Bridenstine

Eric Berger says he’s likely to be approved as NASA administrator.

[Thursday-morning update]

Buzz Aldrin and Greg Autry: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to run NASA.

17 comments on this post.
  1. ken anthony:

    This requires a consistent, sustainable strategy for deep space exploration.

    He wants to move things to the private sector starting with the moon. Once SLS is operational the difference in cost with private sector options will be stark and that will be the end of SLS. A SSTO lunar module (fully reusable fuel and go) based on the moon or lunar orbit would then be the next step.

  2. Richard M:

    It does seem that we need to have them all operational for the evidence to be clear. It was too much to hope for killing SLS before any commercial super heavy had ever flown off a launch pad.

    In the next few months, that will start to change once Falcon Heavy flies.

  3. MfK:

    I’ve heard him speak several times. His technical depth is impressive, and he’s quite accomplished for someone so young. And he really, really likes commercial space. An excellent choice, in my opinion.

    Ir was very disappointing to see Keith Cowling use the term “climate denier,” a Newspeak term if ever there was one.

  4. Rand Simberg:

    “Cowing.”

  5. Eric Weder:

    Cowling / Cowing … still an idiot. Anybody who uses that phrase should be widely ridiculed in public. It’s an ugly loaded phrase, and utterly unjustifiable unless you are a religious fanatic. Every day that goes by we see more evidence that the entire global warming threat is unsupported by the facts.

  6. ken anthony:

    Just think about the term itself…

    “I absolutely deny that climate exists!”

    Ridicule is one of the best weapons against left-speak.

  7. FC:

    #Not Cowed By Cowing

  8. Richard M:

    It becomes tedious to see how certain prominent space bloggers – Cowing, Messier, etc. – continue to ratchet up climate change news and rhetoric on their feeds. If they want to start climate change blogs – by all means, go ahead, boys. But I’d like to read some space news every now and then.

  9. MfK:

    Roger that. Or, rather, Cowing that.

  10. Mike Borgelt:

    Cowing isn’t the only warmunist space blogger.

  11. Hop David:

    A very exciting appointment! I’ve been hoping to see this for sometime.

    However Bridenstine’s endorsement of SLS and Orion has been a fly in the ointment for me. I’ve wondered if this was a cynical Machiavellian move to avoid hostility from the swine keg clan. Eric and other pundits seem to believe Shelby’s endorsement has improved Bridenstine’s chances.

    Or maybe it’s not a cynical move. Spudis seems to be a big influence on Bridenstine. And Spudis has always seemed to favor the good old boy HLVs over HLVs from the new kids.

    I am hoping to see Bezos go to bat for Bridenstine. Bezos’ vision for a lunar and cislunar economy have much in common with Bridenstine’s hopes. And Bezos has some cred in the circles that are opposing Bridenstine.

  12. gbaikie:

    I don’t think the SLS and Orion are interfering with going to the Moon, I think they did, because we could have finished lunar program with in the time when SLS and Orion were “developed”- not to saying their development is finished, yet. But Obama had no plan to explore the Moon- he did nothing to explore the Moon or explore a space rock, which claimed was his plan.
    Basically, the Senate gave Trump a rocket he could use and Trump could use it, but it’s not particularly useful.
    It seems to me we aren’t living in a world where SLS has any potential monopoly on Space launch. SLS is like amtrak, but probably lack the political support for a long existence.

    I think the focus of SLS should be to get the 70 ton launch vehicle to the point of launching a payload and testing if can successful launch such a payload. And not spend much money and attention on making it launch 130 tons. Or making so it reusable launch a 70 ton payload would better direction than much attention on the upper stage. Or it seems we heading on direction of SpaceX and having reusable first stages- it seems the political direction of the future.

    I think the most important things regarding lunar exploration, will be developing a depot in LEO, and robotic exploration of the Moon.
    And when get close to starting a Mars exploration program, send crew to the Moon and finish exploring the Moon with the goal of determining whether the lunar poles has minable water.
    If the Moon has minable water, and companies mine the lunar water, perhaps if Congress wants to fund it, then further lunar exploration could done- which probably include a lunar base. But most funding at that point should assumed to used for the Mars exploration.
    But first part is determine if the Moon is even viable destination, and next determine if Mars is viable destination.
    And if Mars is viable destination, the moon even if doesn’t have minable water, would become a more viable destination. But having both viable destination makes both a more of a viable destination.

  13. peterh:

    The Falcon Heavy is projected to orbit 54 metric tons. I’m thinking that a variant with 4 boosters around the core, with propellant crossfeed and staggered pair drops, should easily top 70 tons.

  14. gbaikie:

    Rand mentioned problem related the preliminary launch requirements and the Heavy Falcon having more delays before launching. If SpaceX doesn’t have this problem [or it’s less of problem] with the Heavy Falcon, perhaps SpaceX would go with even more engines.

  15. Richard M:

    It’s now rated at 64mT to LEO on the SpaceX site. 27mT to GT).

    That may adjust again once the cores move to Block 5.

  16. Richard M:

    “And Spudis has always seemed to favor the good old boy HLVs over HLVs from the new kids.”

    To put it mildly.

  17. Pug Sanchez:

    Keith Cowing’s SNR is remarkably low. That being said, he does collate a lot of very useful information, I particularly appreciate the attention he brings to obituaries I would have otherwise missed. Pro tip: read the content and skip the “Keith’s Note”; expect him to respond immaturely to any criticism, regardless how constructive.

    I don’t worry about having a non-technical expert as administrator. I’ve had more bad experiences than good, with technical people promoted into managerial and administrative roles that they didn’t want or should not have been in – this is across 20 years in engineering academia and industry. I have a lot of respect for people who are self-taught about a subject they’re interested in or passionate. Over the course of a lifetime, I think most of our education is “informal”.

    I didn’t read too much into the Trump administration taking so long to appoint a NASA administrator. I guess it means space isn’t important to the Trump administration, which is fine with me…as Rand is fond of saying, space just isn’t important.