Astro Maven Blog
Blog of astrophysics researcher, public speaker and author: Rick Boozer
On Twitter: rboozer
Also on Facebook and LinkedIn
Dr. Boozer, I strongly concur with your view that NASA's investment in the SLS is a poster child of a pork barrel sustained white elephant. I wrote an editorial in Aviation Week & Space Technology a year ago last April making a similar set of arguments against NASA's "rocket to nowhere". As you point out NASA is not the master of its own fate with Congress dictating the current investment strategy for the future of the U.S. human spaceflight program including the short changing of the emerging LEO space taxi program. Sadly, the SLS program may now have too much momentum to be stopped, but your scenario that this particular white elephant is killed off by the end of this decade after SpaceX demonstrates a much lower cost heavy lift alternative to support beyond earth orbit missions is quite credible. By the way, we had a similar scenario when Secretary of Defense Bob Gates killed off the Army's Future Combat Systems program after a ten-year expenditure of approximately $18 billion. Unlike NASA, the Army does not have an alternative modernization option. Peter A. Wilson, Washington, D.C.
Hi Peter,It is good to know that there are open-minded people making their decisions based on external evidence. Thanks for the kind words about the article and I hope you continue your efforts to spread the wordRickP.S. My highest degree is a Master of Astronomy in astrophysics. I am currently pursuing a PhD in that same field.
This SLS bashing is nothing but crap.Open minded folks understand the need for heavy lift,http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/01/nasas-mars-design-reference-mission-goes-nuclear-2001/http://www.wired.com/politics/law/magazine/16-10/sl_porco and I am very glad the blogosphere wasn't around during Saturn V or you Delta II addicted fools would have tried to kill that too.This alone debunks Rick's hit piecehttp://www.americaspace.com/?p=34964For my part I'll take the sober words of a wise Griffin over a questionable Boozer.
Normally I don't answer anonymous commenters. If you wish to be taken seriously here, you will leave a valid name and email address or a valid account for Wordpress etc.First, you need to read my article well enough to understand it. What you claim I am saying is false."Open minded folks understand the need for heavy lift,http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/01/nasas-mars-design-reference-mission-goes-nuclear-2001/http://www.wired.com/politics/law/magazine/16-10/sl_porco"Where did you get the insane idea that I am against heavy lift?"http://www.americaspace.com/?p=34964"The claims in this article do not represent my position, with the possible exception that I say Falcon Heavy can be used for manned lunar missions. But I am not even mentioned in the article and most of the article does not express any position I have, so I will assume it is not about me.The correct statement of my position is that for situations where heavy lift is needed that other prospective heavy lift options are more viable than SLS and that includes HLVs proposed by BOTH SpaceX and ULA.Also, Congress is not giving SLS a big enough budget to take the largest version of it to completion in a reasonable amount of time. Furthermore, Congress will not give SLS a big enough budget to fly it frequently.If people keep trying to post distorted propaganda about my positions, I will stop posting them for no other reason than I have astrophysics research to do and it takes too much time for me to reply to this B.S.
P.S. If you want me to publish your comments, have the integrity to make your true identity known. Otherwise, I won't publish you. If you make a habit of lying about or distorting my position, I won't publish you. If it is obvious that you didn't really read what I wrote. I will not publish you.
Just by the style, I'm pretty sure I know who that is.... Yep (TrekBBS thread).The blind SLS boosterism is strong in that one.