SpaceX vs Boeing

The first manned spaceflight of Boeing’s Starliner capsule was scrubbed due to a defective valve. But looking at it on the pad, it’s hard to avoid getting a distinctly 20th Century vibe. The SpaceX Dragon capsule, meanwhile, looks like it’s from the future. So the question isn’t whether or not the Strainer will succeed; the question is whether or not it deserves to succeed.

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Mark Hunn
May 12, 2024 5:58 PM

I doubt the swamp will ever let go and just let us defund a government agency. But the good news is that eventually the dollar will become so worthless that Walmart will stop taking it. So government employees will have to quit so they can work for money that they can buy groceries with.

Ron Swansons Alter Ego
May 12, 2024 9:36 AM

The problem is actually of a larger scale. All Federal Government programs and departments just continue and grow. They should continually be evaluating what their actual mission is and if congress agrees that it is something that should continue. The EPA should not be growing (i think it should be eliminated) but at most it should consist of a small care in the center of the country facilitating discussion amongst all the state EPA / Water Quality types. We could go through all of them. So yes, NASA should be completely re-thunk, after 6 decades anything should be. Same for… Read more »

Reply to  Ron Swansons Alter Ego
May 14, 2024 4:52 AM

Your example of the EPA is a good one. The Federal EPA is largely redundant and unnecessary. Except when it’s not, as in cases where the individual state agency is corrupt or allowing things that cross state lines. Like the pollution of rivers which affects states downstream for instance. However, that sort of thing already has Constitutional and statutory means to deal with it. Sometimes the state protects us from the federal government, sometimes it’s the other way around. When I lived in SSR Kalifornia I was very glad of the protections afforded me as a U.S. Citizen standing between… Read more »

Tom Finkelmeier
May 12, 2024 8:26 AM

What do you mean ‘government and transportation doesn’t work’? Look how successful Amtrak is!

Last edited 7 days ago by Tom Finkelmeier
May 12, 2024 6:57 AM

NASA is a prime example of why trying to integrate ephemeral social fads with a government agency results in neither social advancement nor an effective government agency. The attempt kills both purposes, it does not advance either. What small gains desired by a tiny minority are made are completely inconsequential. Billions of tax dollars are being spent just so the least informed, most vocal few Americans can feel good and claim a pyrrhic victory. This is an awful expensive way to buy good feelings for people who we really shouldn’t be listening to anyway. I’d be willing to bet that… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by ACTS (TM)
Kertis Peterson
May 11, 2024 7:10 PM

Affirmative Action killed NASA.

David Pimentel
Reply to  Kertis Peterson
May 14, 2024 7:48 AM

Well, considering that Affirmative Action is the precursor to DEI, it is not a surprise since the latter is more correctly-coined as DIE.

Last edited 5 days ago by David Pimentel
Gearhead IN SPACE
May 11, 2024 2:17 PM

Bill, I must correct you, or at least let you know that NASA is not even good at robotic space exploration anymore. Mars Sample Return is essentially dead at the moment with the rocks sitting up there waiting to come back. It started last fall with a harsh review board report. I was working on part of it and I could tell solely from the requests I was getting that it was a shitshow from the top down. On top of a horrible organizational structure, JPL has become so risk averse over back planetary protection (I think they read… Read more »

Dwight Bawcom
May 11, 2024 11:37 AM

NASA has a big problem…..when NASA was established a group of NASA centers was established throughout the country providing the local political support for the expensive Apollo program. All of these centers still exist and have established a great set of capabilities to develop and test space systems. If NASA goes away, where do all of these resources go that are unique in the world? We can’t just give them to private companies! Why not turn the facilities into a test and evaluation capabilities for rent? The other problem is what do you do with all the NASA employees spread… Read more »

Paul Skidmore
May 11, 2024 9:59 AM

Bill successfully snatched this topic right out from under Scott’s beard and ran with it. Nice play.

Eileen Genotte
May 11, 2024 9:52 AM

Mr. G here. I read that ARS article on Boeing commercial crew. My biggest takeaway is how Boeing admitted it is unable to handle fixed-bid contracts. They are so mired in the past, they can’t function profitably unless they’re being paid while they fail to deliver the promised product.
I doubt I’ll fly Boeing ever again. God help the brave souls who launch in Starliner!

John Staley
May 11, 2024 8:04 AM

I personally think it is an absolute travesty that we do not have a permanent, functioning base on the moon whose primary purpose is to support the Mars colony. The problem was the goal was to “go” to the moon. Not be on the moon.

Reply to  John Staley
May 12, 2024 6:05 AM

To support the Mars colony AND exploration of the rest of the solar system. The moon is the perfect stepping stone to the rest of Sol’s stellar area of influence. It has a much shallower gravity well than Earth or any of the other planets. It’s only days not weeks or months away so resupply and rescue are far less problematic. It has resources that make it attractive for exploration and as a permanent off-planet base. It doesn’t have an ecosystem to mess up if something goes wrong. Nuclear power with solar augmentation make good sense there. Etc. I could… Read more »