December 02, 2010
The article at Aviation Week ought to dispel last doubts that SpaceX is somehow a part of NewSpace anymore (let alone alt.space). Check this out:
"The physics is the easiest problem, but the economics and politics are quite pernicious. Any attempt at a solution that doesn’t try to satisfy those three constituencies—forget it," says Musk.
Under SpaceX’s proposal, NASA would have overall systems oversight, and integration would be driven by Marshall Space Flight Center. "That would be a good way to go," says Musk, who adds that "the only logical place" for final vehicle assembly remains Kennedy Space Center. "When you build a vehicle that big, it minimizes logistics; you can re-use the space shuttle pads and conceivably even make the tanks at Michoud [the current external tank facility in Huntsville, Ala.]."
MSFC did not exactly cover themselves with glory by selecting one of the worst possible Schuttle follow-up designs. But Elon is a-ok with serving them, becaus of "economics and politics". And the question if the super-heavy is even needed does not arise at all. It's all good as long as SpaceX gobbles the most of the government contractor gravy.
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