Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gen Y At It Again

Gen Y'ers presented their latest "slide show" at Texas A&M this weekend for the SEDS folks.

We've seen this kind of thing the turd museum. They have a lot of nice S*** there.

But who would pay to see such crap?


Anonymous said...

Having seen this presentation, I can appreciate that Gen Y is trying to get people amped about the space program and attempting to instill the belief that anyone can contribute. But as a Gen Y'er myself, even I feel that presentations like this are misguided at best, an attempt to replace skepticism with false enthusiasm.

Collaborative sites like Dell's Idea Storm work because the input received is turned around by Dell into viable solutions that can be applied to the market, affecting their bottom line and addressing the needs of the consumer, the person tied directly to the end product.

NASA has the continual problem of addressing the issue of what their bottom line is, and how it affects those that pay for it: the everyday taxpayer. If NASA does open up the proverbial suggestion box, I could see a few recurrent questions popping up: "what does NASA do for me", "why does NASA exist?", etc., and these need to be addressed so the public knows they're at least getting some type of return on their investment. And even if they can address these questions reasonably, there most likely simply isn't enough money to go around to pay for the programs that people would request of NASA.

I want to know what the constellation program does for me first. Otherwise, I fear that these suggestions will be nothing more than eager kids writing to Santa Claus, unaware that their letters are ending up in a vast dumpster somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see this, it sounds like a bunch of "whining". I'm a Gen-X dude and it seems that this presentation assumes that previous generations should do something "special" for Gen-Yers.

The reason why there aren't so many young people at NASA is because NASA sucks at marketing. They've lost their brand image.

A lot of things are missing at NASA:
1) Compelling mission. VSE isn't compelling.
2) Visionary leaders. I can't stop laughing about this one
3) "The right stuff". HELLO? NASA lost this a long time ago.
and I could go on...

To the Gen-Yers out there...Don't let Starbucks define your generation. These goofy 70-slide presentations have little informational value. Get off the caffenine and start working as a team.

Anonymous said...

Its just a rah-rah thing which is not entirely bad. The problem is that NASA is going to take far too long to show any progress. It is highly optimistic that they will EVER get to the moon with present architecture. Once they get there it is pretty much a re-run from the 1970's.

It IS important to have a mission. That is the prime driver. Apollo had a very specific mission and the machines designed to meet that mission were strictly limited to JUST that mission. It was a political victory and scientifically interesting but ultimately they couldn't move beyond the "just go for a few days" zone. And spending all that money for a three day stay was clearly absurd.

NASA must create a mission first that makes sense. Just staying for 10 days is not going to cut it. Everyone can see the disproportionate cost/benefit.

NASA must open the door for the next steps in exploration and that is a far tougher task than the one being worked in the 1960's. This means unlimited stay durations and people that go for months and years. Scientists that step beyond being a tourist. It means that many more talents will be required than just geologist and pilot. The infrastructure tasks can inspire far more people to think that they could get to the moon- without being an uber geek. Just the best damn mechanic or a kickass surgeon.

What is most important is that NASA must finally work with our nascent space industry to make this happen. They have almost uniformly worked to block industry leaders like ULA from selling their existing products to get the job started sooner. Yet the crucial stuff- a realistic habitat, closed-cycle ECLSS, real-world concepts for establishing a large base and the means to resupply it- these are almost ignored. We'll get to them later - after we build yet another rocket in an already over-supplied launch industry.

It is the whole structure of the present NASA that is the problem. We kill technology programs that are clearly required for true exploration so that we can cobble together something that will work just a bit better than Apollo. Superior technologies are almost systematically killed on the altar of what was used on Shuttle- a LEO launcher with a couple of weeks of flight duration. This is like trying to preserve the landing gear on a DC-3 to use on a 777. And the fatal flaw is not allowing the obvious and serious problems in a system to change your mind when they become clearly known. That WILL be fatal- literally.

If NASA wants to attract the best and brightest they need to act as sensible men and not like emperors. They need to present something truly new and visionary- that will yield far more than Apollo. Right now it is clear they are stuck in the past. The public perceives the VSE as an expensive game or toy- not something serious with long-term goals. The cynical in industry see it as essentially a jobs program.

The new NASA administrator has their work cut out for them.

Anonymous said...

I wish the Gen "Why" would hurry up and go away and the Gen How would speak up. I know they are out there. Perhaps they are working the back channels at JSC as we speak.

kT said...

I wish the ... Gen How would speak up.

What is there to know? Fire Griffin. Stop the national travesty and tragedy that is the Vision for Space Exploration, Constellation, Ares I and V and Orion, and start doing some actual rocket science, on an actual modern rocket. Oops, make that rockets. Well, you've got some space shuttles, and 14 engines with close to 75 engine flights or more left in them, I'm guessing you could stretch that to 100 SSME engine flights with few problems.

So what you people are telling me is that you can't transition to two existing EELVs coming in a myriad of configurations, including a heavy, two kerosene powered COTS vehicles, three space shuttles using fourteen main engines, with 10 or more shuttle flights remaining, and up to 40 additional engine flights remaining after that?

Then I posit, America truly doesn't have the 'right stuff'. This is undergraduate stuff. I find it amusing to witness how some guy with seven advanced degrees can screw it up so thoroughly, and how people can so willingly go along with the idiocy, and how such obvious and simple solutions for recovery from the disaster escape them, while they bicker incessantly while waiting for someone, anyone, to show them the path to a higher way, which in all probability will be a more idiotic path than the current one.

There you go trolls. The pleasure is all mine, trust me. You ain't going back to the moon. You've got an amazing new and mysterious fifth planet Ceres, and you guys are sitting around talking about the Moon and Mars, arguing about it acutally. Now that's funny.

Anonymous said...

kt has a much more enlightening conversation going on here

kT said...

Are you enjoying your economic and financial meltdown, your ever growing national debt and your dysfunctional Vision for Space Exploration, troll?

Nobody here expects you to learn.

Good luck with the new job.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with a previous poster...I'm not sure I agree that its "whining", but its a definite call for attention. For some reason, the Gen-Yers seem to feel like they're different than all the other previous generations. On the surface, it does seem like a "rah rah" presentation, but there is a tone, an underlying urge for people to pay attention to "us".