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 doesnâ€™t try to satisfy those three constituenciesâ€”forget it," says Musk.
Under SpaceXâ€™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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