Wednesday, December 24, 2008

NASA Begins Outsourcing ISS Supply Missions

From Gizmodo: Following (some) successful launches NASA has given SpaceX and Orbital massive contracts to send supplies to the ISS. The contracts, for $1.6 billion and $1.9 billion, contract these two companies to deliver about 20 tons of cargo to the International Space Station. This
will serve as a temporary holdover during the period between NASA's Shuttle and Constellation programs, sending supplies from 2010 until 2016, at least.

As a little side comment, I hope I am not the only one that sees problems here. It's a situation that even under the most beneficial light makes the space agency look inept. You mean to tell me that when these ships where first conceptualized that no one saw a time when they would have to be retired and make allowances and provisions for such an inevitability? Now they are building hope onto a six year plan mind you that is based on a system that has yet to even prove itself viable!


Dave Tackett said...

I'd argue that the problem is short-sighted politicians (in both parties) who continually have continually refused to properly fund NASA. NASA has frequently requested funds to replace the shuttles but they have been refused.

Be prepared, this is just the beginning. If you have noticed, NASA administrator Mike Griffin is in a feud with the Obama transition team over the possibility of canceling the Constitution program and not replacing it with anything.

Paul said...

The way I hear it Dave, is that the new admin is thinking of the heavy lifting being done by China. I can't in good conscience agree with that. It's one thing to outsource temporary resupply and totally another to outsource a national heritage....corny yes...but still this country still has the potential to lead by example....they just have to be willing to do it.