04, 2005 6:44 pm
publiusr wrote:
What happened to Andy is what a lack of regulation and leadership can result in--proving my point about how engineers have to cow-tow to the moneychangers.


My situation was a direct result of the emphasis changing from one of doing the correct engineering to one of saving/making the next buck. The Laboratories were originally owned, staffed and run by the UK MoD (yes I was a civil servant) but the government decided to privatise them into an agency and peoples attitudes changed. Predictably a lot of the work done was of a niche military nature which was not supported after privatisation by the agency and the MoD had trouble getting the work done.

The parallel is NASA shutting facilites which on the face of it do the same work but in actuality whose stuff have different expertise. The facility may be the same but peoples knowledge is not and the loss of this commodity does more damage to an industry than anything else, something that is not often considered by the bean counters.

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Post    Posted on: Thu May 05, 2005 1:24 pm
publiusr,

your post is the second of yours I read today which reveals what I cannot but call arrogancy:

Quote:
This is why we need a strong NASA--and our new boss seems exactly what we need.


You say "our new boss" - you seem to be speaking of Griffin. Please clarify it. If it's right then you seem to be a member of NASA. And then it might be that you are really fearing to leave you playground (as I asked in my answer to your other post I rewad today). And then you perhaps don't want private personal spaceflight because of this threat.

Your arrogancy is a sufficient reason to want to see NASA reduced, shrinked and restrcited to basic researches and be dependent of private space vehicle companies like SpaceX, Scaled etc.

I have experiences with arrogant government employees - more than 90 % of them permanently ignore neccessities, have by far too low understanding of necessities, needs and requirements of privates and really do have negative impacts on the things they are responsible for.


You wrote:

Quote:
... many of our advances are the result of non-goal directed research


What does this have to do with that post of mine you are responding to? I didn't say anything about where "your" advances are resulting from. I posted some arguments and examples you don't refer to no way - that's a suspicious behaviour known from politicians, executives and other people working for the government.

I don't have any problems with the government or NASA doing basic researches, and other things private don't want to do. As I already explained at the board this is a meritoric commodity offered, supplied by the government. I don't have any problems with it... - as long as the government sufficiently provides and cares for the required public commodities and as long as the privates really don't want to do these basic researches themslves too..

But you seem to claim baisc research ownership of the governement even if the situation allows for doing it privately - as the following quote seems to be indicating:
Quote:
What happened to Andy is what a lack of regulation and leadership ...
. This quote seems to indicate that you wnat the privates to be kept out of all the fields NASA is working on. Please clarify if that is the case.

What you say is no objective and acceptable reason for regulation - there rae reasons for regulations but these are quite different ones - a topic in the Regulations section.

And you seem to have NOt read my explanation what would be if there were no money -you and other engineers simply were having to "cow-tow2 to other people than the so-called money-makers: you would have to cow-tow to those who are producing the things you require for what you are doing. You would have to cow-tow to those who have and own the things you need for your research and development. You would have to look for other things they want in exchange for what you wnat from them. You would have to do as the Germnas had to do after the war was over: bartering. You would have to act like the Sovets and their allies had to act when they "bought" something from western companies - you would have to barter.

And your reserach would suffer much more than currently in the situation where there is money and so neccessaryly people too who have and own money.

You are completely wrong in speaking of "moneymakers" - you miss to look farther and deeper. Your mentioning about it stops just at the surface of it - and if you were going not deeper - beneath the surface - in doing your researches then you would be wasting the taxpayers' money really.

Yo are working for the government, NASA is working for the government and that work is payed by the tax payers. So they have to get something for their taxes and their money. An improvement they can experience. And if they don't get it they can elect a government, senators and representatives who cancel NASA and your job - simply because they consider to get nothing from NASA and you for their taxes. You have to "cow-tow" to the taxpayers and nothing else happens if you or other engineers cow-tow to the so-called moneymakers.

Do you feel superior than non-engineers? Do you look down upon them? Please clarify.

You yourself provide sufficent reasons to bring down NASA and to move over all your reserach to privates. I would prefer universities. In Germany basic reserach is done by universities, Max-Planck-Institutes, the Fraunhofer-Society etc. They all are no such agencies like NASA and I never heard their memebers talking arrogant like you are doing. They seem to have a consciousness superior then yours.

Even british engineers and scientists seem to have that superior consciousness.

People like you, publiusr bring down the perception of NASA.



Hello, Andy Hill,

it seems that your government decided of its own to privatize your laboratory. What were the reasons? Were there budget problems, problems with agreement of the parliament to increase or refresh government debth?

In that case the reasons for privatization would be political ones and the taxpayers, the voter would be behind it. And the choice may have been "no laboratory or privatized laboratory"

In last consequence it has been the choice of the voters - as it has to be in a democracy.
My informations say that NASA shut down facilities too because of budget problems. And O'Keefe's job wasn't simply bean-counting. The problem was the question if NASA's work was lean or was not lean. The question has been asked by the members of Congress and the government had been forced by politicains to do as O'Keefe did. He looked after the budget, after the least requirments, tried to fix the tasks and projects being the best investments in his eyes and the decided as he did. If he did something bad or wrong it has to be blamed to him but not to others.

I understand that you - or perhaps publiusr (too much doubts) - don't like what's going on with your laboratory and the impacts on your work - you have ethics and ideas of what is good engineering. But as long as an engineer is working for the taxpayers, the voters and their representativfes and agents these personal ethics and ideas of good engineering mustn't be the criterion for decisions - simply because the voters can put a sudden end to it all. This changes once it is privatized. May be that the government thought that the voters respectively the parliament was about putting an end to it. In this case the decison to privatize just saved and rescued your laboratory and only couldn't prevent restrictions.

I would talk more about this if you want.



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Post    Posted on: Thu May 05, 2005 4:10 pm
Ekke:

While publiusr is somewhat knowlegeable and certainly well-read, I doubt that he is an engineer and I would bet my next paycheck that he doesn't work at any significant aerospace concern, especially NASA. Both statements are true of me as well, of course, but I have a great many friends and relatives whom are involved in aerospace and have been for many, many years. I am confident that they would not want people thinking that publiusr is representative of thier esteemed profession.


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Post    Posted on: Thu May 05, 2005 5:01 pm
Thank You Very Much, SawSS1June21, for your answer.

Then the question arises he should be treated similar to trolls. I am thinking about it allready because most of not all his posts are suspicious.



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Post    Posted on: Thu May 05, 2005 10:16 pm
I would also point out that publiusr does not have any of the trademarks of an engineer. His writing style is never technical; rather, it tends to have a political-propaganda feel to it. No engineer, regardless of position, is that confrontational with anybody and everybody they meet. Please keep in mind that engineers are generally subordinates: they answer to their managers (in business) or their administration (in government). There are a few engineers in leadership positions (aka Project Managers), but they are born and bred diplomats, and would rather lose their left -- uh, AHEM -- than irritate as many people as publiusr as quickly as publiusr. Pissing people off simply isn't a good way to do business.

Edit: That said, we do tend to be a bunch of arrogant, self-righteous SOB's. By God, we're right, you're wrong, we know it -- and right after we prove it to you, you'll know it too!

Edit 2: You know, come to think of it, Publius keeps saying that we're all easily distracted by bright shiny objects. But it has yet to be pointed out how easily he is distracted by oversized rockets... Ah, where's Freud when ya need 'im? :wink: :roll:

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Post    Posted on: Fri May 06, 2005 4:50 am
Since we're all picking on the dude, I thought I'd just chime in that his style reminds me of an evangelist preacher man, come into the dens of the heathen "space libertarians" to save our souls in the name of the HLLV, the Administrator, and the Holy Government, which have been snatched away by the sideburn-sporting devil maaan... Burt Rutaaaan! Yessiree Burt Rutaaan is a devil maan, who hath led us into temptation with his suborbital tourism. But suborbital tourism is not the path to salvation! Yes we have forsaken heavy lift in the name of toys! We must bow down and beg forgiveness from the Holy Administrator! :lol: :twisted: :lol:


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 06, 2005 9:12 pm
Actually, the folks who worship everything from individuals and never thank institutions are the ones we should worry about the most. They have their own religion--same as everyone else. No--I do not now work for NASA--and the reason things got in bad shape is because engineers let people run over them--and didn't stick up for themselves.

Griffin also has a reputation for being a bit rough and crass--that is why he is exactly the right man for the job.-- No more "mother, may I?"

As to the old lie that "NASA types don't want private people on 'their playground' "--that is laughable to say the least, and is the same old BS/evasion the privatize everything crowd throws up when they don't have anything of merit to show for their big talk.

Let us compare all private spacecraft--all ONE of them--to what institutions the world over have accomplished:

http://www.isro.org/Cartosat/Page1.htm

I find that rocket to be of real merit.

And the old "big rocket as phallus compensation" accusation really becomes tiresome--as large ships are often called "she" which is how I regard Energiya for instance. Rockets are closer to certain battery charged massagers much simpler than an ugly phallus and can be said to be a male replacement. But I'll leave Howard Stern to debate that kind of nonsense.

I know that Griffin IS an Engineer--knows his business--and deserves to be listened to. I support his vision--as is my right as a taxpayer who is quite thankful of institutions built by civic-minded folks--institutions that the money-changers would love to destroy--and that the big-talkers would love to undermine.

All SS1 did was give the Proxmire types in D.C. a reason to cut future budgets with the illusion of progress. I am not willing to abandon a good institution like NASA just because it has had bad leadership. So has Boeing--and so have a few space-start ups. To call NASA a failed institution for Goldin's crap is like saying that a private company is a bad idea if they have a know-nothing boss at the helm. CATO would call that "painting with a broad brush." And So is NASA/gov't-bashing.

For those of you who don't think much of institutions--remember that when NOAA and local weather bureax issue warnings--when you want a road fixed, etc. Most of the private space types can't even afford to pave the part of the public highway they use to drive from their suburbs to work everyday. When they can do that--then they can talk about private spaceflight.


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