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.


kT said...

No, but there is 'tried'.

I can't believe these people, we've got a brand new five meter welding machine, we've got SSMEs with spares up the gazoo, we've got two fully functional modern rockets sitting on the pads, and we've got guys working on extremely powerful hydrocarbon boosters, and there is almost unlimited floor space over at Michoud. Plus people want jobs.

Dr. Frankenstein for administrator!

Anonymous said...

But even EELoVers like me have to acknowledge that they are currently grounded by the dreaded common engine problem. O What the billions wasted on the Shaft could have bought in enhancements to the fleets that are safeR simpleR and soonER.

Anonymous said...

NASA is a mess these days, no doubt. Bush and Congress deserve a great deal of credit for this, along with O'Keefe and Griffin.

But what in the world do you want or expect? All I hear from you is sarcasm and jabs, not a single positive suggestion.

I have spent most of my career in human space flight and it is the hardest job I have ever had. Even when everybody is adult and works the real issues hard it is almost too much. When an arrogant jerk like Mike comes along and sways the masses of space cadets it is a guaranteed failure.

There are elementary concepts that should be followed. 30 years ago Shuttle should have been designed with crew escape capability. Now that is going to be introduced in the next generation whenever it appears. But until then Shuttle is all that the US has to work with for taking crews to orbit. We have flown it successfully (note I did not say safely, since that is a non-dimensional parameter) many times and can likely fly it another 20 if we keep our eye on the ball.

There is an old operational concept called "make before break" that would have the next operational capability in hand before shutting down the old one. Shuttle, for all of its weaknesses, is a magnificent system that is available now. Let us carefully use it until we have a follow on in hand or at least through critical testing.

I enjoy your blogs but it would be nice if you showed a little more balance.

Anonymous said...

The 'spin merchants' are at it again. The press reported that Ares 1 had relinquished the launch pad in support of the Hubble mission. The way it was worded was as though it were a noble gesture, taking one for the team sort of thing. Then, of course, it was noted that this would delay Ares 1X.

Somebody has really been busy in the cat box on this one!

kT said...

All I hear from you is sarcasm and jabs, not a single positive suggestion.

Read the archives, I'm pretty sure :

1) Rocketman works for NASA.

2) He advocated EELVs from the start.

Some of us submitted actual COTS proposals. There is no shortage of options that don't involve tens of billions of dollars, years and decades and finally - failure.

Ares I is not an option.

Anonymous said...

And the press are gullible and stupid enough to buy into it without question. So much for being the taxpayers watchmen.

Anonymous said...

The Shuttle isn't that great of a system.
It has a 2% chance of exploding on any
flight, as we are slowly starting to
approach that magical 150th flight
we can expect to see the that
terrible smoke cloud.

now RAS says we had thrust mismatches in the
SRB's is there any explanation what went on?

Grain slump, mis pours, the cores sitting
around getting old, poor storage?

Anonymous said...

Positive Suggestions.

1) Abandon Ares 1 and 5, shoot most
of the middle managers who worked on it,
for criminal negligence and careerist boosterism over

2) Select the Delta 4 heavy as a booster
and design a capsule to fit on it. I'd suggest
a Apollo CSM with updated avionics and
a reduced SM . Upgrade the SPS so it can
run on a high thrust escape mode and
you are on a course to have a ISS

3) Build shuttle C and tell the pukes at
MSFC to design a lander that can fit on a
Shuttle C.

bing, 80% of the developement
work goes away but the program still
keeps working.

you still have ISS capability, you still have
A lunar capacity, you don't modify the
Pad infrastructure much at all
and you do it all for about 3 billion.

Anonymous said...

Ares 1X, October 1 launch...

Anonymous said...

Positive suggestions (revised).


3) Build Direct V2.0 and "tell the pukes at MSFC to design whatever size lander is really needed instead of one which can only fit on Shuttle-C". And Direct is also a vehicle which safely launch a crew on top too.