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posted by martyb on Friday September 09 2016, @10:42PM   Printer-friendly
from the rocket-surgery dept.

An executive from SpaceX's chief competitor, the United Launch Alliance (ULA), predicts that SpaceX won't conduct any more launches for the next 9 to 12 months, as it makes repairs and investigates the explosion of a Falcon 9 booster on Sept. 1:

"It typically takes nine to 12 months for people to return to flight. That's what the history is," Tory Bruno, chief executive of United Launch Alliance, told Reuters. [...] Bruno said the main issue after accidents involving space launches has "always been figuring out what went wrong on the rocket, being confident that you know ... how to fix it and then actually getting that fix in place." Repairing damage to the launch pad is usually not a significant issue, he said. "Historically, it had never been the pad that's taken the longest time," he said.

Bruno spoke with Reuters a few hours before ULA, a partnership of Lockheed-Martin and Boeing, was preparing to launch its 111th rocket, so far all successfully. An Atlas 5 rocket, carrying a NASA asteroid sample-return spacecraft, was poised for liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida about 1.2 miles (2 km) away from the SpaceX launch site.[*]

Bruno said he called SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell shortly after the accident to extend sympathies and offer help. "It's a small community and issues especially around safety - but even mission success - kind of transcend the competitive piece of this," Bruno added.

ULA and SpaceX are rivals for private space missions and launches by U.S. government agencies. Musk's company in May broke ULA's monopoly on flying U.S. military and national security satellites, winning an $83 million Air Force contract to launch a Global Positioning System satellite in 2018. The two firms are expected to square off over a second satellite launch services bid, which closes on Sept. 19.

[*] See SoylentNews coverage: OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission - Launch Successful -Ed.

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10 2016, @11:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 10 2016, @11:19AM (#399964)

    "Our CGI program is also behind schedule, but we predict that SpaceX will quietly sit on a corner, tossing the ball to NASA's court until they have their new CGI ready", Bruno mentioned.

    "To us in the so-called 'private space industry', it is truly remarkable what percentage of the population buys the CGI crap we spoon feed them", Bruno said. On a question about what is it that makes Americans buy into this bad-made, completely ridiculous and obvious hoax, Bruno replied that "it is probably a combination of their arrogance and pride: we are convinced that most humans enjoy feeling superior against their fellow humans, and regurgitating 'facts' that they 'learned' through the educational system, the media, and also NASA satisfies that need pretty well, and helps propagate the deception. Programming with space movies also helps quite a lot", Bruno added.

    On a question about a typical workday of his, Bruno mentioned that "My diaphragm is practically under continuous stress by laughter: just picture how many people actually believe that the Earth is a spinning globe, and watch them pretentiously defend this notion, quoting 'facts' they 'know'!", Bruno also mentioned. "The only drawback is that I have to occasionally interrupt my laughter: there is practically zero time available to count all this money that we are stealing from the gullible taxpayer, this is what takes up most of my working hours", Bruno concluded.

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