Saturday, December 8, 2007

"I Don't Know."

The Space News Profile was so suggestive. "Take a Load Off, Hanley," it said. Man, oh, man we wish he would.

As Marsha's boy continues to be played like Nero's fiddle, your space program continues to lose ground. Much like Pinocchio dancing at the end of the Emperor's strings, his nose grew a couple of more inches as he talked for the profile. The former flight director who almost hosed Hubble (he was saved by his back room support on that one), wouldn't know how to paint by numbers, let alone build a strategic program like Constellation from scratch.

But we digress.

Hanley says the team has settled on water landing off the California coast. But, no, wait, we also need a land landing contingency. Ooops? Didn't Skip Hatfield just get fired for sticking to that direction?

Then, for all of the world to see just how inept a manager he is, Brian Berger manhandles Hanley with a couple of seemingly innocuous questions. Why is Congress being led to believe Orion won't fly before 2015 when Hanley is pushing his team to 2013 with admittedly low confidence? Hanley's answer: He has to set the bar higher, so high, in fact, that his chances are less than 1 in 3 of making 2013. Now there's some inspiration for his team. "I want you working long hours and weekends and holidays, but we only have a 1 in 3 chance of achieving our goal. The beatings will continue until morale improves!"

But Berger presses on. If Orion had an extra $1B could it do better? Hanley doesn't know. Doesn't know? Wait a minute! Didn't the Emperor say he could make 2013 with $2B. Shouldn't Hanley be able to say he could close half the gap with $1B? Answer: yes. What did he say: "I don't know."

Finally, Berger takes the money shot. What will be the cost of Orion and Ares per flight? Hanley's answer, " I don't know." You could almost hear the Congressfolk pushing their chairs back from the bench in awe. Here for all to see in print, the Constellation Program Manager demonstrating his command of the facts of his program.

So when exactly do we think we'll see Constellation bear fruit? We know.

1 comment:

Jon Goff said...

An interesting point that someone mentioned on another site was that the $2B that Mike Griffin said was needed to accelerate Orion to 2013 was only for the 2008-2010 timeframe. Ie there's a real chance that in order to accelerate Orion to that point there would need to be additional funds in 2010-2013 (above and beyond the current plans). I could be wrong, but its an interesting thought.