Why the Constellation's supporters have lost their minds
February 20, 2010

OVER SIX YEARS AGO (in January 2004) when the President Bush announced the plan to come back to the Moon within 2017 (a date that seemed already too away in the future) the "price" of the VSE was evaluated at "only" $104 billion (inclusive of R&D, rockets, fixed costs, etc.) and some said that these funds given to NASA was enough also for the final Shuttles flights and to launch dozens Orion/Ares-1 missions to the ISS...!!!

But, after the release of the ESAS plan (at the end of 2005) this "low price" has quickly grown to $125 billion in the NASA evaluation and to $230 billion in the GAO evaluation, while, only the costs to add a 5th segment to the standard SRB, have skyrocketed to $3 billion in a matter of months!!!

I remember when GAO received lots of critics on many space websites for its "excessive" evaluations of costs... but, now, the GAO figures look a VERY OPTIMISTIC evaluation of Constellation's costs, since, according to NASA, only the "price" to develop the Ares-1 (in at least 8 years) could be over $35 billion!!!

So, if we add similar costs to develop the Orion, Altair, the EDS and the Ares-5, the final "price" of the Constellation program could reach $200 billion or more ONLY to DEVELOP the new lunar hardware and could fly to $300+ billion if we add the fixed costs and the space-hardware costs for a dozen of Moon missions!!!

I agree, that, the new plan for the US human spaceflight is wrong in several points (since heavily influenced by the bad and useless Augustine Commission's Report) and that also the fishes that have read the "new" NASA plan are depressed... (not forgetting, that, the claimed "cheaper price" of the "commercial space", is ONLY A GIANT ILLUSION also if compared with the Space Shuttle program) ...but, my #1 question, is: "can a country like America, that has several millions of unemployed people and many new homeless, caused by the economic and financial crisis, burn an amount of money pretty close to the GDP of the Finland, to develop a couple of rockets and send a few astronauts on the Moon, instead of use this money to help these people to find a job and an home???"

Well, frankly, my personal answer is "NO" ...and, it seems, that, this is also the President Obama's answer... and this is also the main reason why, those that (still) support and try to revive the $200+ billion Constellation program, have completely lost their minds, either if they will fail in their effort, or (much worse) if they will succeed to keep the Constellation program and its stellar costs alive!!!

Of course, a better space program (and also a better and cheaper "Constellation 2.0") can be designed and this might be the goal of some future articles on ghostNASA (despite no one seem listen my suggestions...) but, unfortunately, I can't write these new articles so soon, since I must reduce the time devoted to this blog to follow my NewSpaceAgency project, to try to start up my own new.space company.

 





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