NA$A, Again

WASHINGTON — An independent safety panel recommended NASA not certify SpaceX’s commercial crew system until the agency better understands the behavior of pressure vessels linked to a Falcon 9 failure in 2016.

That recommendation was one of the stronger items in the annual report of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) released by NASA Jan. 11, which found that NASA was generally managing risk well on its various programs.

Independent? Here’s the link to that report:

Notice both NA$A and the dot gov in the URL? I’m pretty sure that my understanding of “independent” is a bit different. In any event, NA$A is trying to impose a standard of safety that they themselves never achieved. Once again, let me post the chart that Jeffersonian was kind enough to generate:

NASA death percentage(2)

Amusingly, we have this video:

First off, this guy is trying to assert that NA$A is a continuation of the Renaissance. I guess we’re supposed to ignore the half-millennium that lies in between. The next bit of hilarity is him contrasting the percentage of the Federal budget now versus the high point during the 60’s. Again, we’re supposed to ignore the part about how much larger the budget is now compared to FY1966. Then he trots this out:

Granted, that’s not nothing, but that has been mandated by Congress. If that stricture wasn’t in place, does anyone reading this think for a second that NA$A would be voluntarily sharing their goodies?

And completely ignored is that NA$A has pretty much done nothing new or innovative since the Moon landings, spends our tax dollars, and with the exception of a few prototypes, fields rockets that can only be used once. But, but, I hear you say. Think about it: the Shuttle, various stations, planetary rovers, satellites, etc., are nothing more than refinements of things that have existed in one form or another for half a century. And don’t forget that the Hubble telescope had to be repaired in space because they ground the mirror wrong. And there’s the money lost on one of the early Mars orbiters because one group was using the metric system and another English measurements.

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