Thursday, October 1, 2009


Here's one for the sleuths in the crowd. Go find the list of waivers that is stacking up taller than the Ares 1X corndog itself. Then ask why the environmental qualification exceedances for the roll control are being waivered? How about those avionics boxes? And why are waivers doing away with the re-test of boxes that required late work being written as well?

Yes, they are just that desperate to stay in the game by rolling the dice. What if it was your $300M depending on that roll?

Oh wait, it is.


Anonymous said...

how do the waivers stack up against the shuttle
which flies with 300 waivers every flight

Anonymous said...

If only the stick could crash in a spectacular fashion, making our rockets feebler than those of the Persians, then the budget could be increased and the NASA ranks could swell and everyone could be happy (except for the taxpayers)

Anonymous said...

zoom or Boom. It's just a rocket. The people building and running it make the difference.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes - "If only the stick could crash ..." What a warped mindset - hoping for failure. Maybe I'm reading this wrongly - I hope so - but in any case, it's a nasty, cynical potshot at NASA. Those who can't do typically just bitch.

Anonymous said...

This is Anon1 here,

The STS flies with between 100-300 waivers
per flight and has exploded twice.

Is the Ares flying with dozens, hundreds or
thousands of waivers.

Anonymous said...

So what is the right count of waivers? If NASA had no waivers, would you acuse them of hiding risk? NASA, by virtue of who they are, are quite dammed if they do and dammed if they don't ... correct?
How many waivers did SpaceX Falcon fly on the last time? Does it matter, as long as they understand the risk?

Chuck2200 said...

I am not an Ares lover but even I do not want to see an Ares-IX crash.

Anonymous said...

Old NASA Joke

Dave: Open the Pod Bay Doors HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry Dave. I can’t do that.
Dave: Why HAL?
HAL: I have a waiver Dave.

Anonymous said...

If the design is done right, there will be no waivers.

Without the weird NASA rationalizations, The
point of the flight safety rules is to show the design
conforms to them.

The FAA writes rules for the design of aircraft.
These go from the max landing speed, demonstration of failure redundancy, and expected environmental certification.

When something slips between the cracks and it happens, they issue an Airworthiness Directive.
It's a few per year, it's a rigorous process and
they catch most of them.

So what would make me feel good is zero waivers and a design reviewed by outside engineers who have time to go over ever piece and help assure
completeness of design.

The real question is when the Ares is going to be cancelled.

SimonFD said...

Perhaps it's a matter of "get the damn thing launched! I don't care how! We need to launch it!" type of thing. A last gasp if you will.

Anonymous said...


Go Fever, meets bad engineering
and PR Handwaving.

That's usually the formula for disaster

Anonymous said...

Has anything ever launched without waivers? I doubt it. The Ares design at least gets away from the waivers relating to the stuff falling off the main tank. And most of the old NASA "Management Hat" folks that let the Challenger fly with a weather waiver are gone. Note - they teach lectures on engineering ethics on that one.

Anonymous said...

How many ELV's fly with waivers?

I don't recall Delta 2 flying with a lot of waivers

Anonymous said...

I love the comment on ethics! I suppose when your unethical behavior finally kills people you make some minor corrections. However the unethical behavior at NASA at the sub-lethal level is practically institutionalized- at least at the rarefied command level. Deliberate obfuscation with cherry picked data, bogus tradestudy efforts to validate the hallucinations of newbies, concerted and blatant pressure on subcontractors to toe the line and not release alternative view are all highly unethical. Systematic removal of those with alternative views and the insinuation of a "my way or the highway" fear-based mentality down to the working level are all signs of a fundamentally unethical foundation that will never lead to greatness. But it will piss away billions and squander decades - just like the miserable Shuttle program which has in the end left us with what? Ant farm science and a space station suitable for practically zip. The only major lesson is: Don't do it this way!

I love space, have worked in the industry for decades and know many great folks at NASA and its subcontractors. But I am not the only one in contemplating someone pushing the big red RESET button and halting this destructive, ineffective bureaucracy and its slavish, sycophantic subcontractors.

But maybe it will all be ok because of all the jobs we create to do mental masturbation. I doubting it but hey you never know.

As for ARES- I keep imagining if the post office was in charge of designing and building the airplanes to move mail what they would look like. Not a pretty picture. That is precisely what we will get with ARES.

Anonymous said...

The post office used to design and build mail planes.
The Army did that first and was killing too many
pilots then the post office did and then they turned it over to industry.