Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

The sun is rising from the south west.

Time for change is almost here.


Anonymous said...

Obama is floating a trial balloon that combines the military and NASA efforts in order to save $$'s.

I want the ticket concession for this event!

In related news from Fox, apparently someone there read the "petition" and felt it newsworthy to report very few had signed up but some who had commented were somewhat limited in their vocabulary which cast further doubt upon the intelligence behind the effort.

Anonymous said...

With the Obama team actively considering joining the Military and Civil (NASA) launch efforts I think it is time to debate the possible outcomes in this and similar forums.

Will NASA go away and sulk?
Will NASA give an honest appraisal of the military launch capability?

Is NASA willing to give up the thousands who are on the current payroll in order to go to the Military rockets?

Remember, the ones who have taken the Constellation concept this far will be asked to give up their toys and play fair with others. They can retire from the field and claim victory, or...

Rand Simberg said...

Why is everyone buying into this story about "combining NASA and mlitary efforts"? It's all based on a single Bloomberg piece, that other news agencies just copied, that is nonsense on its face, with talk about the commercial EELVs as "military rockets," and ignoring the fact that NASA already uses them for planetary and other missions. Not to mention the silliness about confusing Chinese lunar missions with their actual military threat.

Anonymous said...

It's more about getting rocket development away from NASA MSFC and to the commercial makers.

If Space X can fly the Falcon 9 and a crewed spacecraft all by next year (years before Ares 1/Orion) what does that say about NASA.

If NASA put the same effort into development of rockets and spacecraft that it does in silencing dissent we would be on Mars right now.

Anonymous said...

"Military rockets"? What, he wants to launch Orion and Altair on Minuteman IIIs? Old Peacekeeper/MXs? Tridents? THAADs? SM-3s? SCUDs captured from Saddam Hussein?

No, he wants to launch them on EELVs as Steidle intended.

Repeat after me: EELVs are commercial launchers whose development was subsidized by DoD, they are NOT "military rockets". Military rockets deliver weaponry.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely NO reason that any significant numbers of personnel at NASA have to lose their jobs if the ARES I is terminated. The billions saved in that development should be spent on doing all the deferred but much more difficult activities that don't make headlines since they don't make tongues of flame. It is unfortunate that some engineers at Marshall may have to learn to do new things. That just breaks my heart that they can't spend an entire career doing just one thing. Welcome to the real world.

NASA has the opportunity to develop wholly new technologies that have no counterpart in the commercial world. They can develop new devices that are too risky for anyone else to tackle due to lack of business case. That is what they are supposed to do! Despite the insistence of the Emperor, new technologies are mandatory for meaningful exploration. Isn't that higher quality work than overseeing rate production activities?

I suspect that the Obama administration is not looking to balance the budget by scrounging a couple billion out of NASA. What they are looking to do is actually accomplish something with the money being spent. The ARES program has all the reek of a program destined for enormous cost overruns and an eternally delayed schedule with a dubious end product. That is something worth avoiding.
The so-called "military rockets" were intended to meet the nation's launch needs- not just the DoD. They were designed for the growth NASA needs. Most importantly the USG is funding ULA to keep suppliers and factories alive at desperately low production rates- this is not sustainable and it makes no sense to exacerbate that situation by creating yet another redundant launcher- also paid for by USG.

OTOH Alabama is a red state.

Antares said...

@4: That's actually the way it needs to happen: fire Marshall, send them home. Find something that rewards technical close-mindedness with notions that are at least one human generation out of date (which is about 4 technical generations). Ah, yes, the UAW! Actually, 75% of the Center isn't that bad, just the graybeards and management.

Honestly, if Marshall is allowed to play in and set excessively cumbersome requirements for EELV, then everyone loses including USAF/NRO. EELV designers will get fed up and go do something else.

Anonymous said...

Well, Rocketman! It was bound to happen. From their lips they said 'help us build this rocket, don't hold back, watch our steps, guide us and do not be afraid to say your peace because we welcome it, we value it, we cannot survive without it!'

However, on the performance review it was noted that the customer did not appreciate in the least the wisdom of the ages, the countless scars of experience and warnings about just trying to copy an old design on new paper and calling it one's own. Yes, the how well did you do marks took a sudden shift to the negative with the condeming note that the customer has taken your comments in a most negative manner.

Liberally translated from Latin, it meant that what the customer said about wanting contractor input was a bunch of crap. They deeply resent it and they will make sure that all of your boss' know it and will take appropriate action.