Saturday, February 09, 2008

NASA and the Ares-1, Round 23

There are three controversies I cover on this blog that apparently will never go away - the validation of the ivory-billed woodpecker's survival, the taxonomic status of the Flores Island "hobbits," and the wisdom of NASA in choosing the Ares I launch vehicle for the Orion program. NASA Administrator Mike Griffin recently blamed sour grapes on the part of Lockheed Martin (LM), maker of the Atlas V, for the criticism of the Ares.
I sympathize with Griffin, who has one of the toughest jobs in the Federal government. But that's no reason to charge LM with fomenting a launch vehicle insurrection without evidence. And there are plenty of people who have no special love for LM but also don't like the Ares I. (I'm one, if it matters to anybody.) Keith Cowing on has put up some of Griffin's own statements from a few years ago indicating the off-the-shelf Atlas and Delta rockets looked like good candidates for carrying manned vehicles.

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