Sunday, February 13, 2011

SpaceX, Heavy Lift, Fixed Price!

In a letter the Space News editor on February 7 SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said: "we .. develop a heavy-lift launch vehicle with a 150 metric ton to orbit capability ... We can do so for no more than $2.5 billion, within five years, on a firm, fixed price basis with payment made only on achieving hardware milestones."

Contrast this with the 2012 budget proposal for NASA's new, traditional, cost-plus contract heavy lift booster: $1.8 billion for ONE YEAR of a five year development plan! Don't for get that these cost-plus contracts almost always go over budget.

Bottom line: Congress should change the heavy lift development program to a fixed price program similar to the very successful COTS program which helped develop the SpaceX Falcon 9 (on which the heavy lift vehicle would be based) and an Orbital Science vehicle. It would b a lot cheaper.

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