After Hyperloop failed as a concept (80 years ago) it seemed a brilliant and absolutely evil twist that Elon Musk was able to pawn the entire failure off onto Sir Richard Branson and the UEA.
But the first “test” of what little Branson could actually do with it and seeing how much actual money had been lost, left a bitter taste of foreboding.
Then Musk rolled out the “Hyper Tunnel”
Instead of hundreds of miles per hour on a train, you now ride at 30 miles per hour in an enclosed tunnel with a driver, in a tesla, with poorly circulated air and other people’s farts, between sub stations you still have to enter and exit from, among normally congested foot and motor traffic, now made MORE congested…..
It has taken BILLIONS of dollars spent to get us here.
It is a quaint and laughable idiocracy of contemporary snake oil tech peddling. But at the end of the day, good money is still being burned on bad ideas that limit our ability to actually achieve REAL technological advancement.
A sort of ‘Snake Oil Luddite’ movement.
Then SpaceX launched and blew up SN11 only weeks before NASA’s final decision on the Moon lander contract award.
Through the course of SN11’s test, it was clear that SpaceX has no clue what it is doing with the Starship concept.
The SpaceX moon lander is just a lower gravity version of Starship.
It has absolutely no working real world model (like that of the Blue Origin and Dynetics) or working test of any components (like that of blue origin).
One would easily conclude that SpaceX was not a logical choice for the Moon lander contract.
This profound lack of intuitive or even remotely sane budgeting and project development is nothing new in NASA’s long and storied history of wasteful logistics.
NASA is an institution that treats space exploration, the same way the American Medical Association treats medical care.
The problems are more profitable than the solutions.
Each new NASA mission maintains the employment of thousands of initial operational staff and thousands more in construction, development and support staff. The longer and slower the project, the more money these people make. In the 1960’s NASA experienced the largest annual budgets it had ever maintained since.
Getting to the moon made people rich and returned little in the way of career or on going development when no actual maintained presence or infrastructure in space was realized. It is safer job security to not develop a space based infrastructure when you make more money on the ground selling hope than actually flying ships.
In the commercial space flight realm, companies like Spacex have quickly learned the value of over extended development, long term fixes and selling hope instead of an actual working product.
It worked for hyperloop.
Like hyperloop, the SpaceX moon lander will experience a dramatic sea change between the promise and the reality.
Meaning, the actual moon lander for the mission is limited on space since it will not be the medium of transport for space flight to and from the moon as the system was conceived to work.
So the SpaceX lander is scrapped entirely from the project before it has even begin to be a working model.
This opens additional issues in development, cost and time which I am very sure NASA is hedging it’s bets on.
A valuable scapegoat is provided by SpaceX in development failures, cost over-runs and ultimately a ridiculous copy of the lander systems conceived by the full Artemis project proposal, Blue origin or Dynetics.