Speaking to the Huntsville Times, Mike Kynard, J-2X program manager, finally 'fessed up to the fact that everyone else already knew. The Emperor and his minions had been lying since the days of ESAS. One of the key pieces of the new lunar architecture is not really a heritage item after all.
Relative to the original Apollo J-2, "...this one has to generate more than 290,000 pounds of thrust," said Kynard. "Not only is the J-2X going to be more powerful, it's going to be different. Time has seen to that. This engine has its roots in Apollo, but we aren't just lifting their work. It's almost a new engine."
This latest engine "redefinition," along with other design changes and the subsequent elimination of much shuttle heritage from the current architecture reinforces the suggestion that the pony-tailed engineers that produced ESAS based some of their design choices on less than appropriate assumptions. Some would say the Emperor gave the team the answer and they had to work backwards from that.
Now we can see that, having designed the systems from "the inside out," instead of working forwards from a good set of requirements, NASA has reached the end of the line and those assumptions and the resulting heritage designs do not work. Brand new expensive stuff will result. Two years have been lost coming to that conclusion.
GAO will soon release its report on the ARES and ORION debacles. We suspect that NASA has the reports in their possession at this time and are feverishly working on a rebuttal to the damning aspects of the reports. If there is any justice, the reports will be released on Halloween. We can guess how these horror stories will read.