Friday, April 24, 2009

NASA News: I was wrong. It could get worse.

According to Chris Bergin on, Constellation program manager Jeff Hanley has proposed huge changes to make the Full Operational Capability date of 2015 (itself already a budget-driven a two-year slip from the original schedule). The changes include: "deleting the Ares I-Y test flight, making Ares I’s first stage disposable, switching from Orion 4 to Orion 3 as the Full Operational Capability (FOC) date, along with a host of additional changes.." to get the first astronauts up by 2015.

COMMENT: I always note that comments in this blog are my personal opinions as a private citizen. Sometimes I need to really emphasize that - like now. Cutting, in effect, two test flights, after the test plan has already been truncated once, is a very unwise notion that smacks of being budget, not schedule, driven. I get annoyed with schedule slips like every other space-watcher, but schedule slips are preferable to eliminating tests. Computer simulations don't replace flying - ask SpaceX. Either give Ares-Orion the budget to do things right or don't do them.

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