UPDATE: The Space Review has just published the paper with the new introduction.
“A major issue of contention for NASA’s near-term plans has been how much reliance it should place on commercial providers for crew transportation to low Earth orbit. Mary Lynne Dittmar presents a paper she prepared last year with the late Mike Lounge on one approach to handle that transition.”
Readers of this blog have seen references to a white paper written by Mike Lounge and I. Before tonight it has not been publicly available. Now it is.
The original Lounge~Dittmar paper, “Transition to Commercial Services for LEO Transportation”, was written in the Spring and early Summer of 2010. Distribution was on a “not for release” basis, with the intent of supporting policy discussions without generating more controversy in an already-contentious time. In December of that year, the paper surfaced at NASASpaceflight.com (NSF). NSF’s editor-in-chief & sitemaster, Chris Bergin, was the ultimate professional in his handling of the paper, suggesting at the time that it be released only in the non-public (subscription) portion of the site. Chris was also kind enough to remove my personal contact information, which I had included when the paper was originally distributed.
Readers of this blog (and many others) are aware that Mike Lounge passed on during March of this year. At that time, I began to explore the viability of publishing the entire paper in a public venue – in part to keep a promise to Mike, and in part with the hope that it might continue to inform discussion even though the thoughts that spurred it originated almost a year earlier. (For background on the paper and on Mike, the 4-part series I wrote about our work together begins here.)
Several weeks ago I started on an update, including an introduction to the paper describing its genesis. At the same time I reached out to Jeff Foust, publisher and editor of The Space Review. Jeff has reviewed the updated paper and has kindly agreed to publish it tomorrow, May 23, 2011. That version contains new information that previously has not been published.
In keeping with his professionalism and support, tonight Chris Bergin has moved the original paper from behind the “L2″ firewall to the open (public) “Space Policy” thread at NSF in order to make it available to anyone wishing to read it. It may be found here.
My thanks to Jeff and to Chris for their support and consideration.
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