Thursday, May 7, 2009


Norm Augustine handed helm of Blue Ribbon Panel to assess current state of non-space-faring affairs - Born in 1935. Reviewed Bush 41 plans to go to the moon and Mars. Fostered the creation of the Office of Exploration which later was led to failure by the young Emperor-in-training. He gets picked to settle NASA's future direction, but no Administrator available to support Agency positions. Coincidence? We think not. We also can't wait to see the innovation and youthful creativity flow out of this panel's review. Note to graduating seniors: Aim for grad school, change of major optional, but recommended.

Chris Scolesce says ARES-1 delayed because of Hubble Repair Mission dual pad needs -Ahhh, if ARES-1 was at all ready to fly, rationale was being developed to skip the dual pad configuration and hand one of the pads over to ARES. Of course, it is nowhere near ready to fly before the end of the year, so back to two pads we go. Note to Chris: the taxpayers are curious why you are continuing to spend their money if the program is going to change. There wouldn't be any need for any Blue Ribbon Panel if everything was obviously healthy and moving forward, now would there?

Scolesce also says Constellation is moving toward IOC in 2015 - Fails to mention IOC 2015 has a zero per cent confidence associated with it. Note to Norm: always watch out for positive statements qualified by confidence ratios. Second note to Norm: go take a class from Penn and Teller on misdirection and distraction. You will be experiencing a lot of that shortly. Third note to Norm: Lots of caffeine.

Steve Kohler resigns from Space Florida - Nobody said it would be easy. Nobody said it would be fair. Note to Steve: Try following next time.

Former Emperor in Houston Friday - More whining about staffers keeping him from leading the minions expected as he receives his RNASA award. Also expected to attend a media gathering at Space Center Houston on Saturday, as Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Olsen demonstrate their ignorance of current events and praise him further. Obama watches from afar and interprets event as a show of support from JSC, further cementing his plan to cut center program funding after 2012. Note to Cornyn and Olsen: Never mind.

Charlie Bolden in and out - He says he doesn't want THE job to all that ask. Fails to tell Sen. StickMan, so his name stays in the hat. Gen. Lyles does the respectable thing and publically bows out. Note to Charlie: What are you really holding out for?


Anonymous said...

Telecon Today :"This is not a referendum on Constellation"

All Observers Simultaneously :"Of course this is a referendum on Constellation".

Anonymous said...

And management, aware of all the public attention that this fiasco is starting to draw, to the last one of them said in unison, "Keep Rowing!"

Mr. X said...

My expectations for the Augustine Commission are very low right now, though I hope to be pleasantly surprised. It sounds like they've done a downselect for the final study, which will likely look at Ares, DIRECT, Orion-on-EELV and possibly Dragon-Falcon. My guess is that Ares and Orion will sputter along for the next four years while Dragon beats them to a manned orbital mission. If that happens, Congressional euthanasia for Ares can't be too far behind.

Anonymous said...

I am loathe to think that we will be forced to continue to spend money, let contracts, buy and assemble hardware based upon the erroneous assumption that 'NASA knows best'.

The creation of another Augustine Commission, is a polite way for this administration to say that there is no confidence in Constellation. One cannot help but give the current administration credit for seeing through some of the smokescreen. How they will react to what they see is another matter.

For a real giggle, read the interview with the head of MSFC on the current status of Ares 1. When the head shed can't tell 'ORANGE' is a caution flag that there is a load of BS ahead, something is wrong. Perhaps if you put enough of the right kind of spin on 'ORANGE' it becomes a more benign color.

For those who haven't read that a certain manager used Orange to cover up red status at a key review, it might be worth a few minutes of study. Orange substituted for red is like being a wee bit pregnant!

Anonymous said...

"My guess is that Ares and Orion will sputter along for the next four years while Dragon beats them to a manned orbital mission."

Dragon and Falcon are also sputtering along.

For different reasons but same result

Anonymous said...

We are trying to prepare for presentations to this commission and are torn by how much to even suggest to them. The whole ESAS architecture is SO pathetic that there is hardly a piece worth keeping. The alternatives are obvious but require a level of understanding above the merely superficial. How much can these people digest or even understand without having done any homework themselves? We wonder how much could be communicated within the 5 minute window of receptiveness that you get with such "expert commissions". I expect we will muddle through but I think everyone is concerned about upsetting the whole apple cart. The potential exists for killing the whole moon exploration effort.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone is concerned about upsetting the whole apple cart.Upset the apple cart? Jesus von Braun needs to strut in there and tip over all the money changer's conference tables.

The potential exists for killing the whole moon exploration effort.Deferring deep space until we sort out our LEO transportation problems is not equivalent to 'killing moon exploration'. And the whole idea of jaunting into deep space without a viable pyramidal rescue scheme is just ludicrous, unless you take one way volunteers or something. You're so paranoid about shuttle missions, but you'd gladly send people off on Constellation suicide missions.