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HoW come Burt Rutan is cleverer than NASA?

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posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 10:00 PM
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Ya, you guys are right, without the big bad government funding, where would we be today, gee, i guess cars would have never been invented, computers, mp3 players, i wonder why lightbulbs ever made money, didnt candles work?

Every single thing we have today came from a private company.

Remember, this is a capatilist society.

Private companies would easily make a profit on space if the government didnt regulate it and not let them go up there.

Waynos, Burt Rutan is un-employed unless you count the grants he got from by Paul Allen. If he is so smart, why isn't he at Lockheed martin, Boeing, Northrup. Simple answer, theres thousands of people more qualified. Nobody cares about a plane that goes to 60,000 feet with a 200 foot wing span at 200 mph and goes around the world, Besides, Howard Hughes did that stuff in the 30's or 40's, only difference is he had to refuel like 5 times. But he made the trip way faster.

I'll never step foot in anything Rutan designs.

If NASA was smart, they would do this......

Send out a design competition to the major companies to come up with a new shuttle design and then, ACCEPT THE PROPOSAL. Let them build it and quit worrying about the costs. NASA has over-spent what private companies would have by tens of times higher. Contract out the next shuttle and long distance interplanetary ship and get it over with and launch the sucker

Train




posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 04:54 AM
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Send out a design competition to the major companies to come up with a new shuttle design and then, ACCEPT THE PROPOSAL. Let them build it and quit worrying about the costs. NASA has over-spent what private companies would have by tens of times higher. Contract out the next shuttle and long distance interplanetary ship and get it over with and launch the sucker


The only way I would support this is if they put hard limits on spending by said companies. Don't want another XPrize now do we
I used to be a fan of Rutans then I got around to actually talking to a couple of Aircraft desiners and learned just what people in the industry thought of him. It seems he is looked down upon and one even said that the XPrize was fixed from the get go.... not sure if I would go that far, but it was anti-climatic to say the least considering that there were other more economical designs that are now pretty much in Limbo now because of him....

[edit on 26-1-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 06:41 AM
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Private enterprise isn't interested in enormously expensive and terribly slow and unproductive 'pure research'.

There's no point kidding yourself that they would spend 20, 30 or 40yrs developing a science, they wouldn't.

The reason why NASA has a superficial look of inefficiency is almost entirely down to it being a 'political animal'.
It is it's very existence as a public institution that causes goals to be set, changed, changed back, cancelled etc etc or risks to be avoided (and when risks are met and failure happens it become a petty party political football).

That is absolutely down to the politicians and the public that elect them and nothing to do with any inherent inefficiencies.

......and as for those who think the public should do all the investing in these techniques and then back off once they are mature?
Why?

Why open up and hand over such an important area of activity to the profit motive?

ESA demonstrates that a 'public space program' can return profit for the public that has invested so heavily in the technology.....why shouldn't we get a return on our investment?

......and why on earth should I entrust a part of my security to private companies by leaving them to command such a strategically important arena?
Does no one even consider that kind of thing?


[edit on 26-1-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey

......and why on earth should I entrust a part of my security to private companies by leaving them to command such a strategically important arena?
Does no one even consider that kind of thing?


[edit on 26-1-2006 by sminkeypinkey]


You already do. You entrust them with your life in airplanes, cars, and electricity. You entrust private companies with everything you own.

The reason private companies are better is because they have RESPONSIBILITY. Look what happens when airlines lose a plane, they get sued and go out of business, TWA, Pan Am, etc etc.

Private companies have liability, seems to me that todays day in age, governments do not.

Trail



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by BigTrain
You entrust them with your life in airplanes, cars, and electricity. You entrust private companies with everything you own.


- But that is nothing like the same thing as the strategic security of oneself or ones' country, is it?

I take it you are looking at this through your 'national prism'; an American determined to see this as something that must mean American dominance.......

.......now try and alter your outlook a tad and imagine if 'we' have gotten to a stage where the private company that ended up buying up almost everything and dominating space was Chinese or Russian or European?

Still happy to hand it all over to the private sector?

(given the state of the US economy and the position on debt it's hardly an almighty leap)


The reason private companies are better is because they have RESPONSIBILITY. Look what happens when airlines lose a plane, they get sued and go out of business, TWA, Pan Am, etc etc.


- There are some instances where this is so, but there are a ton of them where it is simply not true.

(and a being taken over or simply changing the name isn't quite the same thing as going out of business)

Governments and private companies are subject to the law although with globalisation that is hardly a single absolute; most large private companies are quite happy to skulk around the globe taking advantage of 'local' circumstances for their own benefit - however short-term - whether they be local fiscal laws or accountancy and business operating laws.

Although it is also true, as we can see almost the world over, when private companies get their way too often via their lobbying both gov and private companies are quite happy to act against the general public interest in unholy alliance.


Private companies have liability, seems to me that todays day in age, governments do not.


- How so?
Governments stand to be booted out of office by the free democratic vote, private companies do not face that kind of 'test'.

There are millions of examples of governments properly compensating individuals once liability has been demonstrated.
That is true of some companies but hardly all.

Once a company goes bust or moves it's operation out of a particular jurisdiction that can either be the end of the matter or severely limit the "responsibility" (no need for the caps, thank you) they face, at least with a government they aren't going anywhere, a case can be made and appealed and the gov is never going to 'do a moonlight flit'.

......and interesting a diversion into the political realm that this is it does not address the fundamental concern here that private commerce has never shown the slightest interest in decades of profit-free pure research.



[edit on 26-1-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 09:27 AM
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Pinkey, you wrote that whole thing, but I still don;t know what you are trying to tell us.

Lets get back on topic here, shall we, the point being, NASA is a GOVERNMENT agency. They contract out work to private companies. The work coming from the private companies, which has parts being built from all over the world, is the best it could possibly be. This is the same for all other facets of government. They ALL contract out work and products from private firms.

The private firms are competing against each other for who can create the best, safest and most reliable product. The government picks the best product in most cases. This is seen in the development of the f-22 raptor by Lockheed. This is seen in the Atlas 5 Rocket.

People like Burt Rutan cannot design these platforms and his expertice in slow, low-drag exotic airplanes has no place in NASA or Lockheed.

I dont know what your argument is regarding this topic pinkey?

Train



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 10:30 AM
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My 'arguement' is that complaining about NASA being an inefficient public institution whilst ignoring the 'shifting sands' inherent in such a visible political endevour whilst at the same time claiming 'private enterprise' would have or could do a better job is both superficial and at odds with either's track record.

To move beyond that and claim private business has a superior record of 'responsibility' is again shallow in view of the record and to then talk as if one would contemplate allowing a commercial 'free for all' in such a strategically vital arena as space is little short of dangerously short sighted.

......and as I keep saying there is not one instance where private enterprise can be shown to have pursued highly expensive, very dangerous and utterly profit-free pure research for decades.
That's why 'we' have things like NASA.

[edit on 26-1-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 01:19 PM
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Whatever ones take on Burt Rutan, he and other small aerospace upstarts are a wake up call for NASA and other Space agencies. Or better put Wake Up for the Aerospace companies that produce hardware for NASA.

We have more than a few here in California alone. It's a Wake up call because of the tens of years of stagnation in space interests in the hands of large aerospace concerns.

What Burt Rutan accomplished was two fold. First: That a Government funded Space Agency is not the only viable answer for space exploration/study/travel. Second: That private enterprise beyond large Aerospace concerns (Boeing/Lockheed etc) are fully capable and up to the task to help forward public investment interests in commercial space ventures.

Now Boeing and Lockheed want to work together instead of compete for the future government launches and may include interests in the Shuttle replacement. Talk about competative lockout.
How are two behemoths in a non compete design process going to produce a cost effective replacement?
I was glad to read that NASA's Administrator Michael Griffin will consider outside proposals for shuttle development.

Closely held Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of El Segundo, California, a rocket startup, has sued Boeing and Lockheed, charging they conspired to corner the market on U.S. government launches, and sought to block the merger.
SEE LINK

[edit on 26-1-2006 by nullster]



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by nullster
Whatever ones take on Burt Rutan, he and other small aerospace upstarts are a wake up call for NASA and other Space agencies.


- Yeah, I'd say that is a fair call.


Or better put Wake Up for the Aerospace companies that produce hardware for NASA.


- ....and that too.


What Burt Rutan accomplished was two fold. First: That a Government funded Space Agency is not the only viable answer for space exploration/study/travel.


- I disagree; I'd say that until the Burt Rutans of this world can manage true orbit/deorbit (and maybe some orbital rendezvous & dockings) they are a long way away from this.

.....and they are a hell of a long way off of that.
But I suppose it's a start.
You don't think all those billions NASA spent went on nothing, hmmmm?


Second: That private enterprise beyond large Aerospace concerns (Boeing/Lockheed etc) are fully capable and up to the task to help forward public investment interests in commercial space ventures.


- Ditto; "fully capable" on the basis of a slow high altitude hop that doesn't even reach, maintain and return from orbit?
I don't think so.

"help" maybe, but that is hardly the same.
It's a step forward yes, but IMO a comparative baby step.


Now Boeing and Lockheed want to work together instead of compete for the future government launches and may include interests in the Shuttle replacement. Talk about competative lockout.


- It's the way of the world.
Cost and risk sharing on ultra expensive very large projects is hardly unusual in many spheres of construction and manufacturing all around the globe.

It's either that or things don't get done at all.


How are two behemoths in a non compete design process going to produce a cost effective replacement?


- Presumably there will be competing initial designs, there will then be a decision on which to pursue, this will then spend time being developed, refined and then prototyped and tested.
Then it will (presuming it meets the contract demands) be manufactured jointly (no doubt with a load of global companies and subsidiaries also contributing).

The security the public/government will get will be down to them entering into a well designed contract with the public purse/government.

The alternative is that no one single company can afford to produce the required vehicle and you probably won't get any replacement at any cost.


I was glad to read that NASA's Administrator Michael Griffin will consider outside proposals for shuttle development.


- I'm all for an open competition but lets not kid ourselves that there will be a sudden rush of technically competent competitors able to take on the job to a sufficient standard entering 'the market'.

Hell, if cheap is what you want (but you don't mind giving up your own launch capability) just go Chinese or Russian.

.....you see, there's more to this than just economics after all, hmmmm?



Closely held Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of El Segundo, California, a rocket startup, has sued Boeing and Lockheed, charging they conspired to corner the market on U.S. government launches, and sought to block the merger.
SEE LINK


- Corruption (if it exists) has no place in any of this whatever the situation might be.



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 06:19 PM
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Like I said before, I'll wait until a start-up company actually places a vehicle in LEO before I say NASA is threatened AT ALL.

Right now, Lockheed and Boeing are the only companies capable of such a feat, and there is no disputing that fact.

Train



posted on Jan, 29 2006 @ 02:27 AM
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Send out a design competition to the major companies to come up with a new shuttle design and then, ACCEPT THE PROPOSAL. Let them build it and quit worrying about the costs. NASA has over-spent what private companies would have by tens of times higher. Contract out the next shuttle and long distance interplanetary ship and get it over with and launch the sucker

Train


I agree Rutan's accoplishment of sending a glorified bottle-rocket 65 miles miles is nothing special but your suggestion of letting private companies do the development for NASA is questionable. I think its probably not far from the truth to say that private commissions by the government agencies are almost guaranteed to have cost over-runs, performance problems and delays. F-22 is a great example of how the myth of large private commisions having better ROI came crashing down. Talk about tax-payer rip-off.

Fact is NASA has amazing and dedicated scientist and engineers and they all do a great job. Their high cost is because of the tremendous amount of R&D and custom fabrication.

Fact is we use private companies for massive defense contracts and we get very poor value for money. Its a broken system. Id hate to throw away our space agency dollars as well.

BTW, Rutan is a salesmen with a gimmick. Space-ship one isnt a space craft. It cannot attain any kind of orbit, nor does it have to reenter the atmosphere at orbital speeds. The drag from the wings is not to slow it down from extrem speeds but rather to slow its acceleration from gravity on its way back down. If it tried to use those wings in that manner at 17,000mph, the aircraft would be ripped to shreds.



posted on Jan, 29 2006 @ 02:40 AM
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Originally posted by BigTrain
Ya, you guys are right, without the big bad government funding, where would we be today, gee, i guess cars would have never been invented, computers, mp3 players, i wonder why lightbulbs ever made money, didnt candles work?

Every single thing we have today came from a private company.

Remember, this is a capatilist society.

Private companies would easily make a profit on space if the government didnt regulate it and not let them go up there.



Actually nearly all those things can be attributed to government funding of one way or another because they use pre-existing technology. What private companies do is take technology developed for government funded projects and repackage them for consumer use. Private companies are good at making consumer products usiing existing technology.

BTW, we are a semi-capitalist country. Our economy is extremely dependent on government spending on security and society as well as active government control of economic activity including wealth redistrubution and international trade. What makes us different from the old soviet union and much more successful are 1) are vastly superior natural resources and preexisting capital per capita and 2) the application of a market economy for the vast majority of consumer & business goods and services


[edit on 29-1-2006 by orca71]



posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by BigTrain
Ya, you guys are right, without the big bad government funding, where would we be today, gee, i guess cars would have never been invented, computers, mp3 players, i wonder why lightbulbs ever made money, didnt candles work?

Every single thing we have today came from a private company.

Remember, this is a capatilist society.

Private companies would easily make a profit on space if the government didnt regulate it and not let them go up there.

Train


Sorry, but that is the biggest load of rubbish I've seen in a long time.

Do you have any idea of the amount of work carried out under and with NASA grants? Or by NASA employees? Or using NASA facilities? Or facilities part or wholly funded by NASA?


Private companies are unwilling to take large R&D risks. Case in point, the BWB passenger aircraft, everyone else in the industry knows its better than current designs performance wise, anyone willing to do it? No, why? R&D is too costly both for actual design and certification.


Oh, thats right, Boeing is looking at it.... with NASA funding... (along with the MIT - another funded body)

[edit on 30-1-2006 by kilcoo316]



posted on Jan, 30 2006 @ 12:46 PM
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Here's something to chew on.

How much would it have cost the government to produce Spaceship 1?
Anyone who would say the same or less would be kidding themselves.

I had a very interesting conversation with a Boeing engineer about a specific Space Station component in 1999. Without repeating the whole discussion, there was a comparison with the Soviets engineering and their lack of budget for the same component. They had to produce something that worked the first time and get it into space.

In short, the US aerospace concerns are encouraged to produce multiple plans, variants, changes, and test models that ultimately drive the costs upward. Then after a dissaster strikes, the redundency elements are added and cranked up again. The $500 hammer really never dissapeared. If you knew the amount of people involved in paperwork generation per component you would faint.

Private industry does not have the volumes of personel and financial resources to prop up diversified risks and multiple redundant production paths. With limited resources these companies build a focused commitment that it has to work right the first time. That is something lost in Government funded programs. That is something that needs to change fast unless we want to cede space innovation to other nations.


[edit on 30-1-2006 by nullster]



posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by orca71
What makes us different from the old soviet union and much more successful are 1) are vastly superior natural resources and preexisting capital per capita

Actually the old Soviet Union was better positioned in natural resources than the US, which is one of the reasons why many expected the USSR to last longer than it did and why few people saw the fall of the Berlin wall coming. Take oil alone, the motor of all economies, the USSR exported it and Russia still exports it, the US needs to import ever increasing percentages.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by Simon666

Originally posted by orca71
What makes us different from the old soviet union and much more successful are 1) are vastly superior natural resources and preexisting capital per capita

Actually the old Soviet Union was better positioned in natural resources than the US, which is one of the reasons why many expected the USSR to last longer than it did and why few people saw the fall of the Berlin wall coming. Take oil alone, the motor of all economies, the USSR exported it and Russia still exports it, the US needs to import ever increasing percentages.


Actually the size of oil reserves is just one small aspect of natural resources because it is finite and has limited value in any one fiscal year. If not Nigeria is far better placed that we are with much larger oil reserves and a much smaller population.

As for import/export, despite all the hype about demand outstripping supply and other hocus-pocus, although we are a net importer, we actually export a significant amount of oil. Why you ask? Wouldn't exporting oil decrease the local supply? Gee, you better ask the oil companies who are making record profits.


[edit on 2-2-2006 by orca71]



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 12:48 AM
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Originally posted by nullster
Here's something to chew on.

How much would it have cost the government to produce Spaceship 1?
Anyone who would say the same or less would be kidding themselves.

I had a very interesting conversation with a Boeing engineer about a specific Space Station component in 1999. Without repeating the whole discussion, there was a comparison with the Soviets engineering and their lack of budget for the same component. They had to produce something that worked the first time and get it into space.

In short, the US aerospace concerns are encouraged to produce multiple plans, variants, changes, and test models that ultimately drive the costs upward. Then after a dissaster strikes, the redundency elements are added and cranked up again. The $500 hammer really never dissapeared. If you knew the amount of people involved in paperwork generation per component you would faint.

Private industry does not have the volumes of personel and financial resources to prop up diversified risks and multiple redundant production paths. With limited resources these companies build a focused commitment that it has to work right the first time. That is something lost in Government funded programs. That is something that needs to change fast unless we want to cede space innovation to other nations.


[edit on 30-1-2006 by nullster]


Enter SpaceX. They're an outfit out of Cali that wants to offer private use rockets capable of going into FULL orbit. They're developing derivatives of the Apollo program's rockets and expect to launch satellites for customers.

But that's also not a fair generalization. You think Lockheed or Boeing doesn't try to minimize their work? The JSF program has been cited as an excellently managed program b/c it's using industrial engineering concepts to do reliability testing early on to catch problems before they require massive re-engineering of major components.

This is beneficial for both the taxpayer AND the company, as the company gets to minimize their costs, which increases their profits.
There are grants given to companies, but they don't get blank checks, and they use their own resources, invest their own money in expansion, etc.

It think it MAY have been true back in the day, when designs still had to be done on paper for example. But now weve got CAD, and other software tools to help us examine structures from various standpoints. Mechanical engineers can easily tool up simulations of stresses on components, the fluids guys can simulate fluid flow, etc. Hell, computer simulation was a GODSEND for the aerospace industry.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 08:38 AM
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Last i heard spaceX couldnt get their rocket off the launch pad, have they been able to launch their satellite yet?

Train



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 08:40 AM
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Launch is on for 8th Feb.



posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by Nacnud
Launch is on for 8th Feb.


- .......and when do the first human re-entry tests start?

Orbit is the bit I'd imagine they could do with old tech (maybe NASA and the other government agencies should charge a royalty for the use of tech they - er, that is we the taxpayers - paid for, hmmmm? Intellectual property being the big issue some want it to be an all, eh?
.....ok just kidding, obviously 'intellectual property rights' only applies to people downloading a bit of music or some movie we're expected to pay top dollar for, right?)
but anyhoo, re-entry is the toughy.


[edit on 3-2-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



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