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VSE Launchers: Why Recreate Something You Can Already Buy? (Update)

By Keith Cowing
October 29, 2006

Editor’s note: Not too long ago NASA was adamant that it did not want to see any presentations at technical conferences by Lockheed Martin about human-rating any of their Atlas launch vehicles. The reason was simple: this would conflict with NASA’s plans. Now that they have won the CEV contract, and their announcement of a joint human-rating study with Bigelow Aerospace, Lockheed Martin seems to be much less shy about touting their capabiliies. See this page for details.

I wonder how many human-rated Atlas launchers NASA could buy for the same amount of money (still TBD) it will spend on developing the CLV – especially given all of the problems that the “Stick” has encountered. For that matter, how many Atlas- (or Delta-) derived HLVs could NASA buy for the money they will be spending on the CaLV? Meanwhile, industry sourcs note that ULA may soon be looking at human-rating options as well.

CBO Report: Alternatives for Future U.S. Space-Launch Capabilities
VSE Launchers: Why Recreate Something You Can Already Buy?, earlier post

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.