In fast succession, an October third dialog between SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine culminated within the announcement of a (doubtless) last-second October 10th media occasion at SpaceX’s rocket manufacturing unit headquarters.
Located in Hawthorne, California, NASA says that the media occasion will observe instantly after Musk is scheduled to provide Bridenstine a tour of the SpaceX manufacturing unit. Members of the media will be capable to ask Bridenstine, Musk, and NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley questions concerning the expertise and the foremost Crew Dragon milestones looming simply over the horizon.
Maybe most notably, information of this shock media occasion comes a bit over every week after the NASA administrator printed a weird and widely-criticized assertion basically equating Musk’s public Starship presentation to a company-wide lack of deal with Crew Dragon and NASA’s Industrial Crew Program (CCP). As not too long ago mentioned on Teslarati, Bridenstine’s assertion was tone-deaf at greatest and delusional at worst.
“Paradoxically, regardless of actually receiving virtually seven occasions as a lot funding as Crew Dragon and Starliner, SLS and Orion are arguably simply as – if not much more – delayed than their industrial brethren. Initially supposed to launch an uncrewed check flight in 2017, there’s now little to no likelihood that that mission (identified then as EM-1 and now as Artemis-1) will launch earlier than 2022, a delay of roughly half a decade. The price of the SLS/Orion program not too long ago crested $30B, a determine more likely to develop to ~$40B earlier than it has carried out a single launch. Of that funding, roughly a 3rd has gone to Boeing, the first contractor accountable for NASA’s comically-delayed SLS Core Stage – the orange booster pictured above.
Put merely, if Bridenstine really cared about defending “the investments of the American taxpayer” greater than wielding their sanctity as a political weapon, he wouldn’t have folded like a home of playing cards on the slightest resistance to his makes an attempt to cull SLS/Orion delays and price overruns, and he definitely wouldn’t be losing breath complaining about what SpaceX’s CEO is or isn’t speaking about.”
As illustrated within the above article, a majority of the spaceflight group was equally dissatisfied in Bridenstine’s unbalanced, divisive, and pointless remark. Throughout Musk’s scheduled Starship presentation some 24 hours after, he was requested a number of occasions concerning the NASA assertion and clearly disagreed, though he saved his feedback as well mannered as doable. Even then, Musk himself readily acknowledged his consciousness of the assertion’s hypocrisy, at one level sarcastically hinting that perhaps Bridenstine had meant to say SLS, not Industrial Crew.
As such, it’s laborious to not see this last-second media occasion and SpaceX HQ tour as an try to fix bridges, though totally different folks would doubtless have various things to say as to who’s doing the mending. Regardless, the chance for media to step inside SpaceX’s manufacturing unit and ask Musk and Bridenstine questions is an undeniably glorious (and sudden) consequence.
Hopefully, these in attendance might also be fortunate sufficient to see the just about accomplished Crew Dragon now scheduled to help the spacecraft’s astronaut launch debut (Demo-2). In accordance with Musk, that spacecraft is probably only a handful of weeks away from transport East to SpaceX’s Florida launch amenities and may very well be prepared for launch as early as late December.
NASA says that the post-tour media Q&A with Bridenstine and Musk might be streamed on the NASA administrator’s Twitter account and can kick off round 2pm PDT (19:00 UTC) on Thursday, October 10th.
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