Editor's note: I called into the telecon today 9 minutes before it began. Melissa Matthews (ESMD PAO) read down a list of reporters to confirm that they were on the telecon. She said that the order of the list was determined by how people confirmed (my confirmation was made by email on 7 December at 3:15:51 PM EST). When my name was called I confirmed that I was on the telecon. Later, when Melissa went down that list, my name was omitted. Everyone got to ask a question. When she asked if anyone was missed I said "yes - you forgot me, this is Keith Cowing" - several times. No response. Why these people play these games escapes me.
Editor's update: PAO says that they called my name but heard nothing back. I have done these telecons a hundred items - from the very same telephone. What mystifies me is why NASA PAO is so utterly incapable of setting up a simple telecon with people. Earlier in the telecon someone said that the operator had cut some people off who had an open mike that was causing the echoes. Maybe they cut me off too. Oh well.
Gilbreath just said "We have not picked a particular landing mode yet." He went on to note that the Point of Departure does include a water landing for Orion.
Jeff Hanley said: "Point of Departure is a system engineering term - this is our reference design - we are still trading off what is possible to achieve."
In other words NASA has changed from land to water landing - but they don't want to say that they have. Let's see how fast the media jumps on this.
Then again that may not happen. Every time the telecon is opened up to the call-in participants, the audio goes into echo/feedback mode. No one seems to be able to fix it.
"Land landing is in as a contingency."