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Embedded below the fold in two parts. This podcast, entitled “Why does the US not have a manned spacecraft to orbit and to Mars?”, was a special broadcast, where the entire two segments were focused on outlining the delays NASA has forced on the private commercial crew companies, most especially SpaceX, in order to favor SLS as well as Boeing.
The first segment outlined the background. The second segment outlines solutions, central to which was the need to shut down SLS, Orion, and LOP-G now, before they do even more harm to the U.S.’s ability to compete effectively in space.
Whatever manned projects the federal government decides it must do, it must stop trying to ask NASA to build these projects. Instead, it must name a goal (building a base on the Moon, for example), and contract the requirements out to private companies. For the price of SLS we could launch between 300 and 400 Falcon Heavies, and do it NOW, repeatedly, rather than once four years hence. Nor is Falcon Heavy the only private option. Both Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman are building rockets that can supplement or even supplant SpaceX.
We should be relying on freedom and competition, the basic tenets of our country, not a Soviet-style top-down space program run by the government.