Sunday, February 10, 2008

All's Quiet on the E Street Front

It's been a quiet week in never never land. Well, not really, but you've heard all this news before. It's like the summer re-runs, but summer isn't here yet.

The Emperor launched into a tirade blaming the failure of his follies on the "losers" who didn't get the contracts for ORION and ARES. Funny, how is it that the losers know so much about the major technical issues facing these systems? Yet there are more tiger teams up and running now than you can shake a stick at. Why is it that PDR has now slipped six months then? You know the answer to the first question. But the answer to the second is that PDR really should have been slipped a year as Viceory Hanley originally wanted to do. The reason it is only slipping six months is that the Emperor wants to sit in on a Systems Performance Review before he is replaced by the next administration. So we must have a PDR before December.

But how can that PDR happen when MLAS and land vs. water probably won't have been resolved by then. Or will they? And if the answers are that close at hand, then why is the Emperor wasting Hanley's precious resources on them at this late stage. In a word: jobs.

The other "losers" will meet this week in California to proclaim a new vision for space exploration. Perhaps they should take a page from one of the other historical groups who broke off from the pack to heed a new vision. Witness the results of Mitt Romney's campaign, after all.

And finally, the latest set of "losers" for COTS will be announced this week. Delayed one week by the shuttle launch, we will find out just how uncommerical commercial space is about to become.

Just after the STS-122 launch, we learned that the Europeans really don't have a "stomach for space travel" after all.

In the background, the shuttle huggers now have enough material in hand for 17 tanks. Last we checked there were only 12 or so flights to go before 2010. Despite public proclaimations to the contrary, the huggers are not giving ground to Constellation at Michoud or Stennis. The floor space and key test stands still have "do not disturb" signs on them.

Like we said, not much has changed this week.

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