Yo, dog, check this out. The Ares-1X "movie" posters are starting to get bottom heavy now. Stick-on labels moving the launch date forward are extending into the third dimension. April 2009 is the latest date to get covered up. Perhaps the next sticker should just read "???"
If you take a look at the program's status chart, reviewed regularly by the Italian Waiter, a.k.a. von Braun II, you will only observe a sea of red with dashes of yellow sprinkled in for good measure. For a program supposedly so close to launch you would expect to see at least some green in the field of view. Maybe it's not so close to launch after all? Maybe the chart maker is color blind? Or maybe they just manage things differently inside the house that Shelby protects?
This situation, of course, raises a couple of other questions. For instance, will the Waiter press for a launch before its time to influence Mr. Holdren's panel of administration judges? If, by some bit of luck the sham (four segment SRB, old grain, inert solid upper stage, inert Orion, along with many other non-flight systems) test succeeds in getting off the pad and down range, will the panel take the time to review what was actually (or not) accomplished by this test of the blockhouse? Paula Abdul might be impressed. If Ares-1X cartwheels off the pad, does that seal Constellation's fate as well? Simon Cowell, what did you think of that performance?
In typical fashion, bad rationale is allowing taxpayer dollars to continue to be spent bailing-out this program. Sunk costs appear to be the only justification offered for not holding up the test right now. Perhaps the panel of judges will see the light of day and call time. For a rocket that is pitchy and out of key, it may finally be time to move off the stage.