Friday, May 30, 2008

"Build it and they will come?"

The ISS Program announced that it is offering "free" rack space for experimenters to conduct research in the "National Lab." Sounds good on the surface, but just like the Emperor's clothing, you don't have to get far in the pathfinder strategy to see how bogus the offer is.

With only ten shuttle flights left, room is tight on the only free ride to ISS. After that, you'll have to go negotiate with the nonexistent COTS services or try to negotiate a spot on stuffed Soyuz, ATV, or HTV flights. Prices for those precious rides, if actually offered, will be astronomical.

But give the minions credit. They've built an empty cathedral with no way to get to it but on a wing and a prayer and they want to share that accomplishment with the rest of the world. We should all feel priviledged.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a pity, in the middle 1990's
the SFF and their hanger's on were all
nthralled with the concept of "Alphaville"
the idea of using the ISS as a open trading
port. Unfortunately none of them bothered
considering how to solve the fundamental
transportation problem.

They were so enthralled with the idea of ISS
as a Frontier outpost, nobody bothered asking
how you got there.

Of course, the Silly people at NASA Marshall were
busy setting rates for rackspace crew time and
power, without ever considering what value
any of this provided.

It is kind of amusing to compare the NASA rates
for rackspace then to the rates now.

kT said...

Unfortunately none of them bothered considering how to solve the fundamental transportation problem.

Er ... they're called (E)ELVs.

Some things just take a while, especially if NASA decides not to use them, once they've actually got them.

Oh, well, I guess the EELVs will just have to keep launching sats.

Anonymous said...

The EELV is a great booster,
but, there is a lot of work to get
the payload into the ISS.

The French spent a fortune on the ATV.

Had NASA funded some small Progress
like capsules, that would provide a
transportation solution.

It's not technically hard, but you need to spend
2-3 hundred million to do that.

kT said...

The EELV is a great booster,
but, there is a lot of work to get
the payload into the ISS.


But you can't actually quantify the amount of work required, can you?

Let me help you out. Large inline SRBs are not required to get to low Earth orbit or the ISS. Clear enough?

Anonymous said...

Actually i can quantify the amount of work
needed to get the payload into the ISS.

The European ATV and the Russian Progress
serve as wonderful measures of the
amount of work needed

So, i'd say to quantify the work as more then
doing a progress and less then an ATV

kT said...

I'd say to quantify the work

Most of us who do this kind of stuff use Joules per mol, temperature, pressure and exhaust velocity.

SI units please. Thanks!