"Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry." -- Winston Churchill
Five or so years in the making, "The Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report," mysteriously surfaced today. It came out on a day when most people are still on vacation between Christmas and New Years and probably not paying much attention to the news beyond what is happening in the Middle East. One spokesperson said it was released now to keep the crew's children from having to deal with questions from their classmates the following morning.
They say the report was commissioned to serve as a design guide for future spacecraft engineers. When was the last time you heard about something like NASA-STD-3000 being released to the news media for review?
No, today's release fits as another piece of the duplicitous campaign for the Emperor to keep his job. The report outlines in some detail the many hardware and human failures that occurred inside Columbia during re-entry. Couched as "safety recommendations" for future vehicles, they illustrate the fragility of the systems that came into play after foam incapacitated the orbiter's wing.
Along with his wife's unashamed late evening emails, a shady astronaut's petition, a moon man's op-ed piece, and a loud discrediting of the Snow Princess's credentials in a semi-public forum, the timing of the report is designed to give weight to the Emperor's shuttle retirement arguments and the need to go full steam ahead with his misbegotten replacements.
This man knows no bounds, using seven dead crew as a lever for advancing his own career.
At this point we have to ask, if our nation's space program is (like the space shuttle itself?) so fragile that it can not withstand independent scrutiny, yet so dependent on one single individual for its completion, can it realistically be expected to be sustainable? If the program plan is rational, should it not stand up to review? If the program is executable, could it not be led by any of the other competent leaders this country has to offer? And would not its founder be proud to demonstrate that for his legacy.
Icons like Low, Kraft, Gilruth, and Faget never campaigned for their jobs and they knew their value was not in being invaluable. If ARES/ORION was rational and executable, the current leadership would not find it necessary to campaign so desparately, with so little integrity, and without an ounce of shame, for their retention. That decision would be obvious.
And so is the one that has been made on D Street.