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MAIN ARTICLE: Space 2.0 - press release.

Although pretty silent during the election someone is now speaking up.

Poll Results: Yesterday's poll showed something interesting about DKOS members who took part. Most of them thought: "Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.".

Star Trek: In the News. Paramount announces a the release of a new trailer for the new Star Trek movie.
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Yesterday's Comments: "I support that mission on the acronym alone" - superHappyInDC

Today's Poll: How should NASA use the 500 million.

Fund commercial space or fund more of NASA?

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, is finally taking COTS-D and tossing it into the political arena. Although SpaceX won a recent award from NASA for COTS (see "NASA awards $3.5 billion for COTS - ISS resupply.", 'Americans in Space', Dec 23, 2008) it did not include any thing towards the manned option.

Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, or COTS, is a 500 million dollar program NASA created to start commercial cargo delivery to the International Space Station (ISS).

Today on the SpaceX site:


"However, what most people aren't aware of is that SpaceX designed the F9/Dragon system to carry astronauts as well as cargo, and even the word "cargo" here includes biological payloads like plants and mice. F9/Dragon meets all the NASA human rating requirements, such as extra structural safety margins, multi-redundant electronics and acceptable g loads through all phases of flight and abort.

Dragon even has several windows and hatches that open both inwards and outwards to ensure astronauts can exit if a pressure relief valve fails. Moreover, NASA will certify Dragon as habitable for crew even under the COTS A-C program, as it necessarily becomes an integral part of the Space Station and is occupied by astronauts when attached.

The only significant missing element is the launch escape rocket, which carries the Dragon spacecraft to safety in the event of a launch vehicle failure. That can be developed within two years, which means F9/Dragon can be ready to transport astronauts by mid to late 2011. By that date, Falcon 9 will have flown a dozen times and Dragon will have done a round trip journey to the Space Station roughly half a dozen times with cargo, proving out reliability well in advance of carrying people."
--end quote--

(Falcon 9/Dragon configured for crew transport to the ISS. Note both the crew and cargo configurations are very similar, with the most visible difference being the launch escape rocket on the crew configuration. - image - SpaceX)

SpaceX has mentioned that America should buy America (see "SpaceX to Obama: Don't buy Russian Space Craft.", 'Americans in Space', Jan 22, 2009) before but never with this level of grassroots campaigning. At the end of Elon Nusk's update:

"How to show your support

To ask your Congressional representative to support NASA Exploration and COTS Capability D:

Find the contact info for your Congressional representatives at the following links:

U.S Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

To show your support for NASA Exploration and COTS Capability D by phone, please call:

House Representative Alan Mollohan at (202) 225-4172
Senator Barbara Mikulski at (202) 224-4654

To show your support for NASA Exploration and COTS Capability D by email:

Email them directly at: (email accepted via online form only) "
--end quote--

SpaceX suggests 500 million should be the amount of the COTS-D funding and today congress has 500 million in the stimulus bill for NASA to fund their shuttle replacement.

We will have to play the wait and see game as the new Obama Administration has not offered a name yet for a new NASA Chief or if there is going to be a major shift in direction for the agency.


The poll yesterday: "How did NASA do in the stimulus package." Left two thirds of DKOS members (62%) taking part in the poll ready to say, better then nothing. 22% thought it was to little to late and have doubts about the future of America's plans for a lunar return.

STAR TREK: In the News.

Third Star Trek Trailer Announced

"Paramount Pictures announced today that a third trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Trek is planned to be in theaters starting on Friday, March 6th with Watchmen.

The trailer, which features brand new footage, will also be online on Trailers in HD starting on the morning of 3/9 and thereafter on the official site."


"Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO)! A colleague of mine got to work on that proposal for almost a year.

It was a complete paradigm shift versus earlier deep space probes...there was more than enough power for every instrument...and the power available made some usually not considered instruments possible.

On the poll...any money is better than none, or a poke in the eye!" - SJLeonidas

"Even within the realm of government funded NASA isn't enough.  NASA is an R&D tech development agency.  But becoming spacefaring isn't just about developing the tech.  

This is why I keep talking about fully funding the Office of Space Commercialization, or moving AST into the larger DOT, rather than having the FAA retain it." - Ferris Valyn

"Yes, but you gotta stop looking to the taxpayers to pay for everything, IMHO

Unless the taxpayers get a big scare when someone else (China? Russia?) actually do something significant in space." - Bill White


How should NASA use the 500 million. Fund commercial space or fund more of NASA?

Read other NASA and Space diaries on DKOS.

Originally posted to Vladislaw on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:25 PM PST.


How should NASA use the 500 million.

48%12 votes
36%9 votes
16%4 votes

| 25 votes | Vote | Results

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