[FPSPACE] Beal Aerospace
Robert G Kennedy III
Tue, 24 Oct 2000 14:56:15 -0400
This came out yesterday, was confirmed by http://spaceflightnow.com, and I
didn't see it in today's digest. Thanks to Mark Reiff for the heads up.
Sorry but I had to delete the partisan stuff.
"Statement from Andrew Beal Regarding Cease of
Operations by Beal Aerospace"
Beal Aerospace Press Release
: Beal Aerospace regrets to announce that it is
: ceasing all business operations effective
: October 23, 2000.
: Despite our experience with cost overruns and
: schedule delays, we were confident of our
: ability to ultimately succeed in the development
: of our BA-2C rocket launch system. The BA-2C
: program was the largest privately funded program
: ever in existence to build a large capacity
: space launch system.
: This sad day in commercial space launch history
: puts an exclaimation point behind why space
: enthusiasts should vote for a President who will
: put a stop to government agencies competing with
: and attacking private companies trying to access
: Unfortunately, development of a reliable low
: cost system is simply not enough to insure
: commercial viability. Several uncertainties
: remain that are totally beyond our control and
: put our entire business at risk. The most
: insurmountable risk is the desire of the U.S.
: government and NASA to subsidize competing
: launch systems. NASA has embarked on a plan to
: develop a "second generation" launch system that
: will be subsidized by U.S. taxpayers and that
: will compete directly with the private sector.
: In my capacity as founder and chairman of Beal
: Aerospace, I previously testified to a
: congressional subcommittee that government
: subsidies to competing launch providers
: constituted the private sectors biggest business
: risk. Nonetheless, NASA remains committed to
: such an effort, and congress last week approved
: an initial $290 million to begin an effort that
: NASA declares will result in the government
: funding of one or two human rated subsidized
: launch systems within 5 years. While Beal
: Aerospace recognizes the need for NASA to
: develop a human rated launch capability for
: space station and other human missions, we find
: it inexcusable and intolerable that NASA intends
: for these subsidized systems to additionally
: compete for non-human rated missions including
: cargo for the space station and commercial
: satellite missions.
: Other significant and uncontrollable risks we
: face include (1) federal laws mandating our
: potential liability for pre-existing
: environmental contamination at the only
: available cape canaveral launch pads, and (2)
: uncertainty over U.S. government state
: department approval to launch from our own
: launch facilities in the foreign country of
: Guyana. In spite of these additional risks which
: we have faced for some time, we would have
: remained in business if the government would
: have simply guaranteed that NASA’s subsidized
: launch systems would never be allowed to compete
: with the private sector.
: There will never be a private launch industry as
: long as NASA and the U.S. government choose and
: subsidize launch systems. While Boeing and
: Lockheed are private entities, their launch
: systems and components are derivatives of
: various military initiatives. Very little new
: effort takes place without significant
: government subsidy, control, and involvement.
: While we believed we could compete successfully
: against the government subsidized EELV launch
: vehicles, the characteristics and depth of
: subsidy for NASA’s new initiative as well as its
: ultimate performance are impossible to determine
: or evaluate.
: Once it became clear that NASA and Congress
: intended to proceed with their new competing
: launch systems, our only remaining choice was
: whether to cease operations entirely, or to
: evolve into a government contractor role like
: Boeing and Lockheed and seek government
: contracts to assist the development of the NASA
: system. We have elected to cease operations.
Robert Kennedy, PE