It seems the DIRECT team has got the upper hand over at NASA. Witness the striking similarities between the Jupiter proposals and the recently announced new heavy-lift launcher NASA says will carry astronauts to Mars and beyond. Not that any of it matters, since a) NASA will almost certainly not be able to afford it and b) even if it looks like they will, the propeller-headed program leads will get starry-eyed and grasp at new ideas that'll jack the price up so high it'll become unaffordable. Me, I'm putting my bets on SpaceX. Of course, now that there's this thing out there, it's possible my favorites will have a harder job than before. Such is the life which surrounds the last surviving design bureau of the Cold War.