Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Aug 2013 14:14 UTC
In the News

Victoria Espinel, who until recently served as the White House's first intellectual property enforcement coordinator, will now head one of the most powerful trade groups in the tech industry. She's been tapped to become the new president and CEO of The Software Alliance (or BSA) starting September 3rd. In her new role, she'll be tasked with pushing the anti-piracy interests of major players like Microsoft, Dell, Apple, Oracle, and Intel. And while the BSA spends a large part of its time lobbying Congress and other governments to push that agenda, Espinel will be barred from engaging in such practices herself - at least initially. According to Politico, an ethics pledge Espinel took to secure her "copyright czar" position under President Obama prevents her from lobbying for at least two years.

No corruption here. Nothing to see. Move along.

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RE[10]: Wikipedia
by Alfman on Mon 2nd Sep 2013 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[9]: Wikipedia"
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Your first link was pretty damning indeed. I'm left to wonder to what extent the higher costs have to do with implementation problems rather than conceptual problems of a reusable spacecraft. Non of the information addresses this.

"The final design differs from the original concept, causing, among other things, the shuttle orbiter to be almost 20% over its specified weight"

"Maintenance of the thermal protection tiles is a very labor-intensive and costly process, with some 35,000 tiles needing to be inspected individually and with each tile specifically manufactured for one specific slot on the shuttle."


"by 2011, the incremental cost per flight of the Space Shuttle was estimated at $450 million, or $18,000 per kilogram to low Earth orbit (LEO). By comparison, Russian Proton expendable launchers, still largely based on the design that dates back to 1965, are said to cost as little as $110 million, or around $5,000/kg to LEO."

I'm playing devil's advocate here, but these numbers aren't very meaningful without an economic analysis of the cost differentials between the countries. The US is notoriously expensive place to operate from, and US government operations are known to be notoriously inefficient as well. This has to be factored in before comparing the numbers side by side. In other words, it would probably still cost the US many times more to run it's space program even if the US and Russia had used identical space crafts. Would you agree?

We're so far O/T it's funny. You are right it is about pride, but for the record what makes me sad isn't the loss of the "space shuttles" per say, but rather the loss of any manned space vehicles whatsoever.

Edited 2013-09-02 13:52 UTC

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