Tuesday, October 25, 2016

House hearing on why many US space companies go to India for launch

I have had lots of contact with folks interested in building ties to the new leader in space, India.

GIven how hearings are being considered more and more as exercises in public relations and political action, and less as seeking truth, I doubt they will get any witnesses who dig up what is really going on. In essence, people who need the best launch technology have no choice but to link up to the best technology.

Consider for example: what will it do to the US military if we force our people to pay ten times as much money per kg in space as what the Chinese pay, if they spend the same amount of money in space? Anyone seriously concerned with national security would never, ever allow that question to be swept under the rug! Even giving communications in space to other nations, through misguided restrictions, would be a major blow to US national security!!

Who is responsible for this horrible situation? I doubt they will invite witnesses honest and knowledgeable enough to point the finger to the key node where the key decisions were made: to Senator Shelby and to Lamar Smith (following his lead)!! (Though they in turn may have been guilty of following guidance from others.) For example, the decision to order NASA to use old Apollo style technology, while India invested in next generation reusable RLV technology. But also the firing of James Armor just two weeks after the time when, as head of NSSO, he ordered DOD to fill the hole. Also the cancellation ("restructuring") of the original version of Mitchell Clapp's Global REach ALASA program at DARPA, replacing it by a Lockheed promise which led to melting and explosion at Mach 8-10 of their politically connected answer to a DARPA project which would have preserved our lead. When the Marshall Institute really looked out for US national security, and tried to get action... they were "restructured" and ordered to get out of everything but climate denial. And yes, our own Tom Tierney acted pretty firmly to make sure IEEE wuld not save the day, and that the folks who truncated the US would have their goals totally fulfilled. 

I doubt that the Indians are to blame.  Trade restrictions certainly would not begin to solve the problem; they would only force migration of additional industries and technologies overseas.

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