Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pressure to Perform

Poor Viceroy Hanley. The guy just can't get a break. And that, of course, will eventually break him.

The Orion/ARES program are haltingly being pushed by the Emperor towards a PDR this year. Despite numerous open technical issues, including the supposedly unresolved landing and abort modes, PDR is stuck on the calendar. How do you hold a PDR if you are not in a position to select ALAS over MLAS and might change the entire aerodynamic configuration of the launch vehicle after that PDR?

Hanley tried managing the program, slipped the ARES 1Y launch date, and promptly got called up the hill. "Jeff Screwed Up," was the Emperor's quote to the assembled masses at a breakfast a couple of weeks ago. One wonders how the "screw-up" can get up in the morning, look himself in the mirror, and convince himself he is anything more than a puppet. And Marsha's puppet at that.

Since then, Hanley has tried a couple of times to get the PDRs moved to the right. Give him credit. But, the Emperor is unrelenting. He wants to leave the throne having gotten PDR behind him and a systems review that follows on the books. No matter how incomplete or ineffective. Its a mockery of the process. And its costing us, all of us taxpayers, a lot of money that is being wasted on the incomplete design of these systems that will never see the light of day.

Any self-respecting program manager would do the honorable thing at this point and throw his badge on the table. And he would become a hero in the process, opening everyone's eyes to the lack of cloth on his boss's misbegotten plans.

No comments: