Sunday, May 4, 2008

Rube Goldberg Was a Piker

Werner Von Braun's body was found in China this week after making the trip from D.C. No, he wasn't exhumed, he just churned in his grave until he augured all the way through after an unidentified visitor paying respects whispered to him graveside about the latest hare-brained scheme to make ARES 1 lift off and fly right.

The picture at top left provides an indication of the level of sophistication that Steve Cook's minions will go in order to make ARES 1 the most unreliable launch vehicle ever brought forward for man-rating. Active reaction control jets will be employed in equal and opposite direction to the purported thrust oscillation ARES will experience in its five segment form. Remember when ARES was billed as "Soon, Simple, Safe?" It is turning out to be none of the above.

Of course, if the RCS jets fail, the crew will eject their hearts from their chest cavities and their bladders from...well, you know where. So, since it can't fail, let's add redundancy. Oh yeah, that's more weight for a vehicle already in hock up to its parachutes to weight-watchers and the country's taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

Is Garry Lyles finally calling the Emperor's bluff by proposing this ridiculously better mouse trap to solve the ARES thrust oscillation problem and exposing the folly for all to see? We know Garry and don't believe he would honestly propose such an abhorrent system without a smile on his face. Then again, maybe Garry already knows this will be the safest rocket yet made?

It certainly can't kill anybody if it stays on the ground.


Anonymous said...

On NSF someone called this the castletop inhibitor. I propose, "Cathedral Reverse Anti-thrust Pulsator", or CRAP.

mz said...

This is not the castletop. That's an entirely different solution concept.

Dave said...

How about "Synchronized High Impulse Thrusters"?

Anonymous said...

Interesting possible analysis in that there has been other recent speculation that the amazingly weird ideas for mitigating the Thrust Oscillations are the fruit of the frustrations of the engineers involved who are tired of management ignoring the laws of physics in forcing a non workable design on them, that sprung from the fruitful minds of geniuses such as Lou Friedman and Owen Garriott.

I presume that they are going to test this amazing system on the Ares 1-X mission.