Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dead, but not Yet Buried

Being a good embalmer is a thankless job. And its now up to Norm to pickle the former Emperor's aborted creation.

But before that will happen, the clothless wonder took time Friday night to tone down his commentary from the after-life. After a subtle yet testy repartee with Miles O'Brien over just how the campaign to sell him to a Democratic President came to pass ("honest, I had nothing to do with Doc's campaign...and who can control their own wife anyway."), the poor RNASA audience had to endure a monotonous 20 minute speech that seemed to drone on for the 50 years since NASA was born.

The theme of the speech followed closely on the heels of the Weldon/Lampson piece in the Washington Times last weekend. Starting and stopping a project is not healthy. The executive branch should not tell the technical branch how to formulate their programs. And it was on these notes that it became clear how Norm's programmatic autopsy will be defended against.

The naysayers are barking up the wrong tree, somewhat, technically speaking. There is no reason why ARES-1 and ARES-V, Orion, and Altair can not be made to work...eventually and for a price. That is the answer and the deception in one package.

Unfortunately, two more questions have not been asked and answered simultaneously. How much will it really cost to really solve these very real technical issues? How long will it take to reliably solve the very same issues? Do we have the compunction, time, and the resources required to cover the resulting gap?

That is the problem. And now its Norm's job to decide if the answers are acceptable.


Krishna Kattula said...

I get the feeling the Obama administration know what sort of money & time it will take to get Ares I/V & Orion to (sort of) work, and this is just an exercise to get NASA to admit it.

I hope the panel will conclude: "Yes the current plan will work, but the cost is unacceptibly high in these troubled times. We recommend a switch to <<>insert your favourite architecture here<>>".

NASA keeps face, and everyone moves forward to a brighter future. (Well perhaps not everyone...)

kT said...

Something like a zombie, right?