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Many plans make slow progress

Posted by: Andy Hill - Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:23 pm
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Many plans make slow progress 
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Post Many plans make slow progress   Posted on: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:23 pm
Is it just me or do others agree that the space industry's tendency to keep generating new plans to achieve different goals may be damaging space progress.

I doesnt seem that a month goes by without someone else coming up with a new plan or rehashing an old one to change the focus of what is currently going on. Having to constantly re-examine the current strategy and look at alternatives must create confusion and doubts about what is going on. It must be better to stick to what ever has been decided.

here's another plan:

http://www.space.com/news/081113-tps-space-roadmap.html

Almost every part of NASA's plan to basically redo Apollo and then push on to Mars is constantly questioned, from which rockets to use to whether to go to Mars first or even a NEO. Now whether you agree that it is the right thing to do or not is largely irrelevant as changing it now will likely cause delays or even a collapse. I'd argue that it would be best to let NASA get on with it and give them the opportunity to either succeded or fail. If failure was the outcome then that would prove they were not up to the task and manned spaceflight should be taken away from them.

Constantly changing the goal post gives people and excuse to fail. Spaceflight is hard enough without making it harder.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:55 pm
Hello, Andy,

as far as private companies are changing and switching their plans, ideas, concepts and approaches this may be a good way to success since this way they learn a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of them - including the relation to goals, services etc. Each return to older ones may mean insight into another level of details.

And all this may lead them to innovations that turns them successful.

In so far the fragments and fragmentations are positive in my eyes - it simply may be what's called fractale by Mathematics.

Regarding NASA the comments and claims by others maymean that NASA's concept and approach are challenged - and if it survives the challenges this means that they robust and reliable. If they don't survive the challenges they seem to have not been reliable but having had weak points.

In so far what's going on may debug and improve plans.

What about that?



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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:11 pm
Hello Ekkehard

What you say may be true but the evidence does ot support this. Its 4 years since spaceship One flew and still no other commercial company has repeated the feat.

I read today that Obama will review constellation and this will likely cause further delays making the 2015 date for Orion's first flight unlikely.

Some one can always make a case for a better plan or a different direction but stability is needed for things to move forward. Breakthroughs are wonderful things but you cant base plans on them, as NASA's previous failures to produce a shuttle successor show.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:05 am
Quote:
Is it just me or do others agree that the space industry's tendency to keep generating new plans to achieve different goals may be damaging space progress.


Large chunks of the Space Industry don't actually aim to progess. For example Nasa has zero plans to build one piece Solid Boosters of greater diametre closer to or in Florida.

Within its current political constraints, Nasa could get a lot more done with a significant boost in funding. However a lot of people think they should simply get out of the launch business. Conceivably they should continue work in the launch technology business (playing with hypersonic and plublishing results) but they should stick to science.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:21 am
idiom wrote:
Large chunks of the Space Industry don't actually aim to progess. For example Nasa has zero plans to build one piece Solid Boosters of greater diametre closer to or in Florida.


I think you are right that NASA sees no real reason to make progress and is more about a jobs program.

NASA just isnt seen in the same way as the military who wouldn't dream of building their own equipment. What is needed is a a set of requirements that dont change and a skunkworks type of environment within a commercial company with very little NASA oversight or meddling that can produce something fairly quickly. Also I would make those requirement pretty basic to get something flying (you can always make improvement later).

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:03 pm
Some good insight, and has me thinking.

I think it's politics. Getting man to the moon and then on to Mars, will be very expensive and will not happen over night. Politicians and the public are impatient and fickle, and want to see progress sooner, rather than later. And worse, they want it done on the cheap.

A lengthy program or project that goes through several Presidential administrations and a bunch of Congressional elections is probably doomed. Also, the NASA Administrator is a Presidential appointee, who is expected to support the current President's agenda on science and budget issues.

It's hard for an agency to make effective long range plans when they are being jerked around by politicians.

my 2 cents


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