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View Diary: The Senate Launch system flies again (67 comments)

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  •  A little misleading. (6+ / 0-)

    I will accept a giant asterisk:

    The SLS lifter deserves a major question mark in its choice of technology.

    But ... let's see:

    Already been there?

    Yup.  Sure. We've been to the moon.
    To the side facing the earth.

    Well, really only about 1-2 kilometers of its surface.
    And all of the exploring and examining that could be done wearing stiff and bulky suits for just over 3 days of exploring time.

    And -- that was more than  40 years ago.  In the intervening years, we've discovered that the moon is a much more interesting place than we realized back then.

    And -- Orion is being designed for missions beyond the moon, and SLS is built to exceed the Saturn V's launch capability and support missions beyond the moon's. Although -- that asterisk certainly comes into play.

    And -- the commercial companies? Two of them have managed earth orbit, which really, really is "been there and done that".  Useful, though, because both of them have re-supplied the Space Station and one of them has managed to launch a communications satellite into geo syncrhonous orbit.

    Nothing wrong withi that.
    And -- I know Elon Musk wants to go to Mars.
    And, maybe he will.

    But, so far, the kind of resource mustering that allowed us to say "been there, done that" WRT to moon travel, has yet to be demonstrated in private industry.  If we were to be completley honest, we'd admit that the companies that have made the ISS re-supply runs relied on a heavy does of government money to get there, so it's not exactly like free enterprise and free markets.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 06:26:48 PM PST

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