SLS and Orion: January 2008 Archives

Ares 1 Problems

Thrust Oscillation Issue Threatens Ares I Design, Aviation Week

"Modifications to correct a potentially deadly vibration from the solid-fuel first-stage of the Ares I crew launch vehicle could range from tweaking the geometry of the propellant inside the rocket motor to unlocking seat shock absorbers in the Orion capsule so they protect astronauts on launch as well as landing."

Ares Design Issue Update

Ares "delay" puts NASA on the back foot, Nature

"Later, NasaWatch got hold of a NASA memo that seemed to show that the Ares launch had been delayed by 12 months (blog post, memo). However Griffin has denied this. His slightly tetchy denial is rather convoluted but he says this is not a delay but a "re-phasing" of milestones (NasaWatch blog post). Clear on that?"

NASA Internal Memo from Constellation Program Manager Jeffrey Hanley: Update to Constellation Program (CxP) Internal Launch Dates

"Pursuant to recent analysis of program resource execution plans, the Program is adjusting the internal launch dates for the CxP Flight Manifest as follows:

  1. Ares 1-Y shifted 12 months from September 2012 to September 2013
  2. Orion 1 shifted 9 months from March 2013 to December 2013
  3. Orion 2 shifted 6 months from September 2013 to March 2014
  4. Orion 3 shifted 3 months from March 2014 to June 2014
  5. Orion 4 is not shifted and remains on September 2014"

- Original 16 January Hanley memo, PDF
- Original 18 January Hanley memo rescinding 16 January memo, PDF

Talk Of Ares Launch Delays, earlier post

NASA ESMD PAO: "NASA has not announced a 12-month postponement of any Ares or Orion test flights and has no plans to do so."

Editor's note: A memo sent out under signature across the entire agency to its senior leadership (check the 80+ cc: list) announcing: "Ares 1-Y shifted 12 months from September 2012 to September 2013" sure sounds like it was "announced" and that this was part of a "plan" i.e. a "recent analysis of program resource execution plans". Until someone put a halt to this, it would seem. I wonder who? We'll find out Tuesday morning at the STA breakfast - Mike Griffin was supposed to be the sole guest. Now Jeff Hanley and Steve Cook will be joining him to answer questions.

I just love it when ESMD is accurate in their responses to my questions.

ESMD Responds to Ares and Orion Questions, earlier post

Comments? Send them to

Talk Of Ares Launch Delays

Editor's note: NASA sources report that Jeff Hanley recently issued a memo wherein the need to delay the first Ares missions was discussed - and recommended. NASA sources also report that Mike Griffin did not agree with this recommendation and that he has countermanded the recommendations that Hanley made. When I asked NASA ESMD PAO about this issue today they replied:

NASA Moon Rocket May Shake Too Much, AP

"Senior managers were told of the findings last fall, but NASA did not talk about them publicly until the AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request earlier this month and the watchdog Web site submitted detailed engineering-oriented questions. The response to those questions, given to both Nasawatch and AP, were shared with outside experts, who judged it a serious problem. NASA engineers characterized the shaking as being in what the agency considers the "red zone" of risk, ranking a five on a 1-to-5 scale of severity."

Severe vibration problem plagues moon rocket design, Houston Chronicle

"The vibration problem was disclosed today by NASA Watch, an Internet Web site focused on space agency issues. The space agency declined requests for interviews today but provided a lengthy written response in which it identified the problem as "thrust oscillation," an issue that surfaced in October during a design review. It characterized the problem as a pulsing of the thrust late in the burn of the Ares I first stage rocket."

NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Responds to Ares 1 and Orion Questions

Editor's note: Earlier this month I submitted a series of questions to NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) regarding the Ares 1 and Orion projects. The following was provided to me by ESMD PAO on Thursday: ...

Editor's 15 Jan update: ESMD PAO just sent me a note: "We're converging on a final answer for your many questions, and my clients in ESMD have asked me to tell you that we expect to have the answer to you within 48 hours."

Editor's 14 Jan note: A week ago I submitted a series of questions regarding Ares 1 development to ESMD PAO. With the exception of a short email from someone at ESMD PAO last Monday ago telling me that they'd "update me tomorrow" I have heard absolutely nothing. Senior ESMD management was cc:ed on the original email. They know that these questions have been asked. What are they afraid of? Why won't they answer? Stay tuned.

Editor's 15 Jan update: Here are the specific questions I asked ESMD PAO - questions that they are either unwilling or unable to answer:



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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the SLS and Orion category from January 2008.

SLS and Orion: December 2007 is the previous archive.

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