Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ares-I: now what?

The Orlando Sentinel, a paper which naturally does a lot of space coverage, calls for the demise of Ares-I. With one mostly successful test of a partial vehicle done, NASA believes it's making appropriate progress. The Augustine Commission didn't make a definitive finding on the rocket, instead laying out alternative scenarios, and new NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden hasn't weighed in yet. I know a lot of people smarter than me believe in the Ares, but I still lean to the "kill" side. It won't be ready until 2017 or so, at a far later date and higher cost than promised. I'm aware that man-rating a commercial booster is not easy or cheap, but I think it could give us a more powerful, more flexible rocket at least a couple of years sooner.

No comments: