Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Re-runs

We guess we're just going to put up with up with this for the next 18 months or so until he leaves, as he surely will, or is run out of town. The headline reads, "Former Emperor says fear of risk hurting space program." We're sure this won't be the last headline attempting to deflect attention from the fact that rigorous analysis (which takes time) beats ego driven mandates (which only requires 60-120 days, depending how you count it, to fool the less technically inclined, like say, a couple of senators we know).

While the Eminent Scholar and Professor should be developing course outlines, pop quizzes, and final exams, he is instead complaining about the ongoing review of the debacle he left behind. What he fails to comprehend is that he didn't do what he said he claimed he would do within the established boundaries of dollars and time. Incremental progress would have been recognized and treated fairly. Spending profusely and having nothing to show for it is another matter altogether.

If the sham test of Ares 1-X had flown when the movie posters originally said it would, we would have a couple extra column inches in the Times for Michael Jackson this morning. If the Air Force found the rocket to actually having a shot at finding its way down range, the hardware stores wouldn't be sold out of metal buckets for our heads today. If 2018 was the date of the first lunar lander test flight, instead of the first Orion test flight, we would be eating our waffles without indigestion. If vugraph generators had been replaced with honest rocket scientists, Norm would still be in retirement.

And if the self-proclaimed Chief Engineer of the Universe had directed appropriate risk mitigations into his program, his wife might not be talking about enjoying all the culture little Huntsville has to offer this summer.


Anonymous said...

Look for the manned space program to be about servicing the ISS. After 26 years of development (1984 to 2010) and over $100B spent building it, American's won't be too happy abandoning it after 5 years (2015). Ares will continue not because it is the best solution, but because it preserves the most jobs in a scaled back manned program and money has already been sunk. Look for 'going to the moon' to be studied to death, with focus on 'technologies' to make it cheaper to accomplish.


Anonymous said...

NASA MSFC beat the care out of me.

If the crew will not take a stand for safe flight why should I?

Congress should close MSFC.
Save a buck and some Astronauts.

Anonymous said...

I STILL think that the best thing to do with the ISS is to eventually move the whole damn thing to L2. Far more useful as a staging area and depot for translunar operations. The LEO application is lame.