Blaming Others For Ares/Constellation Woes

CBS NEWS STS-122 STATUS REPORT: 48 (Scroll Down)

"Q: [HARWOOD] On a different topic, the Ares rocket and the Constellation program continue to generate questions among outside observers as to viability of the rocket system, due to vibration and other issues, and the overall architecture of the moon program. Why is that?

A: [GRIFFIN] Let me get down to the bottom of it. There were winners and losers in the contractor community as to who was going to get to do what on the next system post shuttle. And we didn't pick (Lockheed Martin's) Atlas 5, in consultation with the Air Force for that matter, because it wasn't the right vehicle for the lunar job. Obviously, we did pick others. So people who didn't get picked see an opportunity to throw the issue into controversy and maybe have it come out their way.

Griffin: Sore Losers Conspire to Undo NASA's Ares 1, Orlando Sentinel Write Stuff Blog

"This is not so much an argument that people are having with NASA, and it's not about the Constellation architecture. It's about winning contractors versus losing contractors, and losing contractors spotting an opportunity coincident with an election year to reopen what was a settled issue three years ago," Griffin said. A prolonged fight, he added, could be a disaster for America's civil space program."

Critics say NASA's new rocket Ares, which is to take astronauts to the moon, is flawed, Orlando Sentinel

"NASA argues that the Atlas V as it stands is not robust enough to lift its 25-ton Orion crew capsule into space. Nonetheless, the news that entrepreneurs intend to employ an off-the-shelf rocket -- one that NASA rejected as being too expensive and unsafe to modify for its purposes -- was immediately seized on by Ares I critics. James Muncy, a Virginia-based space-policy consultant, said Bigelow's move means that commercial operators are going to be putting people into orbit years before NASA finishes developing Ares I. "That's great news for Americans worried about a gap in human spaceflight, but it could undercut some of the rationale for NASA's rocket plans." ... "The developments are worrying John Logsdon, the director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, who is concerned that the criticism of Ares I -- some legitimate, some driven by ego and profit -- could end up destroying Constellation and with it the first new vision of space exploration in 35 years. "It's not a bad plan," he said, "We just need to adjust it some."

Editor's note: Oh, so now Lockheed Martin is to blame for Ares/Constellation woes, eh Mike? Isn't it curious that Lockheed Martin seems to have had much more success (on its own) countering the technical issues that NASA felt that it could not surmount (with regard to the Atlas V and human rating) when Lockheed Martin used their own money to do so - with market potential as a key motivator? What is it that Lockheed Martin sees that Mike Griffin has missed?

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on February 8, 2008 6:34 PM.

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