Monday, March 23, 2009

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.


Anonymous said...

Is Aries the plural of Ares? I like that. We should always be engaging in multiple wars, that's always good for business. Just like multiple gods are good for the business of religion, and multiple existing launch vehicles are good for sitting around unused.

Ben the Space Brit said...

At this rate, ISS will have been retired by the time Ares-I is ready.

The real question that now has to be answered is: At what point do the problems with Ares-I reach the point where the Powers That Be say 'enough'?

AFAIK, the problem this time is basically budgetary - For an elaborate confidence trick, Ares-IX is pretty expensive. They are having problems paying for all the bits on time. Someone has to take cleaver to the project budget before it becomes The Booster That Ate NASA.

Anonymous said...

Actually, 2017 is the date for the Orion-4 mission, which won't be visiting the ISS. Orion-4 will be just a two-man test flight to see if Orion works or not, just like STS-1 was.

Orion-6, fully 12 months later (2018), will be the first time a crew can actually be rotated at station.

But oops, they're pulling all the ISS money from the budget in 2017 at which point they will have to drop ISS into the drink for safety. So there won't actually be anywhere for that Orion crew to go to in LEO. Even Hubble will have been de-orbited by then.

Hence one of the other reasons why its okay to scale Orion back to a 4-man crew now.

And there are even more delays beyond this waiting in the pipe already.