Monday, March 30, 2009

Falling Apart at the Seams

The shuttle huggers are coming out in force now. What, with the former Emperor reduced to a hen-pecked disadvantaged consultant, and his ego-, schedule-, budget-busting architecture now being redressed by the minions who thought the Chief Engineer of the Universe would walk them into the light. What better excuse than to keep the External Tank production line open? At least three tanks past 2010 are on schedules carried by Viceroy Gerst.

Meanwhile, the Whovillian contractors continue to accept their blood money and proclaim high on the hill that the Shuttle is flying safer than ever before. They fail to discuss bad SRB thrust mismatches on the last two out of three flights. Built by the same guys who can't keep even the easy fake tests nailed on the schedule. Any bets on the last ten real flight articles? Let us remind the Stick Senator that there won't be any jobs to worry about in his fine state if he gets a dog throw and it comes up snake eyes.

We hope the teacher applies common sense and is a good student. Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

White Smoke Rising

"Check your weapons at the door." A pretty standard sign in Texas bars. Now it looks like one of the patrons will be taking one of those signs with him to DC.

The shooting is over. No more trial balloons to pop. No more clay pigeons to scatter. The firecracker in Maryland has cried uncle. The short stick of a man in Florida holding all the president's men hostage stopped short of taking the job himself.

Short of an abused nanny in the closet or some overly optimistic tax returns filed without the help of H&R Block, we have a winner.

Crown of Alabama

The King of Alabama has stepped down. We've heard that a Jay North character may be in line for the job? Can you imagine how menacing that would be?

Going, Going, Gone?

Many moons ago, GAO suggested that the minions were incapable of accurately prognosticating how a program will turn out in the long haul. Of course, our favorite soon-to-be Italian Waiter has been claiming success in meeting schedules. Now those GAO predictions are starting to look pretty good. And the real pasta is still uncooked.

The rocket contractor can't seem to get anything out the door these days. The first test of the five segment organ pipe is now slipping at least six months to September from April 2. The second and third tests of the achy-shakey booster now push into 2010 This follows directly on the heels of the Ares-1X slip, conveniently leaving a launch pad empty to support the Hubble repair mission.

Our April Fool has also missed on some estimates for getting Ares V infrastructure ready for trips to the moon. $2B has become $9B in the latest cost round-up. Given a flat budget for the next bunch of years, look for those first trips to the moon somewhere around 2021 with an outpost hanging out a shingle in maybe 2023. Of course, Viceroy Hanley's confidence in those numbers is only 65%. Good enough for government work.

Sounds like we're out of lasagna, doesn't it? Chinese take-out anyone?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fortune Teller?

We suspect the words of an ATK VP will maybe perhaps one day come back to haunt him...if the red button ever gets pushed.

"It's more like a submarine," says former astronaut Charles J. Precourt, of the Ares-1X sham hardware coming together at the Cape.

Two Pads for Hubble

Cooler heads have prevailed? Sorry to say, that is not the case, because it would have given hope to the idea that some semblance of intelligent decision making could still possibly be undertaken by the minions. No, the Hubble repair mission will be backed by Endeavour waiting on Pad 39B not because it is and always was the right thing to do, but because Ares-1X simply won't be ready for it's fake test by then.

In fact, the Aries delays are now pushing the already compressed and unrealistic schedule for a first manned flight to ISS in...wait for it...2017. Good luck keeping those jobs in Florida after all.

Florida Grown

Not since the last Anita Bryant concert has the state of Florida seen things this bad. A stick of a senator trumps all that is right and good, smears the reputation of a good man with falsehoods and innuendo, and single-handedly mandates his will on the President.

We can't wait to see how the negotiations go with the Taliban.

In the meantime, with protection and cover like this, our favorite KSC cabana boy is plotting his takeover of the Constellation Program. What with the final test, assembly, and sustaining engineering being proposed for the right coast, it's not a stretch of the imagination to see the next presentation calling for mission operations to be moved there as well.

As long as the Texas and Alabama delegations continue to sit on their hands, the chance of the space program moving to the sunshine state en masse is not that far fetched.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Clash of the Titans

In this corner, we have the feisty loveable and smart battle-axe from Maryland. In the opposing corner, we have the unspirited one-dimensional stickman from Florida. The winner of this battle-royale will determine whether we have a space-faring future or not.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Quiet Times

On average, things have now come to a screeching halt across the empire. Sure, the minions are going through the motions, but no serious decisions are being made in the current vacuum. It is in the quiet times, however, when the slightest noise brings the most attention.

Viceroy Gerst continues to run on rogue, pulling the levers and turning the cranks behind the green curtain. The COTS contractors have been restarted in spite of an ongoing protest that could overturn the award results sometime in the next couple of months. Shuttle C studies and Direct reviews have compared more than favorably with the Emperor's ego-architecture. When the minion's own accounting illuminate ways of getting to the moon for less than half of the current approach, you know ARES-1 is going the way of the Dynosaur.

And to the moon we shall still go. But the Snow Princess and her elfish Changelings did get the last laugh, it appears, on the shuttle huggers. No shuttles will fly after September 2010. Not unless a bake sale bailout like no other raises the funds to do so. At the rate things are going, Sam Ting may have finally been tonged.