Breaking the mould at NASA

April 2, 2009

As I have commented to everyone’s nauseam: Ares X-1 “as in the soon to be ex one” is slipping into the unknowable future at a rate of roughly 1.5 years/year! Which means that it will be finished sometime NEVER.
And now this:
“NASA’s estimates for new rocket soar again” Orlando Sentinel
By Robert Block and Mark K. Matthews.
One is reminded of ….well practically every development program NASA has attempted post Apollo-Saturn! I guess when they produced those steely eyed Missile Men like Gene Kranz; Chris KraftRocco Petrone and John Houbolt! Amongst many other luminaries they broke the mould and NASA doesn’t know how to make another one!

One hopes that in the coming months,  NASA will be able to keep its act and its agency together! Or perhaps its a time for a paradigm shift? If America can Nationalise it’s Banks! Why not privatise NASA?

I leave you with the Kranz Dictum spoken in the aftermath of the Apollo 1 Fire;

“Spaceflight will never tolerate carelessness, incapacity, and neglect. Somewhere, somehow, we screwed up. It could have been in design, build, or test. Whatever it was, we should have caught it. We were too gung ho about the schedule and we locked out all of the problems we saw each day in our work. Every element of the program was in trouble and so were we…..”

The complete speech is on his wikipedia page. Apparently Failure was never an option!

Edit: (6th April 2009)  Since this post Jim Muncy of the SFF has provided some insight: “Mind The (Space) Gap. Another troublemaking project of the Space Frontier Foundation.” (Space Access ‘09 Phoenix/ Arizona/ USA) and according to Rand Simberg in Transterrestrial Musings has engendered new NASAese:

“Slipped five years from ESAS goals of three and a half years ago, or 1.3 years per year (new NASA metric YPYS — Year per year slip). So much for new exploration.”

Love the term.
Although a (worst case) Gap growth of 3.5 to 7 years is 2.00 YPYS but who’s counting! Congress???

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