Oldspace vs. Newspace

An article appearing at MSNBC.com (by the author of this post) examines several reasons why Spacex should be one of two primary  winners in the Commercial Crew competition.  One point which should be underscored is the relative difference between the launch vehicle components, and the crew capsules. Both Sierra Nevada’s Dreamchaser and the the Blue Origin entry are originally scheduled to launch on the Atlas V, 402 rocket, and are subject to that vehicle’s cost basis. Consequently , even though both vehicles may offer crew transfer advantages, the Dreamchaser due to its cross range and gentle touchdown, and the Blue Origin for the fact that it would put that company on a development path for a fully orbital system, neither is in a position to exercise the same level of impact as SpaceX, with an already complete system.

If, by some chance,  the Atlas V was on a development path which was leading directly to reusability, it might be possible to regard that system in a different light, even with its current high prices, but that is clearly not the case.

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