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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: Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:46 pm
It would be interesting if NASA would let the losers compete among each other again - in particular because of the cahnged situation of Scaled Composites who now might get more backing and thus might be improving the chances of t/Space to win.

But NASA isn't forced to let them compete again - they still will have the ranking the competitors got in the original competition.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:24 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
But NASA isn't forced to let them compete again - they still will have the ranking the competitors got in the original competition.


I think that it is likely that, if NASA still spends the money on a COTS team, that they will just select one from the finalists rather than run another competition. The time delay would be to long and is not likely to generate any new players.

It is interesting that in the time since the original COTS awards were made that some teams have continued to make progress while others seem to have stalled. SpaceDev have been talking with ULA about using the Atlas to launch on and have signed a MOU with NASA while I havent heard much from T-Space, Andrews or Spacehab.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:42 pm
t/Space seem to be as tied-lips as Burt Rutan - the Space Act Agreement with NASA was made public only AFTER closing it.

In so far they may be proceeding to funds etc. but not talking about it publicly. And some work is going on there - the progresses of Air Launch LLC who are one of the partners t/Space consists of.

Spacehab are involved in the Dragon if I remember correct.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:06 pm
Yet another development, it appears RpK is thinking about taking NASA to court over the cancellation of its COTS contract.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5243

They claim that when NASA placed a contract with the Russians for future Soyuz/proton flights it undermined their position and scared off investors. Now while have a certain amount of simpathy for this argument it is also true that NASA has only purchased Russian craft to 2011 I disagree that the ground has been cut from under them.

Due to the long lead times involved with producing spacecraft I would guess NASA had little choice in placing a contract now. I also not sure Rpk would be doing themselves any favours by suing NASA.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:28 pm
Please read our interview with RpK...

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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:49 pm
Klaus Schmidt wrote:
Please read our interview with RpK...


Did The Space Fellowship interview RpK or is the post you are referring to a repeat of the article appearing on NasaSpaceFlight.com from 2 days earlier?

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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:19 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
Klaus Schmidt wrote:
Please read our interview with RpK...


Did The Space Fellowship interview RpK or is the post you are referring to a repeat of the article appearing on NasaSpaceFlight.com from 2 days earlier?


It's independent from NasaSpaceflight, we had our own interview.

edit: The article was done by Rob Goldsmith (he even missed his Liverpool football match!). I would never copy any stuff from other authors as I know how much effort it takes to write such stories.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:23 am
RpK may be right to some degree because of the withdrawel of investors which causes the loss of $ 300 mio - if the withdrawel really happened.

In Germany there was the bankruptcy of Leo Kirch's media-trust several years ago. Leo Kirch took to the Deutsche Bank to court which had funded the trust to a large degree.

He argued that the CEO of the Deutsche Bank, Ackermann, had publicly doubted that Leo Kirch's trust is capable to pay back the credits in the long run and that only this public statement caused the bankruptcy.

The court decided for Leo Kirch and against the Deutsche Bank - Ackermann and the credit institute have behaved so that they damaged the media-trust and thus have hurt their responsibility to the trust and the confidence the trust had.

NASA's deal with the Russian can be considerd the same way - they should have done the deal as a back-up only. They explicitly should have said that they would use the Soyuz only if neither a Dragon/Falcon 9, nor a K1 nor another private vehicle is available - but that they would NOT use the Soyuz if such a private vehicle would be available.

But I don't think that this would have helpedd RpK - $ 300 mio have been withdrawn while they needed $ 600 mio yet.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:44 pm
Klaus Schmidt wrote:
The article was done by Rob Goldsmith (he even missed his Liverpool football match!). I would never copy any stuff from other authors as I know how much effort it takes to write such stories.


Sorry for the misunderstanding Klaus, both articles had a lot of text that was the same, RpK probably gave out stock answers to everyone they have spoken to.

Ekkehard

I think the fact that NASA is only buying Russian flights up to 2011 gives Rpk plenty of opportunity to earn money after that, and to be honest does anyone really think that RpK will have a working craft before then anyway?

Also there will probably be other destinations that Bigelow will provide that RpK could make money from supplying, which leads me to believe that their funding fell through due to lack of progress.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:50 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
NASA is only buying Russian flights up to 2011 ... and to be honest does anyone really think that RpK will have a working craft before then anyway?
Not me.
But SpaceX intends to demonstrate its launch, maneuvering and docking abilities by 2009. I think their schedule might slip, but if anyone can do this it is SpaceX. I am just incredibly impressed with the professionalism and tenacity of SpaceX. Other companies would have folded after the second Falcon failure, or even the first. But not SpaceX! They KNOW they are going to succeed and so do I.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:12 pm
Hello, Andy,

I only have in mind that their argument will have a chance at court and that NASA may have to apy compensations for the bdamage they caused.

I didn't post in favour of RpK and don't find it positive that they sue NASA. The question may be justified why they didn't argue this way and sue earlier.

It's only the argument that a court may find correct. It might turn NASA's future behaviour more correct.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:47 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
Sorry for the misunderstanding Klaus, both articles had a lot of text that was the same, RpK probably gave out stock answers to everyone they have spoken to.


As the most is part of their official letter to NASA / Horowitz it's basically the same content. I'm curious how NASA will react.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:13 pm
If I was NASA I'd let them take me to court, that should just about finish RpK off. The problem will be all the time RpK has NASA in court the money wont be re-allocated to another team.

Perhaps if RpK had actually flown something instead of burning all that money off in the past they would already have had a contract for cargo to the ISS and NASA would not have placed a contract with the Russians. Maybe NASA should counter-sue that RpK has forced them to spend money with the Russians it didn't want to. :)

Maybe I should sue both of them for dissappointing me by not making very much progress:- wait a minute I'm in the UK so we dont tend to sue anybody (Sorry had an American moment for a minute there). :) :)

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:51 pm
haha Andy i laughed at theat, i had an email about americans having to sue everyone not too long ago!

I dont think we know enough about how RpK have spent the cash to suggest they have wasted any of it. The fact is we only know what we are given, im sure they arent stupid enough to waste such an opportunity. We will just have to wait and see what NASA do. It would look bad on NASA if they change a big decision, but they will also look bad not changing, depending on people's views.

It would be nice if these companies gave us more info on their spending but i don't blame them for not doing so. The fact remains that RpK obviously did enough for the funding needed, and their opinion suggests NASA made bad decisions that affected them. Other than that the details are seemingly shy. We can't fault either of them from the limited details we have.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 07, 2007 3:50 pm
As far as I remember this moment the funds Kistler originally had before the bankruptcy wasn't wasted but withdrawn by the investors because of a stock exchange crash etc. in Asia - the investors needed their capital to pay back credits and the like.

RpK only replaced those investors - but partially only.

Another remark regarding the chance that RpK's argument might be correct and have a chance. My focus was on a possible wrong behaviour of NASA - not on speaking for RpK. As far as NASA was wrong they caused a problem to ALL companies competing for COTS - and SpaceX doesn't fell problems only because all their money comes from Elon Musk and because of the ideas, intent and philosophy behing SpaceX which are established by Elon Musk.

What about it?



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