Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Alms for the Poor

With the curtain about to come down on the theater on E Street, some say a ghost can be seen near its entrance when the lighting is just right. Some say its the ghost of a former actor they called John K. He stands there, his legs bound in shackles, sunglasses covering his sunken eyes, and he's holding a tin cup seeking donations from passers by to help get him out of the poor house of eternity.

Coincidentally, the ORION contractors are starting to walk around their tin cup as well. Having left pieces and parts required to actually design, build, and test the Emperor's folly out of their original proposal, the Emperor's minions are beginning to understand the bait and switch they fell for when they picked their current partner.

We've all been there, to that new car lot, with our dream machine displaying an inexpensive MSRP. Then when it comes time to drive away, you notice that the car lacks carpets and a radio. In anger, you charge the dealer, whose only response is, "Oh, you wanted mud flaps with that, too? Well, that will cost ya!"

Indeed, the contractors are today explaining to the minions that the facilities, tools, and original software code they "suggested" would be used in their proposal is inadequate for the job that the minions now say they want accomplished. Woefully inadequate, in fact. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the minions have caved and have asked for the "new price tag" to get the machine they thought they had already paid for. They've already figured out that they could have bought that bright shiny new capsule down the street with everything on it for less than they are paying for it now. Buyers remorse. And with every dollar the ghost of John K. collects, the other Vision drifts further and further away.


kT said...

If it walks like a skunk, talks like a skunk and looks like a skunk, and on top of all that it even smells like a skunk, then low and behold it may very well be a skunk. Whoever thought that a skunk could work in a situation where bold, clear and honest thinking is required, probably has a very short memory of skunks and their methods.

When a skunk dies in a horrible laboratory accident, you need to clear the dead skunk out of the area, otherwise it becomes almost impossible to think clearly.

So it goes with Orion and Ares I.

People need to start thinking very clearly on what can be salvaged from all of this, and I posit that only the 14 SSMEs and the Ares I upper stage (as a core stage) are worth saving in this disaster.

Everything else is just more smelly smoke, burnt rubber and burning money. Nasty stuff in our time of great national need, in space and on Earth, in the good old US of A.

Damocles said...

In my opinion, the Direct system is the best way to go. I am simply a citizen who wants his space program to be lean, mean and pristine. I am not a spacecraft or launch vehicle engineer.

In my opinion, I'd like to see the Emperor get a little comeuppance, and possibly worse, like a jury of his peers...... It's arrogance at best, and fraudulence at worst....

In any case, this has the potential to severely cripple or main our manned spaceflight program. I do hope and pray that the core ideas of the US Space Exploration Policy can bee saved. At least the Jupiter 120 can put the thing into orbit with all of it's safety back-ups intact......