Monday, August 17, 2009

Ares and the future of Marshall Space Flight Center

This article is one of many right now reporting that the Augustine Commission recommendations, which are leaking out all over the place, will doom the Ares-I booster intended to loft the new Orion capsule. As readers know, I never liked the damn thing, and its shortcomings have already caused the Orion's capabilities and capacity to be slashed, so I won't be sorry if it dies. (I will be sorry, of course, about the money poured into it already, but I'm not a believer in the "sunk cost" fallacy that says it always makes more sense to finish the program you began.) As the article points out, though, the rationale for the storied Marshall Space Flight Center, which got its start as the Army's home for Wernher von Braun and company, won't go away. There's plenty of work to do in advacing space propulsion.

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