It's a start to a better HSF program. But there are still too many flaws.
This still misses the point that we need LEO now! And focuses on the HLLV
which we wont need until we want to go to Mars or asteroids in about 30-50
In my opinion, this proposal is just as off base as the original Obama
administration proposal. First of all we need to keep our astronauts
launching to LEO from the US not Russia or anywhere else. It is really so
simple that everyone is over looking the answer. I love the shuttle but it's
time to stop flying shuttle. Even though it is the only vehicle with it's up
and down mass.
To keep flying US astronauts to LEO we need to finish developing a 6 seat
Orion capsule with just the capability to fly LEO missions, not deep space
missions. This could be done in the next 2 years if NASA concentrates on
this goal. To launch it to orbit NASA should contract with the United Launch
Alliance (ULA) to launch on the Atlas V. The Atlas V is a test, reliable and
very capable launch vehicle.
Having a 6 seat Orion we could launch 2 or 3 of our astronauts and sell 3
to 4 seats to any nation wanting to fly to OUR space station. This way we
"can reach out to the Muslim nations" that the Presidential administration
wants to do. We can sell seats to India, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan, Libya,
Iran, Turkey or anyone else that wishes to pay to fly on OUR rockets to OUR
space station. Selling the seats would offset the cost and we could use the
money to develop the heavy lift vehicle and a deep space version of the
Since we need the LEO capability NOW and we don't need deep space
capability for 30-50 years in the future why waste the current budget and
time working on a dream of deep space that we will not see in our life time.
Let's get our focus on what is really important, i.e. launching US
astronauts to OUR space station from the US!
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