Friday, June 5, 2009

Space Tourism CEO to Review NASA Policies

See, this is why I like Barack Obama.

If there is one thing NASA needs, it is to be run more like companies like Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, who at every turn develop their spacecraft to be as simple as possible so that they are cheaper and so that there is less that can go wrong. To give you a stark example, a space shuttle has over two million moving parts. SpaceShipOne has thirty.

Yeah, you read that right. Moving parts in a space shuttle: 2,000,000. Moving parts in SpaceShipOne: 30.

And we wonder why the shuttle program is so expensive and why those freaking shuttles break all the time.

Recently, Barack Obama's administration has been putting together a commission to examine NASA's future and make recommendations on how to proceed with manned spaceflight after the three remaining shuttles are retired next year. They may even re-examine the Ares program.

It was announced in the past week that Jeff Greason, the CEO of XCOR has been named to this committee. XCOR Aerospace is another space tourism company dedicated to building low-cost, low-complexity spacecraft.

And if there is one thing NASA needs, that is less moving parts.

Trip to Space
Progress: 5.03%  Flight Time: 0:07:33
Solar Array
Progress: 3.28%  Power: 49W

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