The empire of NASA bureaucrats strikes back: The coming train wreck for Commercial Human Spaceflight – Wayne Hale’s Blog
> When Frank Bauer and I proposed a new model of doing business to the agency leaders, we patterned it on the NASA Launch Services organization which acquires expendable launch vehicles for scientific satellites. NLS has much less oversight and far fewer requirements than usual NASA programs because the providers have a proven track record of success launching rockets for the DoD or for commercial users. This model appeared to us to be the way to allow commercial entities to provide safe but much more cost effective space flight transportation.
Now NASA has released a draft (dated Oct. 8, 2010) of its requirements CCT-REQ-1130 ISS Crew Transportation and Services Requirements. I’d like for you to read it but it is behind NASA’s IT firewall and you must have an ID and password to access it. I have read it and I’m disappointed. The document runs a mind-numbing 260 pages of densely spaced requirements. Most disappointing, on pages 7 to 11 is a table of 74 additional requirements documents which must be followed, in whole or in part. Taken all together, there are thousands of requirement statements referenced in this document. And for every one NASA will require a potential commercial space flight provider to document, prove, and verify with massive amounts of paperwork and/or electronic forms. This, folks is the old way of doing business. This is one of the major reasons why spaceflight is as costly as it is.
Rand Simberg comments here: The Coming Train Wreck – Transterrestrial Musings.