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Ukulele_Maestro t1_j7zdl29 wrote

People are criticizing NASA for contracting blue origin and a developmental rocket, but apparently ok to look the other way for NASA contracting a developmental rocket for something of much higher consequence


tanrgith t1_j80229c wrote

I don't really have a much of a problem with BO getting this contract

However trying to argue that BO getting this is in any way comparable to SpaceX getting their HLS contract is pretty silly and doesn't hold up to much scrutiny


[deleted] t1_j807fwp wrote



tanrgith t1_j80ajt8 wrote

Oh there are similarities when you describe the two cases at a surface level. But any kind of deeper look at the two scenarios should make it super obvious that it's not really things that are comparable

The contracts that SpaceX won very early on when they were basically a very young startup with no proven track record. Those contracts are comparable to this contract that BO has been awarded


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j80bf8o wrote

Yeah I'd agree, and good thing the risk was taken back then, just as it's good to do so now with BO


wgp3 t1_j7zgaf5 wrote

While I agree that people are being too harsh, there is quite a difference. SpaceX has experience building not one, not two, but 3 separate orbital rockets. One of them that was previously holding the title for most powerful operational rocket (and uses 27 engines on the first stage). So it makes sense that nasa would trust them to be able to develop their 4th rocket that uses 33 engines and is in a less complex configuration despite being a larger rocket.

The contracts were also very different. No one has a working human landing system for the moon. They're development contracts. The whole point is developing something new and having nasa oversight into some of the technical challenges. This launch contract isn't about development. Nasa isn't going to be helping blue origin get new Glenn ready. Instead they are putting faith that this company that has never developed an orbit rocket can develop one of the most powerful orbital rockets. And have it working by late next year.

Blue has experience developing new Shepard which is far different, but also still shows engineering competency and definitely gives reason to believe in new Glenn coming eventually. But it's still very different scenarios than HLS.


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j7zo1po wrote

The nuances of both are different but there are similarities, and it fits with NASA strategy of helping to foster the commercial launch industry.

it's definitely risky and a stretch to rely on starship for the moon lander, there are many untested capabilities that have to be developed. It's a developmental rocket, and got the contract.

Blue Glenn is similar in that it's a developmental rocket, and got the contract.


wgp3 t1_j802fdg wrote

I do agree that it fits with nasa strategy. Overall this allows them to have more options for sending cool science payloads out into space. Which is what I think everyone in this sub wants to see more of.

Starship is risky but so were all the other proposals. SpaceX had the most technically adept proposal with the best strategy for mitigating risks. That's why they won and the others did not. And they now get help developing it from nasa.

But there's still a big difference between saying "I'm going to help you build your next generation race car so i can use it for the race season" and "I'm gonna use your race car (without helping) to race in the talladega 500, even though you've only ever built a go kart before now"


Ukulele_Maestro t1_j807jbv wrote

Yeah blue origin will be losing money on this launch. Seems pretty good for NASA.