Not a Wise Merger

by












  Space News Business

Not a Wise Merger

By HARTLEY SAUNDERS

posted: 20 February 2006
12:01 pm ET


I hope the government has been paying attention to the recent Boeing strike. It severely crippled government space access for at least three months. Taxpayers will undoubtedly have to foot the bill to cover the cost of maintaining the “standing armies” for the multitude of civil, military and intelligence programs that are being stretched out because of this.

In the light of this, it does not seem wise to this reader to allow Boeing and Lockheed to merge [their rocket launch businesses]. In the current instance at least the Atlas payloads made it to orbit.

If the United Launch Alliance (ULA) had been in existence, U.S. government spacelift would have effectively been denied. Our work force’s right to protest unfair management decisions should not be stifled, but neither should our access to space. The ULA may be a good idea for the two cooperating vendors, but it could lead to “interesting situations” for their workers and customers.

It is therefore clear to this reader that putting all our space eggs in one basket is not the best way to ensure they get to market.

Hartley Saunders, Landover, Md.