Saturday, June 14, 2008

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Been thinking about bidding on some of the Emperor's cathedral work? Did your competitive assessments and you determined that the incumbent had the new contract locked up? Did you decide to hold onto your chips and wait for something that wasn't going to be so hard to break into?

You might want to change your mind.

Almost from the beginning, Constellation element and support contracts have sidestepped the sure bets. Lockheed landed ORION, ATK's ARES-1 stuck it to the EELVs, SGT carpetbagged the Constellation Program Support Contract, Oceaneering made a fashion statement with the spacesuit, and Booze Allen is now drinking in the win on the Constellation Technical Support Services Contract. Indeed, NASA is sidestepping its tried and true development partners for new blood almost every day.

Many of the competitions have been decided on "cost." Cost is in quotes here, because many other "made up" reasons are usually listed in the source selection letter to justify the less-than-justified decisions that have been announced.

Of course, the net result, as has been determined by almost every commission formed to study the subject, is that the investments (that would also be your investments, fellow taxpayers) made by the incumbents in lessons learned, infrastructure, and efficiency are lost in the churn that follows new blood onto the scene. But, of course, who would expect the Emperor to follow a reasoned recommendation anyway?

Just ask Doug Cooke how those cost savings on ORION have been working out lately.


Anonymous said...

Ares VI. Says it all.

Stupid fat Americans everywhere are gonna love it.

Damocles said...

I've even heard rumors of a 5.5 Al-Li case SRB.....

The only thing "shuttle-derived" about Super Ares anymore is the orange foam insulation, and that will probably change.....