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If America Can't Return to Space, Blame the Lawyers

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posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:12 AM
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Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) is filing "Legal Action" against NASA in order to get one of the contracts awarded to Boeing and SpaceX to carry Astronauts to and from the ISS starting as soon as 2017.



To put all of this in context, when Beechcraft challenged Sierra Nevada's win in the Afghan fighter contract in January 2012, it took 18 months before the dispute finally ended with a decision in Sierra Nevada's favor. So conceivably, this challenge by Sierra Nevada could delay development of America's new Commercial Crew space vehicle from its hoped-for "2017" launch date, into 2018 or even 2019 -- and force NASA to continue paying Russian $70.7 million a pop for each U.S. astronaut hitching a ride on Russian rockets to ISS.

Suffice it to say, the sooner these companies put this dispute to bed, the better. And the sooner the cheaper, too.


Why should we worry? Because this move by SNC could tie-up the NASA contracts in legal limbo for months-maybe even years. Thus, forcing the US to continue to have to pay Russia for rides on the Soyuz at $70.7 per ride. There is also the interesting fact that Sierra Nevada Corp. is teaming up with Lockeed Martin to build its Dreamchaser rosckt; which by the way, isn't even finished yet!

I can't stress enough how important Space exploration is and how important it is to a strong economy. NASA's hands are tied...Do they stick to their guns or do they give in and give a contract to Sierra Nevada? What says ATS?

www.fool.com...




posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:23 AM
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a reply to: lostbook

According to this article they need a bigger parking lot, too.

Link



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:29 AM
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If I may add, in general blame lawyers. You'll almost always be right. All of mankind's problems and suffering have come at the hands of religion and lawyers... keeping in mind that lawyers are the larval form of politicians.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: jtma508

And that brings to mind the etiology (origin) of the word "POLITICS". POLI(y) is a prefix meaning many as in a polygon or many sided geometric shape. TICS (ticks) are blood sucking parasites.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:46 AM
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Probably cheaper to pay the Russians for hitchhiking and pay whatever penalties they have to then let that corporation and boeing get into any long drawn out project with them at the helm. Already a red flag when your contractor is taking you to court before anything has begun.

The US space program is a complete disaster when it comes to politics.

India can get in space for 10% of the cost.

And while no I don't suggest paying NASA workers what the rates are in rupees, but at least they are on the ball and can get things done. (also not saying NASA isn't getting anything done, but the amount of things they get in the pipe, and the amount that actually gets fired into space, dear lord... I do better on the weekly lotto draws.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:47 AM
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Sierra Nevada Corp need to realise that NASA can award their contracts to who ever they want for what ever reason. Shame NASA did not ask India to develop a space shuttle. I'm sure they could do it for a very economic price.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: lostbook

According to this article they need a bigger parking lot, too.

Link


That is largely why they are moving the permanent Multi-Purpose Module to node 3, to free up a favorable spot for commercial operators.


The remaining EVA-28 tasks are steps taken to prepare for the relocation of the Permanent Multipurpose Module. Delivered during Space Shuttle Mission STS-133 in 2011 after an earlier life as Multipurpose Logistics Module Leonardo, the PMM currently resides at the Node 1 Nadir location, acting as a storage closet of ISS. In preparation for Commercial Crew, the PMM will move to Node 3 Forward in July 2015 so that Node 1 can receive its Berthing Kit to accommodate cargo vehicles to create a dual-port capability for cargo resupply vehicles at N2 and N1 nadir while preparing the two available Pressurized Mating Adapters for Commercial Crew Vehicles.

www.spaceflight101.com...

There are also the Pressurized Mating Adapters, which will be used by Dragon V2 (and CST as well I think, though I'm less familiar with the CST design). That's kind of a moot point though if Dragon V2 and CST are tied up for years due to SNC acting like a whiny little child throwing a legal temper tantrum because they lost the contract. It was a fair competition, they lost, they really need to get over it instead of making life hell for everyone and further delaying our return to spaceflight.
edit on 6-10-2014 by ngchunter because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: lostbook

If you allow that we did not actively produce a replacement for the problem-prone space shuttle for a definite reason. That reason being that we have produced craft, namely the black triangle craft, with air and space capabilities.

Then you can understand that such a highly secret project poses a host of problems to existing and planned projects by every sector of the aerospace community in every regard. In general, you have existing public contracts to maintain (under the guise of "this is our best efforts"), secret defense objectives, NASAs phoniness to maintain, commercial interests (that may be legitimate efforts but ignorant of the true situation), and the national economic aspects of all of the above each needing their own space in the aerospace industry.

The operative gimmick in making all of these sectors to work under some semblance of control is via tactical stalling at choke points. And lawyers do a fine job of that.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:10 AM
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a reply to: lostbook

I say the government ought to audit, harass, and cajole SNC until they give this idiotic challenge up.

I would not ordinarily suggest such a thing, but the US government has been doing this sort of thing to its citizens willy nilly for decades, and with far less reason!



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:20 AM
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originally posted by: jtma508
If I may add, in general blame lawyers. You'll almost always be right. All of mankind's problems and suffering have come at the hands of religion and lawyers... keeping in mind that lawyers are the larval form of politicians.


That is too funny!!! It should be a bumper sticker!



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: lostbook

I say the government ought to audit, harass, and cajole SNC until they give this idiotic challenge up.

I would not ordinarily suggest such a thing, but the US government has been doing this sort of thing to its citizens willy nilly for decades, and with far less reason!

After they botched up their first drop test due to something as simple as a gear deployment failure, they really have no excuse for this kind of complaint. That just reeked of incompetence and ever since then they've been massively behind schedule (far more than either Boeing or SpaceX). They were 17 months behind according to an article back in April.
www.parabolicarc.com...
When their prototype crashed and skidded off the runway, it seemed to skid their entire program off the runway with it.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:28 AM
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originally posted by: ngchunter

originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: lostbook

According to this article they need a bigger parking lot, too.

Link


That is largely why they are moving the permanent Multi-Purpose Module to node 3, to free up a favorable spot for commercial operators.


The remaining EVA-28 tasks are steps taken to prepare for the relocation of the Permanent Multipurpose Module. Delivered during Space Shuttle Mission STS-133 in 2011 after an earlier life as Multipurpose Logistics Module Leonardo, the PMM currently resides at the Node 1 Nadir location, acting as a storage closet of ISS. In preparation for Commercial Crew, the PMM will move to Node 3 Forward in July 2015 so that Node 1 can receive its Berthing Kit to accommodate cargo vehicles to create a dual-port capability for cargo resupply vehicles at N2 and N1 nadir while preparing the two available Pressurized Mating Adapters for Commercial Crew Vehicles.

www.spaceflight101.com...

There are also the Pressurized Mating Adapters, which will be used by Dragon V2 (and CST as well I think, though I'm less familiar with the CST design). That's kind of a moot point though if Dragon V2 and CST are tied up for years due to SNC acting like a whiny little child throwing a legal temper tantrum because they lost the contract. It was a fair competition, they lost, they really need to get over it instead of making life hell for everyone and further delaying our return to spaceflight.


That's how I feel....Just get over it and move on to the next phase of Space habitation/commercialization.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:30 AM
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a reply to: ngchunter

Ah, I can see the problem here...

Lawyer: "My case is simple. We, that is the claimant, and I as their representative, believe that it is wrong for NASA to judge them according to their performance, and insist that they award the contract to SNC as a show of good faith, as part of a settlement package. Either that, or you next leave Earth in approximately two centuries time. Any questions?"

NASA: "Um...what?".

Lawyer: "We'll see you in court."

What an astounding lack of patriotism on the part of SNC. Sour grapes as well it seems. Bad eggs, they taste bad, they smell bad, and they linger longer than anyone could possibly desire.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 11:41 AM
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a reply to: ngchunter

Thanks for your reply further up.


When their prototype crashed and skidded off the runway, it seemed to skid their entire program off the runway with it.

People want us to go back to the moon, seems we can't get off the runway these days. Other than exorbitant costs and little return, what is your best explanation for this?
edit on 6-10-2014 by intrptr because: redacted portion



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 01:34 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: ngchunter

Thanks for your reply further up.


When their prototype crashed and skidded off the runway, it seemed to skid their entire program off the runway with it.

People want us to go back to the moon, seems we can't get off the runway these days. Other than exorbitant costs and little return, what is your best explanation for this?


Here's an idea...I want to start a separate thread on this idea but here goes.

What if States are allowed to have their own individual Space programs? Whereby each State can partner with as many other State's Space Programs that they want or go it alone if more beneficial/ feasible. This way resources can be pooled together and NASA wouldn't be the sole Space engine for the US.

Albeit, this type of scenario could be more of a disaster than NASA with contracts, red tape, blue tape, unions, etc. Also, the fact that we now have private entrepreneurs in the Space game makes this idea seem a bit behind the times. I still think it's an idea worth looking into. What says ATS? God idea? Bad idea?
edit on 6-10-2014 by lostbook because: word edit

edit on 6-10-2014 by lostbook because: word edit



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 01:44 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: ngchunter

Thanks for your reply further up.


When their prototype crashed and skidded off the runway, it seemed to skid their entire program off the runway with it.

People want us to go back to the moon, seems we can't get off the runway these days. Other than exorbitant costs and little return, what is your best explanation for this?

Depends on the company. SpaceX has found success with things that many (including myself) expected would fail miserably - engine redundancy on the F9 during engine-out scenarios (without unmanageable POGO oscillations from having so many closely clustered engines), controlled propulsive landings of the F9 first stage, etc. SNC, on the other hand, has been a massive failure with things that should have been a matter of well-established and relatively simple engineering.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 01:52 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

Par for the course. There hasn't been a contract awarded since the F-35 that hasn't been tied up at least once with protests or court fights. There was one recently that got overturned even though one competitor was 24 hours late with their bid. They protested and won.



posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 04:42 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

About your idea of states pooling resources. The first time we went to to them moon and even with the space shuttle all the best minds were pooled on a national level with funding from congress to boot. I don;t know how dividing up resources and smarts would work as well. I guess it may, just take longer?

Like ngchunter has surmised it seems that understood foundations of the past are more difficult than expected this time around.

I also think that NASA (and Langley) want overall control and are afraid of the private sector mucking up their "works".



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