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“I think one would want to understand in some detail . . . why would it bebetween four and 10 times more expensive for NASA to do this, especially at atime when one of the issues facing NASA is how to develop the heavy-liftlaunch vehicle within the budget profile that the committee has given it,”Chyba says.He cites an analysis contained in NASA’s report to Congress on the market forcommercial crew and cargo services to LEO that found it would cost NASAbetween $1.7 billion and $4 billion to do the same Falcon-9 development thatcost SpaceX $390 million. In its analysis, which contained no estimates forthe future cost of commercial transportation services to the InternationalSpace Station (ISS) beyond those already under contract, NASA says it had“verified” those SpaceX cost figures.For comparison, agency experts used the NASA-Air Force Cost Model—“aparametric cost-estimating tool with a historical database of over 130 NASAand Air Force spaceflight hardware projects”—to generate estimates of what itwould cost the civil space agency to match the SpaceX accomplishment. Usingthe “traditional NASA approach,” the agency analysts found the cost would be$4 billion. That would drop to $1.7 billion with different assumptionsrepresentative of “a more commercial development approach,” NASA says.http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/awst/2011/05/23/AW_05_23_2011_p36-324881.xml
"LE BOURGET, France—Europe appears to have abandoned all hope of independently pursuing human space exploration, even as the region's politicians and aerospace industry leaders complain about shrinking U.S. commitment to various space ventures. "After years of sitting on the fence regarding a separate, pan- European manned space program, comments by senior government and industry officials at the Paris Air Show here underscore that budget pressures and other shifting priorities have effectively killed that longtime dream." http://www.orbiter-forum.com/showthread.php?t=23006