I think the James Webb Space Telescope is a perfect example of how horrible America's space program has been in recent decades. It's even worse than SLS.

Started by Legend, Apr 02, 2021, 09:53 PM

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Legend

To start, JWST is an incredible piece of engineering. Almost everything related to NASA is incredible engineering. I'm incredibly excited to see it and SLS launch.


But they are not focused on results.



James Webb Space Telescope will cost around $10 billion dollars. Sure it is worth that price, but it only costs that much because rockets are small.

Could have spent $5 billion on building a bigger rocket and then the telescope could have only been like $2 billion. No fancy folding or lightweight materials needed. Plus the rocket could then be used for future missions.


I guess it just really hit me the other day how SpaceX's starship makes NASA + congress look like complete idiots. SpaceX is developing this system for a few billion dollars and even if it's just launched as a big dumb rocket without reuse, it changes everything. Telescopes larger than JWST can be launched without folding mirrors. Mars sample returns can be done in a single launch. Outer planets can be reached in only a few years with kick stages. Why the heck didn't NASA prioritize building a bigger rocket?

kitler53

companies are great at prioritizing profits.  sometimes that's good.

government is great at not prioritizing profits.    sometimes that good.


both has it's place.  a fully free market or a fully communist government isn't a good thing.   sometimes government/corporate collaboration is the best thing.  you can really see that in how the covid vaccine came together.  putting the right solution to the right problem is.  
          

Legend

companies are great at prioritizing profits.  sometimes that's good.

government is great at not prioritizing profits.    sometimes that good.


both has it's place.  a fully free market or a fully communist government isn't a good thing.   sometimes government/corporate collaboration is the best thing.  you can really see that in how the covid vaccine came together.  putting the right solution to the right problem is.  
It's not even a market issue. NASA is doing it all anyway.

Just should have replaced the shuttle in the 90s with an sls class rocket, or never replaced saturn v.

Would have improved science and saved billions.


Sea Dragon was also a NASA idea back then that would have been smart. Just a big dumb rocket.