Other Business Issues
Section 3.8.
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Business Plans and Disaster Scenarios

Some of the discussion here concerned what would happen if our first manned lunar mission suffered a catastropic failure. Not surprisingly, this question has come up several times before, and probably will come up again.

I don't like to talk about (or think about) a disaster scenario, but if it does happen, we won't pack our bags and give up. Once we've recovered from the shock, we'll press on with even more determination. This I know from personal experience.

From a grisly, gruesome, purely financial standpoint . . . well . . . consider that the only two real space missions which have had full-length feature films made about them were STS 51L and Apollo XIII. I don't want to dwell on this, but after such a disaster, it would be even easier to raise money for another shot.

The cost of a reflight depends upon the disaster scenario and why it happened. If it's a launch failure, we'll probably get a reflight at no additional cost. The spacecraft will be (must be, by U.S. law) be insured for its replacement cost, so the only additional cost would be another insurance premium plus some recurring cost from the operations team.

If we somehow failed to do our homework so that a major flaw in one of our vehicles or software lead to disaster, we would be forced into a major redesign to correct the flaw. That could be expensive, perhaps doubling the vehicle cost because we'd be even more timid about the next shot. We'd want to do a lot more testing before committing to another manned flight. If the problem was a human error during the flight, we'd want to invest a lot more in training the crew (including the flight controllers) and checking everyone's work.

No matter what, we won't stop; not even after we're there.

     "Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up!"

                                             -- Winston Churchill

Other Business Issues

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