Saturday, September 29, 2012

Firefly and Lessons in Contract Law
Contract formation consists of 1) Offer; 2) Acceptance; 3) Consideration; and 4) Performance. In the world of Firefly, it was often 1) Offer 2) Acceptance 3) Gunfight (also known as breach).
Paul Spudis has a new blog, Spudis Lunar Resources where he'll discuss policy and political matters related to space, retaining his Once and Future Moon blog for more science oriented topics.

First up, a critique of the L2 space station.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Deep space station beyond lunar far side proposed by NASA to White House
Different approach to NASA space program proposed in Romney white paper

Keith Cowing beclowns himself with the title of his post on the subject "Romney Adopts Obama Space Policy." His rationale:

But when they get into details (commerce) they want to do what the Obama folks are already doing.

The problem is, that is not true. The Romney paper mentions creating a benign regulatory environment, buying goods and services from the commercial sector, and even expeditious technology transfers. It does not mention the president's Solyndra-like program of heavy government subsidies. Keith is just being a delusional partisan by suggesting that Romney would just adopt Obama's approach to commercial space and move on. Romney, unlike the people who surround the current president, understands what makes private business work.

Clint Eastwood's 'Trouble with the Curve' a Pleasent Outing

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How the liberal critics of the Apollo program were proven wrong

Addendum: Rand Simberg clearly did not read article I was responding to with any comprehension. Otherwise he would not post things like this:

Most people don’t realize how close it came to not happening, which is why they foolishly insist on trying to do it again.

But here's a quote from the piece that shows that if anyone is being foolish, it's Rand

Polls both by USA Today and Gallup have shown support for the moon landing has increased the farther we've gotten away from it. 77 percent of people in 1989 thought the moon landing was worth it; only 47 percent felt that way in 1979.

That means support for Apollo and by extension space exploration projects like it have actually increased since the 1960s. Suggesting that we should not use the model for space exploration because of fifty year old polling data is sort of like suggesting we should not fight a war ever again because of Vietnam or that the Great Society is still a great idea because government poverty programs were popular in the 1960s.

The problem is that the Apollo model worked. Kennedy set the goal and the goal was achieved. Liberals opposed (and still do) Apollo because they don't particularly care for space exploration. Libertarians claim that they like space exploration, but only through a particular unproven model of Solyndra or Obama's commercial crew.

Mind, if I were made Space Czar, I would modify the Apollo model a little bit to include both international and commercial partnership. But stating a clearly defined goal and pursuing it with adequate resources and a coherent plan works every time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

NASA's Garver lists moon as goal for astronauts against Obama space policy

Rand Simberg thinks I'm confused and that the president's very clear and specific exclusion of the moon was an "off-hand, off-teleprompter" remark about policy. I have to admit that Rand is actually right that I am a little confused. But then so is he, so is Garver, and so is the president. That is because the policy, such as it is, is confused. More than one respondent has suggested that the real policy is to not have any American beyond LEO for the foreseeable future. I can certainly agree with that judgment.

Christine Ha, a Blind Cook from Houston, Wins 'MasterChef'
Aerospace Experts Step Up Criticism of Obama NASA Space Policy
What If the 9/11 Attacks Had Not Happened?
Bear-Hugging the President and Why Pizza Should Remain Above Politics

Monday, September 10, 2012

Julian Castro Basks in Newfound Fame as Family Controversy Looms
Water on Mars May Not Mean Life, but May Mean Trouble
Taylor Dinerman has some helpful suggestions for fixing space policy for Mitt Romney should he become president. Some are obvious, such as returning to the back to the moon then on to Mars goal. However, there is this little gem:
It should be noted that both of NASA's commercial programs, COTS and the CCP, have been carried out under the "Space Act Agreement" law. This legislation has enabled the COTS and CCP contractors to build their vehicles to fill NASA crew and cargo transportation needs without having to fulfill the costly and time consuming requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulations. This raises the question: Why doesn't NASA ask all its contractors to work under the Space Act Agreement rules?


Addendum: In the meantime Paul Spudis gives the so-called "New Space" rent seekers the back of his hand.

Addendum 2: Mike Griffin adds a lengthy and sober critique of the current administration's space policy. Rand Simberg is annoyed as are many of the people leaving comments. I am hard pressed, though, to read anything in Dr. Griffin's talk that could be argued with or is at variance with known facts. But arguing with "New Space" people is often like trying to tell a flat Earther that the world is round. They just get mad.

Chicago Should Fire Striking Teachers, Convert to Charter Schools
President Obama was Against 'Medicare Vouchers' Before He was for Them