Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bombshell

After a short visit by the Band Leader and the Snow Princess this afternoon, the minions in Cajun land were left with the same dazed look they had after Katrina devastated their homes and workplaces. Words never before heard echoed through the auditorium. Were they listening to a bad dream that would go away when Congress woke up? Or a premonition of a bold new future that returned Von Braun's testing refuge to a more natural state?

An honest question from the audience set the tone. "We've got a rocket assembled in the VAB ready for launch. Are we going to launch it?" came the inquiry from a veteran space worker.

"Well, that's a good question," said the Band Leader. "Since the program of record will not be recommended by the Augustine commission, I don't see any point in continuing with the launch."

And in that pin-dropping moment, only the sound of the nails being hammered in the former Emperor's ego-laden, budget-busting, achy-shakey-breaky, corn-dog monument to himself could be heard. That, and some noise coming from Tuscaloosa.

Government health care started to look better as the afternoon sun headed for the ground. "And you folks should look around and think about what you are going to do with all this infrastructure when NASA gets out of the business of flying to low earth orbit," the Band Leader continued as coughing sounds broke the silence. Or was that "BRAC" we heard moving down the aisles. Portending a very different future where Dragons and Dreamlaunchers fly to a government-owned contractor-operated port in the sky, the Band Leader painted a picture absent of Meatballs and blue suits. "My former colleagues in Houston will need to think about a coming time where they will no longer be needed to train the way they do for things they currently do." Cue the tears. New suits with flashy trademark brands may soon be plying the skies 340 km up.

The stage is being set. The battle begins September 14. Harrumph.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was told about how, after landing on the Moon, the folks in charge walked through the design areas in Huntsville and asked the people on the drafting boards what they were going to do for an encore.

A strange question to be sure but what the managers meant was, we have landed on the Moon so all that is left is to turn the crank to make more Moon rockets. So, thanks for putting heart and soul into this project and by the way, take the rest of your life off. The job is over. There is no follow-on project. We don't need you anymore. Roll up your drawings, pack your things, you're outta here.

Did the band leader just give us a glimpse of his marching orders?

Is this just part of the natural ebb and flow of this industry?

Will the next generation of engineers and scientists be smart enough to avoid this trap when it reappears twenty years from now? Or has the third oscillation dampened out enough that a fourth will be nothing but a collection of white papers and PowerPoint presentations?

Anonymous said...

Commerical to LEO and no exploration for 4-15 years.
Orion? Maybe. Ares V ? Maybe.
Shuttle C? Maybe.
And look flying cats!

We ares so screwed!!!

Antares said...

Helluva night at the Cypress House. At least the dirge was played on steak night.

Anonymous said...

Re: 1st comment. When the great lizards met their end at Chicxulub, the mammals were but wee voles.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing short of absolutely disgusting.

Anonymous said...

The money saved by cancelling Ares is to be spent on space exploration instead of LEO launching.

The new budget has billions and billions of dollars for new technology development.

Anonymous said...

It is about time. The commercial launch industry has proven to be very capable. Government should not be competing with but encouraging America's commercial capabilities.

Now maybe NASA can change their focus to the real mission, exploration, not launch!

Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble believing Bolden would say this. I mean the first part about scrapping the Ares IX makes sense if it's impossible to dev the Ares V in a reasonable amount of time even with a shakey modest boost in budget.

The second part about what do you guys think you're going to do when we have to close shop seems way off character. And Bolden has to know there are options that allow NASA not to shed jobs while still relying more on commercial LEO.

Is this a joke ?

John Kavanagh said...

We'll see if the Congressional response finances NASA to continue to compete with the American private spaceflight sector, or if the Executive Branch selects one the Augustine options where NASA partners with Commerical for Crew to LEO.

Anonymous said...

Looks like that other blog read your stuff, claimed credit, then back-tracked. Read the editor comments all the way to the bottom!

Anonymous said...

why did you steel this information from nasawatch? maybe you should get your own sources from inside nasa and apologize to mr keith cowing as he would never ever steel information from other sites for his own purposes.

me said...

"why did you steel this information from nasawatch? maybe you should get your own sources from inside nasa and apologize to mr keith cowing as he would never ever steel information from other sites for his own purposes."

Ummm... This story was up on this blog nearly a day before it appeared on NasaWatch. Keith Cowling said he didn't copy it from here either so I would say the news has been verified.

Anonymous said...

And when he did steal it, he couldn't figure out that Cajun land also represents Stennis. Even kT could figure that out. Cypress House reference in previous comment gives it away, too. Of course, you could always get the video from Stennis to hear the response for yourself...

Anonymous said...

"why did you steel this information from nasawatch? maybe you should get your own sources from inside nasa and apologize to mr keith cowing as he would never ever steel information from other sites for his own purposes."

Sock Puppet!