This week the theater on E street will once again light up to introduce a new cast of characters gathered to accept a pittance from the Emperor in exchange for dancing proudly for him in public. Or will they be that new after all?
COTS 2.0 ostensibly will be announced this week. Let's review the bidding.
Spacehab is hanging by one hand at graveside. Orbital has a plan for "yet another rocket" while SpaceX is already supposed to be far down the road on their new one. PlanetSpace has brought ATK and LM into the fold for credibiliy, has cash, and begins to look like the "most likely to succeed"company in the 2008 yearbook. And then, there is Boeing.
Boeing! Not Andrews? That's right.
So Boeing, with its deep pockets, understanding of the problem, and most trusted vendor of Viceroy Gerst is standing at the threshold of filling "the gap." If the stigma of being a big guy playing in the little guy's pond can be overcome, Boeing will provide the country with a viable solution to fill this extremely strategic need. And COTS will be exposed for the sham that it is.
And the demise of Orion/Ares won't be far behind.