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If we want a better future, we have to invent it and
the pay for that has to keep us fed. TimBL showed
the generals how to get something for nothing by taking
old missiles and putting monkeys in them. Unfortunately
launching monkeys at the moon or any other target
thrills the monkeys but doesn't always get them there
with a whole skin.
Actually, it is the longevity of the web team that
I'm counting on, that is, if they recognize and
learn from mistakes. Otherwise I wouldn't be here
bitching. I'd be making a case to DARPA to quit
funding their research.
One best approach to get to Mars via the Moon
from the US or the EU is to begin yearly contests
among the 14 to 18 year old students to hold
design competitions. We do that here with
Moon Buggies every year with teams from
all over the world. It's fun to do, fun to
watch, and they learn how to build in
collaborative teams. It won't necessarily
get good designs; it will get good designers.
And now they have a slightly defective but
working global library and communications
network, which if they use good lifecycle
formats for the designs over time will
result in some very good designs. Just
don't attempt to drive the vehicle with
It's an idea I'm working with the US Space
and Rocket Center. If it interests anyone,
I'll send you an email address for someone
you can express your interest to.
From: Frank [mailto:email@example.com]
Len, if you understand the nature of the beast, don't bitch at us, bitch
at your customers. Your analogy is dead on. Tim BL came to MiCom and
showed them a way to take the money that would have bought them 50
missiles, every one of which would hit the target, and instead get 100
missiles, 80 of which would hit the target.
Of course every silo in the world has TB-L missiles now. Of course
you're frustrated that you can no longer just upgrade a production
missile to man-rating. But neither the generals nor the TB-L missile
company have the job of making your job easier. And they did their real
job wittingly and well.