About Spacewritinguy

This site will provide opinionated straight talk about events in the space economy as well as life here on Earth.

My interests vary, from space exploration and settlement to politics to management philosophy and other irritating behavior. I write anonymously to give myself an opportunity to vent while still keeping my job at [X], which probably wouldn’t like me expressing some of these opinions. It’s a nice compromise between silencing myself completely and sharing too many opinions at work and losing my job. So it’s passive-aggressive: so what? It’s what the system pushes people to do.

I am a single, male ape-descended biped with pinkish skin and greyish fur on the cranium who has resided on the planet Earth for approximately 40 revolutions around the sun. I am happily single, scholarly, and individualistic. I am likely to remain that way, as I lack the patience for dealing with others of my species for long periods of time. On the plus side, others often feel the same way about me, so I have managed not to procreate. This is for the benefit of all concerned.

Peace to most, war to those who deserve it.

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Responses

  1. I dig your site. Two quick questions for you:

    1) Hubble Telescope: Thoughts?

    2) Budweiser: Have you tried the “original” budweiser in Prague? They had the original name of Budweiser before the one in St. Louis. I’m an American through and through, but hell, the Budweiser in Prague is stunningly beautiful. It puts “our” budweiser to shame.

  2. Hubble’s done a great job. The servicing mission scheduled for August will give it a new lease on life, though I understand some ground-based telescopes can now match or beat HST’s capabilities. It’ll be interesting to see what NASA does with the James Webb Space Telescope. Hopefully they’ll get the funding boost they need.

    Re: Budweiser

    Can’t say I’ve had the pleasure yet. It’s on the list, though.

  3. What are your thoughts on SpaceX?? Pretty neat “little” company with a ton of potential. SpaceX working together with Bigelow is a huge opportunity to create a permanent private presence in space and expand opportunities for the public.

  4. SpaceX has the best chance–after Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites–to prove that the private sector can beat the government at its own game. And let’s all be grateful for that, because the government is in the process of bolluxing up their own game.

  5. But SpaceX and Virgin Galactic/Scaled Composites are two completely different companies with completely different markets. Virgin wants to create the fun zero G experience in the sub-orbital realm. SpaceX is out to be the US alternative to Soyuz to get people to ISS and even to Bigelows project.

    I don’t see Virgin as a real commercial enterprise but more of a “look what I can do” project. SpaceX appears to have clear goals and a huge up-side by servicing an already established market with LEO and GTO (and ISS) tranportation. With the SpaceX vehicles dropping the cost of per pound to orbit, I think they will be the clear alternative for NASA and other countries to use SpaceX as their transportation system.

    Even when the moon missions come up, SpaceX could be the one to take the lions share of the business there. They have figured out many of the reliability issues by having a single engine type and keeping their vehicles as modular as possible (hello Armadillo). What’s more, making 80% of their vehicles reusable is a huge plus (able to study wear and tear of each flight and work out kinks, real kanban stuff).

    One thing is for sure, NASA can’t continue to control the market forever. They should step aside and let private industry handle the orbital/sub-orbital stuff and stick to the exploring and envisioning.

  6. >>I don’t see Virgin as a real commercial enterprise but more of a “look what I can do” project. <<

    I think you’re underestimating Richard Branson and Burt Rutan. They both have a serious end in mind: using suborbital tourism as a way to finance eventual orbital tourism. Tourism, if done right, is big business. And Richard Branson knows how to do things right, even if it’s at a spaceport in the middle of a godforsaken desert in New Mexico.

    Elon Musk is taking the more direct, and perhaps more pragmatic route: the biggest customer of space launch services right now is the government. The COTS program opened the door, and Elon is walking in. However, he’s got a tougher row to hoe than Branson because he’s doing a lot of his work with his own money. Investors are more willing to bet on Branson (tourism) and Rutan (air travel/tourism), which are known quantities, both as businessmen and market niches.

    Obviously the whole process is taking longer than anyone in the pro-space movement expected or preferred, but the entrepreneurs, who only have to go after profits, will probably have an easier time of it than the government.

  7. […] one may not be the only answer, but I find it pretty convincing: “It’s a nice compromise between silencing myself completely and sharing too many opinions at work and losing my […]


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