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On a lighter note: Does James Bond show the way for NASA to remain a manned LEO launch provider?

19 Jul 2012, 17:01 UTC
On a lighter note: Does James Bond show the way for NASA to remain a manned LEO launch provider?
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NASA will shortly have to choose which two or three (or even two and a half) commercial crew systems it wishes to carry on funding in the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) development programme. While lawmakers and even ex-Apollo astronauts note the excellent and good value progress that the commercial manned space transport firms have managed so far with the limited funds available (well compared to a typical government-run space development programme that is) they do suggest that for safety and experience reasons, the actual flight operations to low Earth orbiit (LEO) might yet be best left in NASA hands. At present NASA plans to just procure ‘seats’ aboard these craft leaving all operations to the commercial concerns themselves..
Of course, there could be another way. And the fictional superspy James Bond, or rather the plot of his Moonraker movie, might just have the answer. In that adventure film, Drax Industries, a firm owned by the fictional billionaire called Hugo Drax, was building the Space Shuttle for NASA but keeping some “Moonraker” orbiters for Drax’s own use.

Moonraker orbIters attached to Drax’s space station in Moonraker (1979). Don’t ask how he got it up without someone finding out. ...

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