Saturday, August 2, 2008

Chute Me Out of My Misery

In a scene portending the future, the Orion Parachute Test Vehicle is no more, after it became inverted following extraction in a test from a C-17 aircraft. The capsule inverted in the air and was unable to get its parachutes deployed. After being torn from the capsule, the chutes drifted away like so much confetti, as the capsule itself crashed to Earth, putting a rather large dent in the ground.

This is not the first Constellation parachute failure. Last year, a Drop Test Vehicle with an Ares I pilot parachute failed when the riser connecting the parachute to the DTV didn't do its job.

Landing without a parachute is hard. But even on the cursed ORION, landing with them is hard. So hard, in fact, that the Russians have told their American counterparts, no doubt with a smirk, that their equipment (and maybe their cosmonauts), which are built for stout anyway, would not likely survive an ORION landing.

Parachutes are hard. No wonder the Emperor is starting to favor that big thing with wings again.

12 comments:

kT said...

So many failures! So many choices!

Anonymous said...

Deja vu...

http://www.astronautix.com/details/apo17875.htm

Did this stop them back then?

kT said...

We had Wernher von Braun.

You've got Michael Griffin.

The answer should be self evident by now, and if it's not, then you need to totally reexamine your basic physics and engineering experiences.

What? You're not an engineer?

Anonymous said...

actually two of the three 'chutes separated from the vehicle while the third failed to inflate...

perhaps we should name the test vehicle Overacker?

kT said...

What Mr. Obama apparently doesn't understand is that Ares I and Orion is 'the gap'. There will always be a gap as long as America pursues the POSs that are Ares I and Orion.

Perhaps someone on his staff can give him a little 'heads up' on that.

I tried, and failed, apparently.

RayGun said...

Rocketman, kt has repeated several times here that Ares and Orion is President Bush's idea. I was thinking the VSE belonged to Bush however, Ares and Orion are Mike Griffin's. So, in your opinion... Who do you blame for the Ares and Orion debacle?

Rocket Man said...

Take it somewhere else, fellas. Comments which enlighten or contribute to the overall discussion are welcome. Bickering among commentators is not.

Rocket Man said...

Mr. Bush would himself admit he is not a trained aerospace engineer. Clearly any architecture definitions have come from the Emperor and his minions. If you want someone to blame within the administration you have to ask Mr. Marburger why he let such a debacle manifest itself without challenge. And you would have to look to OMB and ask why the funding continues to flow. But, at the end of the day, it is the Emperor who pumped steroids into the Apollo architecture and thrust it upon the unquestioning world.

Anonymous said...

Why does OMB continue to fund? Paul Shawcross, who spent most of his career in the NASA IG office, now holds the NASA purse strings at OMB. My guess when we last needed a new administrator is that there was a cabal of mid-career space intelligentsia in DC. This group put forth the Man With Seven Degrees to be the figurehead. Now they're running things how they see fit. I formulated this opinion from postings on NW at the time.

kT said...

Hey, thanks for that. I had to actually Google that, and then TOR into NASAWatch, because Keith has banned me at the server level, but here is the actual link :

http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2008/06/ksc_folks_call.html

It's nice to know the name and face of the person responsible for destroying America's space program.

As the man says, give him a call.

Rocket Man said...

Shawcross is the wrong guy to pick on. It's his boss in OMB that you need to aim for.

kT said...

I don't even know where to begin, we've got a hodgepodge of bible college graduates, evangelical Lutherans, Methodists, sons of CIA spooks, etc. and quite a few recognizable names in there, one cited for contempt of congress.

That pretty much explains it!

We already know all about Marburger.